Carson Walker/ Edge Colonist
What made Japan infamous Midnight Club so bad and dangerous.
The Midnight Club is the world’s most well know and exclusive street racing club in the world founded by Yoshida Eiichi in 1987. Requirements to join the Club included the ability to drive at a minimum of 160mph (257km/h), or if racing a minimum of 200mph (320km/h). Between 1987 – 1999, only 10% of all applicants were ever made members of the Club.
The Club at its peak only had 30 members making it one of the hardest racing clubs to get into in the world. In Japan, all cars are locked to a road speed of 112 mph (180km/h), so all members of the Club would have to modify their cars to meet Club requirements. What made the Club illegal in Japan was the street racing, reckless driving, and endangerment to pedestrian.
Racers would do donuts, drive on public roads, and break the law by going up to 80 mph over the limit. Since members had modified their cars in such a way it made it impossible for the police to catch them. This group was very dangerous as racers would put not only themselves but other people in danger. In 1999 racers had the first and only crash for the Club when the Bosozoku boy, a big biker gang in Japan, led them into an accident that killed two of the bikers.
The one thing that makes the Midnight Club dangerous is that racers glorified street racing and reckless driving. Between 1985-2000 the highest numbers of crashes in Japan occurred between 94’-96’ when the Midnight Club was the most active. The Midnight Club makes street racing look cool and they tend to glorify it. While they are one of the safer street racing groups, racing can cost people their lives and a lot of money. I also believe that street racing may cause some people to feel uncomfortable when on the roads late as they might be worried about getting hit.
Club racers were not involved in these crashes but were a big influence in the street racing community. If you asked most of the street racing groups around the world, they would likely say that the Midnight Club is one of the major influences of some of their dangerous and sometimes illegal racing. With the Midnight Club being the most well know street racing club in the world, they have been a big reason that street racing culture has grown in the last 20 years.