Having finally found the vintage Nissan Skyline of my dreams, there was no way I could miss attending the Skyline Festival (スカイラインフェスティバル) at Sodegaura Forest Raceway earlier this month. After perusing the used market and seeing sad examples of all ages, it would be refreshing to see clean cars that are their owner’s pride and joy. Best of all, some of they would be driven in anger as they were meant to be on the track.
At first I was a bit worried that I would be attending the event on my own with my very limited Japanese. However, I kept running into other owners I had conversed with on forums or Facebook but never met in person purely by coincidence.
After cruising through the Aqua Line and entering a small forest, I was greeted by a parking lot filled with vehicles worthy of putting on a show on their own. The festival itself was a very casual gathering of owners and their Skylines in the paddock located at the center of the facility. I was expecting more vendors so I could hunt for rare parts, but I can’t complain that the focus was mainly on the cars themselves.
Cruising through the Tokyo Aqua Line tunnel to cross the bay.
Hunted down by Aki’s R33.
Of course I had to take a picture of my ride parked amongst its brethren. The white R32 next to me was immaculate.
I split ways with the R33 just before the track but ended up pulling in at similar times.
Nice Hakosuka sedan and pre-Iron Mask R30 in a unique duo-tone scheme.
I wish these tail light assemblies and bumper came on the 1970 coupes like mine.
The 16 inch Watanabes looked great on this wingless Hako.
Rows upon rows of legendary tail lights.
This TE27 Levin really stood out amongst the crowd. Not only for its color and Toyota nameplate but also for the condition.
Another box 2000GT next to an R33 in one of my favorite colors, midnight purple.
This duo of C210 coupes still looked tough even parked next to the much younger R34 V-spec.
A lineup to rival most car shows…
An R33 on nice BBS LMs but sticker/badge tuned to death.
I saw a bunch of these HKS suspension adjusters poking through the parcel shelves at the festival. Must be a popular choice.
Nice and functional fit with Nismo LMGT4s.
I’m a sucker for red on these old coupes.
The gold wheels were slightly too bright for my taste though.
A beutiful G-nose Fairlady Zed is always welcome.
As the track’s name suggests, we had to walk through a small forest to get to the paddock where the show was being held…
Greeted by a sea of Godzillas and Skyline Otaku.
80s and 90s contingent.
This tail light conversion was amusing and very well done.
One of the first Lamborghini door conversions I’ve seen on an R35…
He was also running some serious carbon brakes…
Just behind it was this highly modified lime green example.
A rare V-spec II Nur with extended carbon wing uprights.
Super clean red over black iron mask Skyline next to a…Knight Rider?
I observed that most of the other Hako owners were approximately two decades older than me.
A pristine 3.1 liter L series with all the expensive bits.
Supported by a slightly haphazard fuel setup.
Its rare to see such perfect engine bays in 40+ year old cars here but there were quite a few at the festival.
Quite few Autech sedans made it out. Great to see a few in person.
A blast from the past. In-your-face boxy 80s styling.
There were plenty of vendors on display selling memorabilia.
I have no idea why this guy specifically called us back to show us a guitar he had boxed under the table.
Rare books, models and emblems galore. It is pretty hard to resist collecting knicknacks in this country.
How about a $400 (USD) Tomica toy car? Too rich for my blood.
This hard to find GT-R bucket seat lured me in. It wasn’t for sale but the owner told me that reproductions are in the works (ETA 6 months).
Unfortunately there weren’t too many cars with shark nose conversions like this green C110.
While I wouldn’t do it to a car of my own, I quite enjoy the look on the more angular late 70s Japanese tin.
The ride height of this S54 Prince Skyline really emphasized how small these sedans are.
Without any size references , they always appear to be huge in photos.
The vintage chrome details on the lights and subtle wings are pretty cool.
On the other hand, blinged up Nissan badges were not so cool. This guy had rhinestones everywhere.
Haven’t seen this bumper in a long time.
On the other side of the paddock I heard the rumble of skylines lining up for the parade laps.
Led by a WRX pace car
It was nice to see families enjoying the track together at a relaxed pace.
When walking back to see the cars that would be participating in the track events I ran into a few of these JGTC inspired cars.
The fender modifications were pretty wild.
Unfortunately these cars were only there to perform donuts in the starting grid and not make it out on the track.
The blue looked awesome on this Kenmeri.
Which do you prefer? A nice and clean front end with all the chrome trim and tucked in oil cooler…
or the more brutal bare essential look. I can’t really decide one way or the other. That side exit exhaust is wonderful though.
Undoubtedly, the stripped down and slammed cars had a great presence when rolling around.
I’m not sure why the owner kept the 8-track deck in this track focused beast.
An unused harness bar, no shoulder belt guides and unpadded roll bar. The complacency in this country when it comes to matters of safety will never cease to amaze me.
It was impossible for me not to look back at this row of tastefully modified kyusha.
This R34 was laying down over 800 hp
Thanks to a massive HKS turbine and tuned RB26.
This KGC10 definitely lived up to its GT-“Kai” badges with ZX hood scoop and interesting fender vents.
It was great to see some wild track cars with real attention to their paint work.
The aforementioned R33 was sporting a bronze green metallic coat, just thin enough to expose the carbon lying underneath. It was also one of the faster cars at the event.
So much track heritage in one place.
The track was pretty small. But in some ways that was beneficial.
You could view a large portion of the turns and straights from one vantage point.
And spectators could get right next to the action.
Drive it like you stole it.
Four generations duking it out.
These kids were excited to chase this kenmeri back through the pits.
The paddock was always active as cars in different run groups swapped out.
I think the owner of this red Hakosuka was the only other one younger than the car itself.
Hitting the track in a dress shirt and slacks. I like his style.
2nd run group cueing
The tuned R34 was just itching for the pace car to get out of the way.
This V35 sedan was surprisingly quick.
Old and new.
I told you I’m a sucker for red on these cars.
But I can’t get enough of bayside blue either.