5,869 miles away from Tokyo there is a little city called Belfast where the people are just as hyped on Japanese car culture as those who created it.
To say that I have been critical of Car Culture events in the past would be an understatement but I also give credit where credit is due and with JCC, Ryan & Adam have found a hole in the market and provided a hugely popular and successful event.
Held at the Titanic Exhibition Centre (which will also host our show, Built, next month), JDM enthusiasts from all over Ireland descended upon Belfast for the 2nd year of Ireland’s only indoor show for Japanese cars, with queues for both show cars and the public tailing back alongside the famous Titanic slipway.
Perhaps it’s because I am not quite as immersed in the Jap scene as I am in others but JCC is beginning to gain a reputation for having cars that you don’t see anywhere else. Alan Jackson’s GTR for example only leaves the garage twice a year, one of those occasions is for JCC.
Our friends at the Irish Drift Championship were also out in force giving live demonstrations, selling merchandise and conducting interviews on stage. Potential future champion, 13-year-old Conor Shannahan popped by the Blackwater Graphics / Built stand to see if he could top the board on our rally simulator but had to settle for 4th place.
Pro drivers Jack Shannahan & Dwyane McKeever were also in attendance with their cars sitting proudly on the Link ECU stand which allowed us to get up close and personal to see some of the finer details of the impressive machines.
There was also an array of exciting street vehicles such as this Skyline from Port Laoise which sported copious amounts of carbon and aero parts…
..and this purple AE86 which has one of the more impressive looking engines bays that I have seen in a while.
It’s amazing to see how Japanese culture has travelled across the world and is embraced so lovingly by a tiny island such as ours. The kids who grew up playing Gran Tourismo and watching Initial D are now adults with more than just pocket money – investing it in the Skyline’s, Silvia’s and Civic’s that used to be on their bedroom walls. No longer are they riding around on their BMX’s with their friends, JCC is now their new playground!