Mid Night Club is for many a successful video game series, but even before the existence of the PlayStation it was first and foremost a bunch of outlaws. Today inactive in the world of street racing, however, they have laid a solid foundation in Japanese automotive culture.
We already had mentioned the “Bosozoku” in a previous article, let yourself be carried away a little more in the crazy 90s of the automobile in Japan.
What is this “Wangan”?
We set the scene for you: rendezvous made in the middle of the night, on the highway between Tokyo and Yokohama, the “Shuto Expressway Bayshore Route” nicknamed “Wangan”. A whole group driving Nissan Skyline R33 GTR, Mazda RX7 FD, Porsche 911 and other mythical models of the time. No question of landing in a parking lot, doing the kéké with its Miltek line and its pops & bang carto (we see you German fans). The Mid Night Club wants to take advantage of this empty stretch of highway to push the mechanics to their maximum during illegal races. Speeds reported around 250 km / h maintained for several minutes, some even reaching the symbolic mark of 300 km / h. Really impressive numbers in the 90s that could make modern supercars blush. But what does this ultra selective club really consist of?
Mid Night, fight club
- Rule 1 of the Mid Night Club: we are not talking about the Mid Night Club.
Around 30 members at its peak. A well-filled portfolio, essential to be able to prepare vehicles supporting the challenges of the club. All very discreet with an irreproachable sense of honor.
It is not by approaching their records of speed, power, etc. that you integrate it. It was necessary to follow an apprenticeship, a sort of “Bac Pro automobile at 300 km / h” requiring the unanimous approval of all members to obtain it. Period during which the apprentice must attend each meeting, respect all the codes and values of the club. At the slightest mistake, you were kicked out. Merciless rules that have guaranteed the honor of the club. Only vehicles with a silver sticker bearing the words “Mid Night” guaranteed club membership.
- Rule 2: You will not endanger your neighbor
According to rumors, the Mid Night adventure unofficially ended in 1999, not because the authorities finally managed to get them. But on their own.
A club race is a search for performance, a battle between drivers and not a game that could endanger the lives of innocent people. At the slightest incident that could have endangered the lives of others, you were struck off.
Legend has it that a race between Bosozoku bikers and the Mid Night Club would have had a tragic outcome for some participants. So the club would have decided to withdraw. An information impossible to verify today. Indeed, the club would still be very active, but outside the field of street racing.
The legacy of the Mid Night Club
Today it is difficult to find traces of these custom-designed monsters. SpeedHunters had the opportunity to approach one of the club’s most iconic cars. A turbo Porsche 930 belonging to “Yoshida Eiichi” in appearance “classic”, but developing 601hp. 100% aero mirrors, no wipers and air intakes instead of the rear windows. Small details that give us an idea of the required performance research. Other teams have continued the club’s heritage, for example TOP SECRET which brought in a 1000hp Toyota Supra that same year to explode records on the open road in England.
If this spirit appeals to you, don’t go for fake “slap” stickers on eBay to stick on your MX5. Originally, several people wanting to emulate the group in Japan had their vehicles degraded for similar facts. The Mid Night Club is above all a small and discreet circle. Instead, take advantage of a visit to Japan to visit the Daikoku rally, “Strangely” close to the starting point of the “Wangan”
Note that a site www.midnightracingteam.jp emerged in 2020, summarizing the history of the group, using its identity and with member access via a password. An inspired fan, or a real return of a Mid Night Club team? It remains in the image of the club, apparently discreet.