A Car Nerd's Guide To JapanAn insider look at car culture in Japan.

October has been quite a month for events in Japan. From the Nicole Racing Days, the La Festa Mille Miglia, and the Ferrari 70th Anniversary Rally just last week, we’ve been staying busy over here. But we can’t always have nice things, and as such it’s been raining non-stop (like raining water, not raining cool car things) for the past two weeks.

However, that wasn’t going to stop what has to be one of the craziest events so far: Lamborghini Day 2017. For three years now, Lamborghini Japan, for one day only, has held what has to be the largest gathering of Lamborghinis in the Land of the Rising Sun. In the first year more than 60 of Sant’Agata’s best turned up; last year it was over 70.

This year, to celebrate 50 years of Lamborghini in Japan (a feat that’s quite extraordinary for a company that’s 54 years old), there were over 100 Lamborghinis, from the 350GT right up to the Centenario.

Japan is Lamborghini’s second largest market, behind the U.S. of course, and the company has seen tremendous growth in the Japanese market lately. To celebrate this Lamborghini also announced, quite spectacularly and out of the blue, five special one-off Aventador S Roadsters just for us.

These five special cars have taken inspiration from the Japanese “go-dai” (five elements): fire, water, earth, air, and heaven.

“Lamborghini wanted to create something unique that represented Japanese culture and our customers here,” said Mitja Borkert, Head of Design at Lamborghini.

The car displayed in a deep rich blue represented the water element. It’s still very much an Aventador S Roadster, meaning there’s a 6.5-liter naturally aspirated 740 horsepower V12 in the middle. But the color scheme is quite something to behold.

Borkert talked me through the design and livery. It’s dark blue at the front, bottom, and rear. However, the closer you get to the carbon windscreen frame and black trim on the roof and engine cover the darker the blue gets.

Look closer and you’ll also see a glittery sparkle in the paintwork. The details are all very beautiful and while it might split opinions it’s very bold and different.

Slap bang in the middle is a massive “水” plaque, the Japanese symbol for water, to remind the five lucky owners which element they’re in.

Oh, and each one is already sold out.

But fret not, as if you want something similar done to your next car just go to Lamborghini’s personalization division, Ad Personam. There was a big push for this and with a very beautiful Aventador S Roadster and Japan’s dark red carbon Centenario was on show. It’s the first colored carbon bodied Lamborghini in the world.

Elsewhere the Polo Storico restoration service was also being promoted with a Miura SV. Curiously it was on translated Japanese plates as it had just come back from another Lamborghini Concours event in Switzerland last month. You know, as one does.

Outside the event in the parking lot of the Tokyo Prince Hotel, around 50 “classic” (read: pre-Audi) Lamborghinis were on display ready to be judged for the Lamborghini Concours d’Elegance. Some of Lamborghini’s best known classic cars, such as the Miura, Countach LP400 ‘Periscopio’, and Diablo GT were parked out amongst some of their quirkier cars such as the Espada, Uracco, Jalpa, and LM002.

LM002 ‘Paris-Dakar’

Unfortunately the parade run for the classic Lambos was cancelled due to weather. It made sense; 50 classic Italian exotics in the rain in Tokyo traffic probably isn’t the best of ideas.

Countach LP400

As the day progressed more modern Lamborghinis started showing up as they prepared for the parade run in the evening. Over the course of a couple of hours the parking lot had just become a colorful sea of wedge-shaped cars. If you thought Japanese supercars were only overfenders, flashing lights, and high-rise spoilers, the gathering here would beg to differ.

Some cars were quite flashy and ostentatious in a very Japanese way, while other were quite tasteful, classy even. Most of the cars were Aventador SVs. Lamborghini said they made 600 coupes and 500 roadsters. It seemed like all of them were at this event.

By this stage more than 60 modern Lamborghinis had showed up, although not all of them were allowed to go on the parade run. Because this was an “official” Lamborghini event, no car with heavy modifications could join the parade. The Liberty Walk guys were staying home.

Still, it’s not like they were missing out. The cars drove out of the car park and straight into Tokyo’s Friday night rush hour traffic. There were no space for accelerations and only very few of them revved. They were quite well behaved this year.

The last couple of years they’ve done this parade run it’s been on wider and more open roads, which gave the owners a bit of freedom. This year it was all just a bit too tight. While the rest of the day was well planned and organized, not even they could plan and organize the traffic.

At this point the rain had come back in full force, so it was time to draw the event to a close. With this day getting bigger and better each year it’s worth coming to have a look at this annual event.

Be it at the start point or somewhere along the parade route, seeing 100 or so colorful Lamborghinis gathered together is quite a special sight.

Uracco Racing
Countach LP400
Diablo SE30
Diablo GT2


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