Kei Kars in the Park at the Gaydon Fringe Show 2015

I visited the Gaydon Fringe car show at the Heritage Motor Centre last Sunday, because  I wanted to see and learn more about kei cars.

I’d noticed that Kei Kars in the Park were having their annual meet at this show, so I went over to have a look.

The sun was shining and this event was really well attended.  I went just for the kei cars but there were added bonuses for the Japanese import car enthusiast in the form of the Mazda rotary club and a number of non-kei Japanese imports.  A Mazda RX-7 FD has been high on my wish list for years and there were a few lovely examples at the show.

Back to the kei cars.  These cars fascinate me and I plan to import one from Japan in the next year or so.

The majority of kei cars at the show were soft top (or removable hard top) models.  The Daihatsu Copen, Suzuki Cappuchino & Honda Beat were present in greatest numbers at the show.  Note that the later UK version of the Copen with the 1.3 litre engine wouldn’t meet the kei car specifications in Japan.  The first versions of this car for sale in the UK had a 659cc turbocharged engine as per the Japanese kei car 660cc limit although its power output was slightly over at 68 PS.  I’ve written more about the various restrictions here.

It was great to see so many people as interested in kei cars as I am.   I was wondering how many of the more recent range of kei cars available to import would be present.  Most of the imported kei cars there on the day were built in the 90s:  by recent I mean just over 10 years old, the age at which cars are commonly imported from Japan due to a less restrictive registration process in the UK.   Apologies if I missed yours, but I don’t think I saw a single imported kei car in the 10-15 years old range.   This was a surprise rather than a disappointment and the show was a great event with lots of folk willing to have a chat about their cars.  I look forward to next year’s event!  In the meantime, here are some pictures from the day.

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