A Look Back At Tokyo Salon 2006…


I didn’t get a chance to go to my first Tokyo Auto Salon event until 2013, but I’ve always wondered what the show was like years before that. With the internet came photos from the event over the years but honestly, back then, digital content was still a bit limited, especially in sizing. You couldn’t have big photos because internet speeds just weren’t what they are today. Now we get to see things loaded up in near maximum resolution and have access to seeing all the little details we want. Hopefully you guys got to see my D1 Grand Prix USA throwback not too long ago, if not, CLICK HERE, but having access to some of JDM Wong’s archives has given me the opportunity to show you guys some stuff that you may not have seen before. And if you have seen it, imagine getting to see larger versions of it, re-edited for today’s standards and presented in proper resolution for this time period. There is so much to go through still, but today, we hop in the time machine back to 2006, in Tokyo, Japan, for the annual Tokyo Auto Salon event. Surprisingly, the show doesn’t look too different than the ones I’ve attended in the last five years, but it’s cool to see some of these cars that are probably long gone. And the ones that are still around in 2018 have evolved into something completely different since their 2006 incarnations. Tuning companies like RE Amemiya, Top Secret, and JUN Auto are still alive and well today, thankfully, as well as popular aero parts companies like Varis and T&E Vertex, just to name a few. Below are some photos taken by Jonathan Wong of some legendary tuning cars that you’ll definitely recognize, along with some builds you may not have seen before, or have since forgotten about, being that it has been over a decade since these photos were taken. There was only one DVD-R/CD of images from this event, and I picked-out the best photos, reprocessed them, color-corrected them, and resized them for the site. About half of the photos were blurry model photos because Wong was so excited to be around Japanese women back then, but I’ve decided to leave those out since that doesn’t particularly cater to my demographic, lol…

Sit back and enjoy this wonderful throwback, courtesy of JDM Wong and The Chronicles’ Archive series…

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Famed Mazda tuning company RE Amemiya has long been a staple in the Japanese automotive community, as well as a long-tenured exhibitor at Tokyo Auto Salon. Back in 2006, they had a much simpler display compared to the extravagance of today’s set-up. Right up front was one of their many RX-7 builds along with a RE-tuned RX-8, which was a popular tuning platform of that time, as it was only three-years into production…

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This RE FD3S wears the aero that most people recognize in this generation as the signature look of “RE Amemiya” as a brand. Such an amazing looking car back then, now, and probably forever…

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Another famed tuning company, JUN Auto, displaying two of their signature builds during that period, the JUN Hyper Lemon DC5 Integra Type R and Evolution IX. I really miss this graphical livery compared to it’s more digital-look these days…

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Top Secret is another one of those companies that we’ve always expected and see great things from. They remain one of the more popular and recognized tuning companies still in 2018 but they’ve always had great displays, no matter what year they exhibited. For 2006, they presented the world with its Top Secret V35 GT-R, which was a Skyline 350GT coupe powered by a twin-turbocharged VQ30DE engine swap…

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Right next to it was another really cool Top Secret democar, the Top Secret V32 Skyline GT-R, which was a BNR32 equipped with a naturally-aspirated VQ35DE engine and individual throttle bodies…

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The Yokohama Advan display area always looks the same annually, with just the display cars shifting year to year. In ’06, we saw a Mazda RX-8 sitting on new Advan Racing AVS Model T5 wheels, which were a newer variation of their famed “Model 5” wheel…

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One of the fastest time attack vehicles back in the mid-2000s was the HKS CT230R, once known as the full dry-carbon bodied HKS TRB-02. TRB meaning “Tsukuba Record Breaker”. About a year after this, the CT230R indeed broke the Tsukuba record with a blistering 53.589 lap time…

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In 2018, the CT230R still exists today but resides within the confines of the HKS facility in Shizuoka, Japan. It looks complete different now though, as seen when I visited HKS a few years ago. It is now known as the “CT230R NGV”, with “NGV” meaning Natural Gas Vehicle with its fuel system converted over to CNG…

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2006 marked the debut of a new livery for the HKS D1 Altezza drift car, previously wearing a traditional black/yellow/confetti livery. The turbocharged BEAMS 3S-GE powered Altezza wearing complete HKS aero, over fenders, and Advan Racing wheels, was a very popular car used in the D1 Grand Prix series piloted by famed driver Nobuteru Taniguchi…

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Tracy Sports widebody Honda S2000 running a Tracy-built naturally-aspirated 2.3L F20C engine…

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I can’t remember the last time I saw a complete Varis aero kit on an S2000 but in 2006, the kit debuted within their booth sitting on Rays G-Games wheels. Surprising to see Spoon Sports involved with the build as well…

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Mitsubishi Evo 8/9 running the ever-popular Varis aero kit and Volk Racing CE28 wheels…

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The Varis-adorned CP9A Cyber Evo V otherwise known secretively as “Asso”, was a true marvel in its day wearing a complete carbon body powered by a Tomei stroked 2.2L 4G63 engine making over 600 horsepower. The car was so shrouded in secrecy that it was never known who actually owned the vehicle, though it was constantly in the public eye…

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Full carbon widebody Lamborghini Murcielago, long before the days when you’d see multiple widebody Lambos at Tokyo Auto Salon…

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The C-West booth was huge back then, hosting the D1 Grand Prix DRFT FD3S drift car, a Z33 Fairlady time attack car…

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…and a full carbon fiber body Honda S2000 race vehicle. If I remember correctly, this S2000 actually found its way over to North America a few years after this and was eventually taken over by Designcraft and Brian Crower where it competed at many time attack events Stateside…

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Carbon fiber front bumper, headlight covers, fenders, hood…just a really raw, lightweight S2000 build ready for competition…

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Under the lightweight carbon hood was a built 2.2L dry-sumped fully-balanced engine running a carbon air induction box made by C-West with Tracy Sports throttle bodies, pistons, and camshafts…

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The gutted interior of the C-West S2000 running a custom fuel set-up and fuel cell mounted to the passenger-side floor. The dashboard is full carbon with a digital display and in this shot you can see the MoTec electronics also on the passenger side floor…

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Garage Trial/Trial Tuning Spirit NSX-R wearing full Taitex aero and Volk Racing wheels…

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Those who attended TAS that year got to get a close look at the NSX-R’s individual throttle body set-up that looks to be a TODA Racing kit with mesh filters…

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Also worth noting is the then-popular Top Fuel “Power Neo” fuel magnet, which was advertised to break down fuel molecules into ultra fine particles. I think it was eventually proven to not really work but hey, it looks fucking cool, and that’s half the battle, haha…

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The Top Fuel S2000RR looked waaaayyyy different back in 2006, far from the insane time attack vehicle it is today…

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This image right here makes me wish I could create a time machine to travel back to 2006 to see this turbocharged Top Fuel EG6 in person. What an amazing sight this must have been…

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Long before Voltex got a hold of it, the Top Fuel S2000 was just a slightly widened AP1 running a Top Fuel turbocharged F20C engine and Advan Racing RGII wheels…

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Chargespeed was huge back in ’06, with its crazy widebody builds adorned in bright metallic orange. One of the debuting kits was their S2000 widebody set-up, as seen on this AP1 on Racing Hart C4 wheels…

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Chargespeed Subaru WRX STI, this one not widebody but with a huge hood scoop and Racing Hart CXR wheels…

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The Chargespeed widebody JZA80 Supra, which was probably the only Supra to ever rock this kit, because it was pretty awful, let’s be honest…

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Shuichi Yoshioka’s Nissan S15 Silvia D1GP competition vehicle wearing full JULIUS aero and Work Emotion wheels. Spectacular looking vehicle, back when drift cars looked good…

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Ken Nomura’s aero company, URAS, displaying two S-chassis builds, one a PS13 Silvia and the other an RPS13 180SX…

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One of the most recognized Japanese drift cars of all-time, the T&E Vertex 2JZ-GTE powered Toyota Soarer, piloted by Takahiro Ueno, founder of Vertex…

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Also on display was NOB’s personal Vertex Lange Kouki S14 Silvia sitting on Volk Racing GT-S…

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Kunny’z JZX100 Toyota Chaser D1GP drift car on display at the Goodyear Tire booth…

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Turbocharged Z33 Fairlady from Obayashi Factory wearing Top Secret G-Force aero…

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Prochrome chrome-painted Nissan S15 Silvia Varietta looking futuristic as fuck with its own private security and all…

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Beautifully-styled GP Sports S15 Silvia D1 Street Legal competition vehicle…

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Before the Evolution X became a production vehicle, there was this concept car that had a much more stoutly, aggressive front face….

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Cockpit Tatebayashi “Tsukuba Special 180SX’ running a Tomei-built SR20DET engine with Blitz K5-660R turbocharger…

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While on the topic of great looking vehicles we don’t see much of anymore, here is the Works9 XX RPS13 180SX, completely hammered on SSR Professor SP1 wheels wearing Works9 F-Magic aero. I don’t have photos of it but the interior also features an S15 dashboard retrofit…

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Under the hood is a SR20DET set-up with some custom metal work by WELD Technique Factory…

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G-Force Racing Factory EF9 Civic SiR running custom rear over-fenders and a Toyota MR-S front? Really weird car. I wish I had more info on it but it doesn’t appear as if G-Force is around anymore…

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Option Magazine’s custom R33 Skyline Wagon…Still not as weird as the EF from G-Force…

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Many may remember the original Option StreamZ, which was built to compete in the Silver State Classic top-speed race and later crashed during competition, but how many of you guys remember the StreamZ Version II? This was the second attempt at building the top-speed competition vehicle, built on a completely different Z33 chassis (being that the original was totaled), equipped with Top Secret aero and a JUN Auto-built 3.8L VQ engine upgraded with a T88-38GK turbocharger. Though the car was completed, it never actually made it to competition as it also was involved in a mishap during testing. They decided not to risk any further damage or injury and didn’t compete again until later in 2006 after the Tokyo Auto Salon event. It suffered a broken crank pulley during competition and they never did break the record they were after. The driver, Daijiro Inada, also the founder of Option magazine, retired that same year…

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The original Powerhouse Amuse GT1 widebody S2000 with its signature look on Volk Racing CE28N in silver…

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Osaka-style was ever-present at TAS in 2006 with this Elixir-equipped Toyota Altezza on SSR Professor wheels, painted in Maziora iridescent paint by Show-Up…

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I would have been so stoked to see this Altezza in person. Elixir aero is one of the best looking kits for this chassis and this car just screams style…

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Arios full-carbon bodied Eunos Roadster on Rays Gram Lights wheels…

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JIC Magic was still going strong during that time period as evidenced by the appearance of its Mazda RX-8 democar…

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Yashio Factory signature pink S15 Silvia complete with artful visual livery and all…

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Sexystyle Version II RPS13 180SX from Sexy Knights drift club…

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S14 Silvia with S15 face and Works9 F-Magic front…

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Wrapping up this look back in time with the Motor House East 180SX wearing what looks to be GP Sports aero and Volk TE37…

Hope you guys enjoyed the leap back, thanks for looking!…

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4 comments

  1. Interesting how JUN handled the front end on that DC5. Instead of swapping on the facelift model’s lights and bumper, which of course were available at that time, they brought the pre-facelift’s bumper up over the little dips in the headlights. Was the car built before Honda changed the design?

  2. The EG is such a timeless design. Looked great when it came out in late 1991, looked great in 2006 and still looks great today.

  3. These throwback pictures are great. Just wanted to mention the D1 GP owner and driver of the JZZ30 Soarer is Ueno Takahiro. Ueno started Car Make T&E and Vertex body kits. Used to watch him on VHS tapes from J-Wave in Little Tokyo Los Angeles.

  4. Dude, thank you for this. These are the cars that I idolize to this day. Keep digging through the archives.

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