EVENTS: 2016 New Year Meeting, Part 04 — The Streets


In the last two installments of our 2016 New Year Meeting coverage, we prowled the parking area to find as much diversity in marques and models as there were in customization styles. In our final installment of the 2016 New Year Meeting we find something even better than that — and possibly better than what was in the show itself — JNCs in motion, driving to, around and from the show. Behold the streets of Odaiba. 

147-SM0125_Subaru 360146-SM0111_Subaru 360 Custom

Spotted as the day began were a pair of Subaru 360, surely arriving to support the Subaru 360 club. The came in succession, one a very early pre-1962 model with simple chrome headlight rings and the other a bezeled-headlight 360 Custom (which is what Subaru called the wagon versions back then).


Waiting in line for the show was a TA22 Celica rocking temporary tags, Vitaloni California door mirrors, and a period spoiler. It appeared to be a competent street cruiser from back in the day, revived with new Work Equip 03s and flared wheel arches. It’s not hard to imagine a Celly like this turning heads on the streets of SoCal.


Right in front of it, however, was a distinctly Japanese GX71 Toyota kaido racer with a massive integrated spoiler punctuated by kenmeri Skyline GL taillights and a pair of crimson takeyari. Also, note the actual Kenmeri photobombing the in the background while actually bombing down the street.

144-SM0079_Mazda Porter & Nissan Clipper

In Part 01 we saw a small contingent of the very definition of a cute ute, the Mazda Porter Cab kei truck. One in particular was quite fetching, a green — aren’t they all? — one lowered on off-white steelies. Well here’s how it got to and from the show, on the back of a Prince Clipper flatbed. There’s an Xzibit joke in here somewhere.

143-SM0585_Toyota Soarer Z10 Kaido Racer

Cuteness was soon replaced with a Toyota Soarer festooned in all the period-correct aero of the mid-1980s. Part Gundam, part Group 5 racer, it was tremendous in all its color-matched glory (even the SSR Star Sharks were color-coordinated).

145-SM0050_Toyota GX71 & Yamaha Excel

We realize the more extremes of 80s customizing may be jarring for some. Perhaps, then, a more palatable option would be a tastefully lowered GX71 Mark II with proper white aero kit and wheels, nicely paired with a zokusha-colored Yamaha Excel.

140-SM0996_Mazda Cosmo RX5 Kaido Racer

The back end of the Mazda Cosmo see in Part 03 was just as wildly mesmerizing as the front. It would be sacrilegious to cut up such a rare beast now, but back in the day these cars were the epitome of aspirational cars to modify.

148-SM0129_Mazda Cosmo Sports

Speaking of Cosmos, a great grandfather of the rotary engine soon rolled by. Though it is a late-type body, its teal-with-white-roof paint job may have been an homage to one of the early Cosmo Sport prototypes.

151-SM1750115_Toyota Master Ace Surf

Edging past a Volk-clad seventh-gen Suzuki Carry was as masterful Toyota Master Ace Surf. Though its paint was faded, the decal package and new school TE37s made it ridiculously cool.

141-SM0032_Suzuki Fronte Kaido Racer

A tsurikawa-equipped tiffany blue Suzuki Alto 5-door proved that one could build a kaido racer on a budget. A kei-do racer, if you will.

142-SM0027_Toyota GX71 Kaido Racer

In Part 03 we saw a Fukuoka-style GX71 sitting in the expansive parking area, but it caught just as many eyeballs driving down the street, particularly among sideburned and semi-pompadoured gents that look like they could run in the same circles. On the other side of the street, a long line of cars waits waits to enter, including yet another GX71.

149-SM0953_Nissan Violet Dasun 710

One of our favorites was an olive green Nissan Violet (aka Datsun 710 in the US), dead on accurate with Riverside alloys in circa 1981 “Oh My Highway Racer” style.

150-SM0095_Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno

Elsewhere on the streets, a Levin Trueno AE86 on Advans looked like it could have come straight from a late-80s drifting session on Hakone Turnpike. Its single-wiper conversion would have been in the style of a Group A racer like the R32 GT-Rs back in the day.

157-KLGR21-1526_Toyota Celica XX A60

A peerless Celica XX was caught waiting by the curb, sitting perfectly on Watanabe Type-R 8-spokes that matched dead on the model’s unique blacked-out rear section. Curiously, an imported Dodge Ram 1500 sat nearby, not an inexpensive vehicle to keep in Tokyo.


While the Violet above may have been one of our favorite cars, our favorite driver was an ojisan arriving in a Z20 Soarer. Without the takeyari, it would have been an period correct VIP dress-up sled. The presence of the bosozoku pipes, however, hint that the owner was perhaps a veteran of genre. Back in the day, ojisan was a thug.


This was the final scene at day’s end, with Soarers, Skylines and Mark IIs lined up to leave. Paint gleaming, tsurikawa dangling, and engines revving. What a great way to kick off the Year of the Monkey.

That concludes our New Year Meeting coverage. In case you missed it, here’s Part 01, Part 02, and Part 03, as well as coverage from the 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 New Year Meetings.

Ken Lee is a photographer in Tokyo, whose work you can find at Cars on Film and here on JNC. San Mamiya is an illustrator whose work you can find on here on JNC, on Instagram and BigCartel

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4 Responses to EVENTS: 2016 New Year Meeting, Part 04 — The Streets

  1. Nigel says:

    Nice to see a Z20, any Z10’s ?
    Awesome coverage guys, the Nissan Violet and the “Drift Bible” 86 where very cool !!

  2. Scotty G says:

    OH! That Subaru 360 Custom is a rare one, nice!
    Great coverage as always. I love the Suzuki Alto, too. A “kei-do racer”, Ha!

  3. Sammy B says:

    That Master Ace Surf is the coolest dang thing ever

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