EVENTS: 2015 New Year Meeting, Part 02: Sports Coupes and Sports Sedans

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In Part 01 of our New Year Meeting coverage, we looked at the early days of Japan’s infatuation with sizzling Sixties sports cars. In Part 02, we look at the Disco Decade’s explosion of new sports coupes and sports sedans. 

In past years’ Meetings, the daruma Celica was a rather under-represented car. This year, they came out in full force, and in sharp contrast to the examples you often see in US-based shows, all were beautifully restored. Properly shod with Watanabe, Hayashi and SSR wheels, as well as non-retina searing paint, these examples really show off the car’s gorgeous lines. Coupes outnumbered Liftbacks to a large degree.

The Celica’s younger brother, the TE27 Corolla Levin and Sprinter Trueno twins also represented uncharacteristically well. We were particularly fond of the rare, pre-facelift Levin in orange. Ignition Models has scanned the light blue one to make a resin model out of.

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Strictly speaking, only 1975 and older cars are welcome, but sometimes they will bend the rules. In any case, we’re glad to see what a near-bone stock Japanese E70 Corolla sedan looks like, complete with tape stripe decals and chunky fender mirrors. When TOM’s introduced the flat Igeta wheel, it coincided with the E70 Corolla, so the two really go hand in hand.

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The TE55 Corolla Levin is one of the lesser loved generations sandwiched between the TE27 and AE86, but the spotlessness of this particular example, dropped ever so subtly on widened gunmetal stock steelies, makes us appreciate this one. It doesn’t hurt that when you pop the hood the 2TG gleams like Marcellus Wallace’s briefcase.

The New Year Meeting is one of the few shows in the world where you can reliable see a fleet of Mitsubishi Galant GTOs, and its little brother, the FTO. The ColtSpeed Club turns out in force every year.

The S30 Club brought out several top-notch examples of the original Fairlady Z, including a couple of G-nose 240ZGs and a Z432.

Other Z clubs didn’t feel the need to keep their cars as original. This club appears to consist entirely of Z owners who have modified their cars for drag racing.

You’ll notice, however, that Skylines outnumber Zs at a typical Japanese car show, whether its hakosuka, kenmeri or tekamen. This year, quite a few sedans came out to the Meeting, including one painted in an unusual light blue and a red four-door with what appears to be Central 20 wheels, which are rare street versions of the Nissan works racing wheels.

Surf Line is a Japanese club devoted entirely to the early Nissan Skylines. The namesake comes from what Shinichiro Sakurai named the character line that kicks up across the rear wheel arch.

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Not all clubs were organized by model. Here are two rivals of 1970s touring car races sharing a corral. Both the B110 Sunny and Savanna RX-3 would have been common sights at Fuji Speedway back in the day. Now they sit side by side, the Mazda on what must be rare Watanabes in a 4×110 lug pattern. Also, Longchamp XR-4s for sale.

Speaking of Sunnys, B110s were well-represented at this year’s show. In particular, Matt was very fond of the green L-series Excellent, whose color was unique to that sub-model.

In contrast to an American show, 510s were not that frequent. In fact, the one 2-door sedan was a left-hand-drive USDM model that somehow made its way back to the motherland.

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Last but not least, our lensman spotted a lone first-gen Isuzu Gemini Coupe holding its own. Blacked out trim and racing buckets implied there was something more than stock lurking beneath the hood. Modified Isuzus are pretty rare in Japan, so this was a curious specimen indeed.

To be continued…

We have more 2015 New Year Meeting coverage coming up, but in case you missed it here’s Part 01 — Sixties Sports. Also, check out our New Year Meeting coverage from 2013, 2012, and 2011.

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16 Responses to EVENTS: 2015 New Year Meeting, Part 02: Sports Coupes and Sports Sedans

  1. Nigel said:

    With the 1975 rule, that explains why I never see any 910 Bluebird SSS sedans.
    The need to move the cutoff forward some like at JCCS. Another good post guys.

  2. Bart said:

    That Gemini is sweet. I love the simple white with black accents. There are 350HP turbo kits sold by TurboGemini.com. So it does make you wonder if that car is hiding some serious ponies under the hood.

  3. Michael said:

    1 Mazda? That’s all?

  4. Jason said:

    Never realised the Opel Kadett was sold as a Gemini in other markets. My Da had a few of these, would love one now. More and more popping up again in Ireland in stock and modified states. Have to say though, it definitely ‘looks’ more Euro than Japanese.

  5. Ryan said:

    “The TE55 Corolla Levin is one of the lesser loved generations sandwiched between the TE27 and AE86, “. No AE86. I think it’s by the E70.

    • 02Anders said:

      Very true.
      And is it really lesser loved??
      I realise that it wasn’t a massive hit on launch, as the increase in weight over the TE27 made it slower than it’s predecessor both in a straight line and around a track. But that was then. This is now. Seen and enjoyed as a classic car, is it really still lesser loved? Sure it’s not the icon that the TE27 is, and it never will be. Now I’m biased of course, but I would argue that the TE55’s rarity today – especially as a factory 1600GT with the legendary 2T-G under the hood – has made it both collectable and rather cool to own…

  6. Jan Simpson said:

    Wondering if you know the dates yet for the New Year’s meeting for 2016?

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