EVENTS: 2015 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 06 — Road & Race

405-1603_Mazda RX7-SA22-FC3S

The last installment of our JCCS coverage was a homage to bone stock beauts, but a huge contributor to the popularity of Japanese cars has always been their tunability. Here are the JCCS cars that were built for street and circuit, not preservation. 

284-1573_Mazda RX7-FB-AEM

Joe Rapalo brought his classic drag-spec RX-7. A snapshot of late 90s import drag racing, this monster Mazda is powered by a 13B-REW boosted to 44 psi and putting out 950 horsepower at the rear wheels.

553-1756_Toyota CorollaE20555-JR3824_Toyota CorollaE20

Though not a full-on drag car, Israel Sandoval’s 1974 Corolla exudes a similar presence. Notably, he has retained the original 2T-C, but added an electronic fuel injection system.

458-JR3852_Datsun 280ZX-S130 JCCS 2015 lineup290-1538_Datsun 240Z

It should be no surprise that Z-Cars were among the most heavily tuned cars at JCCS. Rick and Miles Garcia’s 1971 RB25DET-powered “Devil Z” took home second place in the Best 240Z class.

092-1466_Datsun240Z-S30094-JR3943_Datsun240Z-S30 RB Swap Bay JCCS 2015

This heavily modified, SR20-swapped, 1972 Datsun 240Z is owned by Johnny Tran. No, not that Johnny Tran, though he was also oddly obsessed with SR20s, and there is another Fast & Furious character already building a 240Z. Instead, this Z is powered by a fully-built SR20 bored to 2.2L and force-fed by a Garrett twin-scroll turbo. Custom-built driveshaft, axles, Techno Toy Tuning lower control arms, camber plates and tension control rods, Stance coilovers and shortened steering knuckles underpin a Z that would surely dominate Race Wars (the fictional F&F drag race, not the all-out ethnic combat predicted by Charles Manson).

Incidentally, the third Z down in the upper photo is Glenn Chiou’s, which was recently featured on Petrolicious.

390-1605_Datsun 510099-JR3907_Datsun1200-NissanSunnyB110 SR20 JCCS 2015 100-JR3908_Datsun1200-NissanSunnyB110 SR20 JCCS 2015

SR20 swaps were as popular as ever, finding their way into the engine bays of 510s, Sunnys, and Fairlady Roadsters. Ricardo Ramirez’s 1972 1200 won first place in the Best 70s Datsun class.

104-JR3916_Datsun1200-NissanSunnyB110 JCCS 2015 green

In fact, all three B110 Sunnys present (a pretty high turnout for the chassis) had SR20 swaps. This green ’73 belongs to reader Fullmoonclub, who swapped the original A12 for an SR20DE with OER carbs.

101-JR3909_Datsun1200-NissanSunnyB110 patina102-JR3910_Datsun1200-NissanSunnyB110 SR20 bay patina103-JR3913_Datsun1200-NissanSunnyB110 JCCS 2015 rear 1

With its faded paint, it seems like a worn B110 Sunny shell someone just threw a new engine into and slammed it, but John noticed something very special about it — a complete 510 independent rear suspension underneath.

459-JR3789_Datsun 510 JCCS 2015 black front 1461-JR3791_Datsun 510 JCCS 2015 black interior 460-JR3790_Datsun 510 JCCS 2015 black bay 1 462-JR3793_Datsun 510 JCCS 2015 black rear 1

John has owned over twenty 510s and seems to know an endless number of little details about them. That’s why this black 510 2-door sedan caught his eye, thanks to taillights and grille unique to the later model Japanese GL-spec Bluebird. Note the slightly wider taillights that are pointed on the inside, and the grille that sits flush to the front end of the car. These were equipped only on the more luxurious GL Bluebirds.

399-JR4000_Datsun FairladyRoadster1600 JCCS 2015front400-JR3998_Datsun FairladyRoadster1600 JCCS 2015 bay

Being a huge fan of Roadsters, John also took a liking to this bit of clever engine art. This later SR20, equipped with variable valve timing, had its plastic coil pack cover removed. In its place is a section of the Roadster’s original U20 valve cover.

098-JR3906_DatsunB210-NissanSunny JCCS 2015 Front 1

Every time we see Enrique Elias’s B210 Sunny, it’s wearing a new set of classic Japanese shoes. Two years ago it was traditional gunmetal Wats, then SSR MkIIs, and now Longchamp XR-4s. It’s not easy to keep the look fresh for every show, but it makes a big difference to the regulars.


Sometimes, racing and preservation do intersect, as is the case with Mazda North America’s 1972 RX-2. The car is historic for several reasons. Firstly, it was built by Patrick Bedard, noted automotive journalist that wrote for Car & Driver for over 40 years. Always irreverent, his goal was to prove the mettle of Mazda’s rotary engine, at the time still a doubt-ridden idea. In 1973 he achieved that aim at Lime Rock when the RX-2 won the IMSA RS class, giving the rotary’s its first win in North America.


If you’re wondering why Paul Williamsen’s Datsun 510 looks so period correct, it’s because he’s kept it largely unchanged through 30 years and one cross-country move. The former SCCA racer is currently undergoing a restoration to its E-Production / GT3 glory days spec, with a new suspension having been installed right before JCCS. But thankfully the 70s-tastic livery, flares and American Racing Libres will stay.

392-1595_Datsun 510

Another period-looking racer, this 510 wears battle paint inspired by the BRE livery. It’s equipped with its own unique flares and air dam, however, and trades Libres for Panasports.

566-1764_Toyota CrownS50568-JR4075_Toyota CrownS50 JCCS 2015 rear 1

Janet Fujimoto’s 1970 Crown was a best-in-show winner at Toyotafest earlier this year, and won the Best 70s Toyota class again at JCCS. It was the featured car at the Enkei Wheels booth, rocking a set of RSM9. Powered by a 2JZ, and with completely modernized brakes and wiring, it is what Shige Suganuma of Mooneyes called a “Pro Street Touring Crown.”

551-1755_Toyota CorollaE30

Daniel Soto’s 1975 Corolla mixed classic Japanese and American styles, with fender mirrors and Weds Auto Bahns exemplifying the former, and headlight visors and bullet lugnut caps exemplifying the latter.

530-1728_Toyota CressidaX30

Resplendent in 541 Yellow, Hector Martinez’s 1980 Cressida is a laid-back cruiser made fun with a 5-speed swap. Some old school American-made tuning parts like Hooker headers on the 2.6L 4M-E and 15×10 Vintique steelies make it another “best of both worlds” build.

549-JR3821_Toyota CorollaE30 JCCS 2015 Impul side 1

Eduardo Hernandez’s 1977 Corolla looks like a simple slam on Hoshino Impuls from the outside, but peek under the hood and you’ll find an F20C from a Honda S2000. With a curb weight hovering around the 2,000 pound mark (800 less than an S2000), it must be one hell of a sleeper.

448-1763_Datsun 240Z-S30

The Datsun 240Z is a popular car for first-time JNC owners, and there’s good reason for that. Jill White’s is the perfect example of a car that was bought, learned on, wrenched on, and brought back to life.

Beside it sat an example of a special edition 1978 Black Pearl 280Z. Its distinctive paint was a 90-dollar option back in the day, and the first time the Z-Car was sold in black.

412-1629_Datsun 710

This year’s JCCS had a record number of Datsun 710s, and by record number we mean three: Brian Holloway and Ricardo Leon’s 1975 Coupes, and Alan Clevenger’s bone-stock 1977 Wagon (still sporting its original sticker showing an out-the-door price of $4,660), which won third place in the Best 70s Datsun category.

413-JR4027_Datsun 710 JCCS 2015 front 1415-JR4033_Datsun 710 JCCS 2015 rear

Brian Holloway’s 710 rocked a slew of JDM-converted goodies like Violet badges, taillights, bumpers and associated body panels.

416-JR4028_Datsun 710 JCCS 2015 bay 1

Under the hood, the stock L20B has an SSS exhaust manifold and 280ZX struts equipped with FC RX-7 brake calipers peek through the strut towers.

319-1545_Mazda RX3 Savant Young

Savant Young’s 1973 Mazda RX-3 likely needs no introduction, having been featured recently in an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. The rotary resto-mod was equipped a bridgeported Series 4 Mazda 13B turbo and hundreds of man hours. Savant took home the Best of JC Speed award, a new category for cars with modern modifications.

255-1512_Mazda RX3-SP

Nearby, a pair of Mazda RX-3 SP shone in all their decal-packaged glory. This was Mazda’s own take on 1970s styling, with plenty of louvers, stripes and blacked-out trim. The JCCS organizers placed the RX-3s right next to a group of hakosuka Skylines. Coincidence, or were the Yamaguchis evoking the legendary Fuji Speedway battle that saw the Mazdas steal Nissan’s 50th Skyline win?

256-1515_Mazda RX2

Celio Sanchez’s 1973 Mazda RX-2 Coupe was painted in one of my favorite colors for the model, Laguna Blue. With a stock port 12A on a 48mm Dell’Orto carb and gold Riken meshies, it was a solid driver you could just jump into an go.

260-1527_Mazda RX2

Edward Arce’s 1973 Mazda RX-2 is another car that just begs you to get in and drive, with a simple menu of hop-up parts like QA1 shocks and Eibach springs, an Aerospace Components big brake kit, and Racing Beat exhaust. Edwards also changed the hubs to accept a 5×114.3 lug pattern for more wheel choices.

350-1574_Toyota CelicaA20

A trio of street-driven Celicas equates to more fun than a barrel of monkeys. While the two yellow coupes look more like daily drivers, close readers may recognize Mike Malnick’s Liftback from his run on the JNC Touge California earlier this year.

397-JR3995_Datsun 411 JCCS 2015 red patina

If the 411 we drove in Monterey was any indication, it’s not going to win on any straights, but this well-worn Datsun 411 on Libres looked like another fun setup. You typically don’t see pre-510 Nissans set up with what looks like a nimble little canyon runner setup.

291-1547_Datsun 240Z

Abraham De Galicia sadly succumbed to cancer this past August while in the middle of his 1972 Datsun 240Z build. When he became unable to work on it, his friends and family pitched in to complete the car and paint it in the orange he had always wanted. According the family, though Abraham was not able to see the finished car in person, he opened his eyes the day before he passed to see a photo of the completed car.

362-JR4041_Toyota CoronaT80 JCCS 2015 front 361-JR4040_Toyota CoronaT80 JCCS 2015 rear

Ron Sino-Cruz’s T80 Corona sedan is a fixture around SoCal. It may not be the most obvious choice for a cruiser, but its rarity keeps most observers guessing. A quick slam and it’s ready to bomb around town with three of your tightest homies.

544-JR3819_Toyota CorollaE70543-1742_Toyota CorollaTE27-rally

Lowered, dropped, slammed, whatever you want to call it, every car we’ve shown so far has had that in common. Not these Corollas. A rally-spec TE72 and TE27 were on display as a tribute to Toyota’s long history of racing in the dirt.

443-1677_Nissan 300ZX-Z32

Arnel Solas’s Z32 hails from the era of Wangan brutes, but it’s one of the nicest examples around. Rocking a late-90s JDM body kit nose, the relatively uncommon slicktop model was on display at the Motul Oil booth.

583-1777_Datsun 240Z

Saving one of our favorites for last, Kelvin Hiraishi’s Nissan Fairlady Z was discovered in a collection in Boston before being completed stripped down to the bare metal shell and resto-modded. With an RB25 under the hood, it’s a modern tribute to the Z432. In fact, this was one of JNC‘s first feature cars, which we photographed way back in 2007.

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 03Part 04, and Part 05 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.

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8 Responses to EVENTS: 2015 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 06 — Road & Race

  1. wantyerknobbies says:

    That’s a nifty peanut although the lower section looks wonky? or is that image warp?

    Nice couple of Deuces! but would love to see one with some stance on smaller diameter/deeper offset wheels

  2. Fullmoonclub says:

    In respects to the B110’s (1200’s, Sunny’s) the green 73′ with the gold Weds Zero Speed’s in fact had an A12 carb’d, before the SR20DE OER carb’d set-up was swapped. The A12 was sold to a super cool guy in Hawaii and the A12 now resides in a Datsun 411 wagon.

    Ricardo Ramirez’s 1972 1200 with the 5×114.3 SSR Long Champs used to be army green and had the CA18DET/Haltec swap when Bryan C. owned the car(first 1200 CA18DET swap in U.S.). The car was at JCCS 07′. Bryan C. sold the car, it changed hands twice, then Ricardo bought and went to work. 🙂 Ricardo’s car is insane.

    Any you say how do I know all this history? I own the green 73′ 1200 and swapped in the SR. And Bryan C. is my brother who swapped in the CA18DET back in 07′.

    • Dennis AE86 says:

      I remember you and your brother Bryan from back in the days at Mario’s swap meet, Alta Wheel Shop, and Drift Days. I’m Dennis, the guy who used to have a 4door 510 and now has an ae86. Jerrod from Fullmoon is a good friend of mine.

      • Russ says:

        Ha! Yea the swap meet back in the day! Good to hear from you! How’s Jerrod doing? Bryan and I haven’t talk to him in ages…what’s new? I’m sure I speak for my brother when I say we miss the old Drift Speed days. I was able to go to the last shop space before it closed down. :/ I’m sure Bryan would ike to hear from Jerrod, he’s on FB.

  3. Bentaxlebob says:

    Fiddlesticks! That grabber orange Zed is a total “metoo” Cali look not a 432 tribute.


  4. MikeRL411 says:

    I’m glad you got around to Jesse’s PL411!

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