EVENTS: Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 03 — Stock as a Rock

Before we get started on this installment of the 2017 JCCS coverage, let us just say that it has become impossible to capture every click-worthy car on camera. That’s a good thing, a testament to the ever-increasing quality of cars that show up to North America’s premiere J-tin event, and a statement on how Japanese cars are both appreciating and becoming more appreciated as each year rolls by.  

KJ Woolcott’s 1985 Toyota Celica GTS convertible was restored by Joseph DeMeo, the owner of the insane Celica All-Trac we spotlighted. Like the ST165, the condition is concours level. The droptop Celicas were built as coupes in Japan and converted to convertibles at ASC once they reached US shores, so they were never sold in Japan. According to KJ, only 4,400 were made.

John Moran’s 1984 Nissan 300ZX Turbo 50th Anniversary Edition is one of our favorite cars and a Touge 80s veteran. The oh-so-80s headlight slats were an aftermarket item made by Kaminari, and the perfect period correct addition to an otherwise beautiful example of a stock special edition Z31.

John Spurling’s 1989 300ZX Turbo was optioned with every 80s add-on you could get — digital dash, electronically adjustable suspension, and of course T-tops. The Aztec Red 5-speed has just 79,000 original miles. Behind it, Mitch Terry’s Thunder Black 1985  5-speed Turbo was awarded third place in the 80s Nissan class.

Jonathan Ortiz’s restored 1971 Datsun 240Z is said to be the one that inspired Nissan  in the mid-90s when they decided to sell restored 240Zs from the dealer. The car and photos of its restoration were supposedly used as a benchmark for the program.

Eric Parsons’s 1972 Datsun 240Z was purchased new at Forest Datsun in Redwood City, California. It is said to be completely unrestored and still wears all its original Persimmon Red paint.

Max Valdivia’s 1985 Honda CRX won the Best CRX category. The headlight covers and Enkei EK90 wheels aren’t factory, but easily reversible period correct mods.

Mike Malnick and John Accardi’s 1977 Celica Liftbacks are both original owner cars and both orange, according to Toyota. Mike’s (foreground)’s paint code is 352 Orange while John’s is 337 Orange Metallic.

Continuing on the same color spectrum, Casey Schroder’s 1979 Mazda RX-7 is one of the very early and rare models with matching plaid seats. It was such a strong design element for the SA22 that even the Daytona 24 Hour race cars had plaid racing seats.

A couple of rare examples filled out the Miata section. Peter Royea’s 1992 Sunburst Yellow was one of 1,519 produced in the color and all stock. Jeanne Ball’s 1994 M Edition was a special release car finished in Montego Blue.

Chris Green already owned one of the cleanest second-gen Preludes we’ve seen, a prize-winner from a former JCCS. He’s now gotten a Laurel Blue Metallic third-gen to match. The BA4 won third place in the 80s Honda category.

Celicas, Zs and Preludes were of course beloved performance cars in their day so it should come as no surprise people would be preserving them for posterity today. However, one of the best aspects of JCCS is that even cars that weren’t as cherished, like Rogelio Martinez’s 1974 Datsun B210, can still be found in museum quality condition.

Beside it was Ericson Salmo’s all-original 1979 Datsun 310. Although it was called the 310, it was actually a renamed version of the first-generation Nissan Pulsar. How many people even remember the N10 Pulsar was imported to the US, much less have one with a beautifully original striped velour interior?

AJ Alder’s 1978 Datsun B210 GX was pretty loaded for an economy car back in the day. It had an optional 5-speed transmission and an AM/FM stereo, as well as alloy wheels (which may have been a dealer option). It has only 86,000 miles and its orignal blue plate.

Eric Geiger’s 1972 Honda Z600 was purchased from the original owner in 2012, after it had been parked for 30 years. It underwent a full mechanical restoration, with Tim Mings rebuilding the engine. Amazingly, the paint, chrome and interior are original. Eric says that it is a near daily driver and has recently completed a 2,000-mile road trip.

A pair of Honda Civic 1200 hatchbacks owned by Diana Cruz Guzman and Mark Frakes held down the first-gen section. Mark is the third owner of his copper ’79, but amazingly discovered that the woman that purchased it new bought it on his 11th birthday.

Ascending in size through the Honda hatchback lineup was Chris Hoffman’s 1980 Longleet Gold Accord, with only 18,000 miles on the clock. Chris went home with second place in the 80s Honda class.

This photo represents two-thirds of all the Subarus in attendance, both owned by Mark Poblanz. The 360 Van is said to be original, two-tone paint and all, with 158,000 miles on its two-stroke twin. It was reportedly a daily driver for 40 years before he purchased it.

The green, open-top Subaru 360 “Yacht” is a US-only creation, dreamed up by Subaru importer Malcom Bricklin. Converted in Brea, California, it was meant to compete with the Fiat Jolly. According to Mark, it is one of six known to exist.

Bryan Thompson says he loves rescuing the unloved “orphan” cars, and the 1981 Toyota Tercel certainly applies. Bryan says that the previous owner was an airline pilot who left it at LAX when he was in town during layovers. Though these old dashboards are delicate, the pilot kept it covered so there are no cracks. Unfortunately, the rest of the interior was destroyed. Bryan says he thought long and hard before reupholstering it in eye-catching plaid, but kept the original vinyl in case he or the next owner wants to restore it to factory spec “in the distant future when there aren’t any more of these cars left.”

We have seen some truly stellar TE27 “mango” restorations, but there are fewer TE21 “peanut” 2-door sedans. Obviously the sport coupe model would have a bigger fan base, but we’re glad Timothy Coon has chosen to preserve this 1971 Corolla, vinyl roof and all.

Similarly, we see a lot of love for the rear-wheel-drive AE86 Toyota Corolla GT-S, but front-wheel-drive AE92 Corolla GT-S is usually overlooked. Tracy Sanchez managed to preserve a beautiful example 3E5 Super Red, though.

Edgar Briones’s Toyota Van has been in the family since September 1987 and was daily driven for 20 years before being parked for another decade. With 255,000 miles on the original 2.2-liter engine, it was then fully restored at what looks like considerable expense. Interestingly, Edgar’s van is a cargo-spec model with stripped out interior but equipped with windows rather than in a panel van configuration. For the show, it was filled with kegs of Sapporo. A+ for creativity.

One of our favorite cars at the show was Randy Calcetas’s 1986 Toyota Cressida Wagon in Dark Blue Metallic. Of course, we are probably biased because this is the exact twin of the former JNC wagon, only in much mintier condition. Still equipped with its original snowflake wheels, automatic transmission and blue California plate, it made us nostalgic for the early days of JNC.

To be continued…

We will have more 2017 JCCS coverage coming up but in the meantime, in case you missed it, here’s Part 01 — JDM Goodness, and Part 02 — Race Cars, as well as a JCCS Spotlight feature.

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9 Responses to EVENTS: Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 03 — Stock as a Rock

  1. bob says:

    Please change ” Dayton 24 Hour” to Daytona 24 Hour as a number of people might not be aware that there is a 24 hour race in Daytona Beach, Florida and not Dayton, Ohio.

  2. Mike in Long Beach says:

    Congrats to Chris Hoffman for the inclusion of his 1G Accord hatch in this blog. I have heard that there was only one other 1G Accord at JCCS, displayed by Honda from the company collection.

  3. Socarboy says:

    Great show, those cars bring back a lot of memories especially that brown 1981 Toyota Tercel which my mother had an ’82 model virtually identical to that one

  4. Nigel says:

    Tercel’s and Pulsar’s, very glad to see these getting respect.

  5. Mazluce says:

    I love those Kaminari headlight slates! They look so good on the z31 ?

  6. Scotty G says:

    Beautiful! Give me stock-as-a-rock every time.

  7. Ant says:

    Those seats in the Tercel look perfect for it – originality be damned! The AE92 is stunning too.

  8. nthuZis 1 says:

    Slight correction. ’84 was the year for the 50th Anniversary 300ZX Turbo. Can’t wait to find a manual one to put in my stable.

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