In the first installment of our 2016 Nissan Jam coverage, we focused on the most popular of the Nissan family tree. The “cool kids” club included Skylines, Zs, 510s, 620s, and Fairlady roadsters, but Nissan has a deep history of other models that don’t get quite as much love. Now it’s their turn to shine.
Right off the bat we have cars like the Sunny, unloved when new but which are now finding their share of their dedicated fans. In fact, Oscar Castaneda’s B310 wagon was a junkyard rescue that would have been a shame to crush, and Enrique Elias even won third place in the Best 70s Datsun category.
While the cool kids like their 240Zs slammed, flared, stanced, and maybe even fugu‘ed, Tom Clark’s remains striped and period correct with the addition of 280ZX wheels. It makes sense, as Tom is the original owner and has logged over 230,000 miles on his car.
Similarly, Robert Ramirez’s gloriously brown 1976 280Z could have driven straight out of a CHiPs episode.
Josue Elias is a regular at SoCal shows, but it’s an important job to be the sole torchbearer for the 1973 Datsun 610 wagon. We’ve seen Josue’s car several times before never looked closely at the roof rack before. It’s got quite an interesting shape, canted forward like the prow of a ship. It’s details like these that prove the necessity of repeated viewings.
While most Zed-heads go after the S30 chassis, Phil Cartwright found his 1979 280ZX sitting neglected in the previous owner’s garage. He’d burned the clutch in 1983 and let it sit for nine years. Phil rescued it in 1992 covered with dirt, dry rot, ruined paint and flat tires, put in an “extensive” amount of work and got it back on the road.
Kimberly Hall’s B310 took second place in the Best 70s Datsun category. Affectionately named Stanley, it has been the focus of a many-year restoration with the goal of getting it to look exactly like it did when it rolled off the showroom floor in 1981. It might be one of the most extensive B310 restorations in the country.
Incredibly, that wasn’t even the only bone-stock, female-owned B310 at the show. Amy Aguilar’s 1979 is said to be an all-original blue plate car, always garaged and showing just 74,000 original miles.
We’ve seen Leonso Porras’s 1985 Nissan Pulsar many times, but we never tire of it. It’s could be the only N12 that regularly goes classic car shows in the entire US, and almost certainly is the only N12 in the world to wear SSR Star Sharks. We approve.
Jun Andrada holds the honor as having the first Nissan NX to ever show at Nissan Jam. There should be many more of the tremendously under-appreciated 1991 NX2000 at car shows, but sadly, there aren’t. Jun is the original owner and a veteran of the 90s sport compact scene. He’s kept the naturally aspirated SR20, albeit modified it with HKS exhaust, and fitted it with a period-correct VIS Racing Body Kit.
When B14s were new, they were cheap, seemingly everywhere, and not very highly regarded as a successor to the wonderful B13 Sentra SE-R. Now, a few decades on, they’re almost completely gone and so when we spotted Alejandra Rodriguez’s spotless Nissan 200SX we suddenly developed a newfound appreciation for them. We only hope more can be rescued before it’s too late.
Of course, Nissan was fond of using the same model name for completely different cars (see 210, 510). Several Silvia-based 200SX models were present, including Jaymie and Ann Gonzaga’s matching S12 hatchbacks. Well, they’re not entirely identical — under the hood of Jaymie’s gray 1987 there’s an SR20DET while Ann, the original owner of her silver 1986, rocks a CA20.
Ricky Mena’s CA20-powered Wedgewood Blue 1987 Coupe and Michael Sameshima’s blue-plate 1981 made for an excellent pairing of S110 and S12 generation. Mike took home the Best 200SX prize for his 80s-style hatch modified in period.
In 1979 Nissan produced 1,009 Datsun 280ZX-R models, equipped with a massive rear wing to homologate the Electramotive IMSA GTU race car. Danna Hannibal found the car sitting at a race track, “forgotten and lonely” and purchased it with the intention of turning it into a track car. However, upon learning how rare it is, she decided to change course and restore it to original spec.
Nissan Jam had no shortage of big sedans, either. We’ll revisit the Altimas and new Maximas (someone already slammed one!) in 25 years and stick with the already-classic ones for now.
We’d seen the same lowered, blue plate Maxima rocking Enkei Apaches at the AE86 Nights ramp meet. Here it was again, serving as sole ambassador of the 810 generation and last of the big, RWD Nissan sedans (for the US market, at least).
From large to small, we come to Leonel Del Cid’s beautiful 1964 PL312. With his impeccable restoration and incredible array of custom touches that make this Datsun perfect for a drive-in, it’s no surprise he won the Best 60s Datsun class.
For the first time at Nissan Jam, there was an Infiniti class, which brought out a couple of M30 coupes. Craig Nelson’s 1990 was mostly stock and resplendent in a two-tone white and gold paint scheme emblematic of the HW Bush years.
Conversely, Mike Posada’s looked a little more modern-retro Japanese, a new school take on an old school style. There’s just a hint of bosozoku leanings with a custom ducktail and 15-inch Longchamp XR-4s. The transmission has been swapped for a Z31 5-speed, and there’s even an homage to Abunai Deka on the rear.
Truck-wise, the 620s get all the attention, but D21 Hardbody pickups were popular as mini-trucks and have begun to show up at the Jam.
Nathan Barnett’s bone-stock 1972 521 was a gift from his grandfather, the second owner of the truck before he passed away. Nathan promised to keep it as his grandfather did, and so it remains wonderfully stock and original, an honest and noble work truck.
More stock Z-Cars defied slamming, including Fred Zeiler’s bone-stock Z31 Turbo is an amazingly mint example of the breed. Beside it, John Moran’s 260Z, a Touge California survivor, showed what an unmolested 2+2 looked like.
Speaking of 2+2s, the Datsmo booth had two of them, both lightly modified. It’s good to see the oddball body style getting some attention.
Last but not least, International Vehicle Importers brought out a selection of Japanese cars from across the Pacific. Sure, there were R32 GT-Rs, but what really got our salivary glands kicking in was their R31 Skyline wagon that was old man mint, complete with parking guide on the front bumper. Only 130,000 kilometers (81,000 miles) were on the turbo RB20 engine. Sadly, it has since been sold.
To be continued…