Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted October 14, 2014 15:10
10th anniversary of the SoCal old school Japanese car meet
Japanese automotive nostalgia lined up at the Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach, California on the 27th of September as hundreds of classic and old school cars and motorcycles finished in stock, 'Kaizo' (fully restyled) or racing style came together to form the 2014 Japanese Classic Car Show.
The 10th annual Japanese Classic Car Show is a celebration to the success of what started out as a vision of Koji and Terry Yamaguchi, a Japanese couple that wanted to bring the 'Kyu-sha Shu-kai' (old school Japanese car meet) movement to California. The couple organized the very first event in July of 2005, nearly fifty years after the very first Japanese vehicle (a Toyota Crown) was imported into the United States. The family-oriented event was first held at the Queen Mary Events Park; where the legendary cruise ship of the same name has been permanently docked since December of 1967.
The event was given a warm greeting by like-minded enthusiasts who hailed from Southern California to as far as the east coast and beyond as it opened a venue for old-school Japanese cars to be appreciated and admired like American muscle cars.
Iconic cars such as the Datsun Z, Datsun 1600 Roadster, Honda N600, rotary-powered Mazdas like the RX-4 and pickups, Nissan Skyline Hakosuka, Toyota AE86, and Toyota Celica GT were very well represented by enthusiasts and clubs.
This year's event was also supported by Japanese automakers Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota who all came out with comprehensive displays of their classics and modern race cars.
Honda's HPD (Honda Performance Department) came in full-force with their ARX-02a LMP1 car along with the new Acura TSX racecar, and the supercharged CR-Z.
Mazda brought in the recently debuted new-generation MX-5 to celebrate the iconic model's 25th anniversary. Internationally-acclaimed designer Tom Matano, considered the father of the MX-5 and RX-7, was also present to sign autographs for fans. The iconic Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S from 1967 was also highlighted.
Headlining the Nissan display is the legendary 'Hakosuka' 2000GT-R. For Skyline enthusiasts, this is considered to be the first Nissan Skyline GT-R. Alongside it, Nissan also brought a modern Nissan R35 GT-R.
Toyota displayed a 2000 GT, a model considered to be the most expensive Japanese car as in a recent auction one example fetched over $1,000,000. The 2000 GT was located alongside the Lexus LF-A supercar and was flanked by other race cars based on Scion FR-S and Toyota Land Cruiser.
Legendary Brock Racing Enterprises of Datsun tuning fame launched a new 240Z project car at the event with both Peter Brock and John Morton in attendance.
Another unique model at the show was the Phantom Z Sport Wagon, a shooting brake one-off concept by Yoshihiko Matsuo, the original designer of the 240Z. It was debuted at the Z Car Club of America's annual meet last August.
Japanese aftermarket companies like Cusco, Tein, Enkei and Yokohama were also present to show their latest offerings as well as modding parts for old school cars alike. Organizers also put together a costume contest where owners dressed up in era outfits and went as their favorite anime characters.
The annual car show is a must-go for Japanese car enthusiasts young and old to reminisce or see how automobiles have evolved through the years.