Every year, Japanese tuning trends start from Tokyo Auto Salon. Before TAS, everyone said TAS 2013 would be the 86/BRZ show—and that’s correct. There were 91 total Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ (combined), and Option magazine hosted ’86 World’, which had some customized cars, toy/radio controlled cars and many tuning parts. I think if you would buy FR-S or BRZ, it’s not easy to decide which tuning parts to buy. I noticed that the Rocket Bunny kit has overfenders and exposed rivets; usually you hide the rivet to make a smooth body line, if it’s a show car or is professional racing style. Showing rivet is Japanese race car style from ‘70s/’80s, so is old popular style coming back in Japanese tuning scene?
It was hard to find Subaru Impreza, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo and Honda Type R cars at TAS 2013 but that doesn’t mean they are not popular in Japan, there just isn’t new parts for these cars. I can’t find JDM/USDM-Hellaflush cars at TAS 2013 because they will go to the USDM shows later this year. TAS is not the only tuning car show in Japan—after TAS, there will be shows in Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, Sapporo, even Bangkok (Thailand, I know). I also like the historic car shows. Please come to Japan and enjoy these events!
I have a tie between number 2 and 1: Mugen N-One Concept and 09Racing "Hako-Tora". I like these both for different reasons. I like Mugen N-one because I like small car with big motor. Base model Mugen N-one has 660cc motor; they didn’t decide which motor to put in this racing version. I think maybe they will put a customized Fit 1500cc or Civic Type R motor. This car has sequential-shift so it hints at a factory manual transmission since a stock N-one doesn’t have a stick shift option. This reminds many people of the old ’67 Honda N360 Kei-car (’67 N600E in USA); Honda’s engineers and designers used this car as inspiration for N-one. A Touring version was sold in 1969 and was very popular for young people and race shops during that time. Because it was so popular, Honda decided to sell N-one for the young people of today.
But I also like 09Racing’s Nissan Sunny truck (Datsun 1200 truck) with Hakosuka face, which is “Hako-Tora”. Someone said Nissan was selling Sunny Truck in Mexico many years ago. I am not sure that is true or not. Can you get US license plate if you would find Sunny Truck in Mexico? The motor is same as Nissan Sunny coupe 1200 (Datsun 1200 coupe). It is ‘70s model but Nissan of Japan was selling Nissan Sunny Truck until 1994. Sunny truck has ‘70s style, that’s why it is popular in Japan and is hard to find in good condition. That is same situation as AE86’s situation. If you wanted good condition of Sunny truck, go to South Africa because Nissan of South Africa was selling Sunny Truck (Nissan Bakkie) until 2008. I think that is so hard to buy and import Nissan Bakkie from South Africa. If that would be easy to do, Japanese Sunny truck shops would do it.