Automotive Photography

Full Moon Cruise Passau 2022-05-16 by Sebastian Motsch

Full Moon Cruise Passau | May 2022

Full Moon Cruise Passau

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Lotus Exige 240R GT3 01 Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch

Lotus Exige 240R GT3 on Hakone Mountain

Flag JapanLotus Exige 240R GT3

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Happy New Year 2021 Photoshop by Sebastian Motsch

Happy New Year 2021

Flag World greyscaleHappy New Year 2021

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Ford Focus ST in Wertheim Drive-by Snapshot by Sebastian Motsch

Ford Focus ST Turnier | Wertheim Village

Flag GermanyFord Focus ST Turnier

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Ford Focus ST-Line Turnier in Schonungen Drive-by Snapshot by Sebastian Motsch

Ford Focus ST-Line Turnier | Schonungen

Flag GermanyFord Focus ST-Line Turnier

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Mazda Miata NA and Austin Mini Fall Leaves by Sebastian Motsch

Spontaneous Sunset Drive

Spontaneous Sunset Drive

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Mazda 6 Kombi at Národní Muzeum Prague Drive-by Snapshot by Sebastian Motsch

Mazda 6 Tourer | Národní muzeum Praha

Mazda 6 Tourer

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Mazda MX5 RF ND in Italia Padova Drive-by Snapshot by Sebastian Motsch

Mazda MX5 RF | Padova

Mazda MX5 RF

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The Original Speedhunter

Flag World greyscaleThe Original Speedhunter

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Mazda MX5 RF Austria Faschingalm Drive-by Snapshot by Sebastian Motsch

Mazda MX5 RF | Faschingalm

Mazda MX 5 RF at Faschingalm

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Japan Hakone Turnpike Lotus Exige 240R GT3 by Sebastian Motsch (2019)

Lotus Exige 240R GT3 | Hakone Turnpike

Flag JapanLotus Exige 240R GT3

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Japan Tokyo Meguro Volvo XC70 CrossCountry Surfing Wagon by Sebastian Motsch

06 Tokyo | Gotanda and Meguro

Flag JapanDay 03 | Tokyo

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Japan Tokyo Akihabara 5 チシロ by Sebastian Motsch 02

05 Tokyo | Akihabara

Flag JapanDay 02 | Tokyo

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Nissan Bakkie 1400 Pick-up South Africa Midrand Bosch Diesel Center | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2008)

South Africa | Nissan Bakkie 1200 & 1400

Flag South AfricaSouth Africa

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Porsche Cayman Reflections Drive-by Snapshot by Sebastian Motsch

Drive-by Snapshot | Porsche Cayman Reflections

Flag FrancePorsche Cayman

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Thailand Bangkok TukTuk Happy New Year 2019 Neon Nightmarket by Sebastian Motsch

Happy New Year 2019

Happy New Year 2019

Thailand   |   Bangkok   |   Happy New Year 2019

Thailand Bangkok TukTuk Happy New Year 2019 Neon Nightmarket by Sebastian Motsch

Elephant Convoy in a Town on Road 13 Laos Drive-by Snapshot by Sebastian Motsch

Laos | Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

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Street Scene with Trucks and Scooters Laos Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch

Laos | Vientiane to Vang Vieng

Vientiane to Vang Vieng

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Tuk-Tuks in Laos Vientiane Drive-by Snapshot by Sebastian Motsch

Drive-by Snapshots | Vientiane

Drive-by Snapshots

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Renault R4 France Nancy Artwork by Sebastian Motsch

Renault 4 | Nancy, France

Flag FranceRenault 4 in Nancy, France

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Land Rover Series III LWB Van Malta Gozo Drive-by Snapshot by Sebastian Motsch rear

Land Rovers of Malta

Land Rovers of Malta

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England London Airstream Food Trailer by Sebastian Motsch 2017

Airstream Food Trailer

Flag United KingdomDBS of the Day

England   |   London

England London Airstream Food Trailer by Sebastian Motsch 2017

Japan Tokyo Akihabara Ferves Ranger 03 Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch

Ferves Ranger and Peel P50 in Akihabara

Flag JapanFerves Ranger, Peel P50…

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Nissan-Cedric-Y31-Taxi-Prada-in-Tokyo-Japan-by-Sebastian-Motsch 1280px

Sleepless in Tokyo

Flag JapanSleepless in Tokyo

Drive-by Snapshots   |   Published at

When opening the mailbox, there is a postcard between the bills and the advertisements that I already fished out curiously on my way to the apartment door. Where was it posted and who sent it? The dim light of the cold winter day makes me want to see a holiday greeting with palms on a beach, a lighthouse amid towering waves or a sunlit attraction. I turn the postcard to the front page and see… black. The entire surface is printed in a deep black, which in some places is weathered by mail sorting machines. Printed in one of the trendy neon colors it says ‘Berlin bei Nacht’ next to a crescent moon and a couple of stars.

Two decades later, during a nocturnal foray through the Japanese metropolis, I am thinking of this trend of the ’90s, whose remains can still be found sometimes in the back corner of a postcard shop. Who does not remember sending or receiving such postcards? Today we post status updates and Instagram stories on Facebook instead of sending postcards to family and friends.

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Unable to close even one eye, I lay awake in the tiny Airbnb room and quarrel with the jet lag. The inner clock has not yet adapted to the local time zone, although I have slept well during the long flight and the body is refreshed. But wait, jet lag is a good thing, isn’t it? It makes it possible to explore foreign cities when the locals sleep. Who knows what waits to be discovered at this time of the night?

Before finishing this thought, I’m already dressed and stand outside the tiny house in the narrow street. Left or right? It doesn’t matter. Those who have no destination will not get lost. When the lights switch to green, I start walking.

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Tokyo is a huge metropolis, but contrary to many other major cities around the world, most of the inhabitants sleep at night. Moving quietly through the residential streets, I admire how close the homes are spaced. The distance often corresponds to the width of a German license plate. It is a prosperous area, judged by the amount of European cars parked in open garages and integrated carports.

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Again and again, there are little details, like the anime figures glued to the dashboard of a Volvo 850 wagon, which bring a smile to my face. While approaching the end of the alley, I can hear a sound from the crossroad. Rapidly rotating tires mingle with the silence as if an invisible DJ gently fades in a new tune. A Toyota Hiace ambulance flashes past, without sirens out of consideration for sleeping residents and the flickering red light is reflected off a parked R33 Nissan Skyline.

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As I move on, I notice the transition from residential to a more commercial area with shops between the houses, with neon signs illuminating the parked cars. A shoe salesman has set up his goods on the covered corner of a house, which will disappear again in the trunk of his W140 before dawn. Since I’m the only passerby far and wide, I wonder who the nice elderly gentleman sells his shoes to. Unfortunately, we do not find a common language to clarify this question. When I tell him that I’m German, he smiles and directs the conversation, which consists of just a few words but many gestures, to his vehicle and we quickly agree that it is of outstanding quality and perseverance. He is really happy that I want to take a picture but doesn’t want to be part of it himself.

The kind gentleman directs me to turn left while imitating the sound of a V8 engine and simulating steering movements. A hearty laugh and a polite bow to say farewell encourages one man to wait for customers and the other to continue walking. I follow the direction indicated and, crossing a fenced bridge, notice that the expensive public parking lots are mostly empty at night.

The homes give way to luxurious shops. In front of a building with spectacular architecture, I take a picture of a Nissan Cedric taxi waiting at the traffic light and muse over the beautiful picture. Otherwise, the streets in the area are empty. I have time to let my thoughts wander.

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In Japan, other people’s possessions are respected rather than stolen. Therefore even expensive aftermarket wheels are stored in open garages and high-value supercars are parked outside.

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Most private underground garages are not equipped with access barriers, providing me the opportunity to take a look at the parking deck of a large apartment complex. Many new hybrid models, rows of minivans and kei cars.

But what is that? In the far corner hides what will become one of my favorite pictures of this journey. Peacefully, a lowered full‐size Dodge van and a lifted Suzuki Jimny share a niche. The contrast couldn’t be bigger. Only in Japan.

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A few blocks down the road the sounds advertised by the shoe salesman are audible, immediately evoking memories of another continent. I smile from ear to ear, because the scene is so surreal. In between the typical Tokyo taxis, dozens of shiny American cars cruise with burbling exhausts.

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A weird but wonderful contrast that accompanies me all the way to the world-famous Shibuya intersection. Upon arrival, I indulge in the unique atmosphere and enjoy watching the nocturnal hustle and bustle with a glass of matcha and rest the tired legs.

The subway suspends service at night and because my budget doesn’t allow for a cab ride, I walk back to the tiny house and fall asleep fully dressed.

Sebastian Motsch   |   Instagram drivebysnapshots

[This story was published on in September 2019.]

Ferrari 348 TS in Austria Drive-by Snapshot by Sebastian Motsch

Ferrari 348 TS | Austrian Mountain Pass

Ferrari 348 TS on Austrian Mountain Pass

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