In our first installment on the 2017 Motor Fan Festa, I took you through one of Japan’s newest and most enticing car events held each year at Fuji Speedway. It’s also host to one of the biggest meets in the world for cars built by famous tuner company Liberty Walk. Before I talk about that, I want to talk about Dank.
Depending on which dictionary you use, “dank” could mean something moist or a term used to describe “high quality”, like a McLaren 720S or some choice memes. But neither is the correct use of the word in this case as it refers to a dealership specializing in, well, special cars.
Most of the cars in Dank’s (Auto Plaza Dank to give their full name) stock list some form of aftermarket modification, be it some new rims here or a full Fab Design conversion there. The dealer organized a meet of some of their customers at Fuji as part of the Motor Fan Festa.
The Dank cars were also joined by some customers from Power Craft. These guys are popular with local supercar owners for their distinctive high pitched and ear-destroying noise, full of silly pops and crackles.
They make exhausts for most European brands including Maserati, BMW, Audi and Ferrari. In Japan, they’re most popular with Lamborghini owners. Nearly every other Aventador in Tokyo is fitted with a Power Craft exhaust. They’ve gained some recognition overseas more recently too.
While everything else was going on in the morning of of the Motor Fan Festa, the Dank and Power Craft cars were tucked away in a parking area near the edge of the circuit. It was quite a breathtaking sight seeing all these colorful supercars parked under the very visible Mount Fuji.
The orange Cobra stood out, not because of the color which was beautiful, but because it was a Cobra. As surprisingly diverse as Japan’s car scene is, we don’t see many of these around. I’m not entirely sure if this particular Cobra was a real one or a very convincing replica but it was very cool nevertheless.
Personally, the purple Viola SE30 Lamborghini Aventador SV was my pick of the bunch. It’s probably the best looking SV in Japan. Of course, this had a Power Craft exhaust on it too.
There were a few oddball cars, suggestive of the type of customers Dank and Power Craft have. The FAB Design Mercedes SLS Roadster in a sort of matte red finish was an eye-catcher, even with a road-legal yellow Ferrari 458 GTC next to it.
There was also a baby blue widebody Forgiato Corvette. For some odd reason Forgiattos are quite a popular aftermarket wheel choice in Japan. It’s just one of the many things I’ve tried to understand but can’t. Some things are better left unanswered, I suppose.
Speaking of widebody cars, despite Liberty Walk having a dedicated separate parking area, a couple of their cars found themselves at the Dank lot. The Liberty Walk Porsche 997 Turbo is a reminder RWB aren’t the only ones widening 911s.
Another interesting car was the Murcielago with a sort of glittery black wrap on it. Of course there were still some untouched cars such as the Ferrari F40, Challenge Stradale, and a pair of Murcielago SVs.
Once the cars from the Grand Grid Walk went back into their garages, the 80 or so customer cars from Dank and Power Craft made their way to the starting line. They were allocated 20 minutes to go around Fuji Speedway.
On average, a modern high performance car can do a lap around Fuji in well under two minutes, so we were expecting them to do around 10 or so laps. I mean, when you have a road-legal Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo, a legendary Ferrari, and god knows how many Aventadors on an empty track, you’d expect something wild to happen, right?
Well, no. They all drove at walking pace, probably because they couldn’t organize 80 cars to go around Fuji without creating a jam. Tokyo is known for its traffic, Fuji Speedway isn’t. As a result they were only able to go around the track three times. Which would’ve been fine if they were able to go at some speed.
It was a shame, because I’m sure the whole point of this parade was also to let the 20,000-plus crowd bask in the noise of the Power Craft exhausts. That said, they were able to open their cars up a bit on the main straight. But for the rest of the track, the most noise we got was when a few cars caught up to the rest of the parade and had to downshift. A couple of drivers did stick their cars in neutral and gave us a few revs, but that was about as exciting as things got.
But as great as it was seeing all the various supercars Dank and Power Craft had brought along with their bright colors, it was nothing compared to the Liberty Walk meet.
These guys literally had an entire parking lot all to themselves. The infamous wide body builders have seen insane growth and popularity since their first appearance at SEMA in 2012. Since then they’ve sold over 200 kits in Japan, and more than 170 of them showed up at the Motor Fan Festa.
If this wasn’t the largest gathering of Liberty Walk cars in the world, it was certainly very close to it.
Though it was hard to see the crowd’s general reaction at the sight of some 80 percent of Japan’s Liberty Walk fleet, the parking lot where they were gathered at was certainly filled with enthusiasm.
I wonder if anyone will send an Aventador SV in to get the Liberty Walk treatment? Or perhaps that’s where they draw the line.
Evidently they have no problem modifying more “normal” cars too such as the many Infiniti G37 Coupes, Mini Coopers, Dodge Challenger, and the odd Chrysler 300. Hell, they’ve even got a kit ready for the new Toyota Prius, which I have mixed feelings about.
As this was a festival aimed at lovers of cars it was no surprise the spectator’s parking area had a few goodies in there too. There was a widebody Honda S2000, something I’ve never seen before.
I also had my eye on this immaculate Peugeot 106 GTi, a reminder the French brand made some great little cars in the past.
Knowing full well of the stunning twisty mountain roads (or touges) around Fuji Speedway it was no surprise to see a few drift ready cars in the public parking area. The pair of stripped out Nissan Silvias stood out amongst the black vans and wagons surrounding them.
A car not many people outside Japan might know of is the Toyota Verosa, a rear-wheel drive sedan aimed more at middle-aged executives than drifters. But that didn’t stop the owner of the baby blue one from trying. Yes, over fenders are very much still in style here.
Wrapping up the car park goodness was the NA1 Honda NSX-R. After a day of wide body excess and far too many Forgiato wheels for my eyes to bear, it was refreshing to see this sports car in the same condition it left the factory over two decades ago.
If this is an event you’re interested in visiting in the future, it happens around the last weekend of April. It’ll be held again next year so you can plan your trip around it. Be sure to prepare a rental car and lots of patience. It took us around two hours to get from the parking lot to the motorway. But that’s what happens when gearheads from all around Japan gather to share their passion—no matter what they’re into.