After a decade or so of attending the annual Japanese Classic Car Show, I've seen the number of Hondas in attendance continue to grow year after year. In more recent times, American Honda stepped up as a sponsor for the grassroots event that caters to old-school Japanese vehicles of all types, and the brand has become somewhat of a staple for show goers each year. You'll immediately recognize a few of the cars pictured below, being that they've attended the gathering for years; however, in addition you'll also notice some newer builds that made their way to JCCS's new location, still in Long Beach, but this time on Shoreline Drive.
Some of those newer builds are a result of JCCS loosening up the year/make guidelines that had been strictly enforced for years. Wanting to dedicate some real estate to more modern build examples, the 1985 cut-off was eliminated and a new cap of 1995 was put in place. This allows cars like the wildly popular EF/ED and EG/EH Civic, DC chassis Integra, newer model Accord families, the del Sol and more to take part in the event. Having been to so many of these events, it does feel a bit strange seeing the newer chassis in the mix as I've grown accustomed to the old CVCC-era chassis and S600s floating around the show. That's not to say that I don't appreciate it—the more Hondas the better in my eyes.
JCCS's grouping of vehicle makes at the show made it easy to spend time in your favorite section. I definitely missed a few cars while trying to grab the majority of Hondas along with the 400 or so other makes and models on display while the crowds poured in, but what I didn't pick up in photos you should be able to catch in the Facebook Live video I've added to this story.
This '71 Honda Vamos is a perfect example why I love attending JCCS year after year. Displayed in pristine condition, it's one of the rarest Hondas I'm likely to ever encounter.
The air-cooled two-cylinder is mounted mid-ship, and this one seemed to have all of the bells and whistles available at that time. At just 354 cc, it won't get you there quickly, but looks like a blast to cruise in.
I can recall when the second generation CRX first began popping up at JCCS and I definitely remember it feeling a little strange at that time as well, so maybe my whining about newer cars giving off a strange vibe for me is just a taste of deja vu.
Regardless, this CRX is an immediate trip down memory lane for me. This was a common style in SoCal in the early '90s, based on a nice set of wheels and a healthy drop. Performance-minded folks at that time might reach for an Akimoto intake, dual-tipped HKS exhaust, and Lightspeed header. If things got a little more serious, they might pick up that Gude cam they'd been eyeing and perhaps a set of Nology wires or, if the funds were there, they'd opt for that DRAG turbo kit.
Take a late '70s Accord in outstanding condition and apply some '90s-era performance to it and you've got the nostalgic look with more modern power—the perfect combo.
The EA chassis Civic that your friend constantly refers to as an EF seems to have caught some momentum over the past few years. Extremely affordable but riddled with a lack of available OEM parts, finding one as nicely done as this example is extremely tough. It sits at a picture perfect ride height perched on classic Volk Racing 5/4s.
If you've attended a handful of meets or shows in SoCal or you live anywhere near this group of dedicated second gen. Integra owners, chances are you've seen them in person. They seemed to be at most events last year and even more so in 2018.
Rare wheels, OEM optional bits, and pieces that seem to get harder to find by the hour all backed by a general appreciation for the good stuff that the '90s-era enthusiast circle produced, these DA/DB2 diehards have made their mark.
Ok, it's not pretty, but it's not supposed to be. This is Honda's very first race car campaign and its based on a 1970 N600 chassis. With only 45hp it topped out at around 80mph (and it still got 40mpg) and try as it might, it wasn't able to finish the Baja 1000 due to constant CV joint issues that eventually broke the car's driver.
The car is now in the hands of the N600 Whisperer, Tim Mings—the same guy that was responsible for the Serial ONE N600 restoration unveiled at JCCS a few years ago. We're not sure if the plan is to restore or preserve this piece of history but it was pretty damn cool to see in person.
This DC2 might be a little too modern for your old-school senses but you have to think about just how rare a stock, unmolested, and clean title ITR has become. If we're talking about an event dedicated to classics, can the number of years on its title really hold it back from that designation?
On the flip side, this Type R has been modified extensively, the most obvious of which are the Mugen M7 wheels, front lip, and side skirts. The rear also received a bit of Mugen power with a pronounced wing, and just below, a CrowHouse bumper replaces the stock version.