Let’s get this little truth out of the way in which first. After on the subject of 30 years residing in Japan, it’s taken me all this time to get all the way down to Okinawa.
What used to be I considering? How is that even imaginable? In reality, I don’t even know. I assume, each time I’ve long past on holiday or taken a damage, I’ve at all times simply travelled to every other nation and indulged in a correct out-of-Japan enjoy. However a couple of weekends in the past, a host of very cool guys from the Okinawa major island confirmed me what this particular area of the Jap archipelago has to supply. I’ve actually been lacking out.
This isn’t the primary time Speedhunters has ventured all the way down to Okinawa, however without reference to that, I sought after to enjoy it for myself. And I filled so much into my brief travel.
I need to kick issues off with a small collecting that used to be kindly arranged round my discuss with. Two issues made this meet distinctive.
The primary being it used to be held throughout the largest United States Air Power base at the island, Kadena Air Base.
The super-cool guys from 18 FSS mixed forces with the group that manages the Shogun Auto Automotive Heart – mainly a tooled-up storage that US army staff stationed in Okinawa can rent out house at to paintings on their vehicles – and gave us get right of entry to to their premises.
That used to be a in particular essential issue right here, on account of the 2nd factor that made this collecting distinctive – a robust storm used to be briefly coming near us, able to make landfall proper in the midst of the meet.
However fortunately the gusts of wind and the moody skies didn’t trouble us till later within the night time, that means that the primary part of the collecting used to be held out of doors.
We met through one of the most major gates the place, as a civilian, I had to be signed in through any person who had Kadena Air Base get right of entry to. Using in alongside the vastly vast roads in convoy with the primary batch of vehicles that had confirmed up used to be lovely superb.
Regardless of how repeatedly I discuss with a US army base in Japan, the rapid distinction in visuals once you place foot within at all times makes an have an effect on. However not anything may have ready me for Kadena. One of the simplest ways I will describe it’s going from tiny, cramped, slender Japan with its arranged chaos, over-population of energy strains and overgrown crops to, smartly… Texas! Huge wide-open areas, clear and meticulously manicured fields and hedges, and really American-looking constructions – it used to be a wholly surreal enjoy.
Then again, on the identical time you might be by no means too some distance clear of being reminded which nation you’re in!
It didn’t take lengthy till many of the parking spots have been stuffed, so this used to be a great time for me to take a better have a look at what had proven up.
Let’s get started with a truck that we simply don’t get to peer a lot in Japan, a GMC Storm. It used to be rather fun to peer this, given the elements that used to be headed our approach.
This actual Storm sits on Corvette C4 wheels and sports activities an enchanting pair of fender ducts. Further issues for many who can wager what automobile those have been taken from…
After all, the Storm’s defining characteristic is its engine – a 4.3L V6 with the additional benefit of a unmarried TD06 turbocharger. All 4 wheels are pushed thru a 4-speed auto, and is the reason why, when you’ve noticed one on the web, it used to be most probably being introduced arduous on the drag strip.
The best element needed to be the period-correct Motorola automobile telephone at the sprint.
I will’t be the one who thinks GMC will have to do a unfashionable take in this distinctive truck, can I?
Holding with the American theme for a second, take a look at this cool Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z.
Underneath the hood of the third-gen Camaro sits a 5.7L small block just right for roughly 250hp. It’s the boxy race automobile seems to be that make this automobile particular even though, and naturally the V8 soundtrack.
And if you get bored of the loss of energy there’s at all times the 634ci crate motor just right for 1,000hp that Chevy sells…
I really like a tidy Nissan RPS13, and this used to be a perfect instance. Now not simplest has it been effectively restored to OEM++ stage, it’s day by day pushed too.
The Yokohama AVS Style 5s are a perfect glance, and try the ‘SR20DET Dual Cam Turbo’ sticky label – a Nissan broker possibility from again within the day that the 180SX’s proprietor has recreated as they’re just about unattainable to seek out at the present time.
I were given to trip round on this silver JZX100 Toyota Chaser the day after the meet so I may take a look at a fab storage and automobile assortment I’ll be sharing with you quickly. I’m serious about the straightforward manner – inventory frame, respectable decreasing and TE37s.
A few non-military vehicles have been invited to the meet too, together with this air-bagged Subaru Impreza WRX.
My love for boxy vehicles from the ’80s used to be tickled with this super-clean R30 Skyline, which you’ll see extra of in a second.
A meet in Japan is rarely whole with no kei automobile and this Suzuki used to be doing its very best race automobile influence.
It wasn’t lengthy prior to the solar started to dip and light-weight rain began to fall. In spite of extra vehicles proceeding to reach, it used to be everybody’s cue emigrate indoors.
Whilst that used to be going down, I took a handy guide a rough glance within the store space of Shogun Auto Care Heart, which is stocked up ceaselessly with all of the repairs necessities.
In the event you’re now not willing to paintings for your automobile your self, this facility in reality employs its personal mechanics who will accomplish that within the pit garages out of doors. It’s spectacular to peer how US army staff are supported, even if they’re stationed in different international locations.
The Shogun Auto Automotive Heart has not too long ago been handled to a sexy thru renovation, which incorporated 5 new automobile lifts within the DIY space.
It wasn’t too lengthy prior to the principle workshop used to be stuffed to the brim with an important collection of equipment.
Because it turns out, I met the proprietor of this ER34 Skyline GT-t in Hawaii again in 2014 once I lined a Fatlace display there. He’s since joined the army, offered his Acura (which you’ll be able to see on the very finish of this put up) and is now stationed in Okinawa.
He’s slowly build up his sanyon, having first looked after the outside and just a little of customized paint and airbrushing underneath the hood. The engine and function facet of items are subsequent at the record.
The automobile seems to be nice sitting on a suite of RAYS Gram Lighting 57CR wheels.
As discussed on Speedhunters repeatedly prior to, US army individuals stationed in Japan are issued ‘Y’ license plates for his or her private vehicles to tell apart them from native civilians,. The ‘Y’ replaces the standard hiragana persona used on common plates.
It didn’t take a lot time in Okinawa for me to appreciate that I want to be visiting this position continuously as I will as there are such a large amount of feature-worthy vehicles to shoot.
Automobiles like this JZX100 Toyota Chaser, which is effectively done all spherical.
Essentially the most sudden factor to me used to be the reality it’s bagged, working an Air Elevate Efficiency machine with the compressors and tank smartly put in within the trunk.
A white Evo on white Enkei Tarmac wheels will at all times hit the spot.
It used to be a laugh chatting to one of the crucial homeowners and discovering the again tale at the back of each and every construct, which for me is at all times the very best factor about automobile tradition anyway.
I additionally concept it used to be cool that america army guys hook up with native fanatics and invite them alongside to occasions they prepare on base.
One little glance out of doors and we have been all thanking our stars for the superior indoor venue. As you’ll be able to see, the elements used to be lovely depressing through this level within the night time.
As I discussed, I’ve were given some extra options from Okinawa coming quickly. Actually, you’ll be able to see two of them on this image.
I need to give an enormous thanks to all who have been focused on making this night time at Kadena Air Base so particular. The hospitality prolonged to me used to be superb.
That mentioned, I in point of fact can’t wait to get backpedal to Okinawa once more, simply confidently with extra co-operative climate subsequent time.
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