There are some nights in one’s life where you’ll look back at it and ask yourself “did that really happen?” Last Friday night was one of those for me. It started off pretty mundane. Marco (aka Marchettino) and I made our way to the Car Guy cafe in Yokohama. It’s a 1 hour train ride from Akasaka Station, taking us out of central Tokyo and into the suburban jungle.
Without much fuss or drama, we made it to the Car Guy cafe half an hour earlier than planned. We were welcomed in by Nagayama-San, a producer for Car Guy. There we also met Masatsugu-San, a friend of Nagayama-San and a videographer who also works with Car Guy. He also acted as our translator. We were informed Kimura-San, founder of Car Guy, would be a bit late. So to kill time they kindly let us have a go on the race simulator.
The car was a Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo body on Huracan Super Trofeo mechanics. The track, well it had to be the Fuji Speedway. Marco went first, impressing us with his natural driving skills. He kept within the race lines, knew when to brake and accelerate, and clocked consistently fast lap times. His fastest was a 1:43. It was his first time on a simulator.
Then it was my turn. I was a bit nervous as I hadn’t driven on a simulator in many years, and haven’t ‘driven’ on Fuji for longer. I got on it, and immediately spun and crashed. And I’d keep doing so for a couple of laps. Once I got the hang of the simulator, car, and track, I managed to keep consistently (slow) lap times. I was averaging 1:50 times, but my fastest was a 1:44. Thinking of quitting while I was ahead I got out of the simulator and joined everyone at the lounge.
We sat and waited for a while until we heard the unmistakable sound of a high-performance turbocharged V8 outside. Kimura-San and his famous McLaren P1 MSO had arrived. We introduced each other, and Kimura-San, Marco, Nagayama-San, and Masatsugu-San started setting up for the interview. I quietly went and sat at the sofa at the other end of the room to get out of shot.
As the interview was between Kimura and Marco, I won’t spoil anything. The video should be out in the coming weeks. But they talked about how Kimura-San got the idea for the Car Guy community, some of the ‘interesting’ things he’s done, and where he wants to see Car Guy go in the future.
The idea for Car Guy came from Kimura-San’s annoyance that car clubs and car meets tend to be exclusively for the wealthy. He wanted everyone who loved cars to be able to enjoy and admire all things cars, not just supercars. So he started Car Guy. It would be a community where everyone who shared a passion for all things cars could come together. It’s not just supercars too, though that is a big part as Kimura-San is supercar crazy. Car Guy also holds events for drifting, road races, and helping support young racing drivers.
Since Car Guy was established around one and a half years ago, Car Guy has gone on many adventures, some you’ve probably heard of. He was the guy who went camping with his Ferrari F40. He reasoning behind this was “if people go to hotels in SUVs, why couldn’t he go camping in a supercar?” It makes sense, I suppose. Perhaps my favourite thing he’s done was hire out a ski field in Hokkaido and drove supercars down the ski slope.
The next thing Kimura-San wants to do is help support young drivers to pursue a career in motorsports. As it can be a very expensive sport to break into, Kimura-San wants Car Guy to be able to provide sponsorship to those who are able to prove they have natural driving ability, hence the simulator in the cafe. Though the Car Guy brand will need to grow more before this can happen.
Kimura-San also showed us photos of his supercar collection. As well as his jaw-dropping P1, he also has a Diablo GT, Murcielago SV, Aventador, and a Ferrari F40. He also gave his daughter his F50 as her first car since he wanted her to learn how to drive a manual. And if you’re wondering which one is his daily driver, well it’s the P1. That’s just the lifestyle he has.
Speaking of supercars, once they wrapped up the interview we made our way to Daikoku Parking Area to meet up with more Car Guy members. We rode in Nagayama-San’s Toyota Vitz, behind us was Kimura-San in his P1. I don’t think there’s even been a weirder convoy. We had to stop so the P1 could refuel, this gave us a chance to take a closer look and snap a few photos. It goes without saying it attracted some attention at the petrol station.
P1 filled up, we headed off to the motorway. As Kimura-San knew Marco and I would be taking photos and videos of the P1, he drove next to us at a relatively slow speed. But we eventually got to Daikoku, having taken a few snaps of the P1 crossing the Yokohama Bay Bridge. As we arrived at one of the most famous parking areas in Japan (more on Daikoku to come), we immediately saw the cars of some of the Car Guy members that showed up.
To one side were some of the more ‘normal’ cars such as a Bentley GT, Ferrari FF, and Lamborghini Aventador Roadster. But to the other side were some of the craziest, wildest, and brightest Lamborghinis I’ve ever seen. Flashing lights, crazy wraps, and loud exhausts were the order for the day.
I don’t know which one was crazier, the Murcielago with the massive wing and bright flashing lights, the LP640 in brightly visible camouflage/tron wrap with bright flashing lights, or the Aventador Roadster 50th Anniversary with a mirror/chrome wrap with, you guessed it, bright flashing lights. These were not your usual Lamborghinis. And fair enough. If you want to stand out in Tokyo, where there’s literally a supercar around every corner, you have to go to great lengths to differentiate your Lambo from others.
Once we had a good look around the cars gathered there, and after Marco interviewed a couple of them, we made our way to Tatsumi Parking Area. You can imagine what a dozen or so supercars, a third of them with epileptic fairy lights on them, would look like on the motorways of Tokyo. And the noises through the tunnels. I had never been so happy going through tunnels than I was with the Car Guy crew. The best noises definitely came from the Aventadors and the 360 Modena.
We arrived at Tatsumi around the same time as the rain did so they didn’t stay very long. We got out, took photos and videos, and within a few minutes they had left. Not before giving us the chance to take a video of them leaving. It was a night I won’t forget anytime soon, if not ever, and big thanks to Marchettino and everyone at Car Guy. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and YouTube.