Japfest is considered Europes biggest Japanese car meet, covering modified, performance, retro and competition cars. Organised under the Fast Car banner, the event is split at two different venues over the summer, the first being held at Silverstone. With an abundance of modern cars at the event, the highlight for classic and retro car fans come under the Retro Japanese stand, where the magazine features a wide and attractive array of cars which covers all genres of classic Japanese cars.
Asides from Retro Japanese’s efforts, random cars of interest can be spotted scattered among the stands meaning it was certainly worth exploring all the car clubs. As fitting for the venue, there are several live displays in the form of public tracktime, handling and drift challenges, as well as show & shine and an extensive retail market.
These well engineered cars generally fell under the radar of most buyers in the UK, it’s traditional engineering and durability should have appealled to Volvo 240 estate owners, but Mazda never marketed the car here, prefering to focus on the FWD hatchbacks and Rotary engines cars.
Second of two classic Mazdas owned by Adam Guest, the 1000 was the companies most popular UK import until the arrival of the 323.
This Bosozuku inspired Colt Mirage was a busy focal point on the Retro Japanese stand, it’s unusual for FWD hatchbacks to recieve this element of styling but it individuality and novel approach is what Japfest is all about.
A very obscure sight in the UK, the Subaru FF-1 Star was never imported into the UK. It belongs to Subaru collector Pete Andrews, and was imported via Portugal.
A well travelled Toyota Hiace, sporting Crown wheels, is a fine example of these popular campers. Most conversion were carried out by Walker or Danbury and allowed a fair number to survive to offer a viable alternative to VW campers vans.
Away from the Retro Japanese stand now, three examples of the CRX were tucked away in the paddock, reflecting the models popularity with both modifers and classic car crowds.
A tired but brutal Honda Accord resting in one of the many club stands at the event. These third generation Accords have become scarce rather quickly yet are seldom seen at classic car shows.
The Mazda 323 GTAe was a motorsport ready version of the their family car. It’s timing was unfortunate as it never became part of the WRC team, due to Mazda pulling out of the Group A programme in 1991, meaning the majority were sold to the Japanese public.
The KPGC10 Skyline has become something of a cult classic these days, even the lower tune models have a following. Never imported into the UK, it’s popularity has come thanks to computer games, Japanese culture media and motorsports.
Although badged as a Suzuki, it is actually a modified Subaru Justy – which are essentially the same car. It currently belongs to Adam Treadwell who has added a Twin-cam turbo chanrged engine and is said to produce 200bhp.