Golden Week, possibly one of the busiest weekends in Japan for Japanese people. It’s a time where 4 public holidays are all close together. With a couple of extra days of leave left this working year, I grabbed the opportunity to take a massive 9 day holiday.
The holiday was packed with events all around Honshu island, and to make things easier for myself I grabbed a shared Airbnb house just below Nagoya City to spend my time. The first event I was going to attend would be the annual SR All Star Meeting. We drove a short 1.5 hours on the toll roads Saturday morning. Once off the toll roads it was apparent that I was in the right place, This town was crawling with Silvias from all over Japan!
The event was held in one of the car parks situated at the Shizuoka stadium. It was a busy day as there was a band of some sort playing in the actual stadium. Hundreds of girls with decorated faces were making their way up from the train station to the main event. Entering the car park it was obvious I was in the right place. I parked my car up with the other Koukis and started to take the sights in of over 300 Silvias.
As well as the 300 odd Silvias present, trade stands were scattered around the car park showing off their products to their target market. Just look at all of those gauges lined up on the dashes of these S15s. The furthest S15 looked to have a whole catalogue of aftermarket bolt on parts to it. Super fresh indeed.
The day had the newest Silvia, the S15, in the number one spot for most common. The only let down is the family stopped at the S13/180SX. Nothing older than that made an appearance. Even in NZ we have a few older Silvias turn up at events. Hopefully next year!
Going from a Zenki S14 in New Zealand to a Kouki in Japan is a slight change, but a change nonetheless. I was never a real fan of the Zenki, or at least the one I had. My time with the Kouki here in Japan has got me liking them even more. It’s easily the most aggressive front end with the slanted and sharp headlights.
The factory aero on the Kouki is also so lush. The spoiler and the tilted sunroof complete it so nicely, just like the one I own. This particular S14 had only been painted a week before the event, going from white to this colour. I like the lowness, but is it too low? Maybe just a little bit.
Among all of the Silvias in the parking area there was surely some interesting stuff to be found. I wasn’t going to be let down on this blistering hot day. Some owners are funny about showing off their engine bays. I’ve actually asked a couple of people and they have refused to show me what’s under the hood. It’s not uncommon to find a show spec car without any engine bay work done in Japan.
If engine bays aren’t your thing, how about teddy bears? It’s also not very rare to see a car fully decked out with stickers, props, figures, pictures, or anything else the owner can think of to decorate their car with whatever new craze they have fallen in love with. If I remember correctly, this S15 has a trunk full of teddy bears.
This fully decked out S15 was a sight to behold. It looked to not have one piece of old equipment from the Nissan factory from 15 years ago. Everything was new and everything was painted. Seeing cars like this and being around so many epic Silvias make me feel like mine is below par, but then I return to my little town in the country and that feeling goes away as I’m surrounded by kei cars and the infamous Toyota Prius.
If full throttle, every bolt unturned isn’t your kind of thing, how about this average S13? Sorry did I say average? I meant absolutely insane. It still retains the radiator and suspension mounts, but everything else has been cut out for some nice custom tube painted sparkly red. The engine cover matches ever so nicely, and the turbo… The top mounted turbo with no air filter looks so aggressive, like it would munch up anything that enters.
Or how about a Silvia that’s actually a chalkboard. Schools in Japan still have blackboards. So this S15 has followed suit and wrapped his car with a chalkboard like film. The novelty of it was great, you could change your bonnet decorations every day if you wanted to.
This show spec S15 was rather crazy, with its massive wheels tucked nicely into the guards. It’s not too often that you see one of these cars modified for specifically show activities, so it was a nice change of pace to be honest. I’d still rather own one that was set up for drifting though!
Lunch time hit, and it was time for people to gather around the stage, or rather a flatbed truck. Since lots of sponsors had come on board, there were a whole heap of prizes to give away. Each Silvia had a special number on a card, and that number was used to draw the prizes. Sadly I only realised that’s what they were doing half way through, so may have missed a prize!
Sitting down the far back of the carpark away from peering eyes was this S15. A bit of time attack mixed with some good-ol itasha style. Time attack cars are already pushing the boundaries, but to go and put anime all over it just puts it up to another level of neck breaking badness altogether. Having government plates also means that this bad boy is street legal.
If full blown modified isn’t your cup of tea, how about a bone stock example? The price alone will make your skeleton leave your body faster than you can drop your clutch. It’s for sale for a cool 1.85 million yen, which equals about 24k NZ dollars – talk about pricey! The fact that it is a 240SX might have something to do with the high price, as the demand is higher than the supply.
This was another popular modification that I noticed during the day. A lot of people had gone to the effort to install ‘lambo doors’ or scissor doors to their Silvias. Usually not really a fan of it, but I think when everything else is full on show-spec, the car can just pull it off. Just.
Sequential’s Black Illusion body kits are a rare sighting in Japan, and the world. I was lucky enough to photograph the brown one in 2015, but to now have 5 in a row, all with this body kit. What a sight to behold. I’m a big fan of the green and orange ones – it’s like skittles for your car.
Garage Mak also produces some fine body kits and accessories for S15s. The owner drove this all the way from Fukuoka, that’s over a 10 hour trip in a fully sick S15. I think when I add an S15 to my garage I’ll be adding some Garage Mak products to it. I like how it gives the original classy style a touch of aggressiveness.
And then the time came… The show was over and it was time to leave. I hadn’t actually been to many meetings of this style since moving to Japan. So as soon as I heard it was over I ran to the gate to watch all the cars, very casually I might add, leave the car park. To my despair there was no great incline, so the cars could just glide out of the parking area without destroying their chassis.
Since I knew the organisers, and heard they were having a nabe party (gangster group dinner with all you can eat and drink) in the next city over, I asked if I could join. So, being the polite Japanese person I am, I helped clean up then went over to the next carpark to chill and watch the sunset before heading off for our dinner reservation.
This meeting is an annual event, so I’ll definitely be heading along next year to scope out what’s new and meet some new faces. It’s a lot of the same car, but with a bit of imagination every car isn’t really the same is it? Underneath they all have similar chassis, but on the top, it’s a different story. It’s a representation of the owner’s character, which is what makes this event such a blast!
Photos: Shaun Constable | Words: Shaun Constable | Proofer: Chadd Davis
© Ambition Works 2013 – 2017