Digging Down to JDM Roots: The Nostalgic 2 Days

Japan's car culture may not be as mainstream as it is in California.  After all only 60% of population owns cars and most of them just use them as means of transport, but for those who see their vehicles as an object of affection, their passion is unrivaled.

This is where the Nostalgic 2 Days event in Yokohama comes in to show yet another completely diverse, but yet very much present scenes in Japanese auto-world.



Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the real deal.  The moment I stepped into almost un-ventilated exhibition hall of Yokohama Pacifico hotel blasted with exhaust fumes from all sorts of classic, I knew that this is a no-nonsense enthusiast orientated event.

A kind of event, where Japanese approach of tuning with absolutely masterful craftsmanship can be seen in even greater detail

And then there are the cars.  Two of only 351 of these beautifulyl crafted Toyota GT2000 were seen by the entrance, and when they can snatch up to a million dollars at auctions it is clear that this show is all business.

Seeing such cars in all their glory with engines maintained and polished to their showroom look makes me think that car culture in Japan is alive and well.

There was something for everyone at this show, mostly customized to authentic Japanese look, like this 3 rotor Mazda RX3 on classic Watanabe wheels.

On the opposite end of the show, this Kenmery Skyline owned and crafted by Kato-san of Liberty Walk is back in public display after its glorious presentation at Tokyo Auto Salon.

Next to it, in the same Mizuno Works booth was this C130 Nissan Laurel painted in metallic purple color with contrasting silver and gold 14 inch alloys.  Personally I could not think of a better color combo for this kind of car. 

But this look is anything but unique as at the opposite end of the show space there was almost identical 4 door Skyline sporting an even more aggressive camber and mesh wheels.  But what can I say... The more cars like this are out there, the better it is! The kyu-sha fever is in the air.

Very few cars however can compare to the legendary Fairlady Z when it comes to fame.  Thanks to tuners and enthusiasts around the world as well as high production numbers this little sports coupe has been immortalized.

Seeing so many around the show can only attribute to phenomenal success of this car.

It is hard not to notice the awesome modernized Z30 from Star Road with direct injection engine, shiny blue paint and completely reworked interior.

But if I had to point out just one Z car, it would be the S30 project done by OS Giken. 

Actually, I shouldn't say "done", because Okazaki-san is always at work, looking for new innovation to improve the already perfect TC24. With custom heads, gears replacing timing belt and modern composites used for crucial parts, I can only imagine what this 420 horse power engine will sound like. 

If for some odd reason you don't like the look of the Z30, Rocky Auto has the answer.  How about a Ferrari 250GTO replica based on the famous Datsun Coupe.  That should raise a few eyebrows.

But how can we not talk about Skylines?  Perhaps the most legendary automobile rolling out of production line in Japan it is loved by everyone around the world. (Except for American law enforcement of course)

Again, production numbers do not disappoint as tuners and enthusiasts are willing to take unorthodox approach to customizing and then follow up by throwing it around the track.

But lately the trend has shifted towards the truly unique and very rare model: The Kenmeri Skyline GTR.  Only 197 of these were ever made and some would say that there is no other form that depicts the JDM characteristics better than the KPGC110.

Of course tuners like Rocky Auto have no intention of keeping the Kenmeri in its stock form, so they have presented 2 of these awesome machines at the show.  Sometimes I favor the shiny stuff over substance and it's the case with the pearl brown on chrome Work wheels example here.  It's amazing how modern this 1973 car looks with just minor visual upgrades.

But for anyone seeking substance, this is the answer.  Sitting low and aggressive on TE37's this is a KenMeri replica is based on R32 Skyline.  Bodywork is absolutely flawless, making you believe that it's a fully restored KPGC110.

Only a look at specifications reveals what's underneath.  Coming with a completely reworked RB26DETT with individual throttle body set up, this is the epitome of performance and sound.

To complete the Skyline roundup we make another stop at Star Road to have a look at their reworked and modernized Nissan classic.  Just look at the craftsmanship and careful choice of modern and deep shade of metallic blue to match the theme we saw earlier with the Z.

Of course road going "kyu-sha's" weren't the only exhibits on this show as it touches a bit of Japanese racing pedigree as well.  From this vintage Nissan Bluebird PL510 winner of the 1970 Safari Rally,

To something that can only be described as a priceless collectible: a race ready Group S rally Mazda RX7, that never seen the wonders of competitive driving. 

The car is full of innovations for that time with tube-frame construction for lighter weight, 3 rotor engine from the LeMans 757, and even four wheel steering!  It was a very unique experience seeing this car with my own eyes, knowing that even some of the most devoted petrol heads don't even know that this car existed.

Finally, a more of an everyday rally legend; this Subaru :Legacy Group C replica can be yours for just a million yen.  As a former Subaru owner, this devotion just makes me a happy man.  If only Subaru went back to its roots again.

Yet, show is not entirelyl JDM as there were a few representative from the good ol West.  The C2 Corvette Stingray is one of the most sought after as it is arguably America's first true sports car. With the latest C7 picking up the Stingray name, the value of this 1967 classic should skyrocket.

Next to it - a true automotive legend, the all original AC Cobra.  I do not know exactly how many originals are in Japan, but seeing one with my own eyes is absolutely fascinating. 

There are different ways to present Mercedes Benz classics: from the 300SL, to their legendary race cars, to luxury convertible cruisers, but nobody can deny the impact this W108 300 SEL 6.3 has made on luxury cars and in world history in general.  Mr. Clarkson, this one is for sale, if you are interested!

 
We will round up with another luxury car, this time from Great Britain - the Rolls Royce Phantom. The 1950's classic has an undeniable sense of presence and is indeed the Boss of the show.

Thank you for reading, following and commenting everyone!

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