New Year Meeting
January 25, 2009 -
Words: Ben Hsu / Photos Damian Huggins
y now all of you are surely familiar with the annual mass migration of J-tin that happens in Tokyo at this time of year. You will never see a bigger assembly of vintage Japanese iron than at the Japanese Classic Car Club
's New Year Meeting.
Usually there's one featured marque but for 2009 the organizers chose two - Hino and Isuzu. A vintage car show in Japan is likely to be the only place you'll see either of these nameplates as the featured marques because neither of them make cars any more. Both had decent lineups in the 1960s, but simply couldn't hang with giants like Nissan or Toyota. Now both are solely in the business of making commercial trucks and buses.
Nevertheless, each one was asked to bring out a vintage race car for special display. Isuzu brought out a Bellet R6
and Hino showed a familiar Contessa 1300
Hino and Isuzu owners all came out of the woodwork to join the party. There were more Bellet GT-R
s and Contessas
than in past shows but they were still easily outnumbered by a multitude of Skylines and TE27s of both the Corolla Levin
and Sprinter Trueno
variety. Still, cars like this ultra-rare Bellet Fastback
made an appearance.
We also really liked this KE10 Corolla
, these Nissan Cherry X1-Rs
, Hasemi race-replica hakosuka GT-R
, and what appears to be at Datsun 520 Wagon
. And look, this LHD Subaru BRAT
is a good example of how the USDM trend, in which collectors ship American market Japanese cars back to the motherland, continues to gain traction. Take a look at some of the amazing cars in the parking areas too, such as this Sharknose Bluebird-U and Nissan Violet
We've said this before but it bears repeating. If you are planning to visit Japan, this is the
event to go to. Just remember to keep warm!