The last installment of our JCCS coverage was a homage to bone stock beauts, but a huge contributor to the popularity of Japanese cars has always been their tunability. Here are the JCCS cars that were built for street and circuit, not preservation.
Joe Rapalo brought his classic drag-spec RX-7. A snapshot of late 90s import drag racing, this monster Mazda is powered by a 13B-REW boosted to 44 psi and putting out 950 horsepower at the rear wheels.
Though not a full-on drag car, Israel Sandoval’s 1974 Corolla exudes a similar presence. Notably, he has retained the original 2T-C, but added an electronic fuel injection system.
It should be no surprise that Z-Cars were among the most heavily tuned cars at JCCS. Rick and Miles Garcia’s 1971 RB25DET-powered “Devil Z” took home second place in the Best 240Z class.
This heavily modified, SR20-swapped, 1972 Datsun 240Z is owned by Johnny Tran. No, not that Johnny Tran, though he was also oddly obsessed with SR20s, and there is another Fast & Furious character already building a 240Z. Instead, this Z is powered by a fully-built SR20 bored to 2.2L and force-fed by a Garrett twin-scroll turbo. Custom-built driveshaft, axles, Techno Toy Tuning lower control arms, camber plates and tension control rods, Stance coilovers and shortened steering knuckles underpin a Z that would surely dominate Race Wars (the fictional F&F drag race, not the all-out ethnic combat predicted by Charles Manson).
Incidentally, the third Z down in the upper photo is Glenn Chiou’s, which was recently featured on Petrolicious.
SR20 swaps were as popular as ever, finding their way into the engine bays of 510s, Sunnys, and Fairlady Roadsters. Ricardo Ramirez’s 1972 1200 won first place in the Best 70s Datsun class.
In fact, all three B110 Sunnys present (a pretty high turnout for the chassis) had SR20 swaps. This green ’73 belongs to reader Fullmoonclub, who swapped the original A12 for an SR20DE with OER carbs.
With its faded paint, it seems like a worn B110 Sunny shell someone just threw a new engine into and slammed it, but John noticed something very special about it — a complete 510 independent rear suspension underneath.
John has owned over twenty 510s and seems to know an endless number of little details about them. That’s why this black 510 2-door sedan caught his eye, thanks to taillights and grille unique to the later model Japanese GL-spec Bluebird. Note the slightly wider taillights that are pointed on the inside, and the grille that sits flush to the front end of the car. These were equipped only on the more luxurious GL Bluebirds.
Being a huge fan of Roadsters, John also took a liking to this bit of clever engine art. This later SR20, equipped with variable valve timing, had its plastic coil pack cover removed. In its place is a section of the Roadster’s original U20 valve cover.
Every time we see Enrique Elias’s B210 Sunny, it’s wearing a new set of classic Japanese shoes. Two years ago it was traditional gunmetal Wats, then SSR MkIIs, and now Longchamp XR-4s. It’s not easy to keep the look fresh for every show, but it makes a big difference to the regulars.
Sometimes, racing and preservation do intersect, as is the case with Mazda North America’s 1972 RX-2. The car is historic for several reasons. Firstly, it was built by Patrick Bedard, noted automotive journalist that wrote for Car & Driver for over 40 years. Always irreverent, his goal was to prove the mettle of Mazda’s rotary engine, at the time still a doubt-ridden idea. In 1973 he achieved that aim at Lime Rock when the RX-2 won the IMSA RS class, giving the rotary’s its first win in North America.
If you’re wondering why Paul Williamsen’s Datsun 510 looks so period correct, it’s because he’s kept it largely unchanged through 30 years and one cross-country move. The former SCCA racer is currently undergoing a restoration to its E-Production / GT3 glory days spec, with a new suspension having been installed right before JCCS. But thankfully the 70s-tastic livery, flares and American Racing Libres will stay.
Another period-looking racer, this 510 wears battle paint inspired by the BRE livery. It’s equipped with its own unique flares and air dam, however, and trades Libres for Panasports.
Janet Fujimoto’s 1970 Crown was a best-in-show winner at Toyotafest earlier this year, and won the Best 70s Toyota class again at JCCS. It was the featured car at the Enkei Wheels booth, rocking a set of RSM9. Powered by a 2JZ, and with completely modernized brakes and wiring, it is what Shige Suganuma of Mooneyes called a “Pro Street Touring Crown.”
Daniel Soto’s 1975 Corolla mixed classic Japanese and American styles, with fender mirrors and Weds Auto Bahns exemplifying the former, and headlight visors and bullet lugnut caps exemplifying the latter.
Resplendent in 541 Yellow, Hector Martinez’s 1980 Cressida is a laid-back cruiser made fun with a 5-speed swap. Some old school American-made tuning parts like Hooker headers on the 2.6L 4M-E and 15×10 Vintique steelies make it another “best of both worlds” build.
Eduardo Hernandez’s 1977 Corolla looks like a simple slam on Hoshino Impuls from the outside, but peek under the hood and you’ll find an F20C from a Honda S2000. With a curb weight hovering around the 2,000 pound mark (800 less than an S2000), it must be one hell of a sleeper.
The Datsun 240Z is a popular car for first-time JNC owners, and there’s good reason for that. Jill White’s is the perfect example of a car that was bought, learned on, wrenched on, and brought back to life.
Beside it sat an example of a special edition 1978 Black Pearl 280Z. Its distinctive paint was a 90-dollar option back in the day, and the first time the Z-Car was sold in black.
This year’s JCCS had a record number of Datsun 710s, and by record number we mean three: Brian Holloway and Ricardo Leon’s 1975 Coupes, and Alan Clevenger’s bone-stock 1977 Wagon (still sporting its original sticker showing an out-the-door price of $4,660), which won third place in the Best 70s Datsun category.
Brian Holloway’s 710 rocked a slew of JDM-converted goodies like Violet badges, taillights, bumpers and associated body panels.
Under the hood, the stock L20B has an SSS exhaust manifold and 280ZX struts equipped with FC RX-7 brake calipers peek through the strut towers.
Savant Young’s 1973 Mazda RX-3 likely needs no introduction, having been featured recently in an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. The rotary resto-mod was equipped a bridgeported Series 4 Mazda 13B turbo and hundreds of man hours. Savant took home the Best of JC Speed award, a new category for cars with modern modifications.
Nearby, a pair of Mazda RX-3 SP shone in all their decal-packaged glory. This was Mazda’s own take on 1970s styling, with plenty of louvers, stripes and blacked-out trim. The JCCS organizers placed the RX-3s right next to a group of hakosuka Skylines. Coincidence, or were the Yamaguchis evoking the legendary Fuji Speedway battle that saw the Mazdas steal Nissan’s 50th Skyline win?
Celio Sanchez’s 1973 Mazda RX-2 Coupe was painted in one of my favorite colors for the model, Laguna Blue. With a stock port 12A on a 48mm Dell’Orto carb and gold Riken meshies, it was a solid driver you could just jump into an go.
Edward Arce’s 1973 Mazda RX-2 is another car that just begs you to get in and drive, with a simple menu of hop-up parts like QA1 shocks and Eibach springs, an Aerospace Components big brake kit, and Racing Beat exhaust. Edwards also changed the hubs to accept a 5×114.3 lug pattern for more wheel choices.
A trio of street-driven Celicas equates to more fun than a barrel of monkeys. While the two yellow coupes look more like daily drivers, close readers may recognize Mike Malnick’s Liftback from his run on the JNC Touge California earlier this year.
If the 411 we drove in Monterey was any indication, it’s not going to win on any straights, but this well-worn Datsun 411 on Libres looked like another fun setup. You typically don’t see pre-510 Nissans set up with what looks like a nimble little canyon runner setup.
Abraham De Galicia sadly succumbed to cancer this past August while in the middle of his 1972 Datsun 240Z build. When he became unable to work on it, his friends and family pitched in to complete the car and paint it in the orange he had always wanted. According the family, though Abraham was not able to see the finished car in person, he opened his eyes the day before he passed to see a photo of the completed car.
Ron Sino-Cruz’s T80 Corona sedan is a fixture around SoCal. It may not be the most obvious choice for a cruiser, but its rarity keeps most observers guessing. A quick slam and it’s ready to bomb around town with three of your tightest homies.
Lowered, dropped, slammed, whatever you want to call it, every car we’ve shown so far has had that in common. Not these Corollas. A rally-spec TE72 and TE27 were on display as a tribute to Toyota’s long history of racing in the dirt.
Arnel Solas’s Z32 hails from the era of Wangan brutes, but it’s one of the nicest examples around. Rocking a late-90s JDM body kit nose, the relatively uncommon slicktop model was on display at the Motul Oil booth.
Saving one of our favorites for last, Kelvin Hiraishi’s Nissan Fairlady Z was discovered in a collection in Boston before being completed stripped down to the bare metal shell and resto-modded. With an RB25 under the hood, it’s a modern tribute to the Z432. In fact, this was one of JNC‘s first feature cars, which we photographed way back in 2007.
To be continued…
We’ll have more 2015 JCCS coverage coming up, but in the meantime in case you missed it here’s Part 01, Part 02, Part 03, Part 04, and Part 05 as well as special features on the first Honda built for US import, the Ibarra Bros’ classic Mazdas and some very special Z-Cars. You can also take another look at last year’s 10th anniversary of JCCS.