Every year, Japan’s aftermarket tuners and parts makers converge at the Tokyo Auto Salon trade show. But this year my eyes won’t be on what’s new at the main booths; I’ll be watching this utterly magnificent car auction being held there.
The roster of cars is unreal and too long for me to list in its entirety.
My personal highlights:
- a Koenig Ferrari Testarossa
- a Caparo T1
- a Nissan Silvia Group B rally car
- all of the most desirable GT-Rs, Zs, Honda S roadsters
It’s perfection, an idealized version of what kinds of cars Japan’s auto industry produces and what Japanese collectors amass.
That Koenig Testarossa is twin turbo’d up to a claimed 800 metric horsepower (about 790 hp), and it comes with the original luggage set. Asking price is 20-30 million yen, or around $180-275,000.
It is a high point for exotic car tuning of the 1980s, when excess was never enough, and Japan was in the midst of an economic bubble great enough to afford it.
The Caparo T1 is one of my favorites—a push to produce as close to a road-legal Formula 1 car as possible that proved somewhat Icarus-like when it caught on fire on TV. The Caparo proved, basically, you really don’t even want to have a road-legal F1 car, even if it could be produced.
The 1983 Silva 240 RS is also incredible. It was from right at the transition point between naturally-aspirated engines and turbocharging, when N/A cars were still beating blown cars in some events. This car has an engine developed with turbocharging in mind, the FJ20 series of engines, only instead of going with a turbo it has two huge carburetors gulping in air and fuel. It was kind of like the last of the line of this breed of old school rally car.
There is just endless cool shit in here. Look at this Fairlady Z 432, the super high spec version of the 240Z with the S20 engine used in the original GT-R and derived from Prince’s prototype race car. There’s a complete one at this auction, but also this one that’s down to the bones that you could put together yourself. What joy could await you!