2016 saw a new event enter the scene with the introduction of Sakura Picnic, an event open to Japanese vehicles of all ages and marques. Organised by the same team that brought you the very successful Classic Japan. When I was first informed about the plans for this event it was described as a friendly get together that all Japanese based clubs could attend, but when we arrived it had become so much more than that, with estimates of entry numbers nearing the 1000 mark.
You know it’s going to be a special day when you spy a Mazda Autozam AZ-1 with a wing cocked. A very unique and rare car in this country.
A machine that I would love to know more about. I might need to track down the owner for a more detailed look at this collectible gem.
The day was not short on variety though, with all kinds of very tasty machines being pulled out for the event.
A well weathered Hakosuka skyline that was also at Classic Japan, and shows that even though it hasn’t been restored to concourse condition, it can still pull a crowd. Many prefer the honest worn look.
Coming across this Kenmeri KPGC110 GTR clone was an enjoyable sight, as it is the closest thing to a genuine GTR you will see in Australia (to the best of my knowledge there are no KPGC110’s in Aus).
T1KTAK always draws attention, the diminutive KE17 Corolla with its Weds Racing Forge (apparently: Japan’s first three piece forged wheel) 13 inch wheels, sounds great and looks like a heap of fun on the road, but is also a really well presented example of the rare coupe.
Rolling in with mates can be the best part of attending any car gathering as it often allows you to park together and enjoy the shenanigans that come with the journey. I was fortunate enough to get at least four of us together prior to entry to roll in as a group.
Sights like this are a really positive sign, as all of the cars in this photo are owned by members of the same family. This family is filled with car obsessed individuals much like myself, which could explain why we all get along so well.
Luxury cruisers are becoming popular within the Melbourne car scene, as the import age restrictions are finally allowing some newer machines into Australia, and at very reasonable prices in some cases. Lexus and Toyota seem to be the most popular marques for this.
The undulations on the grass surface are making this NA MX5 appear much lower in the rear than normal, but still a very low and good looking convertible with a set of colour matched Enkei 92’s (a wheel that Enkei recently put back into production after having discontinued them).
The humble Honda Civic, is a popular car for modifiers both young and old, as they go and handle quite well straight out of the box. The aftermarket support for them is incredible as well, almost anything you want to do to a Civic, there is a company (or multiple) that make the part you need, especially if your base is an EG or EK (as above).
But Sakura Picnic is not limited purely to cars, as these very tasteful bikes show. The blue CB500 has graced these pages before.
As always thanks for viewing and stay tuned for another post from Sakura Picnic, coming soon.
Pictures: Nick Drew
Words: Nick Drew