The Low Life Pt. 2
When it comes to car meets, you never know what kind of cars are going to show up that's why for Makoto and friends car meets are all day events. If it was on my own time, I would've joined them the whole day sleeping on asphalt, grubbing on service area food vendors, and keeping warm off of One Cup sakes. By looking at the variety of cars that showed up, you could distinguish them by car clubs, yet everyone is part of the same community of car enthusiasts that make up one club. From kei cars, wagons, VIP sedans, to classic 80's rides, this car club has a wide variety of members with different visions and tastes.
You've probably seen Makoto's Toyota Estima and his friend's Nissan Cube on my blog before but I wanted to get closer on some of the details that make their cars look so unique. I've always lived by the theory that with the right wheel choice and size, and a decent adjustable suspension set up can significantly change the car's overall appearance and impression. Even cars that you normally wouldn't drive stock, given the right wheel and stance treatment, suddenly make you want to own one.
In Japan, kei cars are small, toy looking cars whose main purpose is to navigate through the narrow streets of cities. Since it's so tight in Japan, you can't expect that much power from kei cars because not much is needed to get around. This Nissan Cube is a prime example of a family kei car and how the right wheel setup and ride height has achieved this car's new look.
Makoto went as far as to do the whole air suspension setup for the purposes of his wife driving the kids around throughout the week. The Estima is a shared family car so his ideal setup had to be compromised for comfortability so everyone could enjoy. Without the air suspension, his wife would not be able to turn or get out of parking lot dips. His wife allowed the wheels and the loud exhaust but a middle ground had to be reached. Oh, the hardships of being married to your car AND your wife.
My first attempt of leaving, I was drawn back to get shots of this late model Toyota Celsior which was properly fitted with huge 20' wheels that were barely contained within the wide body fender kit beautifully mated to the original sheet metal of the body.
Besides the metal work done on the fenders, there really wasn't that much aero work done to the car. The wheel and brake setup alone drew the crowd in and to everyone's surprise was the owner that stepped out of the driver's seat who was a lot younger than the veterans who drove the old school and classic cars.
Then on my last attempt to leave, I was drawn back once again to this maroon Toyota Cressida that rolled on contrasting gold BBS's. I have a soft spot for gold wheels because the way they contrast well against any color.
At this point, I kept going back to shoot and my wife was prying me off the scene so we could finish the rest of our road trip. I was grateful enough to get all the shots I did and I will definitely be looking forward for my next trip to Japan car hunting in other regions.