The Japanese Classic Car Show really has become one the greatest and most unique automotive events in Southern California, with lots of cars you won’t see anywhere else. Each fall, the Japanese Collector Car Show attracts hundreds of vintage Japanese cars, along with thousands of spectators, to Queen Mary Park. Whether or not you’re a Japanese classic owner or just a curious car enthusiast, the show offers an incredible array of cool stuff to see. It’s no wonder that so many people come out for it.
The show has become the tastemaker for Japanese nostalgia cars. This year’s show, held Sept. 19, was packed with more unique machines and more classic car fans than we’ve seen in years past. Sure, you’ve got your iconic Japanese classics like the Datsun 240Z, Datsun 510, Toyota Celica and Mazda RX-7; but you’ll also find an equally enjoyable selection of obscure machines and imported rarities. Each year you can count on seeing a bunch of Japanese market classics at the JCCS, and the 2015 show was no exception.
A particular favorite of ours was the car Nissan had on display from its Zama warehouse in Japan, the R390 GT1 Le Mans race car from 1997. Nissan also had a 1967 Bluebird 411 and a 1972 510 from its 65-car North American collection in Nashville that had just completed road trips to Monterey for the Rolex Reunion.
The JCCS evolved out of Toyotafest, an all-Toyota meet that celebrated its 20th anniversary this past May. So it was natural that Toyota hauled several cars over from its museum just down the road in Torrance, including a 2000GT, one of the most cherished of all Japanese collector cars.
Mazda’s lineup included the only left-hand drive RX-7 Spirit R built by Mazda North America, a 1967 Cosmo Sport 110S and the 15th Mazda Miata ever built – a car which was used for the Miata’s debut at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show. However it was the 1988 323 GT-X – one of the 1,243 all-wheel drive, turbocharged hatchbacks sold in the United States that stole our heart.