Although there are many different and equally amazing reasons to travel to Japan and take in the extensive automotive culture that they have amassed over the years, one of our favorites is the Yokohama Mooneyes Hot Rod & Custom Show held every year in the Pacifico Yokohama exhibition hall, a column free open design covering an area of almost 75,000 sq. ft. This year was the 23rd Annual HRCS with the theme/motto of “Be Calm Not Loud” that the Mooneyes crew really pushed to help ensure it’s continuing success and ability to be held in downtown Yokohama.
Photos & Words: Mike Alexander
There were many changes this year compared to the previous years, with the “Be Calm Not Loud” Shizukani campaign at the center of these changes. There was no motorcycle parking on the day of the show as well as minimizing motored vehicle access from the immediate area to help control the noise and keep the city happy with the show and those in attendance so that the Mooneyes crew would be able to continue hosting the show at the Pacifico for years to come. These changes definitely didn’t deter show-goer numbers, as there were more than 15,000 people in attendance, with almost 1,000 international guests traveling from all over the world to partake in this eclectic display of automotive greatness.
Plenty of bands played throughout the show and in “Rat Island” to include; The El Caminos, Los Rizlaz, Lips, Jackie and the Cedrics, and others keeping the crowd rocking all weekend long. For the last ten years Rat Island has grown into a worldwide, international phenomena. Not only have the cars and bikes evolved over the years, but also the amount of artists, friends, and guests that travel from all over the world to hang out here has given this little “cult gathering” quite the reputation, where a good time is had by all who dare enter. The perimeter of the area is fenced off with tables featuring return guests and the honored cars and bikes in this area are quite popular attraction for spectators who also come from around the globe (guests from more than 30 countries were in attendance) to take in these sights and sounds firsthand.
Another one of the main spotlights for the show this year was the “Enchanted World of Color” area featuring cars and bikes with a main focus on paint presentation. As such, Gene Winfield was one of the special guests in attendance showing some of his creations and signing autographs in his booth. This year, as with every year, the custom motorcycles have a huge presence and with more than 650 motorcycles in the bike show areas the Be Calm theme certainly had zero impact on these growing numbers which was great to see.
In all there were 300 registered customs, 650 show bikes, 270 Vendor Booths from around the globe, 30 booths in the Collectives Alley, 50 artists gathered in the Pinstripe area, with 80 entrants for the Custom Paint Contest “Sign of the Times” and 95 trophies handed out during the awards ceremony. Mooneyes would like to give a special thanks to Blue Panic who helped with the event along with everyone for coming out to support the show, including the international guests from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, the US and more. We’ll see you there next year!