EVENTS: 2015 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 05 — Stock as a Rock


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.

210-1463_Honda CRX-Si-EC1

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.

208-1461_Honda CRX-Si-EC1

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.

504-1711_Honda Accord1g

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.

232-1505_Honda Civic2gWagon-1g

I really loved Michael Ross’s 1980 Civic 1500 wagon. Equipped with a 5-speed manual, it was an all-original survivor.

234-1506_Honda Civic1g

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.”

229-1486_Datsun 510

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.

391-1594_Datsun 510

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.

088-1374_DatsunFairladyRoadster1600 090-JR3918_DatsunFairladyRoadster1600398-JR3997_Datsun FairladyRoadster1600

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.

396-JR3994_Datsun 411

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.

282-1534_Datsun 240Z

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.

429-1654_Datsun 280ZX-Black&Red-S130

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.

258-1526_Mazda RX5

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.

205-1458_Honda N600-Accord1g

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.

204-1460_Honda Accord1g5g

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.

321-1647_Toyota CoronaT40

Toyota USA brought a trio of cars from their museum, ranging from an RT40 Corona to an E10 Corolla wagon to a Toyota 2000GT.

323-JR4045_Toyota CoronaT40324-JR4046_Toyota CoronaT40

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.

327-1648_Toyota CorollaE10

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.

330-JR4066_Toyota 2000GT 331-1651_Toyota 2000GT

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.

271-1525_Toyota CorollaAE86hatch 272-1523_Toyota CorollaAE86hatch 273-1524_Toyota CorollaAE86hatch

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.

351-1580_Toyota CelicaA20Liftback

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.

489-1699_Toyota CorollaTE51

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.

500-1708_Toyota CorollaTE27-SR5

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.

536-1734_Toyota CressidaX30

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.

569-1769_Toyota SupraA40

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.

475-1690_Mitsubishi LancerA73-DodgeColt476-JR3840_Mitsubishi LancerA73-DodgeColt 478-1691_Mitsubishi LancerA73-DodgeColt

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 01Part 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.

592-1794_Nissan 200SX-SilviaS110 515-JR3784_Honda Accord3gHatch-Prelude2G 408-1602_Mazda RX7-FC3S-10thAnniversary 372-1614_Toyota CelicaA60 594-1796_Mazda BSeries-FordCourier 597-1363_Subaru Sambar 247-1501_SuzukiJimnyLJ80_Suzuki JimnyLJ80 188-JR4051_Toyota Stout 186-1401_ToyotaHiluxN30 155-1417_Datsun620 044-1488_DatsunVG223 380-1590_Nissan 300ZX-Z31ShiroSpecial 262-1519_Toyota CorollaE80-FX16 251-1510_Toyota VanYR31 146-1562_Mazda RX7-FC3S 135-1569_Mazda RX3 131-1410_Mazda RX2 118-1377_Mazda RX4wagon 034-1371_NissanBluebirdU610-Zama 436-1672_Toyota Sports800

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14 Responses to EVENTS: 2015 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 05 — Stock as a Rock

  1. Sleepin says:

    I don’t think I have seen any of the Starquest twins at the show.

  2. Michael says:

    The early Civics(especially that green one), the green 510, the KE10 wagon, the blue Subaru van/ute and the white RX5 are my picks out of this feature. So cool! Gee those Toyota 800 sports things are an awkwardly shaped and ugly car though.

  3. Censport says:

    Man, I haven’t seen a Black Red 280ZX since they were new. That’s awesome!

  4. socarboy says:

    Man seeing al of this old vintage Japanese iron sure brought back a lot of memories. Really enjoyed seeing this!

  5. JohnnySnowman says:

    Great coverage! Nice to see a 5th gen. Accord- still have mine that the wife and I took on our honeymoon. I ran down the hall with my phone and said hey – look – our car- in a car show! The variety of makes and models at this show; and the quality; amazing stuff….

  6. Scotty G says:

    Thanks for the great story on bone-stock rides! That’s exactly where I am at this point in my life; original or restored-to-original-specs vehicles. I was hoping there’d be more Subarus there but maybe I’m jumping the gun yet again. The red Corolla wagon is painful, a 1971 version of that was my first car so it’s as high on my wish list is it gets. Great, great photos, as always. I’m an architectural photographer so, needless to say, great photos are always nice to see, and I always see them on this site.

  7. Adam says:

    That 10th anniversary 280ZX looks like the vehicle of a mustachioed, San Fernando Valley video-media mogul. It does manage to make every other car look classier though.

  8. ya_boy_yeti says:

    nice pic of the straman back there (honda heads will get it)

  9. E-AT_me says:

    CRX fenders aren’t fiberglass, they are actually a composite plastic which is much more brittle..

  10. Mike says:

    These are such wonderful old classic vehicles. I am in love with them all!

  11. Randy says:

    It’s great to see that at least SOME people get the value of maintaining the historical value of the vehicles. Astounding to see what were often – usually – viewed as “disposable” cars from the rust era kept in such fantastic condition; not all modded up.

    A clone of some race model is NOT the race model, and it usually results in the trashing/losing of a lot of rare parts.

  12. Chris says:

    Ah…a friggin’ Prelude….unmolested! *joygasm*

  13. RSJAPAN says:

    I wish one day I can see it !!!!!

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