At a recent Cars & Coffee event in Tokyo, the usual proceedings were disrupted when a formation of Lexus supercars arrived on the scene. Emerging from the fleet was the most famous man in Japan’s auto industry: Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corp, followed by the chief designers of the LFA, RC, and RC F sports coupes.
I was at a total loss as to who the yumeijin — or possibly just mid-tier talento — that was being followed around by a TV crew, and an enthusiastic crowd of trailing onlookers. Despite having seen Toyoda-san numerous times on television and in the press in recent years, I did not connect the usually suited and sedate Toyoda-san with the youthful, laughing, engaging, and obviously very enthusiastic car fan walking among the cars at the Daikanyama Tsutaya on Sunday morning.
While the LFA is no doubt an interesting car, we passed them over but were curious to inspect closely what appeared to be a vinyl wrapped version, only to resolve it was born that way — in matte black.
A special invitation had been extended by Lexus, welcoming sports car drivers to the Tsutaya bookstore for free coffee and buns of some sort.
We had set out early, as I was meeting a Mangusta-driving friend of a friend. On the way there a hardly ever seen Mitsubishi Cordia Turbo was encountered, a good omen of things to come.
The official hours posted were from 07:00 to 09:00, but I suspected that the warm weather forecast — unlike the last event — would draw a full crowd.
We arrived early at 06:30, only to find the lot already full, and thus parked in the street with numerous other cars of interest.
Inside we slowly investigated an older restoration of a genuine Skyline GT-R four-door on original single-kanji plates.
There was a wickedly over-tired Mazda Savanna RX-3 that perhaps dined on small animals.
Nearby, a beautiful CSP311 Silvia glimmered in its golden green paint.
The presence of a panda Trueno surely must have pleased Toyoda-san. It even has the proper vanity plate.
Hailing from Isuzu’s GM days was a twin-cam 117 Coupe bearing the limited edition black and gold paint scheme reminiscent of GM products of similar vintage, but Isuzu had its own version of the “screaming chicken” decal on the hood.
Parked outside on Kyu-Yamate-dori were our Mangusta-driving friend, a few Honda Beats, and an Isuzu VehiCROSS (wisely parked outside the small lot, perhaps).
There was also an appropriately air-cooled sando (sandwich) of Yotahachi and 911.
With no plans for the rest of the Sunday, we left Toyoda-san to pose with the Toyota drivers as he gave them his signature board with “I Love Cars” and his carefully written well wishes.
As a measure of how much Toyoda-san knows and loves cars, he approached one Lotus driver to talk about the Toyota engine it carried. With one lucky TE27 owner, Toyota-san posed for a photo and gave the guy a story to tell the rest of his life.
The day was turning into a typical glorious Tokyo spring day – 20C (68 degrees Fahrenheit) and blue skies — so we elected to continue our car explorations with a fast run through the newly opened C2 extension, also known as the Yamate Tunnel. down to an island off Yokohama.
Though we’ve been using it regularly since it opened in early March, this was the first time I’d taken the S800 to enjoy the C2’s continual series of snake-like curves. With the windows wound down we had the world’s longest urban road tunnel to fill with the F1-like wail from a little Honda twin-cam at 10,000 rpm.
Arriving off the coast of Yokohama at the well-known Daikoku Futo, a few S2000 drivers eagerly beckoned me over to park with their sanitary collection. Before I had parked properly, one of the S2000 drivers was eagerly pulling out his wallet to show me the photograph he carried of him and his first car — a rather tasty yellow S800, back-dated with an S600-style front grille.
Parked over to one side though, past the Ferrari 512BB, Dino, and Daytona, past the fire-breathing Lamborghini, past a squadron of Alfa Romeos, a set of three matching white JPS Lotus Europas and numerous other interesting machines, was a trio of Toyota 2000GTs.
Perhaps too they were unable to get into the Tsutaya parking area, but it was handy seeing one MF10 (in white), and two MF12 (in green and teal) to compare the two types of 2000GT originally made by Toyota and Yamaha.
The smaller in-board driving lights, larger side lights, smooth door trims, and round-faced clocks set the MF12s apart from the more populous MF10.
After another hour or more of idle car-gazing, more than a few cans of cold Boss kohi, we warmed up the Esuhachi to take off for the 40-minute blast up the Wangan and back into Shibuya.
Skorj is a photographer living in Japan and co-founder of Filmwasters.com.