We’ve saved the best for last in our 2016 Nissan Jam coverage. It wasn’t easy choosing our favorites, but the cars in this post, for one reason or another, caught the eyes of the JNC staff that attended the show.
The official JNC booth car this year was Mikey Castillo’s incredible four-door hakosuka Skyline. We’ve hosted Mikey’s car at our booth before, at JCCS in 2011. But in the years since the car has undergone many changes. Its RB26DET was rebuilt with HKS 272 cams and Bosch 1000cc injectors with a big ol’ Borg-Warner S300SX 88-75 turbo.
Making their public debut were a set of massive Panasport C8R 3-piece wheels whose centers have been dipped “rose gold.” And even though American Dunlops have nothing to do with Dunlop Japan, there’s something cool about having 205/55-15 Dunlops stretched around the 15×9 front and 15×11 rears. Speaking of cool wheels, the centerpiece of the interior has to be the Hitman crystal steering wheel ,which gives the car that extra-shiny Japanese vibe.
To accommodate the deep barrels, Mikey’s also added semi-Works-style flares from Japan and a dual-bar roll cage. Mikey says he’s still not finished yet, and we’re looking forward to what the next evolution will be.
On special display nearby was the infamous Datsun 240Z once owned by Yutaka “Mr K” Katayama, the first president of Nissan USA. Though dulled by the overcast skies on show day, this historic car — and Touge California survivor — is finished in a custom pearl yellow of Mr K’s own choosing. You can read more about its history here.
On the other side of the special displays was Nissan USA’s new 2017 Titan XD diesel, whose towing capacity is a whopping 12,000 pounds. We’re definitely not the only Nissan nuts that developed fantasies of using it to haul our project cars and race trailers.
Julio Matal’s 1973 Datsun 510 2-door sedan was a beautiful example of an increasingly rare (and expensive) stock car that looks as it did when it rolled out of the showroom. In this case, that was on March 31, 1973 at Culver City Datsun in Los Angeles, according to Julio’s records.
Just when we were were thinking it looked familiar, Julio revealed that he’d purchased it from an owner who had lent it to the Riverside Automotive Museum, where we’d seen it on display in 2012. Though he’s the third owner, Julio is proud to say that the car still retains its original L16 and 4-speed transmission, all numbers matching.
There were many Bubble Era Skyline GT-Rs at this year’s Jam, but Andy Juang’s 1995 R33 V-Spec was one of our favorites. Legally imported through MotorEx, it was transferred from the original owner who had purchased it new in Japan. With a host of NISMO accessories like the aero kit, wing and LMGT1 wheels, it looks like an catalog car straight out of the 90s. There’s even a NISMO 400R suspension under all the exterior and interior goodies. And in case you thought the car looked familiar, it was featured on this year’s Nissan Jam flyer.
One of the scene stealers of the show was Landon Brown’s 1973 Datsun 620 pickup, modified with inspiration from works hakosuka Skylines. Drivetrain-wise, Landon says he rebuilt its L16 motor with L24 flat-top pistons and topped it off with a closed chamber peanut head and dual side-draft carbs. Visually, it’s stunning with bubble flares and door livery reminiscent of Nissan’s racing GT-Rs, though it also has some distinctly american touches like 14×9 polished slot mags.
510s don’t have to be 2-doors to be cool, though, and we loved this incredibly simple, Cactus Green sedan on polished period slot mags.
“That looks really Japanese,” we thought as Lukas Cook rolled into the show early in the morning. There was just something about it — the color, the aero kit, the white Super Advan 3-spokes — that screamed “Japan”. Turns out there was good reason for that. It was an imported RHD 180SX with the Sileighty conversion, still with its CA18DET. You can tell exactly when it was modified, too; the style is pure 90s touge machine, frozen in time. We hope it says that way.
Bryon Kibildis’s 1994 Nissan 300ZX, a less common slick top variant, took home the Nissan’s choice prize, awarded by Nissan USA’s social media team.
JNC senior editor Dave Yuan’s pick of the show was Brian Holloway’s 1975 Datsun 710. We’ve seen it as a work in progress over the years, and now complete in its final form, it’s quite stunning. With bumpers, trim and badges from the JDM Violet, it was extremely well done. The chassis rare and it was not an easy build, but Brian won a well-deserved first place in the Best 70s Datsun class.
JNC had the opportunity to award two prizes this year, and it was an honor to have been asked to select the car most deserving of the Classic Preservation Award. Only, the winner wasn’t a car at all, but Lou Bircheff’s 1969 60-series Nissan Patrol.
It was truly amazing how well-preserved this truck was. Lou bought it from the original family that had purchased it in 1969. It had been driven only 19,000 miles before it was put away and stored for over 30 years. It even still has the original plastic on the door trim and the Japanese instructions for the manual throttle knob.
It also came with an original owners manual and service book in incredible condition. Perhaps just as cool, however, was a stack of period maps (for the smartphone-addled kids, that’s roads and cities printed on an actual giant piece of paper) from long defunct gas stations.
We’ve never seen a Patrol this clean (even with its original paint!) and and were honored to see that Lou had placed a JNC Racing Mate tribute decal placed in a very strategic location on the original Toyo spare. We could not have though of a vehicle more fitting to win the first-ever Classic Preservation award.
That brings us to the last trophy, the JNC Award. It was a tough call between a gray 1993 240SX and Brian Holloway’s Datsun 710, but in the end Dave was outvoted by Matt De Mangos and yours truly, both of us floored by the immaculate condition of Dario Terranova’s S13.
An old man find, it the Charcoal Metallic paint still has its original luster and the plastic of the taillights still shines. It’s been slightly lowered on retro Volk TE37V — a brilliant retro-style wheel choice, by the way — and other modifications like the rear window louvers and headlight vent are custom enough but easily reversible. Most of all, we rarely see S13s this clean anymore, and wanted to give proper recognition of a unicorn.