If you want to witness the process of a man falling in love with machine, the Japanese Classic Car Show is the place it will happen. Once a year a multitude of pre-1990 cars flock beside the retired Queen Mary ocean liner in Long Beach, California for a day of family fun and nostalgia. The special event is now in its 9th year and has continued to grow in terms of cars and spectators. This year saw a diverse crowd that included everyone from old Filipinos with their exceptionally pristine Toyotas to young adults with their retro engine swapped Datsuns. Historic cars were the topic of conversation with much wisdom and stories to be heard from those that have followed the tuner scene for decades. You won't find another show like this in California, which is why you'll find us here every single year. If you ever have the chance, come in the early morning to hear these things roll into the park or wait until the end when they leave - it'll be love at first sight I promise.
One of the dominant makes of the show was the Nissan/Datsun crowd. Though there were dozens of them these 5 cars made us drool the most. Here are a handful of the best Nissan/Datsun cars we ran into this past weekend.
S30 Datsun 240Z
Okay we admit it; we sort of have an S30 chassis fixation. But you can't blame us, the bodylines still resound in the modernized Nissan 370Z. So it can't just be us! You don't have to be a Japanese classic car aficionado to see that this car is special. This Z is painted in beautiful dark silver with the quintessential fender flares that compliments any old-school ride.
Nissan Skyline Kenmeri
One of the questions that classic car owners are faced with is should they keep the engine classic or swap it with a more modern powerplant? This C110 Kenmeri or 1972-1977 Nissan Skyline chose the classic route and stayed with the original 2.0L L20. The engine bay is so pristine you wouldn't believe this car is over 30 years old. And if this thing wasn't cool enough, it has individual throttle bodies and classic Watanabe shoes!
Yokohama Datsun 240Z
Typically, the shows at the Queen Mary Park are split between two sections: Asphalt and the grass section. A few steps into the grass section was this blue Yokohama Tire Datsun 240Z. The S30 was rocking sexy Work Meister CR-01 wheels tucked under massive fender flares. This car is JDM styling at its best.
SR20 Powered Datsun 510
Another popular car to restore is the Datsun 510. Just like many of the Hondas today, many Nissan/Datsun parts are interchangeable. Trends may come and go, but a retrofitted SR20 engine will never be lame. The factory turbo unit is replaced by a gigantic Garrett turbo. Yes, it's kind of awesome.
Fatlace Nissan Skyline Kenmeri
You've probably seen this one back in our June 2012 issue. While many would go for the Hakosuka, Felix opted for the Kenmeri. Since finding a GT-R Kenmeri is like winning the lottery, the best many can do is make it look like a GT-R. That day Fatlace also debuted its newest wheels, the F Zero 1. They have a timeless JDM appearance and are made by Japanese wheel company AME Wheels.