Location scouting North of Tokyo, we were surprised to pass a yard not filled with the usual rural kei cars — or farming implements — but one filled with an enormous range of nostalgics.
Looking like a wrecking yard from some angles, the many cars parked in tight rows were perhaps slightly unloved, but thankfully not so unloved that they had been stacked on top of each other.
They are part of a on-going operation to sell, service and perhaps repatriate. Many of the cars had (often silly) prices in their front windows, and the service area was buzzing with the sound of an arc-welder underneath a tatty brown Fairlady Z.
A few helpful staff were on-hand to help with any questions, though discussion about prices resulted in the usual “Chotto muzukashii” teeth-sucking (literally “a little difficult,” an implication such talk was the domain of the yard owner I assumed).
Perhaps I should have taken a full inventory, or even just counted them, as there would have been over 60 or 70 cars scattered over two sides of the road, but my non-sympathetic companions went and sat back in the car after just a few minutes of wandering about getting dirty in the hot sun. Wimps.
Most of the cars were exposed to the elements, and all were wearing at least a few millimeters of dust and past road-grime, making it difficult to peer through their grubby windows at nostalgic interiors.
A few had heavy body perforations courtesy of a serious program of rusting, but many appeared to be good solid cars – even if I had to fight off the spider webs and wade through knee-high weeds to inspect.
a smattering of twin-cammed Toyota including a Sprinter Trueno, a Lotus Europa. Plus Laurels, at least one early Crown, some Sunny, a grossly-spoilered and neoned Silvia, at least two cars sitting on flattened slicks, and a Z31.
Their second floor, above the showroom and office, is filled with boxes of parts, things wrapped in newspaper, stacks of wheels, and I am sure enough stuff to make any Japanese classic car collector weak with anticipation of possible lost parts for their hard-to-find restoration project.
With more time, a few visits back to Tochigi-ken should be planned, as even in Japan there are not too many car yards that have on hand such a wide range of kakkoii machines, including nearly every Skyline from a C10 to an R35, and a secret stash of suitable parts.
Skorj is a photographer/journalist living in Japan. You can see more of his work at Magnesium Photos.