Classic JDM

The Annual Initial D Meet Is A JDM Fanboy's Wet Dream

Hundreds of JDM fantasies came together at this meet.

Carmeets can be a little dull. If there’s a Mustang meet, chances are you’ve seeneach car at least dozens of times, and it’s very rarethat something like a genuine Boss 351 will show up. Well that’s a bit unfair.A GT500 might show up but that’s still fairly "normal." The Initial D Annual Meet, made possible by the Initial D World, was thankfully not one of those meets. A subculturebred on the Internet, Initial D World fosters a big caliber love for thepopular anime known as, you guessed it, "Initial D." As if the whole "JDM" thing didn't tip you off.

For the third consecutive year the Initial D World hosted the meet at the Lafayette Reservoir located in Lafayette, California. There were a few hundred cars in its main parking lot, while a few hundred more cars couldn’t fit and had to find parking elsewhere. All in all there were about 1,000 attendees, this according to the event's Facebook page. Okay, so right now you're probably wondering what the hell "Initial D" is about. At least those of you unfamiliar with the series are. Well, it's primarily about drifting. Specifically it's about a warm-hearted rivalry between a tofu shop employee who drives a Toyota Sprinter Trueno (AE86 Corolla) and two Mazda RX-7 owners who run a racing team called Project D, which the tofu shop employee eventually ends up joining.

At the meet there was no drifting but there were plenty of Japanese sports cars and good attitudes. Trust me when I say that you’ve never seen so many Mk4 Supras and Acura NSXs in one place before. There was a brilliant display of nearly all generations of Japanese cars on display. Not all of them were as cool as your writer's black 1991 240sx with chipping and faded paint, color mismatched rims and crooked front license plate, but they all held their own. The piece de resistance was the display of the FD, the FC and of course the 86. While they looked like they would make real drifting very difficult, the cars were just like their televised counterparts. In a community that prizes stance and modifications these seemingly normal cars somehow stole the show.

There were other spectacular cars that made appearances as well. A BMW 840ci was on site representing for the Germans and Europe as a whole. Other cars that graced the spectrum of mediocrity like Honda S2000s and Civics (no bias here) were also in attendance. All in all, most peoples’ cars had a special light touch that showed something special, like the S2000 with missing front fenders. Even a car that was completely stock was a spectacle because it eventually became a shock to see a car that had somehow managed to go untouched by its owner. The Initial D meet was almost like a culmination of all kinds of Japanese car meets. It was like the tables at a school cafeteria separated into groups of jocks, nerds, etc...

The selling point is that at no other meet will you see so many different kinds of niche cars in one place. Of course there was the occasional Mustang that rolled through, but there was also a rust-colored Miata with a fin made out of old license plates that were welded together that made up for it. That Miata was almost like a Japanese rat rod. In short, if you like JDM and especially "Initial D," this is the meet for you. Don’t miss it next year because seeing the FD, FC and 86 in real life is almost as cool as seeing the anime versions drift. Photos by Initial D World.

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