I’m not much of a carshow attendee. But Como Park is just down the road, and sometimes I quite literally bump into an event. Like this one a few weeks ago. So I attended, and for some reason I decided to shoot front clips only.
Toyota Corona Mark II. The US influence on the body sculpting is quite obvious.
Whereas this angle makes the grille texture look like waves from a traditional Japanese print on this one.
A later MkII, also known as a Cressida or perhaps Chaser depending on spec. This one has a grille in International Jim Klein Gold.
Here in Australia the Cressida effectively became the top of the Toyota hierarchy after the S80 Crown finished its run.
And before the S80 was the S60 Crown – my favourite. This is a second gen version – detectable by the fully chromed bumper and lack of driving lights in the top step-grille (moved to the fenders alongside the headlights).
Before the S60 was the S50 Crown – seen here in second gen guise as well.
Crown-sized, but Nissan-made. Another favourite of mine, a 330 Cedric AKA Datsun 260C in Australia.
Datsun 510, AKA Datto 1600. This is (I believe) a later grille.
It was never called a 510 in Australia, so mesuspects this grille is ‘aftermarket.’
At a guess, the earliest grille of the three. I do remember this version over here.
Nissan C10 Skyline. Launched around the same time as the 510, the familial resemblance is strong in this one.
Nissan C110 Skyline, AKA Datsun 240K, AKA Kenmeri.
Another favourite and the intended subject of an overly-long hagiography by this author at some point. This example is a genuine racer, one of four Nissan bodies sent over by the factory at the time. Unfortunately the original body for this had to be discarded. According to its present owner, that original body was a lighter-weight glued version rather than its present welded replacement.
And yes. It did run in GL-spec trim as opposed to the (not available in Australia) GT variants.
Nissan R31 Skyline. Origami wedge done alrightish.
Datsun 240Z. Needs no introduction really.
Another one. This one has the faired-in light covers, but unfortunately there was no 240ZG (replica or otherwise) with the faired-in grille and longer sugar scoop light wells.
Whereas there was veritable feast of A20 Celicas. Our cover car specced as a racer with that distinctive nose fairing giving great abstract.
And here’s one in transparent. Note the spring-loaded mountings.
Yellow lenses always add a certain je ne sais quoi to any car. Even in LT spec.
Or GT spec.
Aaron Severson recently produced a comprehensive piece on these early models, and I digress from linking to CC pieces for this friend-of-CC author.
CC’s William Stopford recently asked of our favourite Celica, to which I say this one in this colour.
Here’s a great curiosity; a Honda City. This one is pure JDM, and is in fact a de-specced van according to its VIN plate. That stripage is original.
For anyone wishing to fill one of CC’s few gaps, this model appears yet to be covered here.
Autozam AZ-1 Mazdaspeed. Another gap in CC’s archives for anyone seeking authorial glory.
Toyota Sports 800 – as already covered by Gerardo Solis.
Mazda Cosmo L10B – as owned and driven by Jay Leno.
Mazda R100. Diminutive, handsome, fast, desirable, not covered properly on CC yet.
Mazda RX-2. As also not yet seen on CC along with its non-rotary sibling Capella.
Mazda RX-3 AKA Savanna. Another no-show on CC although Dave Saunders has shared his delightfully striped non-rotary 808 with us.
Mazda RX-3 with slight rhinoplasty evident marking this as a series 2.
Mazda Luce in 1800 guise.
And a scoop on those faux side-scoops. Had a wonderfully long conversation with the owner of this car – it’s her first Japanese car (and hubby is a hardcore Ford man) but she grew up with her mother owning one of these. This one is in original (but resprayed) factory hue and is a survivor with long history serving as a display car for a dealership.
Anyway, the reason Mazda put those appendages on the hood is because the last of the 1800 JDM Luces had a carby or air filter or something (can’t remember, sorry) that was too tall for the engine bay. An unattractive bump had to be punched into the hood on one side to accommodate this accessory, and hence the faux-scoops added to cover this unsightly bump even on export cars not using this aforeforgotten accessory.
You read it here first on CC. Thank you ma’am.
Subaru Leone wagon. This one lives close by and will get deeper CC coverage at some point.
The grilles flanking the headlights look like eyelashes, making this face appear quite feminine. Of all these images, this one has turned out to be my favourite.
So that’s the end of this front clip cavalcade. There were plenty of others, but I decided not to shoot cars with their hoods open.
I trust it hasn’t been too frustrating not seeing the rest of these cars’ bodies. Hopefully you and I both will experience these wonders in the full – whether it be curbside, street or track.
Thanks! Wonderful series of photos.
Awesome coverage and great idea for a photo series! My favorite there has to be the gorgeous A20 MK I Celica in all variants.
Surprising not to see the front end of a Datsun 620 or Toyota Hilux – where were all the trucks that day?!
I love all of the front pictures – these really bring out the detail differences among the various cars.
I agree, fascinating.
Wow, quite a selection here. It was particularly nice to see the Toyota Crowns, Corona Mark IIs and Datsun 260C – haven’t seen any of those cars in the flesh here in years. In my younger days they were plentiful as taxis. There are more first generation (B210) Datsun 120Ys surviving in Barbados it seems than the two later variants, and more B11 Sunnys are popping out of the woodwork these days too.
Agree about the B210; it’s the same here in Melbourne not only against later Sunnys but almost all other Japanese cars from the period. Only E30-60 Corollas seem more numerous right now
My Mark 2 Corona was that green though a bit faded from 30 years use, that one is a slightly later model probably a 75 and doesnt have the Toyota Bulls head on the front. very styly cars in their day and with the OHC M4 Crown motor could get along quite well.
Love the red Mazda Luce with the hood vents. The 7th gen Familia/323/Protege ( BH-BA series) sported a big airscoop in diesel form, which added nothing to the 2 litre Mazda diesel engine on European cars. The JDM equivalent sported a 1.7 litre Isuzu turbo-diesel with a big intercooler beneath the scoop.
I wish I got a better shot of it, but here is the bump (within rectangle) that sits next to the power bulge.
Without the distraction of different body shapes, and the smaller sizes, the American influences are even more obvious.
I see a late ’60s Buick, a mid ’70s Malibu, a ’66 Chrysler Newport, and one of those Nissans is totally a ’67-’68 full sized Dodge right down to the fender top turn signal repeaters.
Don, you are killing me with these teaser shots! As if my avatar isn’t proof. Kidding aside, I love how delicate the R100 front is relative to what it really was then; a true Japanese sleeper of the era.
Just for you, guy. Architect-owned, a motza spent refurbishing it.
One family ownership on that R100. Father bought it new, mother rolled it a couple of years later, sat on a farm for ages and then the son spent the best part of ten years restoring it.
Delicious. Enough said.
Cheers for the plug, Don!
Regarding the Mark II and Chaser, the Chaser wasn’t a trim level, but a distinct model with some different exterior panels and its own set of trim levels, sold through different channels. (The Mark II, like the Corona, was sold mostly through Toyopet dealers while the Chaser was the flagship of the Toyota Auto channel, sold along with the Corolla-based Sprinter.) The X-platform cars weren’t sold as Cressidas in Japan. The Cressida was an export version created by mixing and matching the exterior pieces of the JDM models.
The parallels to the Canadian Meteor brand in Vince’s excellent rundown earlier today are pretty apparent. Not quite badge-engineering, but not far from it.
Cheers Aaron. Rushed that Chaser factoid from ‘The *Complete* History of the Japanese Car’.
Fantastic photos! Wonderful idea, expertly executed. Thank you for these.
The American influence in the early “big” cars is undeniable.
The Mazdas have a very European flavour. I’ve seen a Luce live and that thing is a beauty.
And to think I drive in front of that park everyday and alongside the Yarra. You should regale everyone a pic of the place itself.
I took a pic ages ago for my Indigestion series, but never used it because its hard to get the whole setup in a shot that works.
Love the Mazda Luce, and the Celicas with the yellow lights really look great. Well, the parts that we can see, what a tease!
I wonder if next time you will do the rear ends only. Although the one with the large piece of gold jewelry did draw your eye right between the lights…
In any case a wonderful selection and quite a few that aren’t and never were in regular use over here.
Rear light thing will happen. Sometime.
Nice post Don, did you really restrict yourself to the one photo of that Autozam AZ1?!?
Sorry John, but yes. I actually thought it had already been covered here.
The Autozam AZ-1 reminded me of this, although whatever similarity exists is due to the angle. From any other shot, I would never connect it to the Lambo 350/400GT.
It actually a Mazdaspeed hood. Apparently the non-Mazdaspeed hood has flush headlights which I think pop-up.
Correct about the Mazdaspeed bonnet, but the same (non-retracting) lights used for both standard and MS versions.
The yellow e20 Corolla brings back memories of my aunt’s 73 here in Canada. It was the first real introduction my cousins and I had too Japanese cars. We thought it was remarkably well done for a compact and the older cousins said it was a hoot to drive. It started one on a lifelong affair with imports working through several Toyotas to his current Honda CR-V.
I had a 200sx and a Civic wagon which i have fond memories of.
My aunt probably wasn’t so pleased as it was scrapped at five years old with less than thirty thousand miles on it from terminal rusties but that seems to be no longer an issue.
Don, this was a brilliant post with some exquisite photos! I’d love to see more like this! Really something different.
Great pictures Don! I can probably count on one hand the number of Japanese cars from this era I have seen in the last 20 years, so it’s nice to see a slew of them like this. I always really like the RX-3’s, the Celica’s and of course the 240Zs. But all of them have interesting design characteristics that seem to be highlighted in this type of photograph.
Ha, that’s my AZ-1! Never thought a photo of it would end up on here!