Apart from tougher hoon laws, yellow stickers, and your local burnout artists, what happened to the once thriving JDM scene of bumper scrapes, whistling blow off valves, loud exhausts and phat bodykits?
As a millennial, I was blessed with Fast & Furious 1, 2 and Tokyo Drift – can’t say much for the rest of the series, Mighty Car Mods, and the occasional car show in Perth which gave me my first glimpse into the underground car scene of Japan.
Despite most Japanese car brands already on Australian soil since the 1950s – 1970s, with history showing the Toyota Landcruiser as one of the first in Japanese imports to touch Australian soil in 1958.
The JDM car scene didn’t really take off until early to mid 2000s.
Japanese Domestic Market or JDM for short, began to explode on social media platforms like Facebook and Myspace, with new car enthusiast groups and pages such as JDM WA, Downshift AUS, and Antilag being made by the day. Soon there would be small car meetups all around Australia.
This presented an opportunity for people with a passion for JDM to come together as a community and to showcase their prized beasts.
Hundreds of cars including Nissan Skylines, Honda Civic EK9s, Subaru WRXs, Mitsubishi Evos, and any car you could dream of, filled shopping centre car parks all across Australia.
Unfortunately, these magical days and nights of unregulated and unofficiated car meets began to spin out of control.
Just like in the movies, monkey see, monkey do. Street racing, drifting, and burnouts began to fill our neighbourhoods as hundreds of cars entered and exited these car parks at each destination.
Despite pages outlining strict rules against hooning, there will always be someone who has a head bigger than their engine. This led to an increase in car accidents, innocent bystanders getting injured, and Australia introducing anti-hoon laws.
The fight against hooning
Hooning is used to describe anti-social behaviour conducted in a motor vehicle such as speeding, street racing, burnouts and playing loud music from a car stereo.
There are a numerous hooning traffic offences including dangerous driving, driving with a vehicle that does not comply with vehicle safety standards, and organising, promoting and taking part in racing and speed trials.
In 2004 a Road Traffic Amendment bill was passed in Western Australia which empowered the WA Police to confiscate and impound vehicles that were found to be engaging in excessive speed, noise or smoke created from vehicle tyres.
Anti-hoon laws were soon introduced in Victoria in 2006, with the Road Safety and Others Acts (vehicle Impoundment and Other Amendments) Bill 2005.
Eventually, every single state of Australia followed suit, with new anti-hoon laws, traffic offences, and harsher penalties.
In 2008 New South Wales passed a new amendment that introduced harsher penalties such as increased fines and vehicle impoundments for 3 months with second or subsequent offences requiring vehicles to be automatically forfeited.
And this was just the beginning. Fast forward to 2019 where forfeited cars are getting crushed and yellow stickers are handed out like Uber discount cards.
With such tough anti-hoon laws, vigilant law enforcement, and car enthusiasts tarnished by a select few, how does one fulfil their passion with a judgemental society?
A new generation
Long gone are the days of shopping centre car park meets which did not involve the police, a yellow sticker, and some idiot who had no respect for the law and others around them.
However, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
For those who reminisce about the good old days in search for a classic car meet up or eager to satisfy their JDM cravings, we’ve got you covered. For all things automotive including JDM, Aussie, Euro, restored classics, muscle and more, here’s where to find it.
Downshift AUS was founded in 2009 with a mission to bring like-minded people together by creating events and gatherings for all car enthusiasts. Whether JDM, restored classics, Aussie or Euro, Downshift AUS strives to help automotive enthusiasts fulfill their passion for cars whilst avoiding persecution from the authorities and judgement from society.
Racewars of Western Australia was launched in 2012 with a purpose of enriching the roots of the Australian car culture whilst giving enthusiasts the opportunity to take part in seeing some of the nation’s fastest and finest vehicles push their limits. The 1.8km track in at the Albany Airport, Western Australia, is the only 1000m sprint left in the entire nation and the only place where you can race door to door against your mates. Whether a driver or an observer, satisfy your need for speed at Racewars.
Classic Cars & Coffee
A worldwide phenomenon known as Classic Cars & Coffee is an easy going motoring event that welcomes car enthusiasts to come and display their rides over a hot cuppa. A fitting event for WA, considering we’re known as the ‘nanna state’, the relaxed event features an array of cars each month at the University of Western Australia. However, there are terms and conditions which limit the cars that are welcomed and can include classic and vintage cars, exotic and rare, luxury and prestige marques.
Car shows and meets in Perth 2019
Get ready to fill your calendar with some of Perth’s largest and hottest car cruises, shows and meets.
Royal Car Scene WA Mega Car Show Meet & Cruise #5
Hosted by Royal Car Scene W.A.
Where: Cockburn Gateway Shopping City, 816 Beeliar Drive, Success
When: May 18 at 7:30 pm
Witness some of Perth’s best import JDM, Euro, Exotic, High Class HSV, FPV and steel bumpers. Any form of hooning or irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated. All information of cars and drivers that do so will be submitted to the WA Police.
Midnight Society #3 Open Cruise
Hosted by Midnight Society
Where: Wanneroo Districts Netball Assn, Kingsway, Perth
When: June 1 at 7:45 pm – 11:45 pm
An event for local businesses, sponsors and car enthusiasts to come together and display their passions with like-minded people. Expect to see JDM, ADM, Euro, Old School, Rare and Unique cars and bikes. As a family friendly event, hoon like behaviour will not be tolerated.
Southern Cross Car & Bike Show and Swap Meet
Hosted by Yilgarn Motoring Enthusiasts Inc
Where: Spica Street, Southern Cross
When: September 29 10 am – 11 pm
A car and bike show and swap meet for family and friends to enjoy. There will be food vans, market stalls, and free kids facepainting and rides.
All Ford Day Car Show
Hosted by All Ford Day
Where: Swannies, Steel Blue Oval, Perth
When: October 6 9:30am – 2:30pm
The single largest Marque car show in WA with fords dating back to as early as the 1900s and all the way through to the latest models available. Lookout for race cars, restored classics, ‘barn finds’, daily drives, custom built cars, and more.
Perth 4WD Adventure Show
Hosted by Perth 4WD and Adventure Show
Where: McCallum Park, Victoria Park, Perth
When: November 9 to November 11 9:30am – 5:30 pm Fri to Sat, 9:30 am – 5 pm Sun.
For everything that’s 4×4, Perth 4WD Adventure Show is the place to be. Guest speakers, live 4WD fittings, Test tracks, food stalls and plenty more makes for the perfect weekend out with the family.
As automotive enthusiasts we all have a duty to drive safely and ensure that our vehicles are up to standard. If your windscreen has a large crack or chip and you’re unsure if it needs immediate replacing or repair, contact Deans Auto Glass for a free quote and find out if your vehicle is road worthy.
Julia is a car enthusiast and is currently working with Dean’s Autoglass.