Retro automotive goodness under one roof at annual Nostalgic Hero event
Attending car shows abroad fairly often gives us an idea of what to expect from a car event held in closed spaces. We usually find ourselves navigating a flock of people congregating over some booths (usually over models, not the cars), we also contend with the nuances of having to find a perfect spot to get a decent shot of a car or its details, and not to mention having to lug around all the gear associated with bringing all this content to your computer screen or mobile phone. There are however a few events that surprise us with a bit of respite – a proper mix of relaxed pacing, lots of space, and some properly curated machinery.
The Nostalgic 2 Days held in Yokohama is one such event.
Held annually towards the end of February by Nostalgic Hero, a Japanese retro car magazine, the Nostalgic 2 Days (or Nos2Days for short) is a gathering of tastefully built classic vehicles and their associated shops, parts, and memorabilia to celebrate all that is wonderful about the aged days of motoring. This is where the yesteryear of Japanese motoring is embraced and celebrated, and considering how my personal RX-7 project is closing 20 years old I felt like this show was more for ‘my kind of people.’
When you normally imagine seeing a bunch of old 90’s greats like Toyota Supras, Skyline GT-Rs, or Mazda RX-7s at the Tokyo Auto Salon, these days that’s no longer the case. The aftermarket evolves with the times and sometimes it’s easy to forget that these cars are maturing in age as well – close to thirty years in fact. Newer cars will take center stage, and so will their new parts and accessories. Despite being cemented as legends, we have to face facts and acknowledge that the cars we’ve come to love have already been cast aside by the majority of the aftermarket. And with that in mind, it’s shows like Nos2Days that are starting to take our legends in to be celebrated in an appropriate space.
90’s era cars are starting to trickle into the spaces of this event, but its true bread and butter lies in the Kyusha or retro car culture of the 70’s and 80’s. Hence, you will more likely find Hakosuka Skylines, older Z cars, or Toyota Sprinters and other odd Japanese old-school machinery in the halls of Pacifico Yokohama. One thing’s for sure though, all the cars present in the halls were built with meticulous attention and are testaments of standing the test of time for a fair number of decades since they rolled off the factory.
Japanese vehicles aside, there were several vehicles which would be considered rare by global standards as well. A rally-prepped Ferrari 308 sitting between a (possibly authentic) Ford GT40 and a Mercedes 190E Cosworth Evo II is definitely something worth raving about.
The iconic wedge-shaped profile of a Lancia Stratos can be seen sitting next to the main stage as well. Seeing one up close in person has convinced me as to why people consider this car a beastly death trap – its diminutive size match with a short wheelbase and agile handling can only truly be wielded by a seasoned rally veteran.
Halls all over the show were fairly wide and spacious – something which gave show-goers some freedom and an air of relaxation as they walk about. It lends itself well to some decent room for taking photos too. Later on in the day I realized why these halls needed to be wide, it’s because they call some attendees to the main stage to drive their cars up for a show-and-tell session. I managed to catch one gentleman who was talking the audience through his mint, single-owner Mazda RX-7 FC3S. All original era-correct Efini parts, 33 years owned, and 160,000 km driven, the car has been properly maintained and unmolested for all these years. To top it all off, his wife was even there to film the whole thing as he talked through his pride and joy too. Talk about couple goals, right?
With a 30-minute train ride to Yokohama and about half a day of trawling around the show, it certainly was a good way to spend my last full day in Japan at Nos2Days. No frills, laid back, and full of tasteful cars (and expensive merchandise), it felt as if I was actually there to spend some time to relax. Talk about work and play in one event.