It was a little surprising to hear the Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS) - the yearly Southern Cali jam devoted generally to pre-1990s J brand car models - only turned nine this year. It feels like we've been coming to the event a lot longer than that; we sure as heck have a hard time remembering what the area's show landscape was like before we had JCCS.
The roots show returned again to the events park next to the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif., on a beautiful Saturday, September 28, and drew a huge crowd, bigger than any we've seen in a few years. Many were there to check out the Honda display, the automaker celebrating its first JCCS in any official capacity, joining other longtime OEM sponsors Mazda and Toyota.
It was hard to miss the Big H exhibit, considering two of the most recognizable displays from the American Honda Museum in nearby Torrance were out front, namely the neon orange and white RealTime Racing Acura Integra Type-R and NSX IMSA GTP prototype. Elsewhere another museum gem, the Mugen CR-X, blended in with other first- and second-generation Rexs, and while not part of the 'official' Honda party the legendary Spoon Sports E-AT Civic hatchback was kicking it with a bunch of OG N and Z kei cars. The Spoon Civic is currently making its way across America, recently making an appearance at Honda Day on the East Coast and scheduled to attend Super Street magazine's FF track competition later this week.
It may have just been us but it felt like there were a ton of Nissan/Datsun S30 chassis at JCCS, our favorite being the 1974 260Z reppin' Yokohama Tire. Flossing aero and overfenders that didn't at all contain the buff Advan A048 rubber, the Z also rode on some pimp three-piece Work Meister CR-01 wheels.
Outside our Z fixation, John Russakoff's drag-racing Honda S2000-powerd Toyota AE86 chassis was equally burly but not nearly as complete as Yokohama's sports car (still pretty sweet, though). The coolest car of the day, however, belonged to Ryan De Guzman; his 1969 Toyota Crown was the picture of menacing beauty, restored in murder-licious House of Kolor black and tastefully modified with elements like a 5M-GE inline-6 motor swap and custom Universal Air suspension.
Next year JCCS turns 10, which is a pretty big deal for a show that remains one of the more modest, DIY affairs on the scene. Organizers promise big things for 2014, but so long as the original formula stays the same - entries at least 25 years old, either immaculately resorted or immaculately customized - you can bet we'll be there. Dig into the gallery to relive JCCS 2013.