Japanese Classic Car Show
Irvine, California

It's always great to close off the car show season with another fantastic Japanese Classic Car Show. We almost didn't make it because of the JNC Wagon's wheel bearing failure a few days before the event, but we made it and we're glad we did! This year came with it a new venue. It was great having the Queen Mary as a backdrop, but the show had outgrown the patch of grass there long ago. The new location at Hidden Valley Park allowed for many more cars, vendors, and manufacturer display vehicles from Toyota, Mazda and Mitsubishi with their wide array of vintage race cars.

Automotive royalty like Peter Brock also made an appearance, as did Jay Leno with his 1965 Honda SM600. We should also thank the vendors like Mooneyes, ABC Hobby and the Datsun Heritage Museum who support the show, because without them Hidden Valley Park would have been just an empty field last Sunday. Once again, incredible projects like PJ Bonifacio's yakuza-mobile Cressida, the Datsun Boys' Bluebird coupe and this Celica Liftback chose to make their debut at the JCCS. Purists may gripe at the Honda S2000 engine in the Celica, but you have to admit it looks mean as hell.

Perhaps purists would prefer rarities like a Datsun 210 Bluebird from the 50s, Honda S600, fully restored Toyota Hilux pickup, a bone stock 510, or an all-original Mazda RX-2. Or, how about Toysport's Toyota 2000GT, which is the most expensive car ever to rock a JNC sticker.

JDM fans will undoubtedly dig cars like the GC10 hakosuka Skyline, RHD Sunny 1200, Toyota Soarer, or a rare Honda S600 coupe. Off-roaders could enjoy Toyota Land Cruisers, Toyota Pickups, a Nissan Patrol, and Mitsubishi jeep. Even impossible-to-find machines like this Honda N360 Wagon and Datsun 810 coupe were represented.

For the first time ever, the organizers of the JCCS were gracious enough to offer us the opportunity to present a Japanese Nostalgic Car award to one car that represented the magazine best. This year, we gave it to Kirk Hubbard, whose VIP Toyota Century represents the JNC theme nicely - it's a top-notch JDM car that's rare, has a perfect stance, and an awesome car few non-Japanese know about, but should. As Kirk said, he's been toiling away in obscurity for years, and it's nice to finally get some recognition for his passion.

At the end of the day, Roy de Guzman took home the "Best in Show" award with his beautiful hakosuka Skyline hardtop. Congrats, Roy! With autumn settling in, the major shows of the season have passed. We could not have thought of a better way to end the year.

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