Kanto Club – an idea that has turned into something great. Kanto Club is a small club which originated in Auckland, New Zealand. After a few short months they now have members in Hamilton, Osaka, and Tottori, plus loyal followers all around the globe. They focus on street and track driving as well as garage builds and workshop hangs.
As one of the initial members and the Vice President of the club, I thought it would be a good idea to hold our 3rd official meeting not in New Zealand, but in Japan. Kendall, our Club President made his way over from NZ to meet our two members in Osaka, and myself. Our members in Japan were lacking compared to NZ, so we invited some of our friends along to create a good day of photo taking and Japanese language practice.
Maybe you recognise this car? I’d actually featured this S15 owned by Masayuki-san on our website before. We found it in Kobe when it came along to one of our S-Chassis meetings. It was looking cleaner than last time with fewer stickers and a little more white. Masayuki was first to arrive, so while we waited for the other cars to show up, we had a little look at his S15. I think the most interesting part was that the engine cover had American bills painted on it.
By about 12 pm or so, most people had shown up for our meeting. We had actually found this car online a few months before holding our meeting. Having located the owner via Facebook, it turned out we had a few mutual friends, so we decided to add him. Masatoshi-san owns this totally bad-ass 300ZX. It’s not often we see killer 300ZXs around anymore, there are fewer sightings day by day. Masatoshi also has his own photography company called 網崎写真館 or amasaki-shashin-kan (Amasaki’s Photo Studio). So if you want to see some of his photos from the day, click on the link provided.
The next person who came along is a friend of a friend; we met him briefly the night before at an event held by ‘No Good Racing’. We didn’t see his car at the time, so wasn’t too sure what he would be bringing. When he turned up in this classy R35, we were more than surprised. Just like Masatoshi, Yukio-san also takes photos. His light-painting night photos are really rather fantastic. Yukio’s company is called H4rd57yl3 Phtgrphy, so if you want to have a look, just click on the name.
The next attendant was rather a fluke. We were washing our cars across the road from our accommodation in the morning waiting for Naofumi-san. This Civic was also being washed, so we had a chat with the owner while we waited. Turns out he was free that afternoon to partake in some Kanto Club antics. Masaki-san may or may not take this race ready Civic around the highways of Osaka at night. He might, but he probably doesn’t, because that’s illegal.
Maybe you know this car, maybe you don’t. This is actually the Ambition Works’ S14. We have had it for a few months now and we’ve nearly finished version one of modifications. Once it’s completed, we will do an update of what was done to it when we purchased it, and how it is sitting now. On the way to Osaka, a mental snowstorm hit us – thankfully we had our snow tyres on which saved the day, even if they are big, and do rub.
The place we met at is actually a rather popular place to take photos and meet with your friends in Osaka. I think about 20 or 30 different cars came along to drink some tea and take some iPhone photos of their rides. This group of VIP cars were rad, this kind of culture isn’t so big in NZ, so it’s cool to see it up close and personal. Although, hearing the chassis scrape on every bump isn’t the most pleasing sound to the ears.
This guy turned up with some of his friends, which were the VIP crew by the looks of it. His car was so low that the only noise you could hear was the chassis scraping, constantly, I’m not even exaggerating. The guy was probably checking to see if his chassis rails were still there.
More slammed VIP cars showed up. They went off towards the factories away from the port. To get to that area, there is a slight drop in the pavement. Their thought process to get past this problem wasn’t to go slow and on an angle like most people would think. No, they go full throttle straight up and just jump over the drop, just like the many youtube clips I’m sure you’ve seen. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, watch this video here.
Although this car wasn’t really my type, it was still rather unique. The amount of work that goes into these builds is astounding. The interior is just as crazy to match the exterior of the car. The owner was actually very kind, we exchanged some words about his Lexus and swapped business cards before parting ways. I’m not sure If I’ll ever call him, but when I need to shoot a pink and black VIP lexus, maybe I just might.
Now, back to some more of the Kanto Club cars. Turning up late was this 326 equipped S14 zenki. Easily the craziest car in attendance at our meet. We met Hachimoto-san and his girlfriend Rina-san at the Osaka Auto Messe the day before. My friend Kuriyama told him about our meeting the following day, and much to our liking, Hachimoto had some free time where he decided to come along to join us later in the afternoon.
I’m not really to sure about what to think of this 86. When it turned up I was thinking to myself ‘What is that?’ It’s so strange, yet full of so much awesomeness. The paint was too intense in real life, it made me stare at it just to understand what kind of colour it was, not to mention, the classic dinner plates it was rolling on. The rear of the car had a major exhaust upgrade aswell, make sure to check out the full FB album to see what’s been done.
The last car we shot that day was Naofumi’s insane drift-spec high horsepower S14. We shot his S13 last time we were in Japan at the same meeting where we shot Masayuki’s S15. This time he brought out his S14 and we were able to shoot that too. As we placed the car where we wanted it, what would you know, the sky starts farting out little pieces of snow to make that scene seem magical.
The engine bay has been done with a blue theme and Naofumi is running a top mount turbo setup. Which in my opinion, looks a whole lot better than how it was originally mounted, I also feel it would be easier to work on. In our S14, the turbo isn’t even visible being so low down. One day we will get along to Meihan Sportsland and see Naofumi take either his S13 or S14 for a few quick laps of tyre blazing madness. It’s on the to do list.
As well as the people I’ve mentioned, Akifumi-san from Yama-channel also made his way down to chill with us for the afternoon. This white R32 again had also been featured last time we were at this wharf with Kuriyama and myself. Sadly we couldn’t get the 326 powered S14 or the green 86 in this photo. However, for a meeting in a foreign country, I think that 8 cars all lined up is a pretty good accomplishment for a rather new car club to achieve.
We can’t wait to head back out and do some more automotive photography in the coming months. There won’t be anything Kanto Club related from Japan for the near future, but Ambition Works has a busy two months ahead. We will be heading to FD Japan at Suzuka Twin, Wekfest, Drift Dress Up, Okayama Super GT, and to Bihoku Highland Circuit to drift our S14, as well as various car shops in Nagoya. So stay tuned for more good Japanese content coming soon.
Photos: Shaun Constable | Words: Shaun Constable | Proofer: Chadd Davis
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