The Throwback Meet represents an interesting period in the import world, both mechanically and aesthetically. Automatic transmissions were present but not forced down your throat, and vehicle design, in general, offered a little more separation between manufacturers and far less copy and paste. The SUV movement wasn't in full swing yet, and when it came to extensive electronics to slap a wrist or two when things got exciting, well, those weren't too common on high-end vehicles and completely non-existent on more entry-level vehicles. That's not to say modern vehicles don't have their place, but I think many will agree there's just something special about older imports.
Those of us that miss those days often pick up an old, weathered chassis, tear it down, and rebuild it to look and perform better than the factory could have ever imagined, and that's exactly the type of build you can expect at the Throwback Meet.
While we always expect an event like this will attract the more popular chassis, it's always nice see vehicles that are far less common to modify coming out of the woodwork. Whether it be a lack of aftermarket support, long-term interest or perhaps an overshadowing by competitors, it's nice to come across some forgotten gems along with the usual suspects.
You don't see many 3000GT builds today and, truth be told, you didn't see many when they were still being sold. Features like all-wheel-drive; twin turbo power plants; and even active front aero set them apart from the crowd, but also priced them well out of the reach of most.
I can't recall the last time we've seen a Sentra SE-R but this black '91 version is as good as it gets. Tastefully lowered on SSR mesh wheels with no signs of dents, dings, or rust, this coupe is in outstanding condition.
A carbon-fiber hood and trunk lid, combined with the shiny black paint, are nice subtle touches. The SE-R was praised early on and seemed to fade away over the years. A shame, as the B13 chassis, offered from '91 to '94, was powered by a naturally aspirated SR20DE and put power to the pavement through a viscous limited slip. Small and agile, it tipped the scales at around 2,400lbs and was remarkably affordable.
On the rare occasion you spot a mildly modified CRX in excellent condition like this one, you're bound to see people crack a smile as they mention how much they loved theirs back in high school or college. As if the fourth gen. Civic wasn't enough fun at the time, Honda could essentially do no wrong and introduced the second generation CRX in that quaint little '88 to '91 pocket. Peppy and affordable with a look all its own, it earned a reputation for being entirely comfortable with being violently thrown into any turn imaginable and quickly rose through the enthusiast ranks. This example sits perfectly on a set of Mugen MR5 and sports a truly classic HKS twin-tip exhaust.
If you've frequented a few Cars and Coffee type events in SoCal then you might have noticed Deven Hitchens busily sketching while sitting next to a car for quite some time. His artwork is well known among the car community and he even offers custom pieces that you can purchase. Find more on Instagram @hitchensartwork
Once only driven by briefcase-wielding executives in tailored suits, Lexus' Z30 chassis is far more affordable these days and a solid platform to build on for someone looking a sporty coupe with a touch of '90s luxury.
A $60K Honda sounded ridiculous in the early '90s but once the NSX was introduced and the driving impressions began rolling out, many changed their tune. Designed to be an "affordable" sports car with real world reliability, it made a huge impact on the entire automotive market.
Years later only mild changes took place with the NSX platform and the price ballooned to just under $90K before production ceased.
For those who couldn't afford Honda's flagship at that time, there was an entry-level option available in the second generation Integra. This Jasper Green model, perched on Dunlop Formula CP-R, is a glimpse into what many modded DA owners strived for in the '90s. JDM one-piece headlights, a mild lip kit, and color matched side and bumper moldings were almost mandatory.
Yes, this turbo is as big as it seems in the photo. Comp Turbo's CT6X frame turbo was one of the first things people saw as they walked through the gates. Attached to this simple and very clean MkIV on CCWs, it held court for much of the day as people dove in for a closer look.
Some of the most popular wheels over the past few decades include Volk and Advan - both of which come through Mackin Industries, a group that set up shop at both Throwback 1 and 2.
Not far from the Mackin booth, Falken tire also attended both events along with all of the Honda-specific Eibach Meet events that take place in various parts of the country, including the massive SoCal event, which is scheduled for May 4th this year.