“The City of Tokyo Was Our Circuit in 1983” ~ MY ROAD Tokyo Circuit ~ Daijiro Inada Edit ~【Play Back The OPTION】
Published : 2019/09/18 16:52 Modified : 2019/09/19 15:30
“After all, if a car was a mere vehicle of transportation, I would let go.” -Daijiro Inada
Runaway Train, A Story of Youth
Daijiro Inada, 72 years old. Also known as Dai, he is the president of the OPTION group and a legend in the tuning industry.
Aspiring to be a motorsport editor, he was obsessed with the appeal of street tuning, which was considered synonymous with bosozoku at the time. In fact, his obsession was instrumental in launching OPTION Magazine and Tokyo Auto Salon. This is a story of the 1980s.
This article, “MY ROAD Tokyo Circuit,” from the OPTION Magazine June 1983 Issue captures the realistic image of this street racing man. We present to you the continuation of the Isami Amemiya edit: Volume 2, Daijiro Inada edit.
We Got Faster Because of the Streets!
A Kyushu boy, born in Nagasaki. Inada became a freelance journalist after working as an editor for an autosports magazine. He loved racing and tuning, and didn’t care much for other things besides cars. Certainly a car-crazy man. At the time, he worked on automotive and miscellaneous magazines, but mainly for OPT magazine.
Whatever It Took, I Wanted to Get Better at Driving. Imperial Palace Perimeters, Aoyama, and the Shonan Route — Dai
I’m still not good at driving, but I was worse back then. When I got my license and bought a car, I went driving every night. Public roads are really the only place to practice driving. Well, I could go to the circuit on Sundays, but I was able to drive in town at night and that was plenty practice.
My course was always the same. There’s a nice corner on Uchibori Street around the Imperial Palace. Takebashi or Miyake-zaka high speed corner. And then the Chidorigafuchi corner. The Honshio corner from Ichigaya to Yotsuya Mitsuke was also good. I drove every night and increased my speed gradually. I spun out sometimes, but I never collided or crashed because I only attacked when there were no cars coming. An additional area I liked was Aoyama. In particular, the bottom of Aoyama Graveyard is a high-speed corner and it’s actually quite intense.
The cars at that time were weaker. Even though my speed wasn’t high, they were unpredictable. For that reason, I steadily acquired countersteering and drifting. The Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway was naturally my circuit. I often drove close behind my senpai; I was desperate to improve.
Did one run around the city, proceeded from Daisan Keihin through Yokohama Shindo, and gunned it all the way to Shonan. Then I made a U-turn at Chojagasaki to return. That was my daily routine. I drove a used Hino Contessa coupe. Since it was slow, I attached a Solex carb. Despite that, I still lost to the new Corolla 1100s. My car was slow, but I absolutely enjoyed taking corners while I increased my speed. My suspension was low and my muffler, non-existent. The koban (police station) and motorcycle cops often stopped me, but I somehow always got out of it. Those were the days.
I wanted to race. Yet, I was unable to build a car with fighting power. Gymkhana was the most I could do. Hence, I practiced on the streets and tested my skill at gymkhana events. To this day, I get an urge to attack if there’s a good bend coming up. It’s definitely innate. That being said, recent cars have great performance and speed so it’s scary. Both the Metropolitan Expressway and Tomei have bad roads and there’s too many cars. Nevertheless, if I have a chance to gas it, I’ll take it. It’s fine to have fun, provided that you don’t cause any inconveniences to others.
The ride; the speed. No matter how old, I won’t ever let go. After all, if a car was a mere vehicle of transportation, I would let go.
Both Dai and Ame-san (Mr. Isami Amemiya) are past their seventies. Regardless, their “street racer souls” are very much alive. They will undoubtedly remain full throttle at the top of the tuning world.
“The City of Tokyo Was Our Circuit in 1983” ~ MY ROAD Tokyo Circuit ~ RE Amemiya / Isami Amemiya Edit~【Play Back The OPTION】