One Unforgettable ‘Mid Night’ in Tokyo
This group needs no further introduction to most.
Chances are you’ve heard about them in one way or another. You may have seen their old photos circulating online, read scans of old magazines, or even played video games inspired by the group. Needless to say they are one of the most popular automotive groups in the world. You might even say that they are the most popular group to date.
Despite their fame, not a lot of people really know them at all. In particular, there’s not a lot of information about the group itself, its members, and it’s racing history. Their accolades are shrouded by mystery, with most information coming across as bordering fiction. You might have been told by a friend or read on Wikipedia that they disbanded around the late 90’s or early 2000’s. But, if there’s anything our teachers in high school taught us, it’s that Wikipedia is never a good source of information.
In this case, Wikipedia has been nothing short a lie. ‘Mid Night’ did not disband, nor did the group “die” as most people (and Wikipedia) claim nearly 20 years ago. In fact, the club is very much alive to this day. You might even chance upon them meeting up at famous parking areas on the highways, or on the expressways of Tokyo. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be sharing this with you guys at all right now.
Meeting up with the Mid Night Racing Team was a near-impossible task. Even to this day, most of the members keep a very low profile. However, thanks to the help of Kenneth, one of the select few non-Japanese people who are close to the group, together with Albo and the rest of The Hvnters crew, we managed to arrange a meeting with some members of the MNC last October.
Seeing the cars (some of which were even featured in magazines before) lined up at the parking area and meeting the members in person was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s hard to describe seeing the ‘Mid Night’ cars, cars which used to only be in front of computer screens and magazines, now live in person in all their battle-worn glory. The cars along with their owners have a different with aura to them; unlike any I’ve encountered before. This is especially true for cars wearing the “Mid Night” banner and stickers proudly. However, it was the experience of doing a run down the Wangan which was the crème de la crème of the meet. For that, we are forever grateful to Ogisu-san, who agreed to meet up with us and brought along other members and The Hvnters for letting us tag along with them.
Aside from the cars, however, we had the opportunity to learn a bit more about the group coming from the members themselves. One of the reasons why we decided to reach out to “Mid Night” was to know more about them - call it a ‘meet your heroes’ kind of thing. Since we do live outside of Japan, there’s hardly any information about “Mid Night”. As mentioned earlier, most of the information we know about comes from the internet and Wikipedia. Unfortunately, most of these are also inaccurate apart from a few translated magazine clippings featuring the club. Despite the language barrier, we managed to pick up new info which helped us get a better understanding of them.
Members still hold the ‘Mid Night’ name in very high regard, and is essentially their legacy. As such, they extremely disapprove of non-members and imposters putting fake banner and stickers on their cars. So if you plan on buying fake stickers, just don’t do it; even if it is meant to be a tribute. Instead, it will look as if you’re tarnishing the ‘Mid Night’ name.
Street63, together with The Hvnters, hopes to correct the disinformation about Mid Night that has become somewhat ‘stock knowledge’ to most. At the same time, we hope to be able to follow their story more as Mid Night begins a new chapter. It won’t be easy considering we live 5-hours away from Tokyo, but we promise to do our best.
We would like to thank Tamura kaicho, Ogisu-san, and the rest Mid Night Racing Team for the opportunity to meet up, letting us take photos, learn more about the team, and the friendship established. Thank you to The Hvnters as well, namely Albo, Kenneth, Ken, Stan, and Dasun for the very welcoming experience. We hope to see all of you in Tokyo very soon. どうもありがとうございます!
Words and Photos by Jose Altoveros