There’s Nothing Else Fairly Like The Mooneyes Yokohama Sizzling Rod Customized Present



The annual Mooneyes Yokohama Sizzling Rod Customized Present has been showcased on Speedhunters from our earliest days. I visited the occasion for the primary time in 2017, and ever since had been longing to return. Six years later I lastly made it occur.

For the previous couple of occasions, I’ve loved Dino’s stories from the Sizzling Rod Customized Present’s Saturday arrange. His love for customized tradition is robust, however not robust sufficient to commerce sizzling rods for GT-Rs on the Nismo Competition, which falls on the identical Sunday yearly. However with me being in Japan for a brief go to and the Mooneyes present excessive on my hit record, it labored out properly for each Dino and I this time round.


Dino at all times mentions that arrange day has its perks, as you get to see all of the present automobiles in movement and listen to their engines as they’re moved to their pre-determined positions within the large Pacifico Yokohama conference middle. Not needing to barter your method by a ten,000-strong crowd to seize clear pictures can also be a bonus.


What the Yokohama Sizzling Rod Customized Present arrange day lacks nevertheless, is environment. The dwell bands and all of the individuals who costume up for the event of their favorite rockabilly outfits, Mooneyes gear and pin-up model attire, make the principle day one thing particular.

The Environment


‘Environment’ is a massive, empty phrase, however whereas I used to be standing in it, listening to a psychedelic surf rock band play for all of the individuals within the ‘Worldwide Village’ space, I virtually shed a tear.


Feelings hit me after I was reminded that this present was began again in 1992 as a method for Mooneyes Japan to assist protect world sizzling rodding. And right here I used to be, 31 years later, celebrating the ever-flourishing American customized automotive and motorbike tradition in Japan.

It’s all due to Shige Suganuma, proprietor of the Mooneyes model for 3 a long time, who calmly walked across the space, greeting mates and followers from all around the world.

The Journey & Drive In


The principle occasion began at 8:00am on Sunday morning, however kicked off correctly an hour later when a small variety of visitor contributors with among the greatest builds made probably the most exceptional entrance to a present that I’ve ever seen. When 9:00am hit, these vehicles and bikes rolled into the conference middle to large cheers from the assembled crowd.

Lots Of Blazing Basic Vans


The thirty first annual Yokohama Sizzling Rod Customized Present’s theme was ‘Loads of Blazing Basic Vans’, so there have been fairly a number of pickups on show. Old skool Chevy and Ford vans shared a particular space with pristine fashionable tasks based mostly on the Toyota Hilux and different common Japanese pickups.

Behind the truck space, I discovered one thing that put a giant smile on my face – a bunch of sunshine industrial Nissan NV200 vans, every one completely distinctive. I’ve nothing however respect for anybody that decides to customise workhorses like these.

Falling In Love With The Crown


Japanese vehicles are at all times nicely represented on the Sizzling Rod Customized Present, and I immediately fell in love with all methods you may customise a Toyopet Crown. Sure, they weren’t even Toyotas again then.


I do know individuals in Japan most likely don’t see these vehicles as something too particular, however as somebody from Europe who had by no means skilled one in the flesh earlier than, they actually piqued my curiosity. I knew the Crown existed as a sedan, however seeing coupe and pickup variations of the mannequin stunned me in a great way. The Kujira Krown above is an ideal instance of how conventional Japanese and American lowriding aesthetics can efficiently be combined collectively.


Together with the Crowns, the present featured loads of different old style (and newer faculty) Japanese automobiles that possess the Mooneyes spirit.


With suicide doorways and air suspension this Nissan Cedric is an ideal Cadillac look-a-like, whereas the little pinstriped Toyota Publica van is without doubt one of the cutest automobiles I’ve ever seen.

Extra Trendy Takes & The Bizarre


Though they have been significantly outnumbered by classics, from time to time one other fashionable automotive appeared in entrance of me. Customized builds like this Dodge often require a very totally different mindset.


If I used to be ever going to see a badass, wide-body Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon like this one, it may solely be in Japan.


The G-Wagon was wild, however right here’s a construct I couldn’t even think about in my wildest goals – a safari-spec De Tomaso Pantera. How do you even beginning considering about creating one thing like this?!


However wait, there’s extra – this time a widened DeLorean DMC-12 with a Porsche Pink Pig-inspired livery. One of the best half is, the creators left the automotive’s austenitic chrome steel seen, deleting the ‘pink’ facet from the long-lasting racing design.

These two customized Toyota Hiaces have been additionally a deal with. One rocks the lowrider aesthetic, whereas the opposite seems extra like one thing you’d create in Want for Velocity.



Automotive tradition is available in all sizes and shapes, so it’s no shock that the Mooneyes Yokohama Sizzling Rod Customized Present additionally celebrates scale modelling with its personal particular space.


There’s a lot pleasure to be present in these scale fashions. All the pieces from Sizzling Wheels dioramas to 1:24 scale vehicles – some with mind-blowing element – had a present of their very own in Yokohama.

The Greatest Kustoms


This retro-futuristic motorbike hauler named Ultimatum took residence the principle prize finally yr’s Yokohama Sizzling Rod Customized Present. Beginning life as a 1950 Chevy 2-door, the customized creation is the work of Japanese sizzling rod legend Junichi Shimodaira, who runs a sizzling rod, customized and lowrider store in Nagoya referred to as Paradise Street.


This yr’s ‘Greatest Of Present Automotive’ award went to Tomoko ‘Tomo Bunny’ Hattori, together with her 1949 Chevrolet Coupe named Woman Amber. It’s a basic, slammed ‘bomb’-style customized with air suspension, a chopped prime, and a killer paint job. Actually, there have been so many delicate adjustments made to this retro cruiser that you should be somebody who is aware of the ’49 Chevy very nicely to select all of them. For everybody who doesn’t, a devoted Instagram account shares the complete story of the modifications.

Did I Miss Something?


I walked the present round 10 instances, however every time seen one thing new or noticed one other element on a automotive that I preferred. It was solely on the finish of the day that I noticed this ‘house ship’, which barely resembles a Subaru 360.


The Flat4 Beetle space was crowded all day, so I averted it till the final hours of the present. Flat4 is a VW specialist workshop positioned not removed from Mooneyes Space-1 in Yokohama, and can also be a automotive tradition vacation spot. They introduced a bunch of old style Volkswagens out to the present, every with a definite look or perform.


I’ll wrap up with this collage of pictures, showcasing each facet of the 2023 Mooneyes Yokohama Sizzling Rod Customized Present. The mixture of outdated and fashionable worlds, totally different types, and naturally individuals makes the occasion a real one-of-a-kind.

As soon as once more, I can’t wait to come back again to Japan, reunite with mates, and style a bit extra of the nation’s particular automotive tradition. Hopefully it gained’t take one other six years although…

Vladimir Ljadov
Instagram: wheelsbywovka
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