There is one special day in December for fans of go-fast Nissans.
It doesn't matter whether you've been good or bad, Christmas definitely comes early for Japanese performance car enthusiasts at the annual Nismo Festivals, held each year under the shadow of the iconic snow-capped peak of Mount Fuji at the Fuji Speedway.
This year marks the 19th running of Nissan's celebration of all things motorsport, an event that reaches far back into Nissan, Datsun, and Prince's motor racing past - as well as showcasing the very best of today's heroic Nissan models.
It doesn't matter if your particular addiction is blistering fast GT-R GT3s, ferociously noisy GT500 racers, historic machines from Le Mans, or even celebrated Bathurst 12-Hour competitors, you'll find it at all at Nismo Fest. Better still, you'll more likely get to see them all in action too.
For one single day the grounds of Fuji Speedway are transformed into a wild celebration of Nissan's and Nismo's own achievements on the track, as well as inclusions from famed aftermarket suppliers such as Impul, Tomei, Mine's, and many more skilled in the art of making fast Nissans even faster.
From the meticulously arranged Nismo owners carpark featuring row after row of modified Marches, Notes, 370Zs and GT-Rs, through to the snaking queues of consumers patiently waiting in line to browse everything from hats and stickers to head gasket kits and big-bore exhaust systems, there is no better way for fans to get up close and personal with the cars and drivers that they so greatly admire.
Even into the outer reaches of the Fuji Speedway complex, the raceway's carparks portrayed a real passion for the brand, which though not exclusively Nissan branded showed a heavy weighting towards brand N's products with everything from outlandishly-stanced Roox kei cars, to worked-over Silvias and every generation of Skyline imaginable from humble Prince Skyline 1500 sedans all the way to fire-breathing R34 GT-Rs wearing the battle scars of track days and touge runs.
With an estimated 30,000 attendees over the course of the day, and a rolling roster of demonstration drives, meet and greets with GT3 and GT 500 drivers, competitions, historic racers, and of course Nissan's current range of performance enhanced Nismo offerings, the day offers a constant rotation geared towards delighting Nissan enthusiasts.
While roaming the event we came across Shannon Crozier, an Australian on holiday in Japan for the full motoring enthusiast experience. Having visited a number of tuner garages in Japan, attended the Mooneyes Hot Rod Custom Show in Yokohama the previous week, and even taking in the extraordinary sights of the legendary Daikoku parking area late one night, Shannon was wowed by the Nismo event.
Having owned Nissan and Datsun vehicles in the past, and being genuinely enthusiastic about all things on two or four wheels be they Japanese, European, American or Australian (and having owned something from each region), Shannon considered the event a must see and was blown away by the size and scale of the day, making the the experience well worth his while.
And with Nissan, like so many other manufacturers, moving towards a future hinged on the adoption of zero emission machines and autonomous driving, it's promising to see the brand honour its enthusiast heritage, and even more so to see the response of the brand's fans.
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