Go Japan! 2020

Go Japan! is a new annual celebration of Japanese automotive culture held at Brands Hatch in Kent.

The event would play host to a round of the UK Time Attack Championship, the Tegiwa Challenge sprint races, drifting demonstrations, a huge show and shine area, a trading village and much much more.

There were a lot to see and a lot of interesting vehicles to see in the show and shine area.

The R35 GTR had a huge presence at the show. Now in it’s 12th year of production, Nissan’s supercar has gained huge aftermarket support. The cars really hold their value though, and earlier models still fetch £30,000. I’ll have to make a lot more ad revenue before I can get one haha!

There were a few earlier iterations of the GTR present too, such as Matthew Fellow’s R32.

There were a few cars on display from the ‘golden trinity’ of the Skyline (R32, R33, R34).

There were a few V35 Skylines too. Fun fact these never came with a GTR variant and production actually ended before the R35 GTR’s began. I would be interesting to put an R35’s running gear into one as a sort of a ‘what if’ car.

The V35 was a really successful car though, especially in the U.S where it was sold as the Infiniti G35.

The ‘S’ Chassis is another Nissan that’s popular with enthusiasts. The S13,14 and 15 have a massive following and are still really popular in top tier professional drifting, despite the youngest of them now being 18 years old. They make for great road cars too. With a big aftermarket following a lot of people modify them for road use and as show cars.

The earlier ones don’t have such a big following, but I really like the S12. I had the opportunity to buy one a few years ago and I wish I had.

There were a few more unusual Nissans too. The orange Z30 was my favourite car of the whole show powered by a Skyline’s RB25, wore it’s modifications really tastefully and I love the period correct colour!

Nissan’s Sunny is a nice usable classic car. They are becoming collectible too!

A Datsun 510 SSS. Very rare car! There were a few pre-1980s original classic cars on show.

The Isuzu 117 coupe. This is believed to be the only one in the United Kingdom. It’s just been restored and is for sale for £18,500.

Honda S600. Really nicely presented car.

There were a lot of nice Hondas actually. This stunning CRX really caught my eye.

Along with this super charged S2000.

Speaking of small Japanese sports cars, there were of course lots of MX5s. Here are a couple that caught my eye:

A really nice FC3S Turbo II.

The lesser seen FB. I an only think of one other I’ve seen of these in all of my time going to car shows.

There were a lot of really rare Toyotas at the show. I never knew they made an estate version of the Crown Athlete but there were two at the show. What a fantastic car if you’re looking for an interesting practical daily. I’d love one!

There were a few Chasers.

The rear wheel driven KP60 Starlet I would imagine is a blast to drive and own.

This is a car that really caught my interest: an SW20 MR2 Spider. I’ve not seen another.

I really like this generation Soarer.

There weren’t as many Supras present as I was expecting. There were no A90s at all which really surprised me.

It was nice to see Rai Khan’s new A80. I know Rai from W202 ownership. I’m sure a lot of good things are to come for this car!

A really clean Mk4/A80.

The JDM Legends display had their own little section.

The star of the show was the freshly restored HKS RS2 once driven by Nobuteru Taniguchi in D1GP.

That was joined by Julian Smith’s Blitz ER34 that also competed in D1GP with Ken Nomura at the wheel.

Blitz/ Race Logic Supra held the track record at the Nordschleife.

Promodet/RWB Porsche owned by Driftwork’s Phil Morrison.

RWD converted Nissan Pao.

The Winfield R32 GTR Bathurst winner. The Skyline has an interesting history in Australian Group A racing and I really recommend you look it up.

The legends had a few parade laps around the circuit.

The legends were closely followed by the NSX Owners Club who also did a few parade laps.

The two drift cars went out with a host of other drifters in the drift demos. The pits were closed off because of Covid, but thankfully the drift cars were pitted up in the show and shine area so I could go and be nosy.

Steve Baggsy Biagioni’s monster LS powered R35. Look at the size of that turbo!!

Paul Beechey’s S15. It was nice to see Paul out and about. Sorry I didn’t come up to say hello. I find it awkward when people are talking to others to wander up and be like “hiiii”.

Richie Gilbey was also due to be driving. Sadly he his clutch at BDC the previous day. It’s really nice to see him doing well though and it was great to finally see the car in person! He’s certainly come a long way from when I forst met him at Arena Essex.

All in all it was an absolutely amazing show! A really wide variety of cars and a nice atmosphere. Go Japan put on a really good event despite everything that’s going on, and I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

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By Richard Francis

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