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Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Show 2017

The Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Show once again rolled into Pacifico Yokohama convention for its annual event. Bringing together 300 of the best hot rods not only from around Japan, but around the world—it is a show that attracts over 16,000 visitors with about 1,000 coming from overseas.

The show is not all about hot rods, however, it boasts 650 bikes of various styles along with a large market place, swap meet and artist booths. The key attraction remains to be the hot rods—and this year's themes were "Taste of 32 Deuce" and "Gracious Pickups—El Caminos". Naturally, the majority of hot rods on display were one of the two featured styles, but there were still plenty of alternate projects to see as well.

Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Show 2017

Here is a rundown of our top five from this year's Yokohama Hot Rod Show...

1. 1960 Buick LeSabre

The '60 LeSabre marked the last year that the model would feature noticeable tail fins, as the design trend started to fade from the industry. This was also the only year that the LeSabre sported this particular face—as unique as it is, the owner chose to make some customizations. The front of the hood now continues the line created from the front fenders, giving the front end a much more aerodynamic appearance. Along with the excellent paint work and unique color choice, this was definitely a stand-out.

Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Show 2017

2. 1950 Chevrolet

When speaking with non-Japanese attendants at the show, almost everyone commented on how surprised they were at the number of American classic cars at the show. This '50 Chevrolet is a great example of the surprises you can find in the car scene in Japan. From low-riders to hot rods, they do everything—and to such a high quality that everyone that attends the show leaves with a sense of admiration.

Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Show 2017

3. 1971 Toyota Crown Pickup

Imagine yourself on the freeway passing cars like they are standing still—when you notice a pretty nice looking pickup. You think to yourself, "That's clean. But it's just a Toyota Crown Pickup." That is, until you get walked on by it and are left with your jaw dropped to your steering wheel. A bit over dramatic, but I think it's something we can all dream about when we learn that this pickup has a 1JZ under the hood.

Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Show 2017

4. 1977 VW Scirocco MK1

Definitely something unexpected to find at the show, not only because it's German but also because it's not a common car to customize in Japan, especially in the way that the owner chose to do so. A lot of U.S. custom styling techniques were applied to this Scirocco, it would fit right in at a stateside Wekfest event. (We recently spotted another Scirocco at Radwood, see the coverage.)

Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Show 2017

5. 1959 Chevrolet El Camino

Making the long trip across the ocean from California, Mooneyes invited Mr. Clark to display "Kermit" at the show—since he has never been to Japan, he jumped at the opportunity. When asked what he thought of the show, it was nothing but praise. Compared to the U.S., he noted the only bigger show would be SEMA. He continued to say that the quality of the builds was on par with what could be found in the U.S. He was struck with surprise at how many American hot rods were on display.

Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Show 2017

Honorable Mention

Bikes are not often featured here on Driving Line, but this bike caught our attention. The frame was custom built and holds a VW Type engine with a Moto Guzzi transmission. Prop driven, this thing looks like a beast and was definitely unique. Hats off to Mr. Izawa for walking us through his build.

Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Show 2017

Check out the gallery above to see more of how Japan does hot rods.

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