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Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Driving through the bay.

Date Published: 22 Jul 2020
Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Tokyo, Japan - Forget the localised meet-ups at Yishun Dam or Kallang Leisure Park, Tatsumi Parking Area and Daikoku Futo Parking Areas are simply in a different league. Over a Friday evening on a Japanese summer day, a friend brought me on what I would consider as a pilgrimage spot for automotive enthusiasts in the Tokyo area – no less, in a Nissan 350Z.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Situated just under 10 kilometres away from Tokyo, the Tatsumi 1st Parking Area could be seen as the starting point for the drive along the Bayshore Route (Wangan-sen) of the Shuto Expressway that runs through to Yokohama city. Visiting Tatsumi is pretty much the luck of the draw to see the cars that rock up. Cars will come and go and the mix blends throughout the day (and night), but activities can increase at various times of the year – for example, during the week of Tokyo Auto Salon.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

The Honda Civic Type R EP3, while manufactured in Swindon, United Kingdom, JDM variants were manufactured with Championship White offered as a factory option – something that the EDM Type Rs did not have

The presence of the culture crept up on us as we noticed more extraordinary (Read as performance or exotic) vehicles appear on the wangan before appearing in the parking area that is miniscule compared to what we would see later.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

One that got me excited – a Nissan GT-R R35 Liberty Walk, no less with a swan neck GT wing.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

If you may prefer, a more factory look Nissan GT-R with 20-inch NISMO wheels.

The Japanese car culture is not strictly restricted to JDM cars, if the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon was an indication of anything.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

The Mazda RX-7 FD3S – There were a handful parked around, but this red example stood out from the rest of the crowd.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

This Lamborghini Countach might make a purist cry foul, but being Japan, standing out from the crowd is highly not frowned upon even if it means having a classic exotic fitted flared fenders and exposed rivets with a plethora of stickers paying homage to the brand and to the racing team/company that provided assistance to the development of the car.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

The super cars of the previous era were not subtle to begin with, but the ‘subtlety’ of a 70s super car has been further thrown out the window.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

If a single photo was all that I had, I would have shown this – Japanese, Continental and American.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

This pimped up Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe was probably the most expensive car that night.

Moving on, we left Tatsumi Parking Area while being overtaken by a bunch of Mercedes Benzes as we made our way 38 kilometres down south towards Yokohama. Built on a man-made island, where the Yokohama Bay Bridge links the Wangan to the city, lies Daikoku Futo Parking Area - a larger car park that is ringed by a network of flyovers.

Alive by night and quiet (apart from Sunday mornings) in the day, the vibrancy of the scene becomes apparent as we filtered off the exit ramp towards. Alas, therein laid a fleet of Nissan Skyline GT-Rs across generations staring right at us.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

You can’t unsee what you have seen, is there something with this GT-R?

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

The Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 is simply underrated suffering from the middle child syndrome.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

The Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 – The hero car with prices soaring to the moon beyond the hype of Bitcoins.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

More American muscles with a Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and a pair of Ford Mustangs.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Just SNS and chill.

JDM Legends – Japan is losing more and more of the 90s legends as more of these performance cars are permitted for imports into other countries, stoking the embers for their demand.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

A solo Toyota Supra JZA80.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Subaru Impreza WRX STI 2 Door Version 5 – Valued now at multiple times what it was back in 2010.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

A panda Toyota AE86 Trueno coupe that had driven all away from Sapporo.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

I wonder if you know, how they live in Tokyo, but if you seen it then you mean it, then you know you have to go. A replica copy (less wheels) from the movie, a Veilside widebody Mazda RX-7 FD3S fails to be discreet in a corner of the parking area away from the view from the rest of the cars.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Far from homeground at Akiba, this itasha Suzuki Swift Sport ZC32S is parked behind a menacing olive drab green Cadillac CTS coupe 

Beyond the parking area, the crowd gathered at the top of a flight of steps which we followed to reveal a bunch of rear wheel drives doing their thing. Fortunately, the fun (and serious) police did not drop by to shut things down.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

The Autech Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 sedan police car, one of two GT-R sedans in the Kanagawa Prefecture Police fleet.

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops


Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

Bayside Blues – The Wangan Pitstops

 

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