EVENTS: Vintage Auto Salon, Part 03 – Bayline Cruisers

018-BH7421_Toyota Hilux

For the third and final installment of our Vintage Auto Salon coverage, we take a look at cars that aren’t necessarily the rarest or the sportiest. Instead, this motley crew is comprised of bone stock survivors, tough trucks, and wicked wagons, all perfect for a leisurely drive through the beautiful hills and bridges of the Bay Area. 

017-BH7292_Toyota Hilux

One of our favorites was Kenneth Cademas‘ gorgeous white Toyota Hilux, complete with what appears to be orignal paint/patina and uber-cool 1970s stripe kit. With just a simple drop and a wood steering wheel for a bit of custom class and this thing was ready to roll. We hope it’s kept as-is and never “restored.”

051-BH7320_Mitsubishi Forte pickup

The second truck to catch our collective eye was a rare Mitsubishi Pickup. We can’t remember ever seeing a Triple Diamond workhorse in a show scenario, meaning that it’s owned with the express purpose of being preserved. Much respect to the owner for rockin’ a choice JNT!

053-BH7322_Toyota Cressida MX73 Nissan Maxima

As we were taking photos of the Mitsubishi, a rolling troller came through. Check out the badges on this 80s box sedan. HeeLAIRious!

063-JP0374_Nissan-Datsun 720 pickup060-BH7325_Nissan-Datsun 720 pickup

More truck goodness: soon a pair of clean Datsun 720 street machines soon joined the festivities. It’s uncommon for more than one truck to vie for JNC staff pick at a single show, but this event had four. They arrived together, clearly compatriots in 720 preservation. The gold specimen with NISMO wheels was particularly nice, but we wouldn’t kick either one out of the garage. Both were absolutely dwarfed by a random Nissan Titan lurking in a neighboring lot.

032-JP0189_Toyota Corona RT119 Wagon

As a die-hard Toyota wagon nut I noticed a 1976 Toyota Corona wagon on Longchamp XR-4s right away. It happens to belong to one of the show’s organizers, Historic J’s James Vorasane, who picked it up for the low, low price of $300 with only 12,000 showing on the clock. Had the 5-digit odo rolled over? Who cares, its 20R is basically indestructible!

064-BH7326_Toyota Supra A60

The MkI Toyota Supra may not have been a worthy competitor the Nissan Z-car, but by their respective second generations rolled around the tables were turned. The MkII Supra became the performance benchmark of 1982, while the 280ZX grew into a cruiser role. Still, we waited for the “cruisers” installment to show this gorgeous stock A60 simply because it’s a luxury L-Type. It has the same drivetrain as the performance P-Type, but minus the fender flares and wider wheels.

081-JP0244_Honda Civic SB1

Martin True‘s 1975 Honda Civic wasn’t the most regal machine back in the day, but give it 40 years and the funky little hatchback exudes charm. I mean look at it. It’s an eager brown puppy, ready to go forth and save the planet. Our hearts were warmed just looking at it, and even more when we saw its meticulous detailing up close, suggesting that the car is loved and cared for.

131-JP0565_Toyota Corona RT118 wagon

Amazingly, there were two RT118/119 Corona wagons at this event. George Holmes‘ 1974 was slammed but otherwise stock, and dripping with real Neoclassic style thanks to original hubcaps, whitewalls, and the most 70s shade of avocado green imaginable.

136-BH7378_Nissan-Datsun 610 wagon134-JP0563_Nissan-Datsun 610 wagon

Its partner-in-crime was a familiar Datsun 610 wagon with mild takeyari pipes. Is this the beginnings of the notorious NorCal 610 goon squad branching out into rare Aichi longroofs?

294-JP0570_Toyota Cressida MX73183-BH7425_Toyota Cressida MX73

Of course, when it comes to cruise missiles you can’t get more popular than the MX73 Toyota Cressida. A completely unnoticed sedan just a few years ago has become the de facto ride of sled of 80s gangsterness. Liam Schubert‘s Cressy has been 5-speed swapped and maintains the original 5M for now, though he soon plans to swap an LS# V8 into it.

185-JP0506_Toyota Cressida MX73

One of the most memorable Cressidas was again the rolling tribute to the Hoshino Impul wheel. Not much appears to have changed since we saw it a few months ago at Shokuji J-Tin, and that’s okay. It’s nearly perfect as is.

197-JP0279_Mazda 323 wagon

Likewise, Johnny Lucero‘s Mazda 323 high-roof is another familiar sight from Historic J’s first show, the Bayline Gathering a year ago. This time his mesh wheels are SSR Mesh rather than last year’s Epsilons.

321-JP0575_Nissan-Datsun 610

This Longchamp-shod sedan was another familiar face. We think it’s safe to say that NorCal is home to quite a fan base of 610 enthusiasts.

174-JP0299_Nissan-Datsun 610 wagon

And they kept on coming. The color of this 610 wagon is mint, even if the car is not. We do hope this car can be restored, and its presence at this show is a reassuring sign that at least it has been bought and saved by someone who recognizes what it is.

314-JP0296_Nissan-Datsun 240Z

I personally think taking a car to a show and hanging a big “For Sale” sign on it is pretty tasteless, but I suppose it’s a good way for a car to find a good home. If you were looking for a late 70s Japanese sport coupe, this show had you covered.

First up, a well-kept and stock Datsun 280Z, for all your boulevarding needs. Since enthusiasts are all about the 240Z and this car is too mint to do a conversion, the best buyer for it might be a USDM Jammer in Japan who wants big bumpers and door mirrors.

046-JP0619_Toyota-Celica Liftback RA29045-JP0198_Toyota-Celica Liftback RA29

If your Malaise Era proclivities lean more towards Aichi steel, you couldn’t do much better than this RA29 Celica Liftback. Traditional American collectors tend to favor the Liftback over the coupe, so we could see this one going to an older aficionado who will simply keep it his stable beside some Detroit Iron. Look for it at Barrett Jackson in about five years.

212-BH7424_Toyota Celica A60 convertible

It’s kind of a Historic J tradition to bring out a special figure in the Japanese tuning world each year, and this year guest of honor was Yoshiya Watanabe of Rocky Auto fame. He was asked to choose his favorites of the show, and he awarded Roger Powell‘s cherry Celica GT-S convertible the Best New Timer award.


As for Best in Show? Rocky-san bestowed that honor to Justin March and his B16 turbo Civic wagon with NSX brake calipers. Based on some of the monster nostalgic Nissans his shop churns out, Watanabe is clearly a man who likes new-school swaps, originality be damned.

And thus ends our coverage of the Vintage Auto Salon, another great event brought to you by Historic J. In case you missed it, check out Part 01 – JDM Machines and  Part 02 – Light, Quick, Agile.


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17 Responses to EVENTS: Vintage Auto Salon, Part 03 – Bayline Cruisers

  1. Nigel says:

    Nice to see some 720’s and 610’s .
    (Very cool that more are being saved).

  2. Tyler says:

    Green goons! Yes!

  3. Ant says:

    Great lines on that Mitsubishi pickup.

  4. George Holmes says:

    Love the coverage, thanks for the pics and kind words. A bit updated however you shoulda looked under the hood, has a 95 Nissan KA. Hope to see you guys in Long Beach.

  5. Alexx Supra says:

    Thats not a MK1 Supra. Thats a MK2.

  6. Old Skool says:

    Glad to see you got some pics of my Honda wagon 🙂

  7. invinciblejets says:

    I kinda like the beat up look of the mint 610 …….as long as there are no cancer spots

  8. Martin True says:

    Thank’s for the great comments!!! It was an awesome show.

  9. johnny lucero says:

    Thanks for the pic again man!

  10. johnny lucero says:

    And wheels weren’t flipped, last year they were Epsilon meshes, this year, SSR reverse mesh.

  11. slade says:

    that ra just needs some smiley and banana love:)

  12. dat_810 says:

    My car was one of the rarest ones at this show. I was butt hurt it didnt get featured but then again its not finished so I know thats why. Next year hopefully my 810 will be done I need to find a damn trunk lid first. Ive been looking for well over a year now fml

  13. Charlie says:

    Mint Datsun is beautiful! I like cars in their original condition. They are witnesses of the times.

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