Nothing epitomizes the simple joys of car enthusiasts like a late-night parking lot hangout. You’ve probably done it at least once with your crew; sitting around at a gas station or outside a fast food resto, popping hoods and checking out someone’s latest mod over fries and drinks. Hangouts like these mean we’re not any different from a close-knit circle of friends having drinks in the living room, it just so happens that our pride and joy has to be there with us for us to enjoy.
But then you have to wonder; with Japan’s thriving car industry, an equally gigantic aftermarket, and their knack for motorsport, how much livelier are their streets there on a regular weeknight? While we have gas stations and fast food chains to hang out in, all the car guys in Tokyo are blessed with the massive Daikoku Parking Area (PA).
Thanks to our newfound friends in their tastefully built ER34 Skylines, we were able to get a ride from the heart of Tokyo to the outskirts through their C1 expressway loop and eventually to the Bay Shore* line towards the large car park at the edge of the city.
*Yes, yes. We passed a good part of the roads used in the Wangan Midnight: Maximum Tune arcade games. C1, Rainbow Bridge, and the Wangan Line itself to be exact. It was surreal and I can’t believe I actually knew where we were on the way towards Daikoku. The game pretty much plots the whole Tokyo expressway pretty well. Nerd much.
Eventually we made the junction into a spiral road that circled around the massive carpark that would play host to a part of the evening for us. We settled in and pulled up to a spot somewhere in the middle of everything. With the night rather young, we were eagerly anticipating what cars would arrive next.
Our party of Skylines parked up next to this modestly modified FD RX-7, truth be told I was ecstatic about the turnout of rotaries that evening considering the RX-7 day festivities were still in full swing the week I was there. That, and I’d like to take cues from the rotorheads in Japan for my own little project as well! In hindsight, this car was but a good indication of the RX-7’s I’d see that evening too.
A few paces towards the next aisle of spaces sat this Bayside Blue R34 GT-R with a neat Nismo treatment courtesy of its front bumper and LM GT4 Wheels. It looked lonely parked next to a sizable group of Subarus, but it would be later joined by another equally impressive GT-R.
It seems that the ‘JDM ensemble’ the R34 GT-R started out with would then be continued by something German, but with a very distinct style of Japanese treatment. A night like this probably wouldn’t be complete without the presence of at least one RWB Porsche, and for that evening RWB Yves Piaget decided to come out and play. I quite fancy its shade of pink, as it’s a color that somewhat reminds me of another RWB with an ‘out there’ color, Manila’s own RWB Victoria.
A couple paces down from the RWB a crowd started gathering around a car that seemingly shouldn’t be road legal in the first place. I wouldn’t be too sure if this is a well-sorted kit car or the real deal, but nonetheless this Ford GT40 had an impeccable finish and a profile that no conventional street car could ever replicate. I reckon it barely reached my hips in height, and I’m not exactly a tall man standing at 5’5”!
The owner was even nice enough to entertain the small crowd around his car by unlatching the rear cowl to reveal the beastly V8 underneath. We can only imagine how sitting in a pocket sized car with this pretty much strapped to your back would feel, let alone being driven hours on end in endurance races in Le Mans!
After basking in the GT40’s glory I glanced at a sizable black silhouette from the corner of my eye as it drove to the other end of the lot. There’s no mistaking the sound of another rotary in our midst, and having an affinity for these pistonless things I just had to check out where it would place itself.
Following the glare of its distinct circular tail lamps, I eventually found this menacing FD parked at the end of the lot closest to the entrance next to several other FDs. To the uninitiated with the FD3S, the most familiar widebody options would default to RE Amemiya – Thanks Initial D – and Rocket Bunny. But for those who are well versed with their RX-7 aesthetics, this Pro Staff R Magic kit would be another viable option if you’re going for that wild Super GT look!
After a quick chat with Ohara-san, the man behind Pro Staff R Magic, I learned that each side could easily accommodate 18×10.5 wheels under the fenders without much fuss. And after seeing R Magic cars in Time Attack and D1GP, I take it this kit merits the use of such fat wheels all around!
A small group of FDs have also taken up position next to the R Magic car. I suppose the no piston crowd have stick together, come to think of it they all have their own jargon to talk about too!
For the most part these were the only RX-7s present already, apart from an RE Amemiya N1 kitted car and an R Magic FC3S that followed later in the evening. Thankfully this wasn’t the end of my RX-7 fanfare in Tokyo, as you shall see in our succeeding posts!
Hearing a loud growl from the other end of the lot, I bid farewell to the rotary guys to barely catch a snap of this AC Cobra leaving the lot! You can never really tell what shows up at this lot, it really is like a box of chocolates… Except with cars!
Ahhh underglow. You can only get away with it in Japan.
Parked a bit closer to the food stalls, this ER34 GTS-T further bolstered its yellow hue with a set of Advan RS-es and a full URAS widebody kit. Didn’t think yellow would play out quite well on a Skyline, come to think of it!
Considering this GDB Peanut Eye was parked on the darker side of the lot, I barely noticed that it sported a full L’aunsport widebody until I got up close. Hope you can see the girth in this photo, just look at that moulding of the rear doors!
This is the other GT-R that pulled up next to the blue R34, while already looking quite aggressive on its TE37Vs, I wasn’t able to get a closer look. Good thing I saw this car up close again at Fuji Speedway the next day!
Our fellow Filipinos up at Kanagawa have pretty much embraced the whole camber craze, with Dustin Delgado’s S15 sporting an entirely new look with its brown hue and cambered 16” steelies.
Brand new all stock? Totally welcome, especially if you’re going to sell like hotcakes soon! A pair of ND Mazda Miatas showed up a bit later in the evening, hopefully we get to see these modified and further bolstering the aftermarket!
A slice of 90’s Italian erotica? We’ve got it that evening courtesy of this pair of supercars. The 512TR and the Diablo parked out where the trucks usually park, much away from the rest of the, uhm, less pricier cars. Talk about elitist, but with cars like these I suppose they could use the clean space to avoid contact.
After spending a couple hours at Daikoku, our hosts called us back so that we could move to our next port of call. While I thought Daikoku PA pretty much had everything in terms of variety, our next venue had what I would consider the ‘single malt’ of the late night Tokyo car scene. Stay tuned!
A trip to Daikoku PA Gallery