by Sam Eskew
by John Toth..
all those not in the know TAS stands for Tokyo Auto Salon.
Now that you are all in the know here are few statistics from the Event
Summary on exactly what the TAS consisted of. There were 319 Exhibitors,
602 custom vehicles, and took up event halls 1-8 in the Makuhari Messe
Exposition Center, with 249,197 people visiting over 3 days. In simple
terms the event was huge.
now if the statistics above dont impress you
maybe the description will. Here is how it went. Opening day of the
event we after we picked up our press passes, we were waiting for the
doors to open, we decided to take a look at the layout (did not help
that the exhibitors were listed about ½ in English and ½
in Japanese, not to mention, none of us read Japanese). Anyway we decided
from what we could read, we would start in the center hall, casually
browse the booths, head to the West hall, browse there, and finally
over to the East hall.
After that we would then decide who we
wanted to visit and try and get some interviews and
talk to some people who were at the really interesting booths. So much
for plans; any non-car person would have thought we were kids in a candy
store. After stopping to photograph (and admire) the models right past
the gate, we spent 10 minutes on the steps overlooking the main hall
admiring (drooling) over the massive size of the center hall in itself.
Down on the main floor, I think anyone observing our behavior would
have thought we all had ADD.
see a company selling remote control drift cars, with
guys drifting remote control cars around a carpeted track. So we briefly
stopped to see what they had. As soon as we had stopped, a couple pictures
were snapped. As I browsed the booth, we rounded a corner, wait I see
models in cool outfits, the remote control cars no longer interested
us. Off to see (drool over) the models. After John got the models to
pose and some pictures were snapped, our attention was diverted, look
a beautiful White 1000 PS, Nissan R34, have to get pictures of that.
Bye bye models (for the moment).
As soon as we get to the other side of
the R34, another booth with models is in sight. Bye
bye R34. On display at the Subaru booth was a completely disassembled
2.8L WRX boxer engine, that was used to demonstrate how it was put together,
very educational and it all looked so easy. Very tough for our video
camera guy to get good footage of the Subaru mechanics assembling the
turbo, and the Subaru girls doing a model show at the same time. And
that is how the days progressed.
So what exactly was there?
Well a majority of the well know import/compact sport car tuning companies
and manufactures were there; Spoon, Mungen, Top Secret, Blitz, HKS,
TEIN, Works, Honda, Nissan, NISMO, Brembo, Endless, Bride, GREDDY, DUBS,
Subaru, Mitsubishi, Toyota, TRD, Alpine, Dunlop, Goodyear, Weld, DEFI,
RALIART, numerous race teams, and 294 more exhibitors besides what I
just listed. Amazing.
will highlight a couple of the more interesting things that were showcased
Top Secret debuted their Twin Turbo dual throttle body V12 Supra, which
took Best in Show. TEIN was showcasing their EDFC (electronic
damping force controller) which enables you to adjust the damping of
your (TEIN) shocks from the drivers seat. They also had a hybrid
version where you not only adjust damping, but ride height also. There
were more carbon clutches there than I knew what to do with. Everything
from triple plate, double plate, single plate, push type, pull type
for just about any car you could think of including a F1 clutch pack
that was 97mm in diameter (thats 9.7 cm, or 3.1) and had
a weight of 1000g (2.2 lbs). HKS had a new supercharger kit out for
the 350Z, a 2.8L stroker kit for all you people thinking of converting
your Skylines RB 26 from 2.6L to 2.8L.
short, coming from a guy that has been going to car shows
and events since he was about 10, this is the best one I have been to
yet, far exceeding my expectations. It is definitely worth the trip
if you can make it there for 2008. In fact I think one of the hardest
things about going to TAS was sorting through the thousands of pics
and knowing we cant share them all!
sure to check out more photos from the event in the SDM Gallery section.