EVENTS: Japanese Classic Car Show 2010, Part 04


We know Honda heads have often felt left out of the nostalgic car movement, but this year’s JCCS had more Hondas than ever. Luckily, the N600s and Z600s didn’t take up much space! It wasn’t just the kei-sized creations of Soichiro Honda that made a splash, though.


Several first-gen Honda Civics present, and owners preferred to keep them bone-stock. These were the very definition of economy cars, and most were driven into the ground en masse, making them nearly impossible to find in decent condition today.


But despite those humble beginnings, the Civics were an icon of the 1970s, when the oil crisis and a perpetual cloud of smog over Los Angeles drove everyone into the arms of fuel efficiency.


In addition to 600s and Civics, some minty fresh Honda Accords also made an appearance, along with First-gen Integras and Acura Legends. As a result of Honda’s modest beginnings (the US never got to see the 1300 Coupes or S-series roadsters), they had to pioneered a luxury brand because people kept crying, “$20,000 for a Japanese car!?” It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since.


Yesterday we saw a big lineup of Nissan 200SXs so it’s only natural that JCCS welcome its big brother, the Z31 300ZX. Several Z31s were on display, including a not-often-seen 2+2 (see gallery below). Though this car is much maligned for its bloated curb weight and soft handling compared to the 240Z, it was still one of the most popular sports cars of the 80s, and has the angular, digital age styling to prove it.


Okay, fine. Here’s a Datsun 240Z for you, resplendent in its original paint. We miss the 70s. These days not many automakers would dip a sports car in metallic brown and give it white stripes.


On the other hand, Raymond Lui‘s 240Z shows the vast range of possibilites that are achievable with the S30 platform. Like the Hiraishi Z that was on the cover of JNC 01, this car is the brain child of an old schooler that did the whole street racing thing back in the early 80s.


Same crew, different take. Instead of tackling the this Frank Kubo‘s Datsun 620 was built for rocketing down the strip. A personalized California blue plate and the vintage Culver City Datsun license plate frame are subtle hints that these guys are no newbies. Be sure to check out the gallery below to see what’s hidden in the hood bulge.


For a completely different take on a truck, here’s a beautifully restored Datsun 320 pickup. 60hp of hauling power!


One of our favorite cars of the show was this Mazda RX-4 Hardtop belonging to Hector of Wankelholics. The RX-4 is among the rarest of the Mazda RX cars, and it’s incredibly rare to see one in such sparkling condition, with no flashy repaint, rocking period-correct Epsilon meshies.


This may not be the prettiest Datsun 510 at the show, but Bumblebee wishes he could be this cool. E Production means it’s running a stock L-series, though a humorous sticker on the roll cage hints at forced induction.


A nicely preserved 411 Bluebird Wagon. It’s not as mean looking as the 510, but it has potential.


We love old-and-new comparisons, and few are as striking as that of these Toyota pickups, owned by Cabe Toyota. The 2010 Tundra’s massive, V8-filled snout  is nearly as high as the Toyota Stout‘s roofline!


Similarly, look how far the Sienna has come from the 1983 Toyota Van. If it wasn’t for the Toyota USA Museum, it’s unlikely vehicles like this would survive in such excellent condition. Notice the stock “pizza cutter” wheels, shared with the AE86.


In the 1960s Subaru had a different take on the van, the Subaru 360 Van. These kei-sized one-box vans are called the Sambar in Japan, where the name is still going strong to this day.


And wouldn’t you know it, here’s a late 1997 Subaru Sambar (though jacked up and in pickup form) at PJ Bonifacio‘s booth.


Sparkle Garage is known for their shakotan sedans, but we were pleasantly surprised to find a TE27 Corolla bearing their logo. Primo shade of pale yellow and excellent use of Advan aeros.


Before TE27s Toyota had the KE15 Sprinter. Sharing a chassis with the E10 Corolla, it was the sport coupe variant that preceded the “mango.” One can spot the lineage in the body lines easily.


We gave the JNC Magazine award to Dom Stokes’ FJ20-powered 510 for simultaneously pushing the boundaries of uncommon swap and period-correctness, but we still love SR20DET swaps for their power potential.


Old Mitsubishis never seem to turn out in very large numbers, a condition that must be corrected, but we got to see two Mitsubishi Lancer-based Dodge Colts — the psychedelic dream from yesterday and this more staid but super-clean sedan.


Chrysler made an effort to make the Lancers more Dodge-like with different grilles and paint schemes, and the addition of safety bumpers compounded the USDM-JDM difference. But in the early days, that was clearly not the case, as with this ‘Champed Mitsubishi Colt Galant. It was a bit rough around the edges but still a solid, clean example of a rare car.


Chris Breyer‘s Datsun Roadster is one of our favorites, a nice clean example of what an original SPL311 would have looked like back in 1966.

There’s still more to come, so stay tuned. For more, see our previous installments, or revisit JCCS 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006.

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7 Responses to EVENTS: Japanese Classic Car Show 2010, Part 04

  1. Lincoln Stax said:

    Those old Colts are making me misty-eyed for the pale blue Colt 4-door I drove in high school back in 1979-81. It’s only drawback was the slushbox.

    I’m loving the photos. Keep ‘em comin’.

  2. Ryan said:

    Ahhh old colts, sweet relief…..

  3. AKADriver said:

    The red ’76 Colt is a Galant too, not a Lancer!

  4. Komeuppance said:

    Pants have come off.

    -Robert

  5. Sammy B said:

    Love that Van! You’ve finally motivated me to post some pics of my own (which is identical except for the wheels).

    As a note, 1984 was the first yr for these in the US, not 83 (though it was announced and perhaps even sold on the west coast in late 83)

  6. KA710 said:

    That white E production 510 race car,,,

    with the humorous sticker on the roll cage

    That 510 has dual A arm front suspension,, ,,, totally custom front frame tied into the roll cage,, ,, miata brakes,, ,, and a ton of custom modifications. …. … .. I bet bumblebee really wishes he could be that cool now