When you hear the name ‘Yokohama port’ mentioned, the first thing that probably comes to mind are big-body Toyotas swinging across three-lane industrial roads in the early hours of the morning. The x100 chassis and street drifting at this location are almost synonymous with one another, even as the culture begins to fizzle due to a heightened police presence.
I was lucky enough to spend a late Friday night in the port areas of Yokohama with these three – a unique group of JZX100 Crestas.
Although not as popular as the Chaser or Mark II, the Cresta has become my favourite of Toyota’s JZ-powered sedan line-up, especially coming from Australia where Chasers are commonplace. There’s just something special about the Cresta and its street presence.
For those unfamiliar with the nuances between the various X models, the Cresta falls under the X100 (1996-2000) chassis code, following the X90 (1992-1996), but before the X110 (2000-2007). Each of these came with several drivetrains, the most popular of which being the 1JZ-GTE and 2JZ-GTE.
We parked the cars up underneath the Yokohama Bay Bridge, an area that is almost completely empty once the 5:00pm end-of-day bell rings. However, as police tighten down on ‘anti-social driving’, it’s common to be moved on quickly when hanging around these spots.
Each of these cars contrast one another in both styling and colour, which made it a bit of a challenge to get a perfectly-lit shot of the three together, especially in the poorly-lit port access roads.
After tempting fate hanging around the area for a while, we headed to one of the more popular spots used for drift. Although mostly industrial, the few residents of these areas are known to call the police at any sign of a loud exhaust or traction being broken.
One step ahead of this, an exhaust silencer and locking pliers are glovebox essentials.
Whilst there was no drifting for us, a regular to the ports coincidentally came past and stopped to say hello on his way to another popular street drift spot.
Diving into the individual cars, Akira-san’s red Cresta has a lot more to it than initially meets the eye.
The car has been completely restored and overhauled over the last two years, giving it the appearance of a Cresta that has just rolled off the Toyota production line in 1999 – but in a modified state.
The car is finished in Mazda Soul Red Crystal Metallic, with a pinstripe down the side that ties it all together nicely. A BN Sports kit paired with Yokohama AVS Model 6 wheels all around gives the Cresta a very early-2000s feel, a time when JZXs dominated Japan’s street drift scene.
My favourite thing about this car is that Akira-san doesn’t just park it up; his Cresta sees non-stop drift time at circuits throughout the year. You can read the spec at the end of this post.
After parting ways with Akira-san, we parked up in Yokohama China Town for a late-night meal at a local noodle spot. This gave me a chance to check out Alec-san’s silver car, which is a great example of a simple, but well-executed Cresta.
Alec’s car has also been resprayed, this time in Volvo Silver White. The Cresta currently wears a full Vertex kit and Car Kouba +25mm front fenders to comfortably fit the SSR SP1s.
Heading home, we grabbed some quick photos of Jeff-san’s Honda Midnight Blue Beam Metallic Cresta. It became quickly apparent that these big-body Toyotas were not designed with tight Tokyo city streets in mind.
Jeff’s car is on a full set of Work VS-KF wheels and has a relatively extensive list of undercarriage work done to it, which you can also check out in the specs below.
Drifting or no drifting, Friday nights at the Yokohama port are the best Friday nights.
Akira-san’s 1999 JZX100 Toyota Cresta Roulant G
Engine: Factory 2.5L 1JZ-GTE VVTi turbo, HPI Direct Suction Kit with HKS Super Power Flow air filter, HPI intercooler, Quantum VVT solenoid, A’PEXi Power FC engine management system, HPI Evolve radiator, GP Sports clutch fan, Night Pager water bypass kit, Blitz oil cooler, Kazama engine mounts
Driveline: Factory R154 5-speed gearbox, Kazama transmission mount, Cusco LSD with 3.9:1 final drive
Suspension/Brakes: DG5 coilovers with 36kg/mm springs front & 24kg/mm springs rear, JZA80 Toyota Supra front brake callipers
Wheels/Tyres: AVS Model 6 wheels, 18×10-inch +24 front/rear, 215/40R18 tyres front, 225/40R18 tyres rear
Exterior: BN Sports front lip, BN Sports side skirts, BN Sports rear bumper, Vanquish roof spoiler, Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint
Interior: Bride bucket seat, Nardi Classic steering wheel
Alec-san’s 1996 JZX100 Toyota Cresta Roulant G
Engine: Factory 2.5L 1JZ-GTE VVTi turbo, A’PEXi Power FC engine management system, Fluidampr crank pulley, aluminium radiator
Driveline: Factory R154 5-speed gearbox,
Suspension: D-Max Super Street coilovers with 22kg/mm springs front & 10kg/mm springs rear
Wheels: SSP Professor SP1 wheels, 18×9-inch +15 front, 18×10-inch +20 rear
Exterior: Vertex front bumper, Vertex side skirts, Vertex rear bumper, Car Kouba +25mm front fenders, Volvo Silver White paint
Interior: Bride Brix 1.5 driver’s seat, Nardi Classic steering wheel
Jeff-san’s 1997 JZX100 Toyota Cresta
Engine: Toyota Chaser Tourer V 2.5L 1JZ-GTE VVTi turbo, RSE titanium muffler, GP Sports fan blade, Fluidampr crank pulley
Driveline: Toyota Chaser Tourer V R154 5-speed gearbox, Kaaz 2-way LSD
Suspension: Front – Blitz coilover shock absorbers, 326Power 34kg/mm springs, 326Power helper springs, D-Max pillow & collar set for lower brackets, SerialNine 25mm extended lower arms, 1484 Shakotan knuckles, JZS161 outer tie rods, Kunny’z steering rack bushings, Skid Racing tension rods, Rear – Blitz coilover shock absorbers, 326Power 20kg/mm springs, 326Power helper springs, D-Max pillow & collar set for lower brackets
Wheels: Work VS-KF wheels, 18×9.5-inch +27 front, 18×10-inch +47 rear
Exterior: Zenki body with kouki facelift, JZX100 Chaser front bumper, JZX100 Cresta Vertex side steps & rear bumper, JZX100 Car Kouba +25mm front fenders, Midnight Blue Beam Metallic paint
Interior: Bride Brix 1.5 seats, Nardi Classic steering wheel
How To join the IATS program: We have always welcomed readers to contact us with examples of their work and believe that the best Speedhunter is always the person closest to the culture itself, right there on the street or local parking lot. If you think you have what it takes and would like to share your work with us then you should apply to become part of the IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER program. Read how to get involved here.