Skorj / Magnesium R3a-057 (31s)

Retro Style

The last decade has seen the Tokyo Motor Show move from one of the most glamorous, over-the-top, motoring events on the annual calendar, to a more subdued, and very restrained event. For 2009, with the well publicized situation of having the European manufacturers staying away, and the then poor state of the global economy, the TMS was expected to feel a lot different.

Only a few major releases were scheduled (one being a rather ghastly, totally tasteless Lexus ‘sports car’) the show occupied only the main hall, instead of the usual multiple, and wide-spread halls. Even the campaign girls / race queen numbers were well down, causing great concern among the otaku looking for their usual T&A fix. Only a few manufacturers were able to keep it together under these constraints, but Suzuki clearly had a handle on a few good ideas. Along with their usual range, they also presented a 1979 Swift with an appropriately attire companion. Easily the stand-out display (at least on press day).

Nissan too, while covering a large floor space, were restrained. While the ever charismatic Carlos unveiled their Leaf Plug-In, the rest of their stand was suitably low-key. A curiously named SUV styling exercise did however catch a few people’s eye.

Honda (always a favorite of mine) too, had a restrained stand, with perhaps their most interesting device being an Insight based updated version of their popular 1980s CR-X.

On assignment for a UK scootering magazine, I was not impressed by any of the scooter or motorcycle stands, with perhaps Yamaha’s EC-1 being a single exception. The only other major events on the two-wheeled scene were from the hideously and overwrought stylists at the Korean and Taiwanese scooter manufacturers. Instead of ball-point pens, they should have been giving away Sic Sacs in their press kits.

While 2009 was a quiet event, leaving the show I kept thinking about that little Suzuki…

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