A few days after the 15th annual Japanese Classic Car Show and we're still sorting through the photos, talking about some of our favorites and reminiscing about just how good the selection of cars was this year. Always a great gathering, 2019's turnout seemed to bring about a new generation of enthusiasts both on the car owner side and the spectator side.
The one thing that almost overshadowed the cars themselves was the line to get in. Long known for being an easy pass into the main event, this year's show had a lengthy line that spilled along the length of Shoreline Drive. Some thought it might be an issue of staffing or security checks, but the reality is, after tallying up the attendance numbers, JCCS organizers tell us there were over 10,000 visitors for the 15th annual event! Huge numbers for an event that's stood the test of time and seems to have found its groove, bringing in more curious onlookers than ever.
In part I of our coverage we brought you some of the Nissan and Datsun highlights—both of which occupied a huge portion of this year's show. This time around it's a bit more all-inclusive, with the likes of Mazda, Toyota, Honda, and others:
The 2-rotor engine that accompanied some of Mazda's RX-3 models during in its heyday was both potent and groundbreaking, especially when you consider NSU of Germany lost themselves financially in trying to coerce a Wankel powerplant into a production vehicle, and in France, Citroen faced heavy setbacks trying to do the same thing. Mazda, however, took the long road, and in the end set themselves apart from everyone else with iconic Wankel power.
Of course, there's always room for a "little more," like this RX-3 that's been fitted with a 3-rotor setup and thoroughly reworked inside and out.
There were more rotary examples to be found throughout the Mazda section of the show, including this FC chassis with a Borg Warner snail tucked away neatly.
Mazda itself was well represented at JCCS's 15th anniversary...
From street/weekend cars with rotary hearts and garage tuning, to legendary motorsport icons
Chances are you haven't stumbled upon a 3000GT in quite some time, and its even less likely it was tastefully modified. What was once carrying a sticker price far above the heads of most enthusiasts during its era, is now experiencing a slight upswing as the number of modified versions has slowly increased in recent years at various events we've visited.
Fun-filled, RWD coupes and hatchbacks were the norm for automakers in the '80s, long before economy-focused FWD versions became the norm. Toyota's Starlet is a favorite among nostalgic drag racers, and to this day carries a loyal fanbase. This version, an '82 model, sports a 40mm Solex/Mikuni carburetor setup with a slick intake sandwiched between the shock tower on one side and an Electromotive Ignition System mounted on the other.
This example carries a similar bulked up exterior but smothered in a deep purple hue that, as you pass by, seemed to get a bit deeper when hit by direct sunlight.
For our money, some of the sexiest lines to ever sit upon 4 wheels
Pristine paint laid across this RA29 Celica GT sitting on Hayashi Racing wheels with Wilwood calipers peeking through. Under the hood, boosted BEAMS power rounds out one very, very nice build.
Years ago, the number of Honda entries at JCCS were very low. A handful of CVCC and early generation Accords would take up a small area at one end of the show. In recent years, the Honda/Acura presence has grown both in the registered cars on display and Honda's involvement, with a large-scale booth each year that always has a few of their museum gems on display. This time-capsule, Mugen-clad first-gen. CRX is a good example.
This early model Civic sits on Mugen MR5 wheels and features some mild body work to eliminate some unwanted reflectors while the blacked-out grill and bumpers give it a meaner look. Under the hood, about four decades separate the K-series powerplant from the chassis it sits in.
Though I cringe when I see it, the old Super Street Civic EM1 marks a significant win for the Super Street brand. It was a project that went head-to-head with three other magazines in a competition to see who could build the best show and track version of Honda's B16-powered Si with a $10,000 budget. Obviously, 20 years ago looked quite a bit different in terms of styling than it does now. The coupe now resides in American Honda's private collection.
When Tim "Merciless" Mings handles your classic Honda restoration, like this '70 CVCC, this is what you're in for.
Though Part 1 of our coverage focused on Nissan/Datsun, we had to include a few more in this story that were parked on the other end of the show, like this '91 SE-R, which actually competed in our FF Battle Street Class race event a few months ago. Armed with an SR20VE, Juan Ramirez has owned this car for many years, recently put it back into action and it's by far one of the cleanest we've ever seen. The fact that it can hold its own on a road course and shine like this at a car show, makes it even better.
There were only two of these Primadonna Z32s produced back in 2005 and this was the first—it remains in pristine condition.
Seldom seen, even at a gathering like JCCS, this Gloria GL sedan is in remarkable condition. The Gloria was offered with a 4-cylinder, a diesel or a straight-6—this Gl powered by the latter.
Though it looks like something born in the '60s, the Nissan Figaro was actually produced in 1991. Its retro design language was influenced by non-automotive industries, like fashion and the booming personal electronics movement.