Mazda is one of two major automakers that sponsors JCCS, and there’s always a nice display of rotaries thanks to the legions of SoCal Mazdafarians. Here is a study in contrasts, the sleek and sexy SA22C RX-7 and its pistonless partner, the utilitarian REPU. By the way, a bone-stock Seven is a beautiful thing.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the historic race cars that the other OEM sponsor, Toyota, brought to the festivities. First up, a vintage SCCA Trans-Am style TE27 Corolla complete with period-correct American Racing Libres.
Remember when tobacco companies could sponsor an entire race series? The IMSA Camel GT Celica hails from that era, shrouded in vintage red/orange/yellow-on-white Toyota racing livery. Gotti wheels and Goodyear Tires were major sponsors of the All American Racers‘ Toyotas for many years (so un-JDM!).
As generations of Celicas progressed, so did the race cars. Even when the Celica became a front-wheel-drive car, the AAR Toyota team lobbied IMSA to change the rules to allow them to continue running rear-wheel-drive race cars in the GTO class.
How about some race cars? Despite its great looks, Larry Hasseler’s Datsun 240Z is campaigned in VARA, the Vintage Auto Racing Association and driven hard. It also has a snarling exhaust note that could wake the dead, as we discovered as Larry loaded it up on his trailer at the end of the show.
Before the famous BRE Datsun 510s and 240Zs, there was the BRE Datsun Roadster. This is the actual, restored car driven by Frank Monise (pre-John Morton BRE driver). As the story goes, when asked why he hired Monise, Peter Brock said, “Because he kept beating me.”
Here’s a closer look at the Sparkle Garage Crew’s bosozoku-style MS65 Toyota Crown. Do not be alarmed: this kujira was in pretty gnarly shape when purchased, so they didn’t defile a rare specimen, they breathed new, meaner life into a beached whale.
Speaking of interesting decals, this groovy stripes on this Dodge Colt makes us want to break out the Bee Gees 8-track. This is, from what we’ve heard, a dealer add-on. Do you think Mitsubishi ever, in a million years, expected us Yanks to dress the King of Cars in a technicolor dreamcoat? Mad props to the owner for keeping the far out livery as-is!
One of the most amazing cars at the show was this 1970 VG20D Toyota Century Violet Edition. It wasn’t the this car’s king-of-Toyota-luxury status, although that in itself is impressive enough. It’s the fact that this particular one has only 1600 km on the odometer — less than 1000 miles!
As cars from the 1980s move into classic territory, models like the Nissan/Datsun 200SX (aka S12 Silvia) are increasing in numbers at the JCCS. There were at least a half dozen pre-S13 Silvias present, swapped with everything from V6s to RB26DETTs (see gallery below).
We first saw this Celica at Toyotafest but it remains one of our favorites. As we noted then, the color reminds us of the green Celicas that raced at Fuji back in the day, and — say it with us — everything looks good on black Wats.
Finally, here’s a shot of the cars gracing the JNC booth. Rather than bore you with the Cressida Wagon or Ben’s bone-stock AE86, we reunited two old school rivals in the 800cc class. Back in the 1960s the Honda S800 and Toyota Sports 800 would have been trading paint over endurance championships at Suzuka, but today they’re helping us spread the word of nostalgic Japanese steel.