Japanaholik’s Journal | Supreme Klassiks of the Golden Era

The plan after the Lowstars Meeting in Nikko was to bolt over to Tochigi City, where a private kollection of incredible automobiles are nestled away under the roof of an old train JR (Japan Railway) station.

The ‘Mahoujin Supercar Museum’ is deceiving on first encounter; it seems like an old, unused building that has been preserved for the local community or something of that nature. But step past the ticket barriers (after you pay for admission) and what welcomes you is pretty astonishing.

The cars you are about to see are what I believe to be the pinnacle of supercar history. The 90’s machines have that perfect balance between technology and rawness, and the cars that predate that decade are pure analogue bliss.

I am sure you will spot some of your all-time favourites in this assortment…

… ‘cos I know I did when I caught this red Delta HF Integrale Evo 2 sitting in the corner of the gallery.

The dudes you see gathering around that Porsche 959 arrived at the museum in a convoy, one had some kind of Mercedes 2-door coupe which didn’t peak as much of my interest as the FD2 Civic Type-R (which I probably should have chosen to rent out instead of the Integra) and the two Alfa Romeo saloons. Dare I say, the Italian 4-doors beat the heck out of the Honda with their sharp looks.

Upon exit, the owners of these cars followed behind and they got chatting after they caught me taking photos of that black 159. I vented my frustration with the rental car, so they offered to phone the company and give them a very polite, Japanese earful. Nothing came out of it really, but at least they tried. A couple of them reckoned it was a faulty crank/cam angle sensor, which I also speculated, but that wouldn’t explain the nasty throttle pedal feel.

Thats all I have for this one, the visit was more of a bucket list check-off than anything, and since it happened to be along the route to our stop in Tsukuba, I thought I’d might aswell pay it a visit.

The post to follow is gonna be exciting, as you might have guessed by the aforementioned destination…

VVV B O N U S R E E L VVV

‘Lancaster Insurance’ Classic Motor Show 2017

Me and my cousin made it out to the NEC in Birmingham to attend the Classic Motor Show in one of the biggest venues in the UK. This was also exposure for me to cars I would not usually be interested in so I thought why not venture into the unknown. I think it was my narrow mindset that led me to presume all I would see is a bunch of Minis, Jaguars, and Fords. But, the photos you are about to view completely dissolved that idea, and I was pleasantly surprised!

As soon as I saw this Lancia Delta Integrale HF I was that excited, I forgot I had my DSLR, so unfortunately for you, this picture shot using my Samsung Galaxy A3 camera will have to suffice; fortunately for me the momentary chance of sitting in this mint example is forever burnt into my mind.
I think if I remember correctly, the seats and door cards had plastic wrap protecting them, which is no surprise since this was an import from Japan. Everything was built to be used as I could tell from the Recaro recliners and MOMO steering wheel w/o an airbag, but at the same time, the tan/beige interior softened the feel of the car. There’s more to the “Evolution” nameplate besides Mitsubishi Lancers you know…
I bet you can’t guess what this Mazda 20B rotary was planted in…
Impressive indeed. Pipey McGraw from Muttley Racing built this E-Type inheriting a very unorthodox power unit. I guess it was a good job I went to the show, as this kind of Jag was not one I had expected to witness! As amazing as it was, the car now runs off of a BMW E9X M3 V8, which isn’t a bad substitute to be honest.
Brap-o-clock.
European manufacturers know/knew how to put together a road-going hatchback that could teach a few higher-price-tag machines a thing or two when it comes to tackling a back country road. This 106 Rallye is no exception, damn, I would even openly admit that it is my favourite Peugeot!
The DeTomaso Pantera is a car with very niche appeal. Something about the silhouette of these mid-engined monsters, combined with their classic Italian flair is something to be admired.
A proper rallying legend on display. Easily the one of the best looking liveries of all time. It is a shame that this photo was the best I got.
Modern metal, BMW switched up the vibe with this F90 M5
My pick of the show was this gem. I know pretty much nothing about Mini Marcos except that I won one on Gran Turismo back in the day, but this GT is very quirky and looks like it would drive well. The concept of the car: hyper-lightweight, minimal body overhang, a seemingly appropriate width-to-length ratio, and a simple naturally-aspirated engine. I say, that is the winning formula.
This Morgan Aero8 caught me off guard, with its elegant color co-ordination along with those OZ magnesium centre-lock wheels. And they are factory-fitted of all things?!

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2015

Rewind back to an unmissable event, or atleast a show that you have to attend once in your life on this planet.

27th June 2015, my first Goodwood experience. Travelling from the humble settings of West Yorkshire, attending the event held on the grounds of some wealthy aristocrat’s country estate was out of my comfort zone; at the time I didn’t really see myself fitting into that type of “crowd” of car enthusiasts. That sort of socio-economic nonsense is almost irrelevant when the love of cars comes into play though, as you begin to shove all prejudices in the bin and discover a common interest, destroying any barriers we put between ourselves.
Mazda is a car maker that is definitely one I have grown up to become fond of. My dad owned a 1992 Mazda 626 which soldiered on strong until a van went into the back of it, and then after two Volkswagen, returned back to the brand and bought a 2003 Mazda 6/Atenza Sport which was in my eyes an amazing car in its time. My brother owns an 1997 MX5/Roadster and has had it for 12 years, which is a legendary automobile of its own right and everyone knows it but is just afraid to admit, because it doesn’t have the ability to inflate one’s ego I suppose.
The few seconds we got to speak with Mad Mike. He was a cool man, just as you would expect (a Mazda owner) him to be if you’ve ever seen his presence online. He has grown up with the rotary engine and its unusualness, which reflects in his wild character. His passion is real and you can tell, particularly when he is in the seat of any of his machines, the guy knows how to rip.
The RX7 book by Jack Yamaguchi that my brother brought along in hope of getting an autograph from Johnny Herbert; didn’t go to plan, so we settled for Mr Whiddett’s instead.
Supercars…
…all over the show.
That’s one of the main attractions I guess, getting the chance to see cars you would probably never get to lay eyes on, up close. They are pieces of art. Especially these three. The Lexus LFA truly is one of a kind, a future classic as the prices for them are clearly proving. Lexus, with the LFA, seem to be continuing to push the limits of design, similar to the Pagani Huayra but that is definitely more of a piece of art. The Lexus embodies pure technology and function in an amazing package that I doubt will ever age.
Exhibit B
がんばろう! – roughly translates to ‘Lets do our best!’ Mazda’s philosophy here should reign supreme!
Bloopers…
…my cousin doing his best to pick up the giant Honda in a plastic blister box whilst I try framing the shot. Effort = 10/10!