Japan Gets It…

Japan Gets It…

I just got back from a week-long business trip working in Tokyo, just like last year. The bad news is that I missed the Hot Rod Revolution during that time, but the good news was getting to spend 7 days with good friends, eating amazing food, and seeing cool stuff in a far away land. Old American cars are loved around the world, but outside of the UK and other parts of Europe you don’t see too many traditional hot rods or kustoms running down the street very often. Then there is Japan. First you’ve got Shige’s Mooneyes located in Yokohama. For over 20 years they’ve been throwing a world-class indoor hot rod show, hosting club events & runs, and selling cool merchandise to local rodders in need. Then you’ve got top notch Japanese magazines like Fly Wheels and Crusin’ that rival almost anything at our news stands in terms of quality and content. Vintage speed parts, helmets, and gear are all reproduced with exacting detail and a true appreciation for the roots of our custom car culture. Finally, you’ve got the cars: Killer hot rods, low riders, pre & post war-style customs, nearly all in beautiful condition and running wild down city streets on a regular basis. It is *incredibly* expensive to buy, maintain and store any old car in Japan, so you know these guys are dedicated. My last day in the heart Tokyo I heard an open-muffler rumble coming up the street behind me, and I turned to see a glimpse of a period correct 70s Dodge Disco van with wild mural graphics and bubble windows flying by, 100% authentic down to the CB antenna and the raised letter tires. Ok, not my cup of tea, but here’s something you rarely see in the US, yet it lives proudly in Japan, owned by someone who gets his classic American car culture better than most Americans do. I can dig it.

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