Not Worth the Kompromise | Japanese Performance Show 2021 @ TIC

Shows are always enjoyable, more so after the drought we’ve been through these past couple of years. Not counting Mimms North in September 2020, the last indoor car show I’d visited was Osaka Auto Messe, so yeah it’s been a while.

Never having witnessed Japanese Performance Show (JPS) live and direct, I’d made the decision to check it out. So, after the Mimms Croft blog had been posted, I’d messaged Dav Plaha who also happens to organize JPS, asking him whether it was alright for me to advertise my photo printing services on the Facebook group, seen as though some of the shots taken at Croft Circuit turned out well. What I didn’t expect Dav to say was, “Why don’t you attend as a vendor and sell your prints at the show”. As we know, with life, the spontaneity and unexpectedness of it tends to end up one of two ways. Better than we ever could imagined, or disastrous. Then again, life is full of nuance…

I accepted Dav’s offered suggestion and began planning everything out in my head. I’m not very practical when it comes to planning. What I mean by that is, I visualize all the details in my head, or atleast try to, before actually producing anything tangible. To be honest, I just did things my way, and kept it as simple as possible. I didn’t have enough money for a gazebo or a load of easels to display my sample prints. Instead, I got three fold-out tables and a vinyl banner.

I haven’t got any photos of my stall at the show, but it was very basic. I had my 32″ LCD TV set up, allowing everyone passing by to see either me editing photos, or a preset slideshow of sample images of the cars rolling into the show. My Canon printer was sat beside that, whilst I faffed about on my laptop behind them both. Oh, and the Demio was my display easel for this shot of FEED’s “Touge Maou” I have framed up in my bedroom:

It was an early start on the last Sunday of September, as I had to be at Telford International Centre (TIC) – the debuting venue for JPS – at 6am, meaning I’d set off mine at around 4am. Hamza fell sick a few days before, so I’d be going solo and had to set up at double-time.

Matty Ferguson’s Emerald Blue AP2 S2000

As soon as the shutters around the back of TIC opened up for vendors and display-cars, I made an effort to get the stall situated ASAP. My primary objective was to photograph as many cars as possible before the public were allowed in at 10am. After that time, I made sure I was positioned at the stand so that I’d be able to display and print whatever photos I managed to get.

Whilst it was quiet with no visitors in yet, I run-n-gunned as many of the cars parked up inside.

Adam’s JDM is an IG handle I’ve seen about for a while, and had their fleet posted up not far from where I’d set up.

What looks to be Midnight Purple III on this R33 GT-R the team had brought out, matched up with the classic LMGT3 wheel by Nismo coated in bronze. Whilst not everyone is keen on the awkward shape of the R33, this Skyline manages to pull it off.

I’d definitely like to get to know this R34 GT-R more. At first glance, it looked like an old 2000s-era demo car, due to the alien-styling seen in the painted-over tailights and stretched tyre fitment.

This car had an aura none of the other’s had. I can imagine this plastered onto pages of an Option magazine back in the days when factory-bodylines were of no interest to any JDM-nutcase. All I know is that it wear an M’s Factory widebody and sports OZ Racing Pegasus wheels wider than HGV duallies!

An old photo of it I found floating around on a GT-R forum

An FD RX-7 I recognised immediately from when I first saw it in the hands of Rotary Revs, an RX-8 specialist who spent a fair few man-hours getting this car to run right. The owner obviously cherishes it and rightly so.

Jack Ellis’ FD3S RX-7 was excavated out the batcave for JPS

One of the most aggressive-looking pieces of powder-coated aluminium you could put under the arches of a car: the Enkei RS05RR.

John’s TCP Magic-kitted FD3S

This RX-7 on the other hand, was anything but stealthy. The car looked great before its makeover, with a unique front-end I’ve never seen on an FD, but the owner must have gotten bored of its original Silverstone Metallic. I doubt he’s looked back ever since this came out the paint booth.

Tom Lingard’s K24 Sunny Pickup

If trucks aren’t your thing, this old Datsun will make you revalue your beliefs.

Valve cover branding that shouts stratospheric engine speeds.

As if one JDM EP3 Civic Type-R wasn’t uncommonplace enough…

Andy Boyle’s EK9 Civic Type-R with the bonnet propped to let us know the B16B is long gone

Immaculate would be an understatement.

Jamie Padfield’s BB6 Prelude

Equipped with a Rotrex blower, for all that power!

Form hasn’t taken a backseat with this 400bhp+ K-Swap build.

Got a bit carried away kapturing all the details in this RPS13.

The ultimate drift-style, show-spec S13 isn’t complete unless Equip 05 wheels are bolted to its hubs.

Aaron Britton’s S30 240Z in all it’s timeless glory

Awkward as fuck angle, but gonna leave it here regardless, because double-barrel tailpipes.

Garage Mak’s Revolution Type 5 aero-kit was donned by this S15 Silvia.

Kelvin Thomson’s S15 Silvia stays true to Nissan’s original design, apart from the aftermarket tailights and Work Wheels CR sized up from the standard 17″s

On the other end of the Silvia spectrum, this straight-laced S15 Spec-R in pastel grey colour also got my attention.

Miles’ R32 Skyline GT-R, nailing the simple “drop and wheels” method

Don’t understand why I only got one photo of this R32, because it deserved much more attention.

This guy (sorry if you read this, but I forgot your name) had his Jazz rammed full of die-cast models. Speaking to him after the show, and it sounded like business went pretty well, but he still had boxes full of stock remaining.

Gurpal’s R34 Skyline GT-R V-Spec in what most would consider the default paint option

As a photographer, FOMO (fear of missing out) is an ailment that a lot of us are plagued by, incessantly.

So, whilst a lot of the shiny bits attached to an RB26DETT can easily put you in a trance, in the back of my mind I was worried about not grabbing enough photos for me to print and sell. As someone who is trying to make business using my skill-set, I find it hard to become fully committed focusing on that side of photography. Maybe some part of me is trying not to let the hobby become work, in case my appetite for the art runs out.

But kompromise is something we all have to do, so I got one last shot of these two R33s inside, and ran outside to the carpark’s entrance gate.

I’m not going to lie, but for me to shoot any and every car was impossible. Initially, I’d planned for me and Hamza to be able to simultaneously photograph outside and also print/edit the photos inside. Unfortunately, that strategy was a flop since I was flyin’ solo, but I reckon I managed to hold it down for the most part.

Nik Lukas’ Subaru BRAT got this policeman chattin’

Must have been a day out for a few of these rare, obscure coupe utility vehicles sold by Subaru, whom actually never sold them in Japan funnily enough, because I could imagine them going crazy for something like this. Imagine one decked out with a sound system in the cargo bed on a Friday night at Daikoku PA.

OEM R35 GT-R wheels on an Elgrand – why the hell not!

Whilst mums in the UK are doing the school-run in Vauxhall Zafiras and Ford Galaxys…

No generation gap here, the DNA of the Inte-R is unlike anything we have seen since the DC5 bowed out in 2006.

I really do hope the next-generation of Integra doesn’t lose touch with its roots, then again, I think I’m dreaming. If Honda of America is taking charge of the project, I’ve a feeling it’ll be a similar outcome as what we saw with the NC1 NSX.

Up until the point of closing-time, I didn’t touch my cameras due to manning the printing stall throughout the entire day. A lot of people who had their motors parked up inside were requesting photos, but because I missed the majority of them roll-in the evening before, it meant that I had to try and get a shots of them rolling out.

If those of you who asked for prints on the day are reading this, please get in touch via Instagram/Email and I might have some shots you can purchase for delivery!

A celebratory limiter-bash from this camo-wrapped FD. Infused with fuel-oil premix, the byproduct of rotary combustion engulfed half of the exhibition hall.

The Champ White quartet about to make a move. Jamie’s Prelude is either too low to be seen here, or he already wheeled it outside, I’m unsure.

Didn’t see this EF Civic all day (as was the case with a lot of the cars in attendance that day) until it was time to leave. Parked up on its ones, I grabbed a couple shots of it.

Buddyclub P1 SF in white matched up with sensible tyre sizing, sitting good under those vented front wings.

EF J-swap?

Nathan Pickett pictured with his DC5 Integra Type R in the distance

A very low, and pretty wide, R33 Skyline exiting the show through the back shutter, followed by Andy Boyle in his EK9…

… which could be the most well-executed Civic Type-R build in the UK, by far.

Then again, he was with good company. The fitment of this supercharged EP3’s CE28s is bang-on.

John’s RX-7 looking like something out of the Gundam series. Never noticed its centre-exit exhaust when I caught sight of the car indoors. Natural lighting does wonders for cars in front of the lens, hence why I was reluctant shooting cars inside the hall whenever people asked for me to do so.

Zanda leaving the event in her Milano Red DC5.

John Watson’s Corolla GL would pass under the radar in its subtle shade of grey, but a very cool four-door nonetheless.

Chameleon reflex paint – known to the JDM lot as “Maziora” paint named after the brand created by Nippon Paint who are also the company that were behind Mazda’s beautiful Soul Red pigment – ensures this 180SX/200SX gets more than one look by anybody in its vicinity. The StreetTrackLife slap beside the tailpipe is a nice touch, too.

The marmite of wheels: TriForce Zelda by Trial Tuning Spirit of Osaka. I think I tasted marmite once and yeah, it tastes like crap, but these rims on the other hand are mighty fine, especially in purple!

With the hall empty of nearly everyone and everything, it gave me chance to snipe some frames with the long telephoto lens and not worry about people/cars coming obstructing the view.

The pumped-up stance of Jack’s RX-7 is clear to see here. Those CarShopGlow LED tailights bring the already timeless Japanese icon up-to-date.

Once again, Jamie’s Prelude Type-S looking highly photogenik.

Roy Milward made a few transformative changes to his GC8 Impreza, notably the new paint and RS Watanabe wheels, of which I’ve never seen under a Scoobie.

The pearl/metallic orange/yellow possesses a great amount of depth that can only be fully appreciated outside in the sun and not under fluorescent artifical lighting.

The TommyKaira aero kit remains underneath the combination of paint and carbon. The addition of integrated intake-ducts in the headlight cluster blends nicely into the carbon bonnet. Also note the shaved rear door handles, giving me flashbacks of the HKS Cyber Evo.

Even with the car aired up, the driver has to carefully avoid scraping that front lip!

All in all, JPS seemed to have delivered on every front. Featuring the best of the best Jap metal here in the UK, I doubt anybody visiting left and felt short-changed. With plenty of variety in terms of manufacturer, style, and era, a balance was certainly achieved to cater for everybody’s interests.

As for me, I wished that I could enjoy the show, rather than being in work-mode the whole time, so to speak. I might consider selling framed prints again at future events, I’ll see where the wind takes me.

Closing out, I’d like to thank anyone who’s supported Soul Fokus. Whether you’ve shared the site or my photos with your friends and fam, or if you purchased a print that now resides on your wall. It’s appreciated 🙂

Katch you in the next one . . .

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