We’ll get to the cars that we normals can afford in a minute, but first let us dream a little. The 2011 JCCS completely elevated the bar, bringing together several ultra-rare, six-figure machines that few Western eyes have gazed upon in person. Let’s take a look at the Best of the Best.
Seeing all three Nissans powered by the fabled Prince/Nissan S20 in Long Beach is like stumbling upon Bigfoot, the tooth fairy, and Ogopogo sipping tea together in Times Square. Even in Japan, you are unlikely to see all three together unless you’re in a car museum.
The scarcity of these automobiles cannot be stressed enough. We’ve seen plenty of hakosuka, but this is the first genuine KPGC10 Skyline GT-R ever to be shown in the US. Pristine versions have exchanged hands in Japan for over $150,000, with prices climbing.
GT-R. These three letters are really why the S20 is so monumental. The legend of the GT-R began right here, dominating road racing in Japan during the late Sixties and early Seventies. There are more expensive and rarer Japanese cars out there, but none have captured the hearts of the Japanese people quite the same.
Of course, the Skyline was originally a Prince Motor Co. design. It only wore the badge after the companies merged in 1966. The merger also allowed Nissan to co-opt the S20 for its top-of-the-line grand tourer, the Fairlady Z.
The boys from Aichi had their own twin-cam, triple-carbed straight six. Toyota didn’t race the 2000GT as much as Nissan did the GT-R, but it is the only Japanese car that has gained any respect from traditional collectors of European marques (though that is now changing as well as more discover cars like the GT-R).
The 2000GT represents a time when Toyotas were filled with passion and soul. The company didn’t even think twice about debuting a car that cost more than a Porsche 911. In the process, they inadvertently created Japan’s first supercar.
Not to be left out, Mazda showed off their own groundbreaking sports GT, the 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport. It was the world’s first twin-rotor motorcar, and it kicked off Mazda’s unique take on engine design that would span nearly half a century.
Mazda was not lacking in any passion or soul here. Their racing prowess was on full display here, with the IMSA-dominating GTO FC RX-7 and its GTP successor, the RX-792P. Mazda was unstoppable in IMSA racing during the entire decade of the 1980s.
In celebration of their victory at the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans, Mazda displayed the glorious 787B. Although the orange and green car sponsored by Renown won the race, Mazda actually ran three cars. The other two wore Mazdaspeed‘s white and blue livery like the Number 56 car above. This particular car came in 8th, but its presence is no less astonishing.
See more photos of these cars in the gallery below, and of course there is more coverage of the 2011 JCCS coming up!
Photos by Dan Hsu, John Roper, Yee Chan