Mazda is one of two major automakers that sponsors JCCS, and there’s always a nice display of rotaries thanks to the legions of SoCal Mazdafarians. Here is a study in contrasts, the sleek and sexy SA22C RX-7 and its pistonless partner, the utilitarian REPU. By the way, a bone-stock Seven is a beautiful thing.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the historic race cars that the other OEM sponsor, Toyota, brought to the festivities. First up, a vintage SCCA Trans-Am style TE27 Corolla complete with period-correct American Racing Libres.
Remember when tobacco companies could sponsor an entire race series? The IMSA Camel GT Celica hails from that era, shrouded in vintage red/orange/yellow-on-white Toyota racing livery. Gotti wheels and Goodyear Tires were major sponsors of the All American Racers‘ Toyotas for many years (so un-JDM!).
As generations of Celicas progressed, so did the race cars. Even when the Celica became a front-wheel-drive car, the AAR Toyota team lobbied IMSA to change the rules to allow them to continue running rear-wheel-drive race cars in the GTO class.
How about some race cars? Despite its great looks, Larry Hasseler’s Datsun 240Z is campaigned in VARA, the Vintage Auto Racing Association and driven hard. It also has a snarling exhaust note that could wake the dead, as we discovered as Larry loaded it up on his trailer at the end of the show.
Before the famous BRE Datsun 510s and 240Zs, there was the BRE Datsun Roadster. This is the actual, restored car driven by Frank Monise (pre-John Morton BRE driver). As the story goes, when asked why he hired Monise, Peter Brock said, “Because he kept beating me.”
Yesterday we saw PJ Bonifacio‘s daruma Celica. But the SoCal paint and body master always has a few tricks up his sleeve and this time it came in the form of an ’78 RT135 Toyota Corona five-door.
Finding the most obscure body style of vintage Toyota and making it completely rad is kind of PJ’s specialty. This one’s 20R was equipped with a racing cam, headers and twin Webers.
Here’s a closer look at the Sparkle Garage Crew’s bosozoku-style MS65 Toyota Crown. Do not be alarmed: this kujira was in pretty gnarly shape when purchased, so they didn’t defile a rare specimen, they breathed new, meaner life into a beached whale.
The Sparkle Garage MX32 was sporting a clever, “wind-blown sakura” livery.
Speaking of interesting decals, this groovy stripes on this Dodge Colt makes us want to break out the Bee Gees 8-track. This is, from what we’ve heard, a dealer add-on. Do you think Mitsubishi ever, in a million years, expected us Yanks to dress the King of Cars in a technicolor dreamcoat? Mad props to the owner for keeping the far out livery as-is!
Quick, let’s come down from that trip with Racetoys‘ JDM-style TE27s. Actually, that Sprinter Trueno is a genuine JDM example. Compare it with the Corolla SR5-converted Levin in the foreground.
There were several Honda Z600s in attendance, but the owner of this little red number applied other Honda tuning styles, such as swaths of carbon fiber and a racing tow hook, to make it stand out.
One of the most amazing cars at the show was this 1970 VG20D Toyota Century Violet Edition. It wasn’t the this car’s king-of-Toyota-luxury status, although that in itself is impressive enough. It’s the fact that this particular one has only 1600 km on the odometer — less than 1000 miles!
On the opposite end of the automotive spectrum was this 1972 Suzuki LJ20, a 360cc kei truck with a two-stroke motor and four-wheel-drive. This won 3rd place for Best in Show.
Speaking of Japanese off-roaders, this hulking behemoth is a 60-series Nissan Patrol pickup imported from Saudi Arabia. It’s in amazing shape though, right down to the Nissan blue engine paint.
Shinzo Auto Service of Irvine, California had two of Nissan’s top coupes gracing their booth. Everything looks good on black Wats.
R-Rated Motorsports of Ontario, California’s TA12 Toyota Carina rocked a pretty impressive twin-spark 3T-GTE under the hood with tons of custom-fabbed bits and a massive snail.
As cars from the 1980s move into classic territory, models like the Nissan/Datsun 200SX (aka S12 Silvia) are increasing in numbers at the JCCS. There were at least a half dozen pre-S13 Silvias present, swapped with everything from V6s to RB26DETTs (see gallery below).
We first saw this Celica at Toyotafest but it remains one of our favorites. As we noted then, the color reminds us of the green Celicas that raced at Fuji back in the day, and — say it with us — everything looks good on black Wats.
Finally, here’s a shot of the cars gracing the JNC booth. Rather than bore you with the Cressida Wagon or Ben’s bone-stock AE86, we reunited two old school rivals in the 800cc class. Back in the 1960s the Honda S800 and Toyota Sports 800 would have been trading paint over endurance championships at Suzuka, but today they’re helping us spread the word of nostalgic Japanese steel.
There’s still more to come, so stay tuned. For more, see our previous installments, or revisit JCCS 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006.
That “wedge” Corona’s really shmexy 😀
Uh, do you KNOW what a “wedge” Corona is?? That certainly, is NOT one. That is a 79-80 Corona pictured, there. The 81-82 Corona is known as the “wedge” Corona. It is called “wedge” or “facelift” Corona… pertaining to the NEWER wedge style grille and headlights, and to the new facelifted front end for the 81-82s. Get it RIGHT, guy.
I should KNOW… I own one, a 1981 Corona “wedge” 4dr Deluxe sedan.
Best honda Z car i’ve seen. that is awesome!!
P.J. is the king of Toyotas IMO. Never ceases to impress…
Glad to see my old Carina back on the road again. The guys at R-Rated did a great job with the 3tg swap too. Good job guys!!!
I Like the #99 Celica and the white 200SX. The blue one on Hayashi’s and Mk III’s is also cool. S12’s are very “stealthy” ! Any more SA22c Rx’ s ??
It was a great show! I was bummed that Tomica couldn’t announce their comeback at the show, but I had a good time anyway.
I spent a lot of time carefully looking over that Century. I work for a steering parts supplier, so the oddball steering set up really caught my attention. It uses an old style external power assist set up on the linkage, but the linkage is all up top and actually turns the struts, as opposed to every other car I’ve ever seen. Very weird.
I don’t know much about these, but do they have air suspension as well? The strut tops appeared to have inflation valves. Looking under the car revealed it had a standard shock/spring set up, but some sort of knee joint that may be related to air suspension. I’d love to see the suspension break down of one of these.
They do come with air suspension from factory but this car was in storage for 35 years and when I picked it up the bags were completely rotted so we had to build our own air over struts and modify the top hat since I wanted to keep the car as stock as possible. The coilover struts you saw was part of our helper spring at the bottom so we can drive the car as low as we could and still get a decent ride quality. As you can see in your picture at the very bottom close to left shock tower there is extra gauge and that is for new air ride setup I installed.
Ah, thanks for the explanation! Fantastic car, thanks for bringing it.
There was plenty more to see from Mazda, Honda, Toyota, and more. Part of the reason for the substantial growth JCCS has experienced, especially in the last five years, has to do with younger fans being exposed to and hooked on these classic platforms. Add to that the fact that many early ’90s favorites are now in their 30s that’s right, you’re getting old and you have the recipe for a massive turnout from both car owners and spectators.