The Suzuka Sound of Engine event was a celebration of all things motoring from the past and the present. It’s a weekend where classic racing cars, motorbikes, and the latest supercars come together for an orgy of petrol, noise, and fun. You can read my coverage of this year’s event here.
This was a chance for people today to experience the sound, sight, and smell of cars from a bygone era. Seeing the cars go around the legendary Suzuka Circuit was definitely the highlight of the whole weekend but some of the static cars are also worth mentioning.
One of the things I like doing at these events, apart from having my ears destroyed by pre-health and safety engines, is going around the pit garages and car parks to see what sort of cars there hidden out of the limelight.
You can get a good feel of an event and the people there by seeing the cars they’ve showed up in. I wouldn’t go as far as to say you can judge an event simply from the cars in the car park, but the more varied the cars the better.
The Sound of Engine didn’t disappoint, attracting all sorts of cars that were as varied as the stuff that went out on the track. Everything from Liberty Walk supercars, immaculate classics, to the odd racing car here and there was covered.
There was literally one parking area just for supercar owners, another out by the front of the circuit for supercars to be displayed, another area just for the classics, and Bingo Sports had a couple of pit garages to display some of the epic cars they have in stock.
Let’s start with some of the cars in the pit garage. Obviously, most of the cars in here were the same ones that went around the circuit but there were some cars that didn’t, and some I missed. It was very cool to see the Mazda 787B up close in a pit garage. I remember having a small 1/64 Tomica toy of one as a kid. And finally hearing it go was an experience I won’t forget.
Elsewhere in the pits, the Lola T70 shared a garage with a very pretty Porsche 906. I was amazed I was allowed to walk around the pits without anyone asking me to kindly bugger off. The Benetton B189 in that distinctive livery was a fresh change from the usual racing liveries in the other pit garages.
Further down was the Bingo Sports display. They had one garage just for the Paganis. The black Huayra, the blue Huayra Tempesta, the Huayra BC, and the blue carbon Zonda Revolucion took centre stage, or erm pit, for everyone to drool over. Even though I’ve seen these cars only a week or so earlier, I still had to go in there and drool over them for a couple of minutes.
Next door was the Bingo Collection/BH Auction garage. There were some familiar cars such as the silver Porsche 959 and yellow Porsche 964 Carrera RS, but also a few surprises such as the ISO Griffo, Aston Martin DB6, and BMW 3.0 CSL.
Out in the front section near the entrance of Suzuka was a Supercar Display paddock where owners could park and display their exotics. There was quite a variety of cars there. By that I meant various Lamborghini and Ferrari models. Sure, other brands were represented too but it was mostly an Italian parking lot.
The highlights for me were definitely the yellow Ferrari Daytona Spider and the white Lamborghini Diablo SE30, one of my personal favourite Lamborghini models. The metallic teal Ferrari Dino was pretty cool, as were the endless row of Countachs.
Walking to the back of the circuit to where the owners and VIPs parked their cars, I found some random oddities scattered around too. The Ford Sierra Cosworth, undoubtedly one of the coolest cars to come out of Essex, was an unexpected surprise. It’s quite random to see one in Japan. The Suzuka Circuit Honda NA2 NSX was pretty cool to see too.
Round the back of the pit garages were a couple of paddocks reserved for more cars to be displayed. One was called the ‘Time Travel Paddock’ where cars and bikes from before 1976 were displayed. Here there were quite a few Japanese cars on show such as the legendary Toyota 2000GT, the Nissan 240Z, and a whole row of old Nissan Skyline GT-Rs.
But there were also a fair few classic import cars. A particular standout was a Ford GT40 recreation, not a replica. There was even an information sheet emphasizing that. It did look very beautiful though.
Speaking of beautiful, the Ferrari 365BB and Porsche 911 Carrera RS attracted some attention themselves. These were some of the tidiest examples I’ve seen of each respective car.
Moving on but still keeping with the classic car theme, in the ’VIP Paddock’ was a husband and wife combo to make many of us jealous. He had the red Mercedes-Benz 300SL, she had the red Ferrari 246GT Dino. What made them even cooler was they were prepping their cars themselves. No staff, no mechanics, they did all their handiwork themselves. Much respect.
Parked next to them was perhaps one of the biggest and most obnoxious car at the whole event; a Mercedes-Benz G63 6×6. A proper monster truck. Even the spec was the polar opposite of subtle. Actually, this car park was anything but subtle. From yellow Ferrari F12tdfs to about half a dozen Liberty Walk cars, this lot felt like a whole other car show in itself.
But in all honesty, the white Porsche 918 Spyder was my favourite car of the lot. Even in white it still manages to steal all the attention, even from the 6×6 and even from the Liberty Walk cars. It just has a presence to it.
I’ve only mentioned the tip of the iceberg, there were so many more cars parked around the circuit. They weren’t the main attractions but it would’ve been rude to ignore them as well. The security guards at the VIP paddock even started to recognise me by the end of the weekend, I went back there that often.
Have a flick through the gallery to see some of the other highlights from the pit garages and car parks from the 2016 Suzuka Sound of Engine.