Before daylight broke on Saturday morning Dan, John and I were already packing up the ol’ JNC wagon. It was an ungodly early hour, even for John, who was still on Texas time. As we hit “The 5,” as Californians like to call it, we caught sight of the R Power crew rolling at least 20 vintage Mazdas deep, all heading to the greatest gathering of vintage Japanese steel on the continent: JCCS 2009!
Here in Part One of our Japanese Classic Car Show coverage, we’ll show you the more extreme side of vintage Japanese tuning, or Kyuusha Kulture as we like to call it.
Let’s begin with Mikey Castillo‘s GC10 Skyline. This is the body style that first garnered the nickname hakosuka because of it’s hako-y (boxy) shape. We gave it the
coveted prestigious undistinguished JNC Award because it takes an appreciation of subtle beauty to love a four door when the unbearably sexy hardtop exists.
Plus, Mikey proved he knows Skyline history by his headlight covers and display of Japanese Grand Prix decals. He even substitute the “PMC-S” initials with those of his own local shop, a popular Japanese form of tribute/satire.
After encountering as many Z-cars as we have, we thought we’d seen it all. But everyone and their mother was blown away by what we’ve dubbed the Mad Max Z. Its brilliance lies in the fact that the basic concept of a flared S30 dumped to the floor on double-digit dishes is so simple, yet so few have equaled this execution on one of the most popular nostalgic platforms of all time.
Somehow, though, Yuta Akaishi was able to drive his ’73 Datsun 240Z all the way down from NorCal on zero ground clearance and the deepest, blackest Hayashi 505s we’ve ever seen — 15×10 -1 and 15×11 -30 to be exact.
Look past the killer stance and you’ll notice the touches that give this car Mad Max status. Those scorch marks peeking out from behind the MotorSport Auto flares are the result of fender cutting with an oxy-acetylene torch.
It’s a true Japanese rat rod, and unlike many rat rods, it doesn’t seem at all forced. In fact, Yuta confided that he eventually wants to paint it in its original silver. What do you guys think, should he respray it or leave it as is?
Continuing with the theme is Garage AutoHero‘s Datsun 510, another Dat rod oozing with character. The giant sakura-themed shop logo stenciled on the door has a nice fade matches the car’s patina to a T. Note the headlight screens and steampunk-ish fog light mounted on the front bumper.
This car is shop boss Ray Stonehocker’s rolling billboard for one of the Seattle area’s leading 510 builders. Almost every time you come across a random 510 spotting in the Emerald City, it’s rocking a Garage AutoHero sticker. But that’s not all they do; Roy can also put together a mean AE86 or V-mount Silvia.
The motor and drivetrain is some Frankensteinian amalgam of Bluebird and 280ZX pieces that you can read more about on MotorMavens. Despite its ratty look Roy drove his 510 20 spine busting hours from Seattle.
This Toyota Celica required a significant amount of skill and effort, but the paint (or lack thereof) completely detracts from it. UPDATE: I was under the incorrect assumption that this car’s look was intentional, but I’ve exchanged emails with the owner and he assures me that it will receive a nice glossy coat of black paint. That’s great news, because it’s an otherwise terrific build and makes a reported 700hp and can be driven on the street!
A sanitora on SSR Mark IIs and rising sun mural in the back window is a very good thing. It’s basically got the face of a B110 Datsun Sunny, or 1200, but an open pickup bed in the rear. This truck belongs to a Japanese engine importer who looks stone cold gangsta.
The JCCS saw an explosion of kenmeri Skylines this year. A few actually began life as an Australian-market Datsun 240K, and were given Nissan Skyline badges They’re all C110 chassis cars, but purists might balk. Still, the utter sexiness of the kenmeri body cannot be denied.
We know these might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we welcome the infusion of JDM culture. Don’t worry, the cars in the next installment of JCCS coverage should be a little tamer but just as droolworthy.