Parking lot spotting: the unofficial Osaka Automesse extension
While the main attractions are definitely the show cars on display
or the scantily-clad models inside the halls of the Osaka Automesse, there is another show going on just outside side the venue - around the various parking lots scattered near INTEX Osaka.
Before you ask, no, they’re not officially part of the event itself. Instead, think of it as an unofficial annex or extension of the show; A representation of some of the best street cars this side of Japan has to offer.
Now, if you plan to do something similar during your next visit to the Osaka Automesse, Tokyo Auto Salon, or other car shows in Japan we do have a word of warning: It is literally a game of luck. Depending on which parking lot you go to, you may not even see anything. At the same time, you may see some of the wildest builds ever. Luckily for us, we got to see cars that could have easily been on display inside the show floor itself.
When it comes to rotaries, we weren’t spoiled for choice much to Aurick’s disappointment. The most memorable out of the bunch would probably be the Innocent Blue Rocket Bunny RX7 FD3S fitted on Work T5R-2Ps. Interestingly, rather than slapping on the diffuser that came with the kit, the owner decided to fit an RE-Amemiya diffuser instead.
It was either that or this rare RX-7 Spirit R we saw at another parking lot. Well, it looks like a Spirit R as it has all the right pieces fitted including the wheels, seats, and cluster, but we could be wrong. Despite being a rare specimen, this particular model had a few exterior bits changed like the RE Amemiya tail lights and dolphin tail muffler, Mazdaspeed A-Spec wing, FEED Afflux bumper, skirts, and diffuser.
Speaking of rare, the prices of Skyline GT-Rs sure have soared like crazy over the past few years. As such, we’re not surprised to see that some owners have chosen to keep their precious Nissan stock like this mint Bayside Blue BNR34 Skyline GT-R V-Spec II. We couldn’t see any aftermarket part as even the exhaust is stock. This would definitely get a grade 5A if this went through auction.
Since we are in Kansai, it wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t see at least one older-generation Civic. This EK was a proper example. It was in kanjozoku-spec too with a fully stripped out interior, roll cage and bucket seats. Though, there were some very questionable stickers on the side.
The stance and VIP scene is very popular in the region. Inside the show, there was a hall dedicated to all the slammed VIP-style cars. Around the parking lots, it quite common to come across them too. From the ever-popular Alphard/Vellfire to Japanese luxury sedans, everything got a taste of the VIP theme.
What really stood out though was this Prius slammed which we saw ground exiting a parking lot. Considering how low it was, you’d expect it to be a show car that rides on a flat-bed or something that belonged inside the show. Props to the owner though for actually driving it around. If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is.
The great thing about going around the show are all the cool cars driving about. If you plan on taking photos of them, you better be quick on your feet. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a partial photo just like the white BNR34 GT-R we saw above. Well, better than nothing.
So if you ever find yourself at the Osaka Auto Messe, the Tokyo Auto Salon or any big auto show for that matter, try going around the nearby parking lots if you have time. You never know what you might end up seeing. In fact, you might just find what you’re looking for; just like how Aurick saw RX-7s in the parking lot for the first time during our trip.
Words and Photos by Jose Altoveros