EVENTS: 2011 Japanese Classic Car Show Part 01, Best of the Best


We’ll get to the cars that we normals can afford in a minute, but first let us dream a little. The 2011 JCCS completely elevated the bar, bringing together several ultra-rare, six-figure machines that few Western eyes have gazed upon in person. Let’s take a look at the Best of the Best.


Seeing all three Nissans powered by the fabled Prince/Nissan S20 in Long Beach is like stumbling upon Bigfoot, the tooth fairy, and Ogopogo sipping tea together in Times Square. Even in Japan, you are unlikely to see all three together unless you’re in a car museum.


The scarcity of these automobiles cannot be stressed enough. We’ve seen plenty of hakosuka, but this is the first genuine KPGC10 Skyline GT-R ever to be shown in the US. Pristine versions have exchanged hands in Japan for over $150,000, with prices climbing.


This is the motor that propelled these uber-Skylines to many a victory, as well as its mythic status. The engine itself is worth more than most whole cars.

GT-R. These three letters are really why the S20 is so monumental. The legend of the GT-R began right here, dominating road racing in Japan during the late Sixties and early Seventies. There are more expensive and rarer Japanese cars out there, but none have captured the hearts of the Japanese people quite the same.


Of course, the Skyline was originally a Prince Motor Co. design. It only wore the badge after the companies merged in 1966. The merger also allowed Nissan to co-opt the S20 for  its top-of-the-line grand tourer, the Fairlady Z.


The name of the Nissan Fairlady Z 432 reveals why the S20 is so special — 4 valves per cylinder, triple carbs, twin cams.


Aside from its badges and magnesium wheels the Z432 looks like any ordinary S30. But a Z432 cost double the price of an ordinary Fairlady Z when they were sold new in 1969.


Here’s the same 160PS wonder that turns a $20,000 Z-car into a $200,000 rarity.


Lastly, we have the hako’s younger brother. Because the 1970s emissions laws and oil crisis forced Nissan to cut back on its racing programs, the KPGC110 Skyline GT-R never saw track duty.


Many clones have been built from lower-trim kenmeri Skylines, but peek under the hood and you’ll find single-cam L-series motors.


Nissan only made 197 genuine GT-Rs, ever. Here’s a detail of the kenmeri GT-R’s twin round taillights, which became a Skyline trademark.


The boys from Aichi had their own twin-cam, triple-carbed straight six. Toyota didn’t race the 2000GT as much as Nissan did the GT-R, but it is the only Japanese car that has gained any respect from traditional collectors of European marques (though that is now changing as well as more discover cars like the GT-R).


The 2000GT represents a time when Toyotas were filled with passion and soul. The company didn’t even think twice about debuting a car that cost more than a Porsche 911. In the process, they inadvertently created Japan’s first supercar.


By no coincidence, beside it was the latest Japanese supercar, the Lexus LFA, looking gorgeous in gloss black.


Two Japanese supercars, separated by a span of four and a half decades. This is some high quality Japanese steel (or aluminum and carbon fiber, as the case may be).


Not to be left out, Mazda showed off their own groundbreaking sports GT, the 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport. It was the world’s first twin-rotor motorcar, and it kicked off Mazda’s unique take on engine design that would span nearly half a century.


Mazda was not lacking in any passion or soul here. Their racing prowess was on full display here, with the IMSA-dominating GTO FC RX-7 and its GTP successor, the RX-792P. Mazda was unstoppable in IMSA racing during the entire decade of the 1980s.


In celebration of their victory at the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans, Mazda displayed the glorious 787B. Although the orange and green car sponsored by Renown won the race, Mazda actually ran three cars. The other two wore Mazdaspeed‘s white and blue livery like the Number 56 car above. This particular car came in 8th, but its presence is no less astonishing.

See more photos of these cars in the gallery below, and of course there is more coverage of the 2011 JCCS coming up!

Photos by Dan Hsu, John Roper, Yee Chan

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17 Responses to EVENTS: 2011 Japanese Classic Car Show Part 01, Best of the Best

  1. Nigel said:

    JCCS !!
    So much greatness in one spot !
    Thank You JNC.

  2. mister k said:

    S20 DREAM TEAM … BABY!!!

    @HS30-H, plz comment on those 3 gems for us?!

  3. Pete240Z said:

    A Fairlady Z 432 that you can walk up to and look at? I MISSED the show this year.

    I would have taken 100+ pictures of that car alone and after attending last years show I would have arrived at sunrise and watched all the cars come into the car entrance.

    Next year….

    • Dutch 1960 said:

      Getting to the gate very early or very late is a great idea! I wanted to hear many of those cars actually running. The Mazda Le Mans car for example. How cool would that have been? I noticed that all the cars had their batteries disconnected. Probably ground rules for the insurance or the landlord.

  4. RATMAZ said:

    omg all my all these’s cars are amazing.
    Anyone know how many of the z432′s were made?

  5. ylee said:

    was there myself. it was a great sight. definitely a once in a life time experience. i got to touch the S20 engine. drools…

  6. 80Celica said:

    I love the fact that the LFA is sporting a JNC sticker!!!

  7. shaun said:

    Should get rid of those lfa pics and post some of the a31 debonair. I’m sure it’s the only a31 debonair in the states…lfa stuff really belongs in a road and track on a classic car show…

  8. boyee said:

    It actually isn’t a 787B, just a 787 the sister racecar. The B is the newer version created in 1991 whereas the 787 was created in 1990. There are minor changes between the engines as well as the aerodynamics.

  9. slickwrick said:

    JNC brings happiness and joy!

  10. inqui-Z-tor said:

    Only 1-word .. JCCS is “AWESOME”

  11. Lincoln Stax said:

    This is the stuff wet dreams are made of. I love the looks of all of them. Whether it’s KPGC10 toughness, 2000GT sexiness, S30 gracefulness, Cosmo Sport baroqueness, or KFPC110 funkiness, they’re all drool worthy.

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