They say old age has its benefits. I don't know exactly who "they" are or whether or not "they" are even right, but when it comes to the automotive realm I'll cede their point. The last Japanese Classic Car Show hosted in nearby Long Beach only reaffirmed these sentiments. For the second year in a row, California's Japanese Classic Car Show Association hosted the event, which featured several hundred aged-to-perfection pre-1986 JDM rarities, and more than a few overseas-only superannuated oddballs. The event was held at the port of the Queen Mary, which seemed only fitting. After all, much like the Queen Mary, many of these vehicles began life as daily driven workhorses; and after being decommissioned, were later revived for their owners, and others, to appreciate.
The mix was eclectic enough to satisfy even the most discriminating of old-school JDM connoisseurs - featuring everything from completely bone-stock AE86s, rotaries, S800s and 510s that were restored to OEM condition down to every last cooling hose, clamp and cotter pin. Just as many mad-scientist-built hybrid contraptions were on hand, including: Honda F20C and F22C-powered Corollas and Celicas - three to be exact; SR20DET-motivated Datsuns; and more than a few restored relics featuring enough high-tech, turbocharged, fuel injected, electronic trickery to make even today's OBDII-controlled vehicles seem anything but sophisticated. It's difficult to attend a show like this and not walk away wanting a JDM classic of your own. We spotted a couple in particular we'll be keeping our eyes peeled for. And taking our California citizenship status into consideration - as few other states can rival California's unfriendliness to auto enthusiasts when it comes to emissions concerns - don't think for a minute that our state's smog exempt status for vehicles 30 years or older isn't our prime motivation for wanting one.