2023 Mooneyes Hot Rod & Custom Show in Yokohama, Japan

Like clockwork, the Mooneyes Hot Rod & Custom Show has finished off each of the last 31 years with a spectacular event held at the Pacifico Convention Center in Yokohama, Japan. And, like a fine handmade Haijime Asaoka wristwatch, there are many parts working together to produce the finest hot rod show in Japan and, quite possibly, outside the United States.

A lot of effort goes into creating an event where dozens of vendors, hundreds of vehicles, even more specialized custom motorcycles, and 20,000+ people will attend, but this entire show runs just 10 hours on a Sunday – a truly amazing feat of coordination and precision to pull off successfully.

The car show portion of the Mooneyes Hot Rod & Custom Show is heavily-weighted with traditional rods and customs, as the Japanese have really taken to ‘40s and ‘50s cars built from American metal. But they also have a large share of Japan-only vehicles – marks and makes that have never been seen in the United States that are highly stylized and customized in their own fantastic way.

The motorcycles are even more wide-ranging, with many Knucklehead and Flathead Harleys on display right alongside the most futuristic two-wheeled machines you’ll ever lay your eyes on. The Pinstriping form of art is everywhere, too, with dozens of ‘stripers from all over the world attending the show and selling their artwork.

The whole process is a bit mind-numbing for the first-time attendee but, no matter how many times you attend the show, you will always be guaranteed of seeing so many things you’ve never seen or even heard of before all done to perfection by talented Japanese hot rodders.

2023 Mooneyes Hot Rod & Custom Show Photo Extra!

Photos by Eric Geisert

A self-taught photojournalist, Eric Geisert worked for 3 years at VW Trends magazine before joining Street Rodder magazine in 1991. In 2002 he was named one of The 50 Who Made A Difference at the 50th Detroit Autorama and, in 2004, was named editor of Kit Car magazine, a 30-year-old title. By 2006 a move back to Street Rodder came with a Senior Editor position and, in 2007, Eric was inducted into the Circle of Champions, the Detroit Autorama's Hall of Fame. In 2013, at 52 years old, Eric became a freelance writer supplying articles and photography to publications around the world, which allows him to work on his collection of 12 or so cars that includes a ’34 five-window Ford coupe, a '32 Ford roadster, a reproduction '59 Lotus 11, a 356 Porsche speedster, a '55 Chevy 210, and a '59 Karmann Ghia. Over his career, Eric's photographic images have graced 300 magazine covers and he’s written literally thousands of automotive-related articles.