Japanese car culture, particularly Japanese car culture from the 1980s and 1990s, has long been something that American automotive enthusiast weirdos have obsessed over and idolized (I include myself here), and no name rings louder in that pantheon than the famous and infamous Mid Night Club.
The club, which got its start as an offshoot of another street racing club, the American Car Club, quickly built a name and reputation for itself as its members became the unbeatable kings of the Wangan-sen (aka Bayshore Route). Its founder, Eiichi Yoshida, and his 1979 Porsche 911 Turbo became the stuff of legend as he pushed the 930 to ever-increasing levels of performance.
This awesome video by YouTuber Hunter’s Moon goes into great detail on not only the club’s history but also the incredible history of Yoshida and his car, including Yoshida’s eventual downfall into multiple arrests for fraud and the dissolution of his Porsche tuning shop.
Street racing is obviously a really, really bad idea, and the fact that Mid Night was able to do it for as long as it did without serious incidents involving non-participants is incredible. Of course, that streak didn’t last forever as club members got into an altercation with members of a bosozoku bike gang that resulted in the deaths of two motorcyclists and serious injury to six bystanders.
The culture is amazing to reflect on, and the cars are almost too awesome to describe, but please refrain from going full Wangan Midnight on your local two-lane back road. You’ll probably die, and you’ll look like an asshole (not necessarily in that order).