Let’s get straight back into this Messe, kickin’ it off with a bunch of Hondas – this is the true reason we carboys come to Osaka, isn’t it? In the UK, and I’m guessing its the same in the US and elsewhere in Europe, Civics in particular get a bit of a bad rap. In Japan, Osaka in particular, the chassis is revered. I can’t help but respect that, because the treatment this legendary, pre-2000’s hatchback receives by cult followers, both mechanically and cosmetically, is so original and outright cool.
Valencia Red (originally found on the latest Honda NSX) is the colour of X-POINT’s EK Civic, which I have done no justice to, by editing in a warmer tone to these photos. Anyway, the car looks brilliant with the all-new Mode Parfume aero kit. Luke made a remark about how the front bumper didn’t look like the typical aftermarket pieces you see fitted to these Honda, which is a testament to the ‘OEM-plusness’ of this build.
Over on the Exceed EK9, which was also red but of a different shade, something I couldn’t put my finger on was the distinct unusual look of its Desmond Regamasters. It was due to the fact that the lip had been profile machined and left bare, whilst the face of the wheel was still coated in gloss grey. If I heard correctly watching The Chronicles (Joey Lee) Osaka Auto Messe vlog, the wheels were actually pre-production specials, not yet available to the consumer market. Noteworthy, of course, was the high-sheen polish on the aluminium parts found in the exposed engine bay of the turbocharged B-series machine.
Built to look good at a show, and run hard on the streets.
It was difficult to get many clean photos of the NO GOOD RACING display with my 50mm prime lens, as it was just rammed with visitors taking interest in the four Civics that the crew brought to show.
The airbrushed floral pattern on these Zees were a cool touch to a vehicle that’s often regarded as ‘Japanese Muscle’. It actually kinda flowed with the Rocket Bunny kit fitted to this deep red/maroon car.
The GT300 class gives birth to some really well put together racemobiles. Take this BRZ, for example. Also, quite funny/odd is how there’s a Mitsubishi decal placed between the grille and headlight. They must be mates now, after the Subaru rival gave up manufacturing cars that excite.
The Omori Factory strut brace sure does make the engine room of the R34 GT-R look confined and tightly packed. A whole load of money at this booth, as there were three of these hero Skylines, all equipped with a host of carbon aero and Nismo body panels.
My pick would of course have to be this Millenium Jade example, with one of the greatest wheels of all time selected to fill the arches.
I reckon this angle is the one.
Trial, the shop that created that red supercharged Celica with scissor-doors featuring on an early Gran Turismo game, also had a busy booth at the show. The Osaka-based company parked up a very cool 86/BRZ wearing a pretty street-runnable aero pack.
Luke was hungry so he got some food and then we took a breather and sat out in the foyer area. Whilst he yammed up some fried chicken, I did a little browsing at this vendor selling all sorts of memorabilia from the good ol’ days. Even an old episode of Top Gear with Japanese subtitles was on telly.
A tuning house I’ve come across and heard of here and there, but not known much about, is ENDLESS who craft & assemble some hardcore GTRs, one of which (not photographed here) pumping out 1300bhp and is street-driven.
Super racing drivers in conversation on stage. Time-attacker Hiroyuki Iiri, who piloted RE-Amemiya’s Asparadrink FD RX-7 back in the 2000s, was sat off to the side on his own. Did he have bad breath or something? Must be why he’s the only one with a mask.
JUN is a performance-tuning heavyweight that has been known famously for their mental ‘Hyper Lemon’ builds, so it was a surprise to see a street-spec BRZ put on show at their booth. Full-ish interior, with the steering wheel even sporting an aftermarket infotainment controls module to allow the driver to bump up the vol when going for it on the touge.
I think most people had enough of the highly popular Supra. This was good for me though, cos I managed to capture a full view of the ings+1 demo car with their new aerokit. It is, in my eyes, the best looking treatment for the new Toyota.
Nakamura-san’s D1GP-championing JZ-swapped S15 on display infront of the N-style booth. So much style and substance rolled into one.
Temple Racing were situated right next to the drift machines, showcasing their grippy Attack builds, one of which is the K24-swapped EG6 driven by Horiton, an Osaka native, one of the fastest NA FF cars on the circuit.
If I am not mistaken, this is Ken Nomura’s a.k.a. Nomuken (meaning ‘Monkey Magic’) R34 Skyline with a blistery URAS widebody – now utilising a GT-R face? – giving way to that tyre-track and steering angle which are both highly necessary if you wanna go sideways fast.
Phoenix’s Power, another high profile speedshop located in the country’s Kansai region, pulled out what I would class as ‘the Build of the Show’. Okay, maybe the ‘FR Build of the Show’, since there were plenty of Civics I was really into. As for this Supra though, it pressed all the right buttons, from the ings+1 body dress-up items, down to the gold-faced BBS LM wheels. Great lighting set-up on their display as well.
Some more souvenirs I couldn’t bring myself to buy.
OEMs were of course in attendance, most of whom happened to be designated in a hall all to themselves. Mazda were of course who I sped over to first, in hopes of seeing something amazing like their old RX-792P IMSA GTP car or maybe the RX-Vision concept. Even though both of those weren’t anywhere to be seen that day, they had a couple cool racing machines: a Super Taikyu Demio, and a Roadster put together by Murakami Motors for the same endurance series that won its class back in 2018’s 24hrs of Fuji event. They also teased the fans with their latest-gen Mazda3 with an aero kit and ZE40 wheels by RAYS. I say teased, because when I asked the rep whether or not Mazda would release a model like this, say an MPS, he negatively and apologetically replied with an answer I didn’t want to hear. Maybe someday, after they sell a load of those electric crossover things with that nifty rotary range-extender, the automaker will bring back a high performance machine in either hatchback or coupe form. I’m praying for the latter.
After checking out Mazda’s pop-up shop that was built into a stack of shipping containers (best display at the show, absolutely no bias whatsoever), we went over to Honda to see what they were showing off. Their all-carbon NSX GT500 car is a sight to behold. Wish they had fired it up.
Max Orido’s achieved perfection with his Advan Supra and its wheel fitment.
That kei-van pictured above is totally unrelated, but it was both visually and aurally loud, so it gets a spot.
Kato-san of Liberty Walk was in attendance, and boyyy did he deliver the goods. The pure carbon LBWK Silhouette GT-R R35 is the only way to modify Nissan’s Godzilla if you’re thinking about going widebody. Its radical angles make it an ideal match for the personality of the beast, and makes the 13 year-old car look like it belongs in another dimension, nevermind another century.
The star of the show at Liberty Walk’s stand was of course their Silhouette Racer R34, built in respect to the KDR30 Super Silhouette, with its Tomica red-on-black livery and wild boxiness. Shame it didn’t have the gold mesh wheels, or even those crazy SSR turbofans, to finish off the complete look of the classic racer. One photo was caught on my DSLR, as I got a bit impatient with the crowd going bananas pointing their phone cameras at either the car or the model in front of it.
I’m gonna close this coverage out with a photo of my daft face next to the face of the real-deal, someone I thought I’d never meet in person! I found out Dorikin-san has a cool signature, too.
Thanks for checking out the final part to this Osaka Auto Messe 2020 piece. Be sure to follow my Instagram and/or Facebook, because I’ll be loading up a lot of extra Japan sights and scenes on those!