Written by Bob Beck, 12/31/2015
Photography by: Bob Beck and Pam Conrad

There were Dodges and Datsun’s, Pacers and Valliant’s, Comets and Kaisers, Daimlers and Boxster’s and even Red Ramblers. It was your a typical Mooneyes Car Show and Christmas party, with tons of cool vehicles and people on hand.

Shige Suganuma and Chico Kodama are the men behind the success of Mooneyes Japan and USA. They have kept the Moon Equipment legend alive and made it grow far larger than its founder Dean Moon could have imagined. In December, the Mooneyes organization in each of these countries hosts an annual car culture extravaganza, with the Japan show held December 6, 2015 and the California Show and Drag event held at Irwindale Speedway on December 12, 2015.

I have attended both the Yokohama and the SoCal events and I have also been honored to be the announcer for their racing activities in the United States. Rain or shine, these two events attract thousands of automotive enthusiasts.

Japan’s event takes place one week before its USA counterpart. However, both are totally unique events that draw attendees from all over the world.

In Japan the event is an indoor show held in Yokohama that rivals the biggest shows in the United States. Cool cars and trucks share the floor with hundreds of motorcycles, model cars and automotive memorabilia from the USA. Many American cars and motorcycles are displayed with pride by their Japanese owners. Select American icons of the hobby and industry are invited to display their best as well. Judges come from all over the globe and present their unique trophies to deserving enthusiasts. The show floor is packed from opening until closing with people there to take in the beauty of the cars, trucks and motorcycles with their glistening paint jobs and bright plated parts. Even the parking lot is a special event all its own.

In sharp contrast, the USA show is held outdoors at the famous Irwindale Event Center that is home to the speedway and dragstrip. There is no formal judging, but flashy paint and chrome are in abundance, with suede appearing to win out as the finish of choice at the SoCal Show.

The Dragstrip is also teaming with excitement as over 100 cars pound the pavement and the AFX group compete in their altered wheelbase muscle cars of the past. Live bands play and the pin-up girl contest takes center stage alongside the huge manufacturer’s midway area. You can even get a 50’s style haircut and find all the hair care items you need to slick back your locks and hold that DA in place.

The gates opened at 4:30 AM to clear the main streets leading to the track as people line up early to ensure they will have a place to park. Spectators have been known to only find parking miles away. The schedules have been set, and the first two weekends in December of 2016 in Yokohama and Irwindale will be Mooneyes traditions once again.

© 2015 TMPCC

TMPCC Media is a division of The Television Motion Picture Car Club, the world’s only car club for those who work in or are affiliated with the entertainment industry. The club not only has members from the television and motion picture industry, but also includes those from music, radio, sports, motorsports and the automotive media. TMPCC has attracted some of the best automotive writers, reporters and photographers from print, radio and television not only here in the United States, but from around the world. With all that talent on board, in late 2013 TMPCC Media was founded to promote the automotive lifestyle.