Jackson Tait/staff reporter
The street racing club hashiriya or better known as the midnight club was a notorious racing club formed in 1987 in Japan and this is why they were morally good. The founder of the club was Yoshida Eiichi who drove one of the most famous cars at the time called “Black Bird” which was a highly modified Porsche 911 turbo. The group was filled with incredibly talented mechanics with a large obsession with speed. However not anyone could walk in and be a part of the club. Only 10% of the apprentices who wanted to join the club were ever excepted and on top of that their cars had to be able to exceed 160mph. But after they started to get recognized around japan and later even other parts of the world they were respected because they were a lot different than other car clubs because most other clubs would drift or compete in point-to-point races while the midnight club cared only about top speed. What they would do is go to the Wangan highway and get other members to block all the exits with their cars that way they could have the open road all to them self.
What made the midnight club as respectable as it is was, was their rules which were just safety and speed and the only time they ever failed was when another gang called the bosozuko boys interfered while a member was trying to achieve top speed which led to a few fatalities including one member of the club, two bosozuko boys and a single civilian. And there were a few other incidents where cars that were not in the club but had club stickers were vandalized by the gang. Since then, the club disbanded, and they have been known only as legends they’ve even got a video game franchise named after them and the “Fast and Furious” franchise was loosely based off the club as well. So it’s pretty clear that if the police respected the club and they were popular enough to get multiple franchises based off of them it’s hard to say that they weren’t good. After they disbanded only one got any fame from it and his name is Smokey Nagata. after he was arrested for going 318km/h on a public road in England he started his own company called “Top Secret” where he details cars.
The midnight club was the probably most influential car club ever without anyone even knowing their names. This club also brought a lot of light to the JDM (Japanese domestic market) car culture and turned it into a community of people who can bond over the cars they love. Since then, JDM cars have become one of the most popular car cultures in the world with so many subcultures that branched off of it like shakotan cars, kaido racers, and kei trucks along with many others. The midnight club inspired the next generation of people who love cars and the people in the midnight club are who they looked up to without knowing their names or what they looked like.