This year’s Japanese Classic Car Show seemed to have more diversity in bone-stock rides than ever. We might be reaching a point where fans of J-tin are truly beginning to appreciate unmolested cars. Along with the other time warps peppering our other installments, here are the bone-stock beauties of JCCS 2015.
A fresh new crop of first-gen Honda Civics showed up this year. Robert Krohn’s yellow 1975 CVCC still sported its original roof rack and air-con system. It was purchased new in the Bay Area in 1975 and has spent all its life in the Golden State. Robert took home second place in the Best Classic Honda class.
Ken Weidner won first place in the Best Classic Honda category, thanks to his lime green 1975 CVCC. Ken restored his car back in 1988, when it was just 13 years old and almost all the parts he needed could be purchased NOS from Honda.
Ken brought his car all the way from Pennsylvania (it was featured in the AACA Museum’s Motoring Mysteries of the Far East exhibit last year) with a trunk full of rare Honda Civic collectibles.
The Honda CRX Si is a rare breed to find stock, especially with front fenders (which were fiberglass) still in tact. Robert Tirado’s blue and gray is classic two-tone that looks perfect with a California blue plate.
Surprisingly, there was more than one. Maximilliano Valdivia won first place in the Best Civic & CRX class. His 1985 CRX Si had only about 44,000 miles on the odometer and was equipped with every Honda accessory available on the model. How did it survive the decades without becoming a tuner or a beater? His father purchased it from the original owner in 1990 and has kept it in a garage since.
Chris Hoffman’s 1980 Accord LX is an all-original survivor with just 18,000 miles on the clock. Chris has, notably, been at every JCCS since the first, and took home a Best Mid-School Honda award, beating out several modified 80s-era Hondas.
I really loved Michael Ross’s 1980 Civic 1500 wagon. Equipped with a 5-speed manual, it was an all-original survivor.
Mark Frakes purchased his Civic in 1993 from the original owner, an 84-year-old lady in Arizona. He says he drives it as much a possible and has named it “Penny.”
Several Datsun 510s showed up this year in stock form. As with the CRX, this favorite of both weekend and professional racers has not helped keep stock examples around. That’s why we were thrilled to see this sedan in 021 Green.
It was Silvester Stoianovici’s first time at JCCS with his bone stock 1969 510 wagon. He’s probably very glad he came because he won second prize in the Best 510 class.
Greg Childs, head of NICO, owns quite a few rare Japanese cars. His Aussie-import 1963 P312 Datsun Bluebird. It remains in unrestored original condition, with only 63,000 miles on the clock.
Many Datsun Fairlady Roadsters end up with SR20 or KA24 swaps, but there is something to be said about a bone stock low-windshield example. The early 1960s styling is just crisp enough to look like a modern car, but just old enough to exude pure class.
Mike MacDonald’s 411 came from the factory with a Datsun roadster 1600 engine. It was technically the only time an SSS was sold in the US, even though Nissan didn’t badge it here as such.
This Datsun 240Z was part of the display at the Sage Auto Group booth. As the largest Nissan dealer in southern California, the owners have a collection of several Z-Cars to go along with their more Monterey-esque stable.
Back in the day, so many Z-cars were equipped with slot mag wheels from the dealer that they practically became “stock” equipment. This uniquely American look is quickly falling out of favor these days, replaced with those who want a Japanese look with Hayashis or Watanabes.
Everybody knows the Black Gold 280ZX, a limited edition model built to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Z-Car in 1980. However, much rarer is the Black Red 280ZX, built alongside its more popular sibling. 3,000 10th Anniversary cars were built, 2,500 of them were Black Golds and only 500 were Black Reds, making this one of the rarest limited-edition Zs ever made.
Laren Blind’s 1976 Mazda RX-5 is probably the finest example in the US. According to Laren, only 47 of them are officially registered, and his has fewer than 70,000 miles on it.
As expected, many of the bone stock cars came from the collections of the automakers themselves. Mazda brought out one of its original Chicago Auto Show NA Miatas, parked next to a brand new 2016 ND Miata.
Over at the Honda booth, a restored 1969 N600 was on display. These kei-sized compacts weighed 1,312 to 1,355 pounds and cost just $1,395, prompting Honda to brag that they cost less than a dollar a pound when new. Soon, a restoration of the very first Honda N600 built for US export will undergo restoration.
Honda also had a 1978 Accord hatchback parked next to its fifth-gen descendant, both bone stock. If these look familiar, it’s probably from our tour of the American Honda collection last year.
Toyota USA brought a trio of cars from their museum, ranging from an RT40 Corona to an E10 Corolla wagon to a Toyota 2000GT.
The RT40 Corona holds a special place in Toyota USA history, as it was the car that saved the company from what would’ve been an embarrassing retreat out of the US market after the miscalculation that was the first Toyopet Crown.
E10 Corollas are rare already; wagon versions are all but impossible to find. The only place that is likely to have one, especially a mint specimen, is the official Toyota USA Museum.
Though 2000GTs are a regular fixture at JCCS, it is still one of the most admired, most photographed cars on the Queen Mary lawn. Some attendees come to the show just to see one in person.
Russ Capulong’s Toyota AE86 is one of the most original we’ve seen. In fact, it was a Kidney Car back in June, and it was good to see that it looked every bit as nice in person as it did in the auction photos.
Ronald Long has been driving his 1977 Celica Liftback for 430,000 miles. While that is a feat in and of itself, perhaps even more impressive is that he’s achieved this with no factory air conditioning in California, where it’s October and temperatures are still in the upper 90s.
Brian Merchan’s 1985 Toyota Tercel SR5 was another favorite of ours, because the only thing cooler than a wagon is a 4WD manual wagon. Not only does it look quite a bit better than Jesse Pinkman’s ride in Breaking Bad, it has the glorious plaid seats that are a selling point in and of themselves.
Hector Sanchez’s 1977 Corolla Sports Coupe was purchased from the original owner and remains in unrestored but amazing condition. The only modifications made were a slight drop in ride height, an updated ignition system and differential for higher speeds. TE51s are rare in any condition, and it was nice to see one in such mint spec.
Surprisingly, there were two largely original TE27s at this year’s show. Carlos Hernandez Jr. and Russ Capulong’s 1974 Corollas were beautiful examples of the breed. So many owners have converted TE27s into Japanese spec, fat-bumpered USDM ones are practically extinct.
The only modification on Liam Shubert’s 1978 Toyota Cressida was in the suspension department, just to lower it a bit. Otherwise, it’s an incredibly original MX32, a model that is rapidly disappearing in any condition.
Back in 1979, the MkI Celica Supra became a pace car for the US Grand Prix F1 races in Long Beach and Watkins Glen. The actual pace cars used in the races were the first turbocharged Supras, sporting forced induction 4M-E motors that bumped up output from a stock to 220 horsepower.
And finally, this year’s JCCS had not one, but two Mitsubishis from the company’s captive import era. Dennis Aqjino’s red ’77 and Viron Vargas’s yellow ’78 were badged as Dodge Colts, but actually rare first-gen Lancers. It was a treat to see both together, especially since they were two-door sedans rather than the traditional four-doors.
To get the full picture of the breadth of bone stock cars, we’ve also included photos unmolested cars from our previous 2015 JCCS installments. Enjoy.
To be continued…
We’ll have more 2015 JCCS coverage coming up, but in the meantime in case you missed it here’s Part 01, Part 02, Part 03 and Part 04, as well as special features on the first Honda built for US import, the Ibarra Bros’ classic Mazdas and some very special Z-Cars. You can also take another look at last year’s 10th anniversary of JCCS.