This was my first time at an Auto Salon. I didn’t know what to expect. I knew there’d be some wild cars, some undoubtedly exotic cars, and lots of models to oggle at. What I wasn’t prepared for was the scale of it all.
I got there quite early, around half an hour after the doors opened so it was relatively quiet at first. But then as time went on more and more of the Saturday crowd came. Tokyo’s traffic must’ve been at an all time best last weekend because I swear half the city were at the Makuhari Messe convention centre.
There were 11 exhibition halls, all brimmed with the latest and greatest creations. I spent a good 6 hours at the place and have the blisters to show for it. It was an incredible event full of like-minded people; i.e. petrolheads. Well, mostly. One thing I did notice was that whenever there was a big crowd of grown men with cameras and smartphones taking pictures, it wasn’t of cars. Some of these guys went crazy for the models stood next to the cars. I don’t know if there were famous or not but it did make it hard for me to take photos of the engine bay of a GT-R.
Ah yes, the cars. The reason why I love these shows so much. The Auto Salon may not have the same ‘prestige’ as the Detroit Motor Show, Tokyo Motor Show, or Geneva Motor Show but it does have a wider variety of cars on display. Everything from Toyota Priuses to a Pagani Zonda, and everything in between, there was something there for everyone.
It may have also been in Tokyo but a lot of the cars on display had quite a bit of international influence. It was almost like the SEMA show but in Japan. Most people considered the cars on show as ‘USDM’ rather than actual ‘JDM’. Proof of this was the incredible amount of foreign cars. Everything from Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, Maseratis, Chevrolets, Jaguars, BMWs, Audis, and Mercedes-Benzes had a car of their tuned and fettled by one company or another. Widebodies, flared wheel arches, and big wings were all the rage this year.
Lexus, the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ, and the almighty Nissan GT-R were the clear local favourites. Almsost every exhibition booth had one of those, if not all three, on show. A highlight was definitely meeting our very own Mad Mike who was sat in front of his new RX-7 signing posters. Speaking of Mad Mike at lunchtime there was an hour long drift show outside too. Everything from GT86s, Silvias, GT-Rs, and even a Prius made an attempt to make some smoke. That was perhaps the most memorable lunch I’ve ever had.
Having taken in excess of 500 photos it was hard narrowing them down so here’s just a handful of some of the cars that I saw at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon. If you ever get the chance to attend one, do it. One day is definitetly not enough to see all the cars, good thing the show runs for a whole weekend. Here’s til next year.