Welcome to Part 02 of our Nostalgic2Days coverage, as we make our way across the Pacifico Convention Center on Yokohama’s historic waterfront. In this installment we’ll see the displays kyuusha tuning houses, some of the famous cars that have graced Nostalgic Hero magazine, and classic Nissans from the automaker’s own collection.
It seemed everywhere you turned there was a pristine Japanese classic to gawk at, from Datsun Fairlady roadsters to Mazda Cosmo Sports to unmolested S30 Zs. Even less popular models like the Mazda Capella (RX-2) sedan and Toyota Publica 700 could be found.
Not all the cars were pristine though. One well patina’ed Bluebird 510 sedan was the very definition of untouched original. It even wore an “Nissan Driver’s Club” grille badge and what appeared to be original export license plates for a Japanese car driven overseas (Thanks, Ryan C.).
Biko Works is a shop that’s been around for ages, and one look at their booth certainly answers the question as to why. Their hakosukas are some of the best on display at the show. I see countless C10s with lots of little problems here and there, like improper wheel fitment, poor stance, or just a regurgitation of the same old boring tuning paradigms. The red Biko Works hakosuka, on the other hand, nails everything perfectly. The paint is flawless and, despite not being a common color for the model, shames almost every other white and silver specimen out there. The stance is spot on. Not too high, not too low. And those Glow Star wheels! Man, they fit perfectly with just the right amount of wheel gap and the perfect tire size. If I ever win the lottery and buy myself a hako, I’m building it just like this one.
Rocky Auto is well known for its insane engine swaps into Nissan Skylines and Fairlady Zs, so it was somewhat of a surprise to see this mint (literally) Toyopet Crown at their booth and imagine what they might have in store for it.
Nissan always has an excellent presence at Nostalgic2Days and this year they certainly didn’t disappoint by bringing out a collection of genuine rally classics. These machines were still wearing the battle scars from their service with no restoration. It was refreshing to see cars built strictly for one purpose still proudly standing tall even after all these years. The 510 with the crunched front fender and bumper was a particular favorite. I’m sure the old girl has some amazing stories to tell.
Nissan also brought out an old Datsun Type 15 and matching frame. For some reason, the guys in charge felt it would be fun to let us behind the ropes so we could clamber all over that frame, trying to get an idea of just how these classic and iconic Datsuns were built. The frame is as simple as can be, and with the solid axle and leaf springs in the rear, it looks fairly normal. As a geek that’s more in love with the guts of a car than its exterior, what I found to be utterly beautiful was the engine.
Comparatively, it’s extremely simple, but some of the craftsmanship is otherworldly. For example, a brass fuel line is bent masterfully over the top of the bellhousing, around the front of the motor, and ultimately into the carburetor. I also love the side valve cylinder with the water inlet dead square on top, as “flatheads” are a rare sight these days.
Speaking of the cylinder head, one of the cooler things about these old Datsuns is that they were being built in a time before everything had to be in English so it could be sold around world. That means you end up with some cool stuff, like 着火 (chakka) being written on the cylinder in Japanese to indicate the firing order.
Going in the complete opposite direction is the wicked Autech Stelvio Zagato (you’re welcome, Kev). The Zagato is based on the Nissan Leopard chassis but has a hotted up engine and some, ah, interesting body work. Some would call it ugly, and the enclosed fender mirrors certainly look funny, but the more I look at them the more they grow on me. And there is no doubt that this car would turn heads no matter where it went. This particular car, though, is quite special as it is chassis number AZ1-0001, which means it’s the very first Autech Stelvio ever produced and is still in amazing, unrestored shape to boot!
At the same booth was a pristine Toyota Celica Liftback that looked as new as the day it came off the showroom floor.
As is the custom for every Nos2Days show, several of the cars that have appeared on Nostalgic Hero and 80s Hero covers lined the convention hall. This year guests of honor included a pristine A60 Celica XX (Supra), a 1965 Toyota Corona, a surf-themed Mazda Familia (323), and the Prince Skyline Van that Ben and Skorj photographed at the Meiji Jingu Classic Car Festival.
However, the car that caught my eye most was a little red Honda Beat. It’s technically not a nostalgic yet, being manufactured from 1991-96, but it represents the future for the whole nostalgic car world. The young whippersnappers of tomorrow will be snatching these up and performing full restorations on them in the not-so-distant future, and that’s a future I’m very much so looking forward to.
That concludes Part 02 of our Nostalgic2Days coverage. There’s still more to come, but for now in case you missed it be sure to check out Part 01.