9 June 2014

Event Coverage: Japfest 2014

Japfest is a staple of most, if not all Japanese car enthusiasts in the UK, with people waking up at times they'd never heard of. While some undertake the journey solo, the majority meet up and convoy en mass like a flock of angry, noisy bees. Winding their way from all corners of the UK (and sometimes abroad), the sleepy village of Castle Combe is invaded one day a year with thousands of Japanese cars of every description.

Sadly the weather forecast for this year was grim, but nevertheless we were up early and after a McDonalds breakfast were on our way to the circuit. Well, that was until we hit the tail end of a queue which was still around 5 miles away from the entrance. Unfortunately Castle Combe Circuit is located out in the countryside and as such, there are only B-roads leading up to it. Now take those thousands of cars and try and funnel them down three roads and you get the picture. A quick browse on the satnav and we were doubling back on ourselves and ended up taking a single track road from a motorway services all the way to the entrance which was a result!

After a quick setup of the JdmAuctionWatch trade stand I grabbed my camera and went for a walk. Then the heavens opened. A lot. A quick retreat to HQ (Nicks VW T4 Campervan) ensued for tea and biscuits until the rain dissipated. This was the recurring theme of the day, with torrential downpours and heavy winds followed by breaks of glourious sunshine.

GT86's are becoming more common at shows now that the aftermarket tuners have had a chance to develop parts for them. Such a pity they're so expensive in the UK. This supercharged example was one of the more modified examples on the day.

It's a rare sight to see an Evo wagon.. but one thats been stripped and built for heavy track use is even more hard to find! The best thing about it was that there are four bucket seats inside the heavily stripped and caged interior. While knuckle passenger rides anyone?

Two cars which were a highlight were these Hakosuka (KPC) generation Skylines. While I don't believe either to be a genuine GT-R (didn't get a chance to check for a S20 under the bonnet) they were both lovely cars which largely appeared unrestored, with some age related marks.

A spotless RA28 Celica with a Beams swap under the hood.

The Fast Car stand had some of the most impressive cars of the day, including this widebody GT-R with a lot of panels replaced with dry carbon alternatives. The GT-R's are a bit on the heavy side but no slouch, so this weight saving must give a healthy boost to performance.

In the time it took me to walk round from one side of the car to the other.. sunshine!

This Ruckus/Civic combo was awesome, with great attention to detail, right down to the trailer!

Sam's AE86 gets a lot of attention whereever she goes and it's not hard to see why. The car needed a lot of work when she first bought it and her efforts have paid off.

The new Honda Civic Tourer in BTCC looks amazing.

Epic drag wing, this cars recently emerged from the Huxley Motorsport workshop looking badass

TE37's look good on any car.. but when the car happens to be a R34 GT-R, they look great. The best colour for a R34 in my opinion

The one car I'd not hesitate to sell my AE86 for. 

Ex-sprint and hillclimb UK spec Levin hiding amongst the cars.

Rare breaks in the rain meant we were greeted with a bit of welcome sunshine

22B is in my opinion the ultimate Subaru. Limited numbers mean its a rare sight at any events

Early RX7 with what looks like an optional dealer fitted kit. Again, not something you see often anymore now due to rust or the old rotary engines requiring work. This example was very clean in its oh-so-80's paint colour.

Yep. The best things were made in the 80's!

Bubble shape Micra with some Initial-D influence.

I am a huge fan of the early CRX and Civics. This example was really clean and looks to have been well taken care of over the years.

The ultimate daily? Considering how cheap Lexus GS's are nowadays, I have been tempted on more than one occasion. This is how it should be done!

While I don't know the exact model of this Datsun (B110?) it looks great on Hayashi Streets.


Every now and then, Harry brings his awesome Levin out. Running a built 16v with Jenvey ITB's and a host of other rare Japanese parts, this car is one of my favourites in the UK.

Early Levin 2dr on 14x7 TE37s

Jonny's IS200 daily and one of Paul's AE86s. Australian import with a SR20

Subtle modifications make this Starlet stand out. Monoblock Equip 01's finish it off nicely.

This started out as a 4wd Starlet which has since undergone a Turbo engine swap and RWD conversion

I imagine this was running the drivetrain out of a later Starlet, given the big brake kit hiding behind those wheels with meaty tyres.

Been considering an Accord as a daily for a while now.. this just makes me want one more.

Hope you guys liked the few photos I managed to take at Japfest. While the weather put a serious downer on the day, the quality of cars was outstanding. The show keeps going from strength to strength but I wonder how long before it becomes a victim of its own success and can no longer be contained at Castle Combe? Only time will tell. Just make sure you attend sooner rather than later. - Chay

1 comment:

  1. One of my friend recommended this blog site to me. I read lots of blogs about the writing services but honestly speaking I found your blog very interesting and informative. You are doing your best to get enough reader to your blog. From few months I can't see any updates in your blog. Keep on blogging with new contents.