Juicebox in Japan: Ebisu and Power Vehicles
After the chaos of the night before, we almost forgot about the full day that lay ahead. The King of Asia drift series which was taking place at Ebisu circuit was happening, it was the reason we were up around these parts.
To be honest we were completely drifted out and exhausted from being up with zero sleep (but it was worth it). One of the reasons we were on this trip was for the Low Brain PS13, supposed to be competing at the comp for Luk Fink to drive there were complications and the car didn’t show up on time.
Regardless, Nakamura, Shinji and Daigo were competing with a few other people we wanted to see. We quickly shrugged off the tiredness and made our way up into the hills to Ebisu Circuit.
The place really needs no introduction, anyone that has an interest in drifting or Japanese car culture should be well acquainted with Ebisu. I tried my hardest not to turn into a little child but when you roll up to those gates the excitement takes over.
We got there a little later than expected and already Nakamura had started to dismantle his car. I was expecting there to be a massive crowd but that the magic of Japan! No one really cares about some of these events as the country is littered with competition and events weekly. As far as I know street legal was on the same weekend.
There was literally about twenty people spectating the event. Insane as we figured it would be wall to wall as seen back home. Nonetheless, it made for a more intimate time at Ebisu, surrounded by some of our favorite drivers accompanied by a strange mix of European cars which were shipped over to compete.
Without being an asshole, I hadn’t come this far across the world to see a bunch of European BMWs and competition cars competing, this was a quest to see the stuff we fantasised about online and was a little bit of a dampener with a sea of Euro cars out on the track against the odd few famous contenders.
It would have been very entertaining to see Luke out in the Low Brain Silvia but it was what it was. We sat back and watched Nakamura around Ebisu, something I can’t put into words…
After Nakamura got knocked out, I and Reuben decided we had enough of the competition and decided to go explore the gigantic grounds of the complex.
The pits were filled with random machines both road and track. We made our way up to the Gymkhana area, drove past the Zoo, for anyone that’s unaware, there is a zoo in the grounds also! We made our way down to Power Vehicles and wanted to check out K-style car shop and the Graveyard.
Working back here in Ireland and spending a lot of time on Yahoo auctions just seeing how much each and every one of these cars and bits is worth to a foreigner was a little upsetting.
I had an entire rant planned for this part of the feature about the way this stuff is abused but since the feature took so long to come together it has already been discussed and explored by both Andy at Power Vehicles and the Speedhunters article that went with it.
You grow up obsessing over many of these machines and to see a big gathering of them in such a bad shape was both fascinating and a little depressing at the same time.
The value of quite alot of this stuff is a direct contrast to back home.
A number of random coilovers, bits of engines, wheels etc mixed into the vegetation. I’m sure a lot of this will be horribly desirable someday, we could pick out a few useful bits just when having a quick glance.
I’m pretty sure a lot of this stuff is junk, but still seeing that much once worthy stuff piled up is nuts, this is where all that after market stuff goes to die!
This is what appears to be the rotational stock of Power vehicles with other cars looking like they are either parked up for customers or work in progress machines.
Either way, an insane amount of history and machinery, to think all these cars were once brand new, obsessed over, modified and used all over Japan, used for various events, in various clubs, worshiped and adored, crazy!
It’s a little sad that so many cars meet their end for the joy of going sideways but that’s part of the appeal, the RWD Nissans and Toyotas have had to dice with this for the last thirty or more years.
I wonder how we will feel looking back in twenty or thirty years at photos like this? Probably the same, it’s hard to tell and really depends on what side of the fence you are on.
Id like to think I’m smack bang in the middle, at the end of the day, as long as these tools are used and enjoyed and somewhat taken care without reckless use then there is no real issue.This 13 looked to be a well used but well maintained example of how it should be done.
When stuff gets bashed and misused like a destruction derby just for the laugh, I feel those people aren’t really into it or liking at the bigger picture and it seems to happen a lot with foreigners coming over to get a piece of the Ebisu dream.
There are definitely ways to enjoy the cars and keep them going. Some of these here look well used and well maintained.
Still seeing such an abundance of this stuff thrown around is such a mental contrast to what we are used to seeing.
It’s certainly all starting to change though, you can see it on Yahoo and in the Auctions. The days of a cheap skid car are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
To think of all the tuner shops, aftermarket bonnets, wheels, suspension, aero that is cocktail into piles in the corners.
The amount of history, stories, cars that were to be desired, to be obsessed over, to eventually meet an end like this.
Japan is dripping with the stuff and it eventually has to go somewhere… There is so much history in these piles!
Either they get exported or repurposed or destroyed. I noticed there isn’t a crazy amount of people hanging onto stuff over there, think of all the D1 machines that left and are scattered all over the world now.
I always felt there should have been some sort of museum for all these cars we grew up loving, the HKS Silvia, Apexi RX7, Bee Racing Skylines… Anyways I’m ranting and could go on and on.
To be honest many of these cars would have been long crushed in Japan if it wasn’t for being RWD highly customisable cult classics.
You can’t have the cake and eat it too, but saying that, the next ten to fifteen years will be very interesting, companies aren’t making cars like this anymore with their straight sixes and cheap RWD platforms.
These were very interesting, but at this point, nothing surprised us. Two silly little Irish chaps in the middle of this goldmine of cars and part was an eerie feeling especially due to the fact the shop was closed and located in sucweirderid place.
Car shop K-style was a complete change from Power vehicles, the place was clinically clean with nothing really to poke around at outside.
I didn’t want to be super nosey so had a small peep inside, everyone attending the competition so I just grabbed a few snaps of what was surrounding the shop and left it at that.
You can make out the infamous s15 lurking inside the door with a few other cars like this GT86 dressed in iconic livery.
I’ll leave it at that for now, thanks again for all the positive feedback, truly glad everyone is enjoying these turbo in-depth articles about Japan. Would love to hear what you think of these, drop a comment below.
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