This year's Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show smashed records with a whopping 25,000 fellow custom fanatics descending upon the spectacle. And let me tell you, I had my reservations about attending – worried I'd be signing a lifelong commitment to return annually until the end of time.
For the uninitiated, this extravaganza of coolness kick-started in 1992, and boy, has it evolved into a global sensation since then.
It’s held in the beautiful city of Yokohama, Japan, inside the Yokohama Pacifico Exhibition Hall. The Pacifico Exhibition Hall is fantastic, with its expansive spaces and convenient layout, it’s enough space to house the vast array of vehicles and the swarms of enthusiasts.
Before diving into the show, I had my hit list of custom builds and builders. But you know what stole the spotlight for me? The unsung heroes, the lesser-known builders flaunting creativity and quality that blew my mind.
And for the established builders, Shinya's 1979 Harley-Davidson FX "Shaker" was a masterpiece, oozing handmade charm and attention to detail. Material mix, texture play – this was a feast for the eyes! And let's not forget the heavyweight manufacturers like Harley, Royal Enfield, Indian, and BMW throwing their hats into the custom ring, courtesy of some of the who’s who in the custom world.
Cherry’s Company's custom Super Meteor 650 Royal Enfield, complete with a custom sidecar, was brilliant. An-Bu had their unique spin on the Enfield, a beautiful piece of handcrafted awesomeness. I met Shiro san and got up close and personal with his flawless 690 KTM Duke – He has quite a popular youtube channel and I am constantly amazed by the production quality and being able to juggle both the filming and the building.
Seeing Jurassic Customs builds in the flesh, along with Wedge’s super clean custom BWM was also a highlight.
There was some international flair, the USA made a splash, adding to the showcase with previous Born Free winners showcasing their builds.
And when your eyes needed a break from the visual feast, the event threw in live entertainment – music, a pinup competition, and a lucky draw, making the queues a bit more bearable. The venue was buzzing, and while the crowds got a tad overwhelming at times, the pass outs allowed for a quick recharge at the local Kombini before diving back in. An entire section dedicated to custom painting was a treat for enthusiasts, where master pinstripers worked their magic.
The Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show is an event that I’ve wanted to check out for a such a long time, and for their 31st event I managed to make it along and I’m so glad I did.
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