The end of January celebrated yet another fantastic gathering known as the JCCA New Year Meeting. Many guests made the trek to Odaiba, a literal island made of trash; to see the wondrous classic J-tin that come out but once a year from their heated garages (or blue-tarped trappings as the case may be).
Lucky for all, the weather was a crisp, but semi-warm 11 degrees Celsius (52 F). Though admittedly, the weather could not entice a larger meet as Japan faced a very cold string of weeks that no doubt halted some plans to get cars up to snuff for the drive to the meet.
Nevertheless, those that turned out made the best of it with some strong common themes that we will see in later installments.
Once inside the fenced parking area, spectators were greeted with four main sections to peruse: the swap meet, car show, the club section, the vendors’ corner, and food trucks. Now, as mentioned, the turnout was lower than in previous years, but it did make navigating a little easier; less opportunities to bump into people or to trip over an original, NOS Kenmeri exhaust pipe.
This year, I want to give readers a guide to making the most of JCCA’s New Year Meeting. The cars are the main attraction for obvious reasons, but the swap meet is the underdog of the show so let’s start there.
The swap meet section is where many come to get that rare piece to finish that restoration. You can find all manner of vintage barrels, hard-to-find parts, and period correct aftermarket mirrors.
And, of course, tons and tons of toy cars — including some JNC inkan‘ed Hot Wheels selling at quite the premium.
If posters are your thing, large vintage ads of the Honda N360 were available. Of particular note, the N360 club was celebrating the model’s 50th anniversary.
There was even an old Datsun 510 BRE poster from the US.
Here is a place to haggle if you have a good poker face, but be warned that pushing for a killer deal is tough because there are plenty others that come here looking for that same part and the sellers know it. I found it good to keep your cash in a few separate pockets so you can use the “All I got is…” trick. It might just help you take home that plated 2000GT gold cigarette case for ¥3,000 less.
You can also ask to buy a bundle and get a few bucks off the price. Lastly, if you show interest, but the price is high, you can walk away and try your chance when it gets closer to the end of the day (the show finishes at 4pm). You may be able to swing by again and try your luck at owning the giant ChoroQ store display S30 Z-Cars — assuming someone else hasn’t bought it yet.
After you’ve gotten your fill of loot, head over to the food carts before noon to beat the lunch rush. Sadly, there are no photos of this exciting activity since I was waiting in line for 20 minutes for a burger, but it was worth it. After you tank is full, it’s time to move onto the actual cars, which we will visit in Part 02.
To be continued…