Having been lucky enough to visit South Africa a few times over recent years, I’ve had my eyes opened to how well the JDM scene is and the enthusiasm for the culture and cars. On a recent visit to Johannesburg, I was lucky enough to be invited to a Basement meet arranged by CarCandyIncSA – pre booked spaces only, strictly static and a great atmosphere with zero ego
While it’s not the biggest show I’ve attended, it was well operated from the set-too. Literally no blagging on the gate could fool the guard that our Hyundai H1 rental car was a legitimate wagon that deserved a space within the covered car park under a shopping mall. Even a ratted EG Civic was booted to the public car park as he hadn’t pre-booked his space. To me, this showed it could be a gem of an event, where each car was hand-picked to park up – a little reminiscent of how Players roll in Europe for its car shows.
An early arrival and the car park was till empty, apart from a few keen-beans. Each bay of the car park was named to the driver – a nice touch from the promoter. It wasn’t long till a Nissan 280 rolled in, snapping necks and getting fan-boys like myself vying for a shot of it with it’s HID’s cutting through the dimly lit lot. Car glands frothing, a rotary pulled us away and a super clean FD rolled in, the silver bodywork bouncing back the strip lighting
Datsun, Scion, Toyota, Nissan, Honda – overload of JDM styles from classic car to Wangan racer inspired metal just kept rolling in. I cruised around the car park, checking out the work that had gone on and it was great. Owners eager to chat about their builds and a chilled Ibiza beats DJ kept a vibe that was more of a scene in Tokyo Drift. I liked it a lot.
While a lot of websites cover the big events, I feel there is more at the smaller more bespoke meets. It wasn’t about the big spends here, granted the top cars had some serious bank and spanner time thrown into them, but the respect and chilled atmosphere made it easy to cruise about and take the time to appreciate the cars
The promoters had done a great job, it wasn’t complicated, it was simple honest and done well. They didn’t try and complex it, but it had enough to do and yet not enough to make it a rush and over the top
If you ever head to South Africa, then make sure you get to a car meet. The scene is alive and well
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Thanks to the South African crew – Darren SupaFly, Brannigan101 & FSUDevelopements for taking us on the tour