Osaka, Japan - Hot on the heels of Tokyo Auto Salon (TAS) is Japan’s second biggest tuner fest - the Osaka Auto Messe (OAM)! Our man in the land of the rising sun, Nick Itoh, was on-site to catch all the action - here’s his account!
I must admit I always preferred the Osaka Auto Messe as it is more colourful, diverse and a vivid representation of the Kansai car culture.
The Osaka Auto Messe is spread across six halls of the INTEX Osaka, hosting all sorts of cars and allowing visitors to browse an impressive selection of machines, performance parts, accessories and merchandise!
Vans have always been a massive highlight at the OAM and this year was no different. There were numerous Hi-Ace(s) and Caravans, all decked out from top to toe!
Some were lowered to the ground…
…others were lifted so they could go anywhere.
Another category of vehicles represented at the Kansai event were the “kei-trucks”, these micro-vans or pickups are a popular platform amongst tuner companies that transform them beyond recognition.
For example, Jet Gogo, created several versions of the HiJet, using the latest versions while swapping the front facade with one from a very early model. This fusion of old and new made for some of the coolest looking retro kei-trucks at the event!
Others like this one were customised to look like a big American tractor - totally insane!
This one at the Honda booth came fully equipped to carry a 125cc motocross bike plus a set of tools!
The profusion of styles at the OAM always amazes me. You can see all manner of VIP rides, Kanjo racers, vans and of course classics!
Talking about classics there was a nice collection of Skyline GT-Rs all lined up together for an absolute blast from the past!
I took a stop at the Rohan Booth, to check out one of the most impressive paint jobs at the event. Their ’58 Impala was previously displayed at TAS but I was happy to see a new Nissan GT-R clad in a stunning hue of candy red with metallic flakes. The R35 was a collaboration with our friends from Kuhl Racing!