Last weekend the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles hosted their annual cruise-in for Japanese cars. J-tin of all eras and styles flocked to the museum’s parking structure at the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire Boulevards on a sweltering LA summer day. Here’s a gallery of the highlights.
Though the garage was packed with everything from a kei Honda pickup to a chameleon colored Lexus RC F, and enough Toyobarus with widebody kits to last a lifetime (So. Many. Wide. Body. Kits), we will focus on the nostalgics, starting with a slick G-Works-style S30 Z and our friend Rick Ishitani‘s Hako.
The show was put on in partnership with Super Street, Hagerty Insurance, and Toyota, and the timing couldn’t have been better because as it happens the Petersen happens to have an amazing Japanese car exhibit going on right now.
Though parking was not assigned, the randomness of the roll-in made for some interesting juxtapositions of old and new. Look how nicely the 240Z lines up with a very clean a tasteful S14, for example.
Or, take these three generations of Honda. Each design was separated by about 15 years or so. The S-chassis originated in the early 1960s, the Honda Accord hails the late 1970s, and the NSX came about in the 1990s. The evolution is simply staggering.
Here’s a closer looks at that S800 coupe.
A Civic Wagon and new Fit sprouted from a different branch of the Honda family tree.
An S13 vert and kouki S14 represented two generations of the Nissan 240SX.
This is a photo of an AW11, but an evolution of sorts unintentionally lurked in the background. This size comparision between the original Pathfinder, a body-on-frame SUV and a new Rogue crossover is simply astounding.
A pair of mid-engined 1990s sports cars reminded us just how good we had it back then.
A pair of RWD coupes from the 1980s reminded us just how good we had it back then.
I don’t remember ever seeing a Mitsubishi 3000GT in this two-tone color when they were new. It’s an odd color for a sports car, which is what made it interesting. It looks factory, though, even though it’s more appropriate for a Pajero or Delica.
We’ve seen this FX-16 a few times now, but it remains one of our favorite FF Corolla builds.
We also liked this pinoy-style Corolla Sport, complete with rear foglight, twin-cam 2TG engine, and Foha aero bits.
A used but still clean JZA80 Toyota Supra had us wondering if the new one will live up to its predecessor.
An R34 Nissan Skyline 25GT stood out from its many GT-R-spec brethren.
The owner of this Honda N600 fitted with a 1998 Honda VFR 800 motorcycle engine joked that it now has 300 percent more horsepower than it did when new. It retains the bike’s sequential transmission, and has uses a custom Miata subframe and Ford rear end to convert it to RWD.
A custom Honda of another type took appeared to be a bone-stock first-gen Accord sedan, but under the hood was a B-series swap that could have nearly passed for factory.
Beside it was a first-gen Civic with a similar swap, its extra track width was taken care of tastefully with molded flares.
Of course, the show had no shortage of traditionally tuned Hondas.
The safari trend of taking a car not meant for off-roading and lifting it to hit the trails is red hot right now, so it would only make sense to see a Lexus LS converted. If you’re going away from civilization why not take the most reliable car ever made?
The world of Japanese cars is still as diverse as ever, and immersing oneself in it is not too shabby a way to spend a Saturday morning.
To be continued…
II will attend that show next year!…I wish I knew about before!!
So come to the Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach on September 15.
Thank you for not showing us a thousand identical Rocket Bunny kitted cars while telling us how all of them are “unique” in some way – that’s what most automotive medias would have done.
Great coverage as always!
I spy a JZX90 (in red ). Awesome part one coverage Ben.
Or is it a GX81 ?
That Honda N600 requires more explanation.
It was featured in one of Matt Farah’s One Takes and a link to the build list is included.It’s a really nutty, wonderful car.