Eye Candy: Japanese Classic Car Show

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11th Annual Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach, California | Nicole James Photo

‘The JCCS is one of my favorite events in this country,” said Joseph Laflares, a spectator at the 11th annual Japanese Classic Car Show, held last Saturday, at the Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach, California.

“To me, it’s a show built off the appreciation for the heritage, nostalgia, and linage created by these finely crafted machines, as opposed to the modern events which pay homage to what’s trendy and accepted,” La Flares added.
The show attracted 6,000 spectators and 420 Japanese classic vehicles.

Spectators could see different cultural trends displayed, such as a Toyota Celica embodying the Bosozku style from Japan — huge fender flares, sparkly body wrap and a massive, fully functional star shaped exhaust pipe. Other cars retained an original look and feel, such as the 1989 Nissan Pao owned by Greg Childs of Nico Club, while some were drawn more to a cars that captured the passion for racing, like the 1997 Nissan R390 GT1 racer from the Nissan display.

Terry Yamaguchi, the event coordinator, told Classic Car News that the driving force for creating the show is to “inspire the younger generations so they are interested in this hobby as they grow up.”
The show attracted the attention of families, adolescents and seasoned veterans, all with a love for these classic Japanese vehicles. While walking around the show you could see parents passing down knowledge while new connections were made between veterans of the hobby and those just breaking into it.

The show was a great place to see vehicles from some of the most popular Japanese’s automakers showing where they have been and where they are going. Nissans displayed a variety of models from its heritage collection, while spectators also saw classics from the collections of Mazda, Honda, and Toyota along with some of the automakers’ new 2016 models.

In addition to seeing excellent examples of Japanese classic cars from the automakers and on-the-rise cultural trends such as Bosozku, the show was a great place to learn about “mods.” Vendors like Motul, K&N, Mooneyes, and Yokohama on site to answer questions about what works and what doesn’t work, as well as an opportunity to get a parts or wheels catalogs.

The California Highway Patrol had its own booth and were on hand to educate drivers and spectators on the rules of the road.
Other notable cars on site included Bob Sharp’s 280Z in the Yokohama booth, Mr. Katayama’s own 240Z in a tribute to the father of the Datsun Z car, a BRE 240Z — also known as the “John Morton 240Z” — replica, and a battle between the Skyline and RX-3.

Photos by Nicole James

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