I’m not afraid of admitting I knew fairly little of JDM before I went to the beach last night for a car meeting. Yeah that’s right, I went to the beach to learn about JDM. Two days ago I was strolling through my Facebook feed and saw that an Instagrammer called SE038 was attending this meeting near his house. I shot him a text and agreed to meet up at the location, little did I know what would be witnessed that evening.
Let me explain a few things about JDM first. As you might have read in the link, it’s short for Japanese domestic market. No, not just cars from Japan, it goes way deeper than that. The owner is socially obliged to have the car match the model as it would be in Japan. The parts all have to be legitimate parts and these have to be imported when you’re from outside of Japan, which is far more expensive than you’d think. When your car is legitimately RHD it’s considered more ‘JDM’ than a LHD European or American spec as right hand drive is natively Japanese. This level of precision and dedication made me think twice about this often ridiculed car scene. Without a doubt JDM is the most internationally wide spread scene, but that isn’t all because of the fanbase. No, Japan is a mass exporter of used vehicles. As cars age, you pay more and more for them in Japan and that leads to them being unwanted. It’s safe to conclude that this regulation has been a base for the succes of JDM as a lot of people bought these used cars.
The event was held in the province of Zeeland, in the Netherlands, and over 550 people registered as ‘attending’ on Facebook. It started at 19.00 and I arrived around 15 minutes beforehand to find some of the cars and people already gathering. There were a total of two Nissan R35s that evening and countless R34s and R32s, which at first had everybody drooling. That was until the rest showed up, a large group of Subaru STI’s drove in and little did I know that this was just start. ‘PWOOF, PWOOF, PWOOF’ a huge wall of sound was rolling in, a group of Supras just joined the meeting. By this point the madness was starting to dominate the meeting. Burnouts ensued, smoke filling the beach, exhaust screaming and being surrounded by fellow petrolheads, I have to admit that it was hard not to get carried away in the insanity. The event wasn’t really much more than a 100 JDM cars, petrolheads and socializing, but it were very enjoyable hours.
As the sun started to set and I had to pump up the ISO on my camera beyond my comfort-zone, I decided to round up and head home. But not after I walked past the highlights again. A Mitsubishi Lancer GSR Evolution II, a 240 HP Toyota Starlet, a immensely cool yellow Honda S2000 and my favorite the Nissan R35. As I started my car, the event was nowhere near its end, this truly was a celebration of car culture. Till next year you crazy JDMrs.