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SHIZUOKA

Car event revs up U.S. spirit

by Alisa Yamasaki

Staff Writer

Whether you took your first date out in a Ford or a Toyota, car enthusiasts of any nationality should head over to this Sunday’s Super American Festival in Shizuoka.

The festival, now in its 21st year, is a day of drag racing, car shows and live music all with a focus on a classic American vibe. Japan’s best drag-racing team will zoom down Fuji Speedway’s tracks while classic American cars, Harleys and lowriders will compete for various awards. On top of all the engine revving, bands such as the 38-year-old rockabilly group Cools and soul trio The Wanderers will lay down a 1950s groove to soundtrack the day.

The man behind the festival, Yoshihiro Masui, has said his goal is to re-create Pomona, California (a city that hosts the American West Coast’s largest classic car show), in Japan for a day.

There will be a huge space dedicated to showcase around 1,000 classic Datsuns, Nissan’s U.S. export brand. On a larger scale, the festival will invite Harley Davidson rider and Paralympic runner Jun Haruda to host a charity auction to support the Japanese Paralympic team.

Super American Festival takes place at Fuji Speedway in Sunto-gun, Shizuoka Prefecture, on July 28 (8 a.m. start). Tickets are ¥3,500 in advance. For more information, visit www.amefes728.net (in Japanese).