Each year, there’s a motoring event that shouldn’t just be dog-eared into your diary, but tattoed. We are of course talking about the marvellous throwback spectacle commonly known as Goodwood Revival. The three-day festival celebrates the finest motor racing the Forties, Fifties and Sixties had to offer. Well, when we were in Japan recently, we stumbled upon its Japanese cousin: the Japanese Classic Car Association’s annual track jamboree at Tskubua circuit.
It’s like Revival, just with less tweed and more pit lane Tai chi. The cars are also more Japanese-centric. But like Revival, they’re next-level awesome and thrashed within an inch of their lives in competitive, noisy racing that leaves all six of your senses tingling. Yes, Spidey sense is a sense, people.
Now, to anyone who grew up on an unhealthy diet of Gran Turismo and Best Motoring, Tsukuba circuit will need no introduction. The short but technical and flowing course played host to a mixture of mini endurance races of varying length and grid sizes. As you’ll see, there are plenty of JDM heroes duking it out with a smattering of Europe’s finest retro racers. If you like your cars to be from a time before electronic nannies and WLTP cycles, prepare to salivate.
They span a meaty part of history, with some of the coolest cars from the 60s, 70s and 80s covered off. You’ve got tuned mid ’60s sports cars from both Japan and abroad, such as stunning Toyota Sports 800s dicing with BMW touring cars, Kenmeri and Hakosuka Skylines with one-piece headlights, oil coilers and jutted from spoilers – also known as the good stuff – as well as vintage open-wheel formula cars and jaw-slackening old school ‘shakotan’ race cars from Toyota, Nissan and Mazda.
Each car is meticulously presented (what else would you expect from Japan?) and finished in a kaleidoscope of fantastic liveries. So click through the galleries below and soak up the amazing cars and faces of this wonderful event.
Words: Rowan Horncastle // Photos: Mark Riccioni