One of the excellent things about a show like Nos2Days is that there are plenty of things for sale. You never know what you’ll come across, which can make browsing the aisles rather dangerous to your wallet. From new-old-stock center caps to a complete, restored DR30 Skyline, there’s something for everyone.
The usual lineup of DR30 Skyline at Utilitas was headlined by a pair of RS-X Turbo C models. Both had been expertly restored, with every last fitting in the engine bay had been re-plated. Making the rounds of Japanese tuning magazines recently was the all-black model, a particularly rare color highlighted by black Glow Star wheels. The shacho Yuichi Ikegaya, who has spent his life dealing in DR30s, said he’s only seen a couple in that color.
Even in period, many butaketsu Laurels were never radically modified. Likewise, you see more shelf speakers now than back in the day. It’s the generic add-on hipster accessory now, like the Wedding Singer trying to cram every 80s reference into one movie. Besides Clarion City Connections, cool as the name may be, these were newer releases, as a response to the popular offerings from Pioneer. The wing, however, was a proper period accessory spoiler used on cars like the KP47 Publica, yonmeri, and Bluebird.
While the C130s are the typically favored Laurels, the C230s are vastly underrated. Our friends at Classic Car Nagoya brought out a stellar example of a third-gen sedan. Looking exactly like it was modified in period, except for its 4-spoke steering wheel, it’s as if someone bought it new and took it to the tire shop the next day.
In particular, its tire fitment is excellent. The Yokohama Advan Neovas are stretched, but not to a radical extent and maintains a higher profile. The result is a higher ride height that doesn’t scrape over every mall entrance, but the tires still fill the wheel wells. The Nissan competition (albeit with period welds) roll cage painted yellow is also a nice touch.
Of course, the show isn’t all about cars. Many random and obscure treasures could be found from Dampachi the Tein mascot to a stock Soarer steering wheel that’s worth some $300 to an unknown doohickey by Renoma, the French fashion house that was immortalized in the 80’s Japanese Aftermarket boom.
You can also acquire some hard-to-find stainless trim to polish and restore. Taking out all the dents and imperfections is a time-consuming task in any restoration, or you can take it to a skilled metalworker for a price. In Japan, that person might be a samurai swordsmith.
Old tire company collectibles can also be found, like a Mini Bridgestone semi truck or a Yokohama badge advertising GT Special steel-belted radials.
Japan is also the world’s number one consumer of BBS wheels, so it’s only natural that there’s be a surplus of 3-piece BBS RS center caps, offered here for five bucks a pop.
We’ve covered Kusaka Engineering‘s highly detailed 1:6 Nissan Skyline engine models at the NISMO Festival last year, but their presence is proof that the demand for Godzilla ephemera shows no sign of slowing down in Japan (and now worldwide).
If real engines are more your thing, here’s a couple of pistons mounted on a plaque. Likely given away as a promotional item to press or employees, it shows the difference between a conventional piston and a Mazda SkyActiv piston, domed like a high-performance unit for extreme compression ratios, and cupped to spread the ignited fuel-air mixture more rapidly.
Wheel-wise, a set of Melber Scacchieras designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro make a good companion to the Michelotti rims from Part 02. These are the same wheels found on an Isuzu Piazza, but offered in sizes appropriate for the Japanese aftermarket. It was the same wheel Bob Hall had them on his Buick Opel Isuzu Gemini. Behind them, a set of Bubble Era center caps sit unused, maybe for high-end Volk Racing wheels.
If you like do-it-yourself scale models, an endless supply of plastic kits from all manufacturers and eras could be found as well. Some assembly required.
One of the most pleasant surprises at the show was a superbly restored Suzuki Alto Works RS/R. The kei rocket, known for its extensive sticker packages, was there to show off the work of DecalCo, a Japanese decal manufacturer that specializes in replica liveries for both race cars and commercial vehicles.
DecalCo makes 99 percent of the country’s highly detailed rally car tributes. The shop’s demo car is a replica of the Safari Rally A70 Toyota Supra. The Alto’s shelf speakers in this case are more notable because unlike the regular TS-X series, TS-X22w were wider and had tweeters.
Before leaving, however, our intrepid correspondent San Mamiya ventured into the parking garage as well. A VIP Aristo with crimson red interior and prominent intercooler lay in wait.
In another corner was a well-preserved Mazda Roadster, modified in period and kept that way. It’s not an M2 but wears a lot of factory accessories like chrome mirrors and a spoiler. You know the driver is a bit older due to the conservative, Autobacs-recommended 14-inch wheels.
The next space down housed a stock A60 Celica XX, which was never sold in Japan with the squared-off wheel arches of the P-Type Supras in the US. It’s not a magazine car, but it’s tidiness suggests it could potentially be one.
Venturing out into the streets of Yokohama, a post-oval-logo-built Mark II Van with black-tinted windows and lowrider aspirations passed by the waterfront.
And of course, since it’s Japan, even the support trucks are show cars in themselves. This Ford F-350 flatbed is not only impeccable, but reads as a Japanese guy’s ultimate vision of what an American tow truck should look like, complete with row of five roof-mounted cab lights, the brightest of chrome, and a McDonald’s yellow paint job. The mounting solution for the giant mirrors is a clever way to allow more side clearance to navigate and park in on narrow roads and spaces. Sadly, our real ones rarely measure up, but the reverse phenomenon is precisely why we think the minutiae of Japan’s car culture is so damn cool.
That concludes our 2016 Nos2Days coverage. In case you missed it, check out Part 01, Part 02, and Part 03, as well as articles from Nos2Days 2015 (Parts 01, 02 and 03), 2014 (Parts 01, 02, 03, 04) and 2013 (Parts 01, 02,03).