Words and Photos by David Moore
The 9th Annual Japanese Classic Car show was held in Long Beach this year, nestled in the shadow of the Queen Mary. Having been held at different venues in the past, it has found a home in Long Beach over the past few years. The venue is as picturesque as Southern California can get, sitting right on the bay. JCCS has grown every year and so has the evolution of cars in attendance. The import car scene is constantly evolving, just like other car scenes (if you don’t believe me, look up the domestic Street Freak scene from the 70’s!). It’s easy to see that evolution when you spot numerous Datsun Z cars and 510’s looking like they’re straight out of the 70’s, Toyota Celica’s, Cressida’s, and Supra’s from the early 80’s, and even some early Acura Integra’s. As time moves forward, 80’s era cars have become more prevalent at the show. Sadly, cars like the early Datsun Roadsters haven’t caught on.
A large number of Japanese motorcycles were also at the show, which was a welcomed addition. There were a number of nice bikes restored to factory new, like the Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Special Edition. But of course, there were all kinds of beautifully modified bikes too, from flat tracker style bikes to choppers and cafe racers. We even spotted a crazy custom modified scooter. These were a great addition to the show, and seemed to go over well with the crowd.
Having manufacturers bring out some older hardware to share with the crowd really makes this show stand out. This year, Honda/Acura brought out a few older cars including, a Realtime Acura Integra racecar and a Comptech Acura powered IMSA GTP Lights car. Mazda shared the always popular, 787B rotary powered prototype along with an unrestored 757 prototype racecar. The 757 will be restored and shown at the 2015 Rolex Historic Motorsports Reuinion at Laguna Seca. Toyota had their 4-seat, drag racing Sequoia on hand as well as a new FRS racecar. As a special treat, Toyota also showed three 2000 GT’s. Recently, one of the three sold for $1.1million! There were two white ones, and a very beautiful red one that was there with the crew from Toysport. With only 337 ever made, seeing three in one place is pretty awesome.
Walking throughout this show, you can spot every level of restoration and every style of modification that can be done to a car. A few Acura’s were modified in the style you would have seen when they were new, complete with era-correct wheels and trim. Other cars modified to today’s standards, running huge power from turbo swapped motors and modern suspension systems. One of my show favorites had to be the Toyota Crown running airbags and a very clean stereo install in the trunk, but still had a very factory looking interior. A very beautiful car.
One of only 337 Toyota 2000GT’s ever made.
Datsun Z cars had older L series engines and newer RB Series Engines.
A rarely seen Mazda 323 GTX, with aftermarket Borbet wheels from the era.
Vintage Japanese cars are becoming popular enough that people are making aftermarket wheels specifically for the market. These are new wheels from Fatlace.
The later RWD Celica’s and Mark 2 Supra’s are getting more popular as the earlier cars are harder to find.
A one off, 1000CC two-stroke Kawasaki.
Sister car to the Le Mans Winning 787B.
An Acura Integra looking as if traveled time from the early 90’s.
A line up of Nissan 300ZX’s.
A Pair of Daihatsu’s even made it to the show!
The Toyota Starlet is a popular car to modify wildly.
Who remembers this? From a very early Datsun ad campaign.
Mooneyes is at these events every year.
The collection of motorcycles on display is growing every year. Great seeing some classic bikes!
It was sold by Dodge, but it is still a Japanese car.
If you love cars a little different from the norm, this is a show you should check out next year. Next years 10th Anniversary Show should bring out another fine assortment of amazing cars. Be sure to add it to your calendar today! JCCS Website