When a new car show for classic imports sprang up Las Vegas, it was an opportunity for our friends in the Wild Cards car club to reunite. Usually it’s the Las Vegas cohort that has to travel to SoCal, but in this case it would be a contingent of Skylines and Zs tearing eastward across the Mojave Desert.
Our embedded photographer was Cyril Soliman, whose father Patrick owns the notorious metallic burgundy kaido racer Kenmeri Skyline you’ve seen in previous JNC coverage. “This was the longest distance he’s ever driven the car,” Cyril told us. Previously, the car went from Soliman’s SoCal home to maybe as far as JCCS. This was a round trip of over 400 miles.
Even though the Kenmeri was running an RB26 turbo, as anyone who has swapped an engine knows, a newer motor doesn’t guarantee bulletproof performance. To deal with miles of interstate pummeled by years of 18-wheeler traffic, Soliman had to raise the ride height. And just in case, his wife drove the family van ahead as a support vehicle.
There was no air con, but cruising with open windows allowed for car-to-car photography opportunities of Max Gutierrez and Topher Pine’s orange Zs. As it turns out, there were only two unscheduled stops. One of the Zs had a slight hiccup that was quickly fixed, and a policeman pulled a Z over because they were “taking bets on what kind of car it was.”
The show itself was called the Old School Reunion, open to classic European and Japanese imports and a satellite event to Stancewars. Turnout was low, but attendees who were in town for the slamming conference were reportedly stoked to see some vintage J-tin.
If nothing else, it gave SoCal Wild Cards — including Mikey Castillo’s Hako sedan and Joel Tan’s race replica — a chance to confer with the Las Vegas chapter, which includes Roy de Guzman’s white and blue Hakosuka (coming soon in Hot Wheels form) Jay Kho’s R30 Skyline.
On the day of the gathering the Wild Cards made took their spots amongst the rest of field, which included a shakotan 280ZX on Advans, a pair of SA22C RX-7s, a squadron of old Datsuns, and big Toyotas in both sedan and wagon form.
Surprisingly, some of the cleanest were a trio of Mitsubishis, a red Lancer-based Colt Coupe, a box-type turbo on beautiful Advan A3As, and a 4WD Delica ready to go off the grid. These would be rare at any assembly of Japanese classics, much less one of this size.
Other standouts included a smooth 510 wagon in black and a super clean TE37 Corolla SR5 with factory flares, proving that Vegas does have its share of gems that deserve a showcase. It’s about time for Las Vegas, which has a similar climate and looser laws than California.
At the end of the day, Roy’s Hakosuka took home the Best in Show award. Then it was time to grace some of Sin City’s landmarks with some Nihon steel before the Wild Cards once again split off towards their respective homes.