Tokyo Auto Salon 2006, Day 1

The Japanese have long been obsessed with customizing their cars, and the Tokyo Auto Salon is where it all comes out. I arrived late in the afternoon, so what follows are a few photos from day 1.

Mazda

Mazda showed a hydrogen powered RX-8, and channeled a little Bugeye Sprite for their Circuit edition MX-5.

Hydrogen RX-8

Miata CircuitZ

Nismo

Nissan’s aftermarket division had a strong presence, with a few interesting 350Zs on display.

Nismo 350Z

Nismo 350Z

If there’s one thing Japanese are crazier about than customized cars, it’s teenage girls. Put them both in one place, preferably with the girls wearing just enough cloth to include a tire company’s logo, and you have racequeens. You can see why they get so excited about this event.

otaku racequeens

otaku racequeens

otaku racequeens

Team Goodyear poses for the crowd:

goodyear racequeens

A Chrysler 300C? Not so fast — it’s sort of a 300C-dric, a rebodied Nissan Cedric with some extra sheetmetal brought to you by the Nihon Auto College. This tradition of turning generic-looking Japanese cars into something more distinctive has long roots in Japan.

300m-dric

At the same booth, a Lexus L-S-class:

Lexus LS-class

Make it low, and make it white. That is all.

Bat-Lexus

Q45

Nice to see the Prius get a little tuning love. It’s all a bit silly — why the wider tires in the rear when it’s a front wheel-drive car?
Prius

It’s always nice to see people doing interesting things with Scoobies. This Legacy at the Gialla booth was particularly clean.

Legacy Wagon