After Stage 1: Secret Base
In the past, there have been a couple F31 builds towards the Kaido/grachan/shakotan style. They were very cool to see in pictures. But they have all disappeared for the most part. There is a long nose red F31 in Hokkaido “hibernating”.
Noguchi-san posted his Pink Leopard when he painted it red:
then he posted the current state of it:
When I saw this build, I asked Noguchi-san if I went to Nagasaki, could I see it? He said yes.
So in November 2018, I went to Nagasaki. But I didn’t know it was 2 hours away and with a cramped schedule, I couldn’t go that far. So it didn’t happen.
6 months later, May 2019.
This time around, I planned on staying the night in Nagasaki, so I had all day and night. After he took me to his secret garage,a 2 hour drive and into the mountains, we came upon his friend’s place. This spot had a ton of cars… like I couldn’t believe it. Even American cars!
Then they showed me the Kaido parade leopard… my heart skipped beats and it was just too cool to see.
The bumper was off the the side and I jumped the tall grass and started to lift the bumper. The bumper was heavy and was entangled in grass/weeds. I lifted it up and was just in awe of it’s construction. I had all kinds of ants on my shoes and I didn’t even care!
It was my first time to actually inspect the construction of a Kaido car. I’ve observed them, but this was one I could touch. It was solid and heavy.
But…. the car is a work of art… just amazing.
I’ve always enjoyed Kaido/Grachan/Shakotan cars, but one thing that I didn’t want to do is spread misinformation. Most foreigners see these cars and try to copy the style. My friend told me that many foreigners do it wrong. I asked a ton of questions and he gave me an education. Additionally, all my kaido friends have given me info and parts for a Kaido build.
For me, it is about doing things right and, if you haven’t noticed, have the history behind it as a solid foundation.
Moving on, the shop that we went to gave me stickers and we shared conversation.
It was a good trip and I met good friends. As for the Leopard… don’t feel bad, it is gonna be used in an upcoming event as a parade car again.