Connect with us

TagMyRide

Speedhunting Tokyo: Meguro-Dori Part 1

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_001-1200x800.jpg

Content

Speedhunting Tokyo: Meguro-Dori Part 1


A Long Time Coming

I often find it hard to sum up just how much car culture Tokyo has hidden away in its immense, labyrinth-like layout . It’s there, but you often need to go and find it, hunt around, take a turn down an unsuspecting road, because you never really know what you will find.

One of my fondest memories of Speedhunting in Japan’s capital city is the twin post I did on Kanpachi-dori back in 2012. In that post I crossed an intersection with Meguro-dori, another main street that runs across the city.

Five years on, I thought it was about time I took a bike ride back up there to see what automotive awesomeness I could find to share with you.

Meguro-dori (dori meaning street in case you hadn’t figured it out yet) starts and ends where it T-junctions with Tamazutsumi-dori. It’s right alongside the Tama River which draws a physical boundary between Tokyo City and Kanagawa Prefecture, where Kawasaki and Yokohama are located.

At the end of last week, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom and completely changing the appearance of this elevated street that runs parallel with the riverbank.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_002

And right where Meguro-dori begins (written in green kanji, the vertical blue kanji reads Tamazutsumi-dori) is precisely where I began my afternoon Speedhunting adventure.

Meguro1

The first stretch that I will cover in this first post is just under 2km long, as shown above.

Meguro2

And here’s where Meguro-dori is located in the greater Tokyo area.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_003

Right at the intersection is Johnan Jeep Petit, a shop that’s local to me and one I drive by pretty much every day.

Johnan is the word used to describe the southern area of Tokyo, or in old language, the district south of the Imperial Palace.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_005

This place specializes primarily in American trucks and SUVs from the ’70s and ’80s, but every once in a while you’ll find a muscle car tucked away, like this Mustang.

To the side of the ‘Stang was a ’77 Jimmy Sierra which stood out for its green color, while right behind it was a two-tone ’95 F15.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_009

However, it was the purple Plymouth Barracuda 440 that grabbed my attention.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_010

It’s crazy how such a large car can seem so small when it’s parked up next to an American pickup truck. This rare Plum Crazy beauty doesn’t even appear to be on Johnan’s website stock list, so they might be trying to sell it by word of mouth.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_011

It’s pretty cool seeing so much classic American metal packed inside, when from outside the shop looks pretty small.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_012

But it was time to move on, so I shimmied in between a Suburban and a Silverado and jumped back on my bike.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_013

I had a little hill to tackle as Meguro-dori rises up towards the intersection with Kanpachi-dori, but before I got there I had to make another quick stop.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_014

This time it wasn’t a shop, but overflow storage/parking lot for a shop. In fact, if you check out that first post I did on Kanpachi-dori, you may remember that I stopped by a classic Porsche specialist called Prestige.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_015

They can only fit about five or six cars in and around their shop, so the rest of the stock is kept here, in a little lot right by the road.

I often see Prestige’s transporter loading and unloading cars as they swap them around and add to their stock list. On the day I stopped by it was all Porsche 911 Carrera 2s and 4s here.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_019

A little more pedalling and I made it to the junction.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_020

After passing the big intersection I actually had to take the road that splits to the left, because if you stay on Meguro-dori you’ll end up on an overpass above a rail line. Bicycles aren’t allowed, so I had to do detour slightly before getting back on the road beyond the overpass.

Land Cruiser Heaven

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_021

After some more uphill pedalling I arrived at my next port of call, FLEX. This is a large chain dealership that specializes in everything from off-roaders to classic Japanese cars, and there are two FLEX sites in the same general area.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_025

The place is massive. Land Cruisers of every generation make up a big part of the inventory, but you’ll also find other cool stuff including left-hand drive Tundra pickups from the US.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_029

1980s Land Cruisers and Land Cruiser Prados have become all the rage in Tokyo and around Japan in recent times, and FLEX has definitely capitalized on the market. They seem to be buying up a ton of stock, and on top of selling you a stock truck, they will even do a restoration on them, taking care of all mechanicals, replacing trim with newer parts, and even stretching to full paint jobs and suspension overhauls.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_028

There was a variety of colorful Prados on hand, all ready to be purchased.

I went around one side of the lot and saw that they even had a small number of Jeep Wranglers for sale, along with a few repainted and restored Toyota Hiace vans.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_026

From the older stuff like this J70…

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_027

To the more modern offerings like this J100 Cygnus, there were no shortage of rigs at FLEX.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_030

It looked like a lot of the mechanical work is done in a separate workshop further up the side street, and outside I spotted this lifted pairing.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_023

It’s not the sort of thing even I expect to find in a residential Tokyo side street!

Supercar Overload

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_038

I jumped back on my bike briefly, as a few minutes up the road it was time for my daily fix of exotica courtesy of Aria Garage.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_033

Despite being a place that I regularly drive by, it’s actually located on a faster stretch of Meguro-dori, which means I usually pass by at speed and have never really had the chance to take a proper look. But this place was more epic than I could ever imagine, starting off with the Ferrari 512BB sitting in the back, somewhat hidden by the more modern assortment of supercars.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_034

It’s hard not to give a nod of approval to the 512TR. Sure, it’s not the original Testarossa, but it will do!

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_035

458 Speciale screamer, or new boosted 488 GTB? Now there’s a dilemma I’d like to be faced with! I think I would probably go for the GTB as I’d want to see how much you could turn up the boost before breaking something. Plus, I’d be curious to find out what happens if you remove the boost limit in the first few gears.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_036

I walked around the side of the building and there it was…

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_031

Sitting in the back, a familiar low and angular shape, the unmistakable lines of a Lamborghini Countach. After so many years, it’s still a thing of absolute beauty.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_032

It would, however, be the F12 TDF that I would take home with me. Too much power, rear-wheel drive, and it looks like a Japanese tuner was let loose on a top-of-the-line Ferrari. What’s not to like?!

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_037

The most expensive car in the shop, selling for 67 million JPY, ($615,000 US) was this barely run-in Aventador Roadster SV. I hope someone buys this quick and abuses it like it’s meant to be abused!

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_039

Right across the road is Friend Motors, your, err… friendly neighbourhood car dealership.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_040

This shop usually has more conventional cars, but all imports obviously. Because they’re what’s cool to be seen driving around in, in the center of Tokyo.

meguro_dori_dino_dalle_carbonare_041

Aside from the Mercedes-AMG G63 in the back of the shop it was the cool little black Alfa Romeo 4C that was the pick of the bunch for me.

I’ll end the first part of this Meguro-dori exploration right here, but stay tuned for more!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

More Tokyo Speedhunting stories



Source link

More in Content

To Top