It's the one event you can always count on to bring out exceptional quality, plenty of variety, and a handful of historic Japanese vehicles that you've either never heard of or only viewed in photos. I'm talking about the Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS), which over the past 13 years has served as the mecca for throwback builds that are sometimes based solely on restoration, while others are packed with aftermarket goods and modern day performance parts.
For their 14th annual event, the JCCS crew pulled out all the stops to make sure the display vehicles were right where they were supposed to be prior to visitors entering the gates. A tall order when you consider the 434 cars, as well as the 70 vendors, on hand making this one of the largest JCCS events ever.
Beyond the sheer number of participants, the venue changed for 2018. Long gone are the days of packing into the Queen Mary Events Park, instead replaced by the Marina Green Park, which is situated right next to the Long Beach Aquarium. Rather than filling a rather awkward park and its adjoining parking lot as in the past, the new park offers a large rectangular layout that gives car owners more set-up space, and fans more room to move around to take in the sights.
And what a sight it was, with various manufacturers grouped together, which gave everyone a chance to see multiple generations of Mazda, Toyota, Nissan/Datsun, Mitsubishi and Honda, to name a few. Head down the small hill into the side lot and you've entered vendor row with brands offering new products, info, apparel, and of course some incredible display cars.
Playing off of their Street Neo events from a few years ago, JCCS included newer vehicle generations that ran all the way up to model year 1995. This allowed a new option for car owners that were previously shut out because of the 1985 production cutoff.
After having attended about nine previous JCCS events, I can say without a doubt this was my favorite by far. The variety of cars, trucks and motorcycles that, due to pre-screening, were top notch, along with a much more open layout and outstanding organization within the various vehicle types, made this a JCCS to remember.
This time capsule-condition Toyota 2000GT was a show in and of itself. The original prototype was unveiled before a crowd at the 12th annual Tokyo Motor Show in 1965, and as you might imagine pulled a reaction with its sleek bodylines and sexy curves. Even today, over 50 years later, the 2000GT elicits a response at first glance, and the crowd it pulled at JCCS '18 is testament to that.
Troy Sumitomo of Five Axis Design recently finished up his silver 240Z project dubbed "Project S30five." Classic, subtle styling, combined with Hoshino Impul wheels on the outside and classic Mikuni 44s on the inside.
You won't find dozens of Supras on display at JCCS, but of the few you do run across, there's a good chance they'll look as good as this pair of MKIVs from this year's event.
The JDM Legends booth stayed busy throughout the day, as expected. The newfound fame stemming from the shop's television exposure has brought in a whole new wave of fans. Much of that admiration comes from stuff like this 1972 GT-R slathered in Safari Gold that the group restored and presented at the inaugural JAI event at Pebble Beach recently, followed by their trip to Long Beach.
We don't see too many Nissan Laurels floating around, and if we do, they're definitely not in the sort of condition Steve's C33 currently is.
The RB25 has been fitted with a Garrett GXT3071r, and the sedan rolls on completely custom Work Rezax that feature gold highlights to complement the white/gold body theme. We weren't the only ones that liked the car; judges awarded Steve with a first-place trophy in the JDM class.
Don't know much about motorcycles, but I do know that if that's your thing, JCCS has plenty. With an entire section dedicated to two-wheel restorations and builds that include street, race, and show bikes, there was something for everyone.
Or, if you prefer trucks and SUVs, you could find plenty of Datsun's beloved 521 and 620 models, along with a lifted Land Cruiser not far away.
As a matter of fact, last year's JCCS is where we found Jose Tarin's Datsun 521 http://www.superstreetonline.com/features/1807-1971-and-72-datsun-521-pickup-lines/ and it hasn't missed a step, looking better than ever this year.
Void of any flares, oversized wing, or American muscle, this spotless FC chassis RX-7 held our attention for quite some time.
The gloss black treatment under the hood, surrounded by stellar white paint, offered a contrast that was impossible to ignore.