Every first Sunday of December for the past 26 years, legendary custom brand Mooneyes has put its name to the world’s most prestigious custom show, held in Yokohama, Japan.
Each year the team finds the best machines of the local and international Kustom Kulture scene, but the show highlight is the Ride-in Show, with the hall filled with throbbing motors and noxious fumes as the international guests ride in parade-style into the centre of the exhibition hall.
Cars play a big part in the show and this year’s spotlight fell on three distinct categories: ‘Gracious Pickups’, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the final Chevrolet El Camino; then there was ‘Taste of Deuce’, celebrating 85 years of the iconic 1932 Ford Model B; and finally ‘Swinging Tradition’, a gathering of traditional choppers demonstrating the poise and beauty of the ’60s.
Special tributes were paid to Pete Chapouris, hot rodding icon, and to DicE Magazine founder Matt Davis, both of who died last year. A life-size cutout display of Pete Chapouris with Matt’s 1968 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead was on display.
Steppin’ out at the show were Vans, with Steve Van Doren, the son of the founder of Vans Shoes, and pro skater Steve Caballero (see Built #9) who brought some special edition Caballero Vans shoes. Only downer? The minimum hour queue if you wanted to buy a pair!
So to the awards: Hamans Custom took three of their bikes to the show and won the best of ‘Swinging Tradition’ award for tradtional chops with their ’48 Panhead. Kengo Kimura of Heiwa Motorcycles won the best motorcycle in show with his Triumph ‘Dirty Pigeon’ build (see below).
The show continues to fly despite local opposition. Since 2013, there has been an ongoing issue with residential complaints about noise pollution. So back in 2014 there was a campaign of ‘Be Calm, Not Loud – Shizukani’. That was followed by ‘Save the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show’ in 2015, and ‘Respect Our Kulture – Mamoroh’ in 2016. They all proved successeful in keeping the locals placated so this year the slogan was ‘Grow Together’. It proved a great success as the outside area around Pacifico Yokohama was quiet again this year – even though inside it was on heck of a party!