CHOOSING just ten highlights from a show as epic as the Yokohama Hot Rod and Custom Show is always tough. This year, the show highlighted the Chevrolet El Camino, marking 30 years since that model went out of production. There were a ton of great examples on show, including the '59 pictured above, which took out its class.
On the other end of the scale was Kermit, a wild custom '59 owned by Allan Clark from Red Top, California. Mods include a three-inch chop, hardtop-style doors and frenched everything.
The other featured model of car this year was the '32 Ford and the range of these things, in almost every possible genre was incredible. We really dug Remi Kohara's roadster, dubbed Wildflower. And we weren't the only ones who like it - Remi picked up awards from US rod builder Dave Shuten, Custom Rides magazine and Burnout mag.
Of course, the Mooneyes show always throws up some wildly creative builds and this year was had a bumper crop, starting with this 1962 Mazda Carol. Originally 'powered' by a 358cc four banger, the Carol has been widened and had an S&S V-twin transplant. A pair of extra vents have been added to the top of the rear guards for extra cooling. There are Brembo brakes all round and it rides on a set of Colorado Custom billet rims.
I never thought I would get wood for a 1977 Volkswagen Scirocco, but here we are. There is just something about the combination of the gold paint and slammed stance over lip-less, 16in BBS rims that does it for me. The engine bay has been detailed to the max, showing off the highly-detailed, twin 45mm Weber-fed engine. Imagine a VC SL/E Commodore or XE ESP Falcon copping this treatment!
Kenichi Kondo's Lincoln Continenal Mark IV was one of a group of insanely-detailed lowriders that were driven four hours to the show - then cleaned - and then driven home at the end of the weekend.
Another in this group was Hisashi Ushida's '54 Chevrolet, dubbed The Sphinx.
The Nissan Cedric has always been an Aussie favourite - not least because of its appearance in The Big Steal, so it was cool to see Masato Inoue's drag-style '69 Cedric on show. If only there was a dragstrip in operation in Japan!
The Strongers CC always have some cool displays at Mooneyes. This year, Hidekazu Kondo's 1960 Buick Le Sabre got the treatment - it is a lesson in how to make a display that not only enhances the presentation of the car and protects it from damage, without making it hard to get a decent photo. We'd love to see more like this in Oz!
Last, but definitely not least is this Citroen H-Type van, built by Ushio Automobile. The choice of base vehicle alone is enough to win big brownie points.
The whole deal is slammed flat onto the deck thanks to a custom chassis and airbags.
And just to send the freak-o-meter right off the charts, the van runs a 13B rotary and auto, complete with massive turbo and front-mount intercooler. And the word is that the guys plan to use the van as a parts chaser - though there is still a lot of work to be done to get it to that stage.