2008 Tokyo Auto Salon, AKA The R35 Showcase
The Tokyo Auto Salon is held every year in January, so this year I decided to make the trek to Tokyo myself to check out the show. The show is held Friday-Sunday, with Friday being a media-only day. I flew in Friday afternoon, so I just attended the show 2 days instead of all 3.
To start my weekend off, Friday night we headed down to Daikoku, the local hangout spot. We were hoping to spot some sweet rides since it was the weekend of TAS, and sure enough, we were not disappointed. The weekend kicked off with a bang when two Nissan R35 GTR’s pulled up. They were bone stock, but nevertheless, the center of attention.
The owners, completely willing to flaunt their rides, were happy to show off their cars. So of course I took advantage of the opportunity, taking photos inside and out. The interior is an absolute dream. Paddle shifters compare to those found on a Ferrari 430, and according to one lucky guy who got to take one for a drive, the power is beyond insane, with near instantaneous shifts between gears. We were jealous!
Saturday morning came bright and early, and at about 7:30 we headed out to the show. My first initial impression of the show is summed up in a 4 letter acronym — SEMA. The SEMA show and TAS are very similar in the way they are laid out. Many of the same vendors are at both shows, and in fact, many of the same cars as well. A certain rhinestone-covered Mercedes comes to mind.
So what seemed to be the most popular vehicles of the TAS show this year? The GTR — hands down. Nearly every major Japanese tuning company has parts for the new GTR available, or in development. Many of the parts could be seen on the GTRs that were at the show. Most companies have exhaust systems, intakes, brake, and suspension packages already. Mine’s seemed to have the largest selection of aftermarket R35 parts, ranging from ECUs to big brake kits. Apparently the 15” stock rotors on the R35 aren’t big enough for some people.
Power Enterprise, Greddy, HKS, Amuse, and various other companies also had many R35 parts available.Displays showcased a variety of parts already available for these vehicles ranging from suspension components to brakes and exhaust systems. When the car finally hits the states, there will be plenty to choose from when it comes to building R35s. I’d expect the car to be a big hit at SEMA this year as well.
For those of you who aren’t interested in the R35, don’t worry, because there were plenty of other cars that would grab your attention.If you like older Skyline’s, there were a variety ranging from First Gen C10’s and R32 through R34 models thus it seemed that the Nissan Skyline was the show vehicle of choice.of course, besides the Skylines, there were also plenty of other Nissans represented including S-chassis cars and a variety of Z models.— you name it.
In addition to tuner built cars, plenty of Super GT cars made an appearance as well, even the 2008 Nissan GTR car that so many people had scene video of on the Internet a few months ago. There is nothing that can compare to seeing this car in person. It’s simply beautiful. If only Nissan North America would make their SEMA display as nice as the TAS one.
Heading back after spending a full day at the show, we once again headed to Daikoku in hopes to see some nice rides. Only one R35 showed up (a different one than the night before), but there were some other cool rides to gawk at.
A very nice bright orange R34, a couple Aston Martins, a Ferrari, and Lamborghini were there to name a few. However, the most entertaining thing was a guy that had what appeared to be 4 15” subs in the back of his van. He also set up a set of turntables, hooked up to his van, and DJ’d some techno music all night long that I’m sure could be heard for miles.
On Monday, my flight didn’t leave town until the late afternoon, so to kill some time Neal (C33laurelracer) and I headed downtown to see some cars that we heard were on display. The History Garage was interesting to see. Only a handful of cars were there, but they were some truly remarkable vehicles. A Toyota 2000GT, Delorean, older Mazda Cosmo, and 240Z made an appearance, among with some other classic vintage cars, both foreign and domestic.
The afternoon came quickly to an end and Neal dropped me off at the airport so I could return home. Next year, be prepared for more of the NICO staff to attend the show, bring you more coverage, more pictures, and more dreams! All in all, the event was worth the trip.