EVENTS: 2018 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 05 — Trucks

Trucks are the unsung heroes of the JNC world. While many of us would love to have a Skyline or Supra, the truth is that these rigs did just as much to earn credibility and loyal customers for our favorite marques. We are always thrilled to see the turnout, so here are the trucks, SUVs and vans of JCCS.

It was difficult to meet all the owners and snap photos with so many spectators round, so we missed the name of the owner of this Datsun 521. However, its simple presentation with dog dish hubcaps and little other modification aside from fender mirrors was charming to be sure.

Evan Ramirez’s 1976 HiLux is another survivor that still wears its original paint, a resplendent olive green.

Though he’s owned it for a many years, this is the first showing for Steve Hatanaka’s FJ62 Land Cruiser. A former Toyota employee, Steve has kept it in incredibly clean condition. We loved its rare two-tone blue and gray paint and how it epitomizes the 80s. Steve won second in the Best SUV category.

We loved Joenar Macapagal’s 1989 Toyota Van, lowered on 15-inch Takechi Project wheels, and said to be an unrestored survivor. Behind it was Edgar Briones’ 1987 Cargo Van, which definitely does not look like it has 256,000 miles on it. What’s more, Edgar says the engine has never been rebuilt, proving Toyota’s 4Y engines are beyond bulletproof.

Freddy Ramirez’s 1977 Datsun 620 King Cab was self described as a “simple backyard build on a broke college student’s budget.” Considering it has an appropriate KA24DE swap and rides lowered on 15-inch Epsilons, we think that’s pretty good.

Also magnificient in its two-tone scheme was a Japan-imported turbo-diesel Land Cruiser. The indestructible diesel engines are highly coveted, but the high-roof body, which wasn’t available in the US, and decal stripes were worth the trouble of importing alone.

Another imported diesel was Rodel Solo’s 1988 Nissan Safari. It, too, sports an excellent 2-tone, as well as possibly every catalog accessory available at the time, such as a snorkel and power take-off winch. Best of all, its inline-six diesel is mated to a manual transmission.

With a 3-cylinder turbo, it qualifies as a kei jidosha but is no less an off-roader than the Land Cruiser. Lou Bircheff’s blue with white and red stripe Suzuki Jimny was essentially the catalog cover car for the 1986 model. Plus, you can’t not love a car that has its spec sheet printed on the door from the factory. It took third place in the Best SUV class.

With a slightly wider body the Suzuki Samurai was the US version with a 1.3-liter four-cylinder. Joseph Adamos’ 1987 is not only a desirable tin-top (fixed roof) model, but is an unrestored survivor in beautiful shape.

A car you’re sure to see several examples of in any classic car show in Japan is the Sunny Truck. Owner Federico Alfonso set up his B120 like many do in Japan, lowered with a chin spoiler and wheels no larger than 13 inches.

Any other year a B120 would’ve easily taken the crown for the most Japanese ute, but Jorge Maldonado showed up with a 1970 Datsun U620. The unique Showa Era body style consists of a 620 front, but a two-row cab and a tiny bed in the back. Essentially, it was made for household appliance repair companies, who used the square-footprint cargo area to haul items like washer-dryers and refrigerators. They are rare even in Japan; here they’re one-of-a-kind.

The crew from JDM Legends was here with their well patina’d Datsun 620 shop truck.

Unfortunately we weren’t able to meet every owner, but here’s we caught Serge Kulyk’s beautiful first-gen Toyota 4Runner we saw leaving the show at the end of the day.

Jose Tarin’s 1971 Datsun 521 with a Toyota 3S-GE Beams engine and 5-speed transmission and Speedstar Duo wheels.

Frank Kuba’s 1972 Datsun 521.

Martin Solis’s 1970 Toyota HiLux took home second place in the Best Truck category.

Harold Lacson’s 1997 40th Anniversary FZJ80 Land Cruiser on Volk TE37s took a well-deserved first place in the Best SUV category.

An imported Mitsubishi Delica 4WD.

And last but not least, JNC‘s FJ60 Land Cruiser on Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003s.

To be continued…

We’ll have more 2018 JCCS coverage coming up, but in the meantime, in case you missed it, check out Part 01 — JDM, Part 02 — Toyotas, Part 03 — Hondas, and Part 04 — Subaru and Isuzu, as well as a spotlight on the Wild Cards and the first Honda race car in America.


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6 Responses to EVENTS: 2018 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 05 — Trucks

  1. Nigel says:

    An equal amount of slammage and lift.

  2. speedie says:

    Great coverage of the show for those of us on the east coast that find it difficult to attend. I hope there is Mazda coverage coming up?

  3. Spirit Road says:

    There were some sick truck builds out there!

  4. Joe Hornberger says:

    Great article, as always. Sad to see no Mazdas or Isuzus, but I’ll take what I can get…

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Danny says:

    Nice coverage!

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