I recently found my file containing the pictures I shot at the 2009 Japanese Classic Car Show, held every year in Southern California. If we hadn’t moved away soon after, I’d still be going every year. If you are in the area, it is being held in Long Beach, CA on September 28th between 9am and 3pm. The pictures here are just some of the older un-modified cars in original and/or restored condition…
This Mazda Cosmo was absolutely stunning in all respects. The fit and finish was impeccable.
It’s hard to describe just how small and jewel-like this car is. The back is gorgeous as well with it’s jet-turbine inspired tail area.
There are many cars that were just throwaway commuters when built. While this early Honda is obviously restored, I can’t imagine tracking down some of the pieces needed to finish this at this level.
I love me some red interior!
Here’s a Toyota 800, it makes a first generation Miata look enormous in comparison. Beautiful little car.
With a taut little derriere to boot!
This is a Mazda R360, again in amazing condition. The color fits it very well and check out the detail in the hubcaps with the little red painted area surrounding the logo.
Engine was rear-mounted.
A very poor picture of the interior. I really liked the old Mazda logo through.
Here is a very early Corolla (1969), owned by Toyota, who had a large presence at the show, Toyota US is in nearby Torrance although all the Japanese have facilities relatively close by. Mazda was also there but on a much smaller scale.
I never thought I would ever be looking longingly at a white Corolla, but this one is nice enough to display in your living room.
Of course Toyota brought some of their heavy artillery as well, these pictures of this 2000GT do not do the color justice, it was a very deep Gold that worked perfectly with the black wheels and the few areas of shiny metalwork on the car. The red one was nice as well but everyone gravitated to this one.
All business, nothing there that is not needed.
Here’s a shot of the red one, check out how those fog lights are covered by a clear screen. Very nice.
Another nice older Honda, love the vent windows. Wheels are 10-inch!
It seems like you could just pick that engine up and wrap in a blanket like a little baby…This one was cleaner and less likely to dirty the blanket too!
I suppose the wheels on this Celica are not original (at least I have not seen any others with those that I can recall) but this is a very nice GT model. The orange is nicer than the pale yellow one in the background. I believe both were privately owned and driven regularly and perhaps even daily.
I always preferred the liftback to the notchback in this era, it has a little of the Mach1 Mustang about it.
An early Datsun Sunny, this is the only shot I have of it, not sure why I didn’t take one from the front as well.
Here is a very nice Datsun Fairlady, the body color wheels are a nice touch.
And here are three more, arranged in a very nice order.
This is a 1950’s Datsun 112. I did not remember what this was and when I googled “1950’s Datsun” the first thing that popped up was someone else’s shot of this same car in this same setting from the same day with the same certificate in the window!
This is a 1965 Toyota Publica Deluxe, thanks to NZ Skyliner for identifying it for me in the comments below!
This is a Toyota Crown S50, an earlier (’67-’69) version, again thanks to NZ Skyliner for clarifying. I love the Crown, especially the current cars that Ive ridden in as taxis in Japan and Hong Kong. Very comfortable ride.
A well-preserved mid-70’s Civic Wagon. The rear door looks off here, but I believe it was just ajar. Nice roof rack with the surfboard on top as well. For every Woody or VW camper that may have carried surfers to the shore, there were just as many little Japanese station wagons doing the same duty…
No Japanese Classic Car Show would be complete without Z-cars, of which there were plenty, both stock and modified.
This is a Toyota Stout, the first truck that Toyota offered in the US. It seems larger than the mini-trucks most people think of when they think Toyota trucks, those of the 70’s and 80’s.
And the Toyota Hilux, the beginning of the line of probably the most famous (world-wide) pickup truck.
And I will leave you with another mystery vehicle, this time with my son running around in front of it! It kind of looks like a mini-Scout. Someone here will know what it was…(Note: Flipper identified it as an Aichi Machine Cony Light Van Deluxe, more info in the comments below. I love the collaborative nature of this site, thanks!)
This was just a small sampling of everything that was there. It was a well presented show with a very mellow vibe and extremely friendly people eager to talk about their cars. I know I left the show thinking about how I would love to own a classic Japanese car. If you’re in SoCal and even if your thing is not these cars, it could be a very enjoyable way to spend an afternoon a few weeks from now.