2017 Tokyo Auto Salon Part 5 – Custom Cars, Cool Classics, Racing Machines and Rally Drivers

By Steve Laser reporting from Tokyo, Japan

From customized cars, trucks and vans to groovy classics, racing cars, performance parts, accessories and more, the Tokyo Auto Salon is the place to see it all. We’re wrapping up our series on this year’s show with the following photo and video gallery. Be sure to see our other stories that cover the displays of major automakers.

This video highlights a modified and customized Prius that looks ready to tackle off-road adventures.

While the Prius has been around a long time and lots of individuals and aftermarket companies have modified them, we haven’t seen many efforts to turn the car into a crossover. This is a high-riding one with big off-road tires and neatly integrated fender flares. The modified front and rear fascias, stripe kit and roof-mounted cargo carrier make it a very well-rounded package.

There’s no limit to creativity when it comes to customizing cars. It took a minute or so to figure out the donor car for this custom. What would happen if a Mazda Roadster and a Dodge Challenger had offspring? The result might look something like this Nightingale from Ducks-Garden.

In this video, we feature a quick interview with Team supArna rally driver Lena (left) while her teammate Chiho looks on.

A team of three women rally drivers, Lena, Rina and Chiho, were on hand to sign autographs at a sponsor’s exhibit. I was impressed by their enthusiasm for the sport and also interested in their choice of a rally car: the Toyota Aqua.

Known in the sates at the Prius C, the small car looked great dressed with a multi-hued paint scheme, sponsor decals and performance parts. Lena’s advice for other women who may want to get started in the sport is to try go-cart racing (her favorite) first because it’s fun.

Customized vans, once hugely popular in the U.S., continue to make waves in Japan. Check out these cool rides in our video.

Remember the customized van trend of the late 1970s? It appears to be making a resurgence in Japan where the sky’s the limit in terms of transforming a box on wheels into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. While some embrace anime characters, others are more serious rides influenced by music and fashion trends.

The cars are the stars in this video that we made of the separate Tuning Car Meeting display. 

A display in a ballroom near the Tokyo Auto Salon media center featured dozens of incredibly cool tuner cars. I could have spent hours admiring these beauties, yet I had to run back to the main show floor to finish photography before the show closed.

We captured this super neat Caterham Seven Sprint from Caterham Cars Japan in our video.

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the original Lotus Seven, Caterham Cars created a limited production run of just 60 Seven Sprint models. Based on Caterham’s Seven 160 model, the Sprint features a Suzuki-built 660cc turbocharged engine teamed with a 5-speed gearbox.

It also sports a front double wishbone suspension, Bilstein shocks, 14-inch steel wheels, a Scarlet Red interior, and a powder-coated roll bar. No worries if this beauty is sold out since Caterham Cars Japan offers a variety of models with different powertrain and equipment choices.

This incredible 1982 Nissan Tomica Skyline RS Turbo was on display at the Fuji Speedway exhibit.

Vintage racing cars attract lots of attention. This outstanding example of a 1982 Nissan Skyline RS Turbo caused us to put on the brakes hard and check it out. The 2082cc 4-valve DOHC turbo engine is rated at a stout 570ps and 55.0kg-m torque.

The interior of the right-hand-drive racing car is dressed for business devoid of weight-adding luxuries like a traditional dashboard, door panels or carpeting.

Cheers to Dunlop tires for displaying this vintage 1972 Datsun 240Z racer on its stand at the Tokyo Auto Salon from the Nissan Heritage Collection.

We spotted this 1972 Datsun 240Z period rally car on the Dunlop tires stand. It came in third overall in the 41st Rally Monte-Carlo in January 1972. While it was thought that front-engine rear-drive cars were tough to control on snow and ice, the drivers garnered considerably attention with their skill.

Speaking of attention, this glittering display of customized Benz cabrios caused scores of show-goers to stop, stare and dream.

This customized Jeep that towered above the show floor was called “Radicon” for its radical appearance.

While Jeeps are sold new in Japan, they still remain a rare sight on the street. This one was given the full custom treatment inside, outside and underneath including a lift kit, suspension mods and huge tires.

Another tire maker featured a simply gorgeous Ford Mustang “Eleanor”  style fastback shod with its own performance tires.

After attending the Tokyo Auto Salon two years in a row, we must admit that we’re hooked and look forward to returning next year.

This concludes our coverage of the 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon.

Visit the links below for our additional 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon stories:

2017 Tokyo Auto Salon Part 1 – Toyota & Lexus Gazoo Racing, TRD and Modellista

2017 Tokyo Auto Salon Part 2 – Honda Racing, Civic, Type R, NSX, Modulo and Mugen

2017 Tokyo Auto Salon Part 3 – Nissan, NISMO, Autech, Skyline, GT-R, Fairlady Z and Serena

2017 Tokyo Auto Salon Part 4 – Daihatsu, Mazda, Subaru and Suzuki

CarNichiWa.com thanks the Tokyo Auto Salon for providing us with media passes to the show.

Special thanks to Bertel Schmitt, Team supArna, and Justin Gardiner.

Story, photos and videos © 2017 CarNichiWa.com