Every year in the South Australian city of Adelaide, a car show is held in the beach side suburb of Glenelg. It’s very common for there to be car shows in this very spot, but this one stands out from the rest. Possibly the largest of its kind in Australia, and celebrating its 10th anniversary, the car show I speak of is of course All Japan Day!
Hosted every year by Kristian Appelt and his amazing team, AJD is a car show for only Japanese manufactured cars. No Euros and no American muscle. Only pure Japanese engineering perfection is allowed. Now if you have never heard of Kristian, or never been to AJD, check out his business called Iron Chef Imports where he is regularly importing all kinds of automotive goodness for his customers. If you have a Japanese model of car you are trying to source, Kristian is your man. He knows everything you need to know and has a good eye for quality, which shows in his picking process for AJD. You see, every vehicle entered has been through a selection process to keep quality and in some cases, rarity at a high level to draw in the crowds. This has shown positively as not only has the quality remained high, but the numbers continue to increase every year, with this years event hitting 530 cars! Not bad for such a small park.
Each year all proceeds from entries and donations on the day, go to a chosen charity. This year Novita was chosen which provides support for children with disabilities and their families. This year an amazing $6000 plus was raised.
With the event having such large numbers it would mean cars needed to be on the oval at a pretty early hour with cars lining up as early as 6am. Unlike other shows, there were no designated display areas. No club displays or any other showing of the sort. It worked purely on a first in line got best spots on the day and every car was lined up in order that they arrived. This didn’t stop friends with similar cars meeting before hand to get a park next to an old mate of theirs. But with the idea of first come first in, you have a mixed array of cars all over the place. No particular brand or model of car in large clumps. Everything mixed, making it more appealing and forcing car fans to view the entire collection instead of just their favourite.
Another great aspect of the show is that there are no trophies or prizes. No promo girls or DJs. It’s purely about getting enthusiasts alike in a place where they can appreciate each others rides, have a chat, and make some new friends on the way.
By midday, the number of people in the park had gotten so large that all the food trucks had to actually turn customers away due to running out of food. This required one of Kristian’s crew to do a quick grocery store run for more food. With the unexpected number of entrants and spectators on the day this would mean that a change in venue would possibly need to be looked into. But finding a larger venue the same distance to pubs, cafes, and of course the beach is next to impossible. So talking with Kristian, he revealed that next year they will be turning this into a two-day event with what will be displayed on which day still being voted on. That way entrants can increase and still remain at the same venue. Not a bad idea if you ask me.
Come 3 o’clock it was time for entrants to leave, just like every year, spectators run to the street next to the park trying to get a good viewing spot. As the cars needed to leave via the one exit, owners took the opportunity to drive in parade fashion for all to admire as they cruised past. For some, this is the best part of the show as not only do you get to view the cars, but you also get to hear the beautiful sounds they produce also.