Entries in Japanese (9)
I love this old Japanese comparison video. Skip straight to 3:24 for the highly entertaining sprint race! The NSX driver is pretty spectacular.
Hat tip to Rob
For anyone planing a trip to Japan in the near future, I highly recommend you pay a visit to our friends at Motorimoda! It's a very unique shop for discerning car and motorcycle enthusiasts with a sense of style. They have 3 locations: One in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district, one in Nagoya, and one in Kobe. The Kobe store, which just opened, is shown below. I first learned of Motorimoda when I saw their ad in a Japanese Rally magazine. They carry all of that impossible to find Martini Racing merchandise and a lot of other cool clothing and gear I have never seen anywhere else! I'm pleased to say that they are now stocking Autodromo Watches as well! So for any readers in Japan, go check out the shop, and have a look at our watches in person! Or visit Motorimoda Online.
I find the Hummer H2 to be the most loathesome example of American excess and stupidity, but when seen in this Tokyo garage, jacked up to within an inch of the ceiling, it becomes a sublimely ridiculous autobot, crouching in the shadows waiting for the next decepticon attack.
You have to love the chutzpah of this owner, buying a truck that literally can't fit down most of the side streets in Tokyo, and guzzles gas like a mechanical Godzilla. The addition of the winch --which I am sure has never been used-- is the cherry on top. Sure, the H2 a refreshing middle finger to stifling Japanese conformity, but one wonders if the joke might just be on the owner here...
We don't talk a whole ton about Japanese cars here at Automobiliac. Not that I have anything against them, but I can count on the fingers of one hand (maybe two) the Japanese cars that get me really excited. Thankfully nearly all of them are on display in one place: The Venus Fort in Tokyo! Venus Fort may sound like a border town brothel where girls wear chaps and six-guns and little else, but it's also the name of an enormous outlet mall in Tokyo Bay that is situated in the former location of a battery that guarded the port from enemy ships. The mall itself is a rather cheap imitation of the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace, which is of course an expensive imitation of a Roman streetscape. I started to question why my Japanese companion would bring me to such a place when there are so many fine malls in Tokyo. My questions were soon answered when we rounded a corner to discover a Mazda Cosmo sitting there in all its low-slung glory. Now I had never thought much of the Cosmo from photos, but in person the car is so low and so sleek, it makes your jaw drop. It's spectacular --at once very vintage and incredibly fresh. The car has some American and some European motifs blended together very interestingly. It's almost like an Alfa Duetto mated with a '63 Ford Thunderbird and had this surprisingly beautiful offspring.After admiring the Cosmo for a few precious minutes, we ventured further inside and discovered room after room of JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) cars that I had never seen before. It's always a treat for me to see and learn about cars I have no knowledge of so this trip was a real treat. In the back of the main room was the crown jewel of any Japanese car collection: a Toyota 2000GT. I don't think I had ever seen one of these amazing cars in person before either. With only 337 produced, they are rare as metric hens' teeth, so I spent quite some time admiring the car's exquisite proportions. I came away with my opinion cemented: The 2000 GT is the finest sports car Japan has ever produced and probably ever will. And given the astronomical prices they command these days, I think collectors agree with me.Also in the back of the museum is a shop for collectors called "Grease." They carry a huge range of models in every scale, organized by country and by marque. There is also a wide array of literature in both English and Japanese. It was pretty overwhelming and I suddenly started feeling foreign money burning a hole in my pocket. To extinguish that fire I dropped some smoldering cash on a very cool book detailing the history of the 2000GT.Another section of the museum features American and European cars, but in this context, who cares, right? Downstairs there was some more JDM magic in the form of an original Nissan Skyline GTR sitting outside in the courtyard and looking very thuggishly hot. The GTR was accompanied by a Lotus Elan as well as a Le Mans Toyota racing car, which was shaped like a glossy red whale from outer space. There was also a coffee shop downstairs inexplicably named after Alessandro Nannini. The cafe was filled with F1 nosecones and other memorabilia, but the highlight was a glass vitrine through which you could look into the museum's restoration workshop. If anyone can identify the car on the left being worked on, I'd love to know what it is.Needless to say, the Venus Fort was a highlight of my trip. In addition to the museum, which I believe is owned by Toyota, there is also an immense Toyota experience space called the Mega Web, featuring all of the company's latest models. It's like a permanent auto show booth, and you can even test drive the cars on a closed trail outside the mall. Check out my whole gallery HERE. I apologize that some of the photos aren't up to my ideal artistic standards. The lighting in the museum is particularly bad for photography.