The Petersen Museum in Los Angeles puts on many events throughout the year, each with a theme ranging from hot rods to Porsches. Recently, they hosted their annual cruise-in for Japanese cars, inviting Nihon Steel both old and new to fill out their parking garage. Here are our favorite photos of the day.
We’re going to focus on the JNCs, as there probably isn’t a huge portion of our readership eager to see widebodied Scions. What better way to start out than with a row of 240Zs lining the main entrance?
We really liked this no-nonsense silver Z done up in the traditional Japanese style. And what’s this, a panda AE86 coupe crashing the Z party?
The AE86 belongs to JNC reader Yuri Ranum, whose car was featured in the 2017 movie Gook, which takes place during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
An Acura NSX and Honda CRX served as bookends to Honda’s unbeatable 1990s lineup. The NSX was finished in a rare Midnight Pearl color, available only from 1995-96.
A closer look at the CRX revealed a very clean, stock-bodied example. Lowered reasonably on Work Meister S1 wheels, it was a great example of a well-preserved 90s throwback.
Along the back wall of the garage was a fleet of Integras, while a pair of Tuner Era Civics lurked nearby. It was 1995 all over again.
Across the way was the American equivalent — minitrucks! It’s been a while since we’ve seen a good gathering, and it was awesome to see the pack of extremely era-appropriate Datsun 720s, Mazda B-Series, and Toyota HiLuxes.
Speaking of HiLuxes, we also came across a thoroughly American-style example, with side-pipes, roll-bar, and step-side-style bed. The Japanese Lee Majors would be proud.
Friend of JNC Ricky Mena brought out his 1981 Nissan Leopard 280X SF-L. Since we last saw it at JCCS, he’s added a set of era correct Impul Specials for a proper deluxe 1980s style.
Continuing on the Leopard tip was Mike Posada’s F31 Infiniti M30. We first came across the Longchamp-clad F31 at Nissan Jam in 2016 and it was good to see it still exhibiting its aggressive street-style look.
A pair of Fairlady Roadsters did what they do best: capture the endless blue skies of LA.
In one corner, a lineup of heavily modded Datsuns lay in wait. The 521 stakebed had an interesting swap under the hood — a Toyota Beams engine.
Here’s a rear shot of th 510 sedan with the purple engine bay. Though its surface was patina’d, it also had several interesting little JDM accessories and a look that encompassed both sides of the Pacific.
We loved the preserved vinyl roof and bumperettes on the blue sedan. The narrow Watanabes wrapped in tall sidewalls gave it a very Showa Era style that few replicate.
One of the more eye-catching cars of the show was a Datsun 510 Wagon converted to an independent air suspension in the rear, which allowed for super-close fitment and some serious rear camber. Under the hood was a clean KA24DE swap.
The 510 corner was capped off with a 90s style-510 in a dark blue and white stripe livery that recalled Carroll Shelby’s Cobras. It was fitting, since Peter Brock did some design work for Shelby before starting his Datsun race team.
Nearby was a TE27 with the quintessential mango look — 2T-G swap, TOSCOs, and 0range.
Scattered throughout were more trucks, including two very cherry 4WD beasts — a first-gen 4Runner, and an imported Honda Acty.
Another star of the show, looking as if it came straight out of a video game, was the R32 Skyline in Castrol livery.
AE86, Z32, A60 Celica: Three 80s greats, three different solutions to federal headlight requirements.
The first-generation Mazda 626 is an underappreciated car, so we were pleasantly surprised to see not one, but two mint examples.
Overall, the cruise-in served as an excellent reminder of Los Angeles’s tremendously diverse Japanese car culture. And now, that culture is at last being recognized by one of the city’s premier cultural institutions as well.