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The “Mid Night Club” - A Highly Exclusive, Velocity Driven, Illicit Japanese Car Collective

Welcome to the 34st insertion of DEMUR®, an analytical series highlighting the intricacies of the artistic world and the minutiae lying within. In this episode we burn rubber, speeding into the elusive collective known as the “Mid Night Club”, an anonymous group chasing top speeds on Japanese public roads.

Four individuals are noted as the originators in the “Mid Night Racing Team”, known as Eiichi Yoshida (chairman), Kato, Terazawa and Yamada. Together, at the grips of their accelerator and highly-skilled racing ability, they chased speed and power, cementing the basis of the club. The main goal of the team was to break top speed records on public roads and race until either a clear winner is established or until the competitor’s headlights are no longer visible.

However, despite their legacy, much of the information surrounding the “Mid Night Club” is widely disputed, as a result of their highly tentative vow to secrecy. Inside and out of the group itself, members are to maintain a strict first name basis, prohibited from disclosing any defining or personal details prior to, and during induction to the group. Founded in 1987, the speed mania collective were able to maintain anonymity by building atop principles of morale, safety, and exclusivity. In such a dangerous sport, the higher-ups formed inflexible regulation that was to be followed without exception.

The intensive recruitment measures instilled without sway or tolerance were read as follows. One’s car must have the ability to reach, and maintain speeds over 160/mph for upwards of 15 minutes, retain a high skill level in street racing, attend every single meeting for one year without fail and never endanger another racer or civilian. This code of ethics is what separates the Mid Night Club from other illicit gangs, also inspiring their namesake. Members were to only race at night due to the lessened risk, while activities mainly took place on the Bayshore Route, a 70km highway along the coast of Tokyo Bay.

Speeds capped at a recorded 337/kmph from the exhaust of leader Eiichi Yoshida's $2 million “Black Bird” Porsche 911, tuned by the manufacturer itself multiple times. Porsche’s were very popular among the team, as they bypassed the Japanese regulatory speed cap of 112/mph. This advantage also instituted that they never got caught, as law enforcement was unable to catch, or truly even compete while in pursuit.

The fleet of automobiles was impressive to say the least, each more modified than the last. At the height of the Mid Night Club, it was rumored over 70 active members were participating in races regularly. While word grew of the adrenaline, horsepower fueled criminals, so did the frequency of imposters. The gang didn’t take false claims of allegiance lightly, and those who chose to provoke, would be commonly met with total destruction of their car by fire and other means. Authentic identification of associates could be seen in bumper or windshield decals, reading “Mid Night”.

The group continued to push limits of global engineering until dismemberment in 1999 following a devastating crash with Bōsōzoku, a reckless motorcycle group. During a race, Bōsōzoku tried to intimidate members of the Mid Night Club and forced drivers into a dense section of Japan, killing two cyclists, and putting two drivers as well as six civilians in the hospital. Directly breaking the code of honour among the collective, the club was immediately shut down, residing into the darkness of night once and for all.

The Mid Night Club remains a symbol of passion and skill in the realm of street racing, while rumors of resurgence have arisen. No member has publicly stepped forth since founding, and remains true to this day. The legacy lives on through the passion for speed, eternally pushing boundaries in the street scene.

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