“From fiction to reality”
Considered one of the most anticipated events for many, Idemitsu Present Tofuya Meet 2020 returned for its annual showcase of race cars and their lovers. It’s a gathering place for motorheads of all stripes as well as fans of manga and anime Initial D and Wangan Midnight; blockbuster series ‘The Fast & The Furious,’ and those digging the many facets of Japanese culture and lifestyles. A fun-for-all event, Tofuya definitely lives up to its slogan “The only race car meet where everyone’s in for a treat.”
Tofuya (“tofu shop” in Japanese) is inspired by the location and atmosphere of Initial D, one of the most popular street racing manga series. In this manga, a gas station has become a place where like-minded motorheads gather before they would venture out into the night. With that in mind, project initiator ‘Sivakorn Tatiyapinij’ decided to renovate an abandoned gas station in Nonthaburi, gradually transforming it into Tofuya Studio, a sort of fictitious gas station based on the manga. Decked out in Japanese toys and collectibles, the front of the studio was turned into an ad hoc showroom filled with wheels from Inner Car Dress Up. While it may not be an exact replica of the one found in the manga, everyone seemed to agree that the spirit of ‘Tofuya’ was everywhere.
Held in mid December, the second edition of Idemitsu Present Tofuya Meet was a playground for rare race cars, some of which can no longer be found on today’s roads — the ‘90s icon Mazda Autozam AZ1, GT-R legend Nissan Skyline KPGC10, and another ‘90s beauty Honda Civic EG (in mint condition, too). Apart from these, there were also movie- and anime-themed cars in the mix — Toyota AE86 and Mazda RX-7 FC3S (Initial D), Mitsubishi Eclipse and Toyota Supra (The Fast & The Furious), Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 (2 Fast 2 Furious) and Mazda RX-7 equipped with VeilSide Fortune (The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift). With more than 100 vehicles on display, it wasn’t just car lovers who were blown away, but also all the otaku out there.
Idemitsu Present Tofuya Meet 2020 wasn’t just about rare automobiles. At the event, you could also find all kinds of memorabilia such as toys, car models, and posters. More importantly, it provided a platform on which people who shared the same passions could come and meet with one another. I had a chance to meet ‘Tangmo’ (otherwise known as ‘Brian O'Conner’ of Thailand), one of the attendees who was ecstatic about the experience.
“This is such a fantastic meet. It’s so inspiring to be surrounded by the scene and atmosphere that I’ve always wanted to experience since I was a kid. Now I don’t have to even go as far as Japan, it’s all right here! We were also pretty lucky that the weather turned out nice. There was even a cool breeze, just like the real place!”
This year marked yet another successful edition of Tofuya. Held under the Japanese-inspired theme, the event struck a chord with many Thai race car lovers who dig the racing culture from the land of the rising sun. And, given such a great turnout, we can be sure that Tofuya Meet will return in the future.
“Whether you’re a fan of racing cars or not, you’ll definitely enjoy Tofuya when you’re here. See you next year!”