CC Outtakes: T87’s Singles Collection (April-May 2021) – Part 1: Japanese Cars

It’s that time of the bi-month again! I decided to keep to a two-month schedule for these posts, as they are a bit more work to do than a regular CC (tons of photos to review and process), and hopefully the quality of finds will be improved too. So let’s kick it off with a sexy Nissan Fairlady 280Z – a pre-1983 model, judging by the mirrors.

Found this C10 Skyline GT-R while wandering through Ginza, a very chic area of the city. Not one of the best finds from that area, but there were many more, especially in tomorrow’s post…

Sometimes, you have to chase them – this mid-‘60s Bluebird 410 two-door saloon caught my eye, but it took a certain amount of legwork (on a bike) to catch up with it.

Totally worth it!

This S15 Silvia, with its clear lenses and a rather understated body kit, was deemed photo-worthy. Oooh, look! “Autech Version”… Which means it’s a non-turbo car, strangely enough, though it still has 200hp and a 6-speed manual, so plenty to play with.

These early-model Cimas are not all that common. I just wish I could find one in a colour other than silver or gray. Pretty distinctive, and they’re real hardtops, too.

A very nice Y32 Cedric, wild caught in Okinawa. Awesome wheels.

To complete the trifecta of big Nissans, the inevitable pinnacle that is the President, here in short wheelbase JS form. Still used as a chauffeured car, as many of these are despite their advancing years.

Final generation Presidents (2003-10) were famously slow sellers and are much less commonly seen than their predecessors. Fugly, baleen-toothed and bug-eyed wasn’t much of a draw. That’s it for the Nissan side of things.

I’m not finding many collectible Mazdas in general, which is a damn shame. This sad-looking Luce saloon was the lone representative of the species.

Well, there was also this early ‘90s Autozam Carol Turbo, so though it’s not technically a Mazda, it is Mazda-adjacent. It’s actually a Suzuki Alto, underneath that (dusty) body.

Not many Subarus either, this spring. The lone exception was this nicely-preserved late model (1990-92) Rex VX Supercharger. Most kei cars nowadays look like aquariums on skates, but these look like pocket-sized GTIs.

We shall now turn to the Mitsuoka chapter of our symposium, because sightings were plentiful – and, as always, slightly unsettling. I found and wrote up this Orochi back in February, but ran into it again a few weeks ago. I think it was being detailed.

It gave me a chance to have a look under the gills… I was half-expecting to see an alien within, but this spaceship was vacant.

Recently, I committed a post about the Galue Classic wagon, which is based on the Toyota Corolla. As luck would have it, I ran into the saloon version a few days ago and thought it needed sharing. Because I care.

It’s also a good way of showing the difference between this “small” Galue and its more luxuriously-appointed Nissan-based brother. As luck would have it, I sighted one of those too.

Yes, this Galue III (2005-2010), complete with faux Spirit of Ecstasy ornament, is an actual taxi. Mind officially blown. There aren’t many older taxis that do not follow the Crown Comfort / Y31 Cedric dichotomy. And those few that are something else are usually regular Crowns, Camrys, Priuses, Fugas or some kind of minivan.

And there it is again, a couple weeks later. This is just a heavily modified Fuga, but it’s still quite an outlier in the taxi world.

Himikos really look fun, as opposed to being funny-looking. Would you rather have the same plain vanilla Mazda MX-5 everyone else can get, or parade about in one of these?

I haven’t had cause to photograph something from my balcony in quite a while, but this was a rare sight! This is the elusive 2019-20 Mitsuoka Rock Star, a Miata that went through an expansive Corvettification process. Just 50 of these were made, as far as I know. Not sure if they’re going to make more – they really should though, as this is perhaps the best-looking designs this marque has ever made.

Speaking of cool drop-tops, I should try and find a Honda Beat and do a post on it. The PF logo on that one made me realize that I didn’t even know that this was designed by them, not Honda.

I’m not unearthing many older Honda hardtops like this first-generation Inspire, certainly not as compared to their Nissan or Toyota rivals. Pity this one was occupied, too – could only snap a quick photo.

In the less expensive parts of the city, there are quite a lot of older houses lowly falling into disrepair (despite the value of the land underneath). Occasionally, there are old cars in there too, as was the case here. This was a Honda house – this white CRX was in front…

And the remains of this black one were in the back, accessible by public road (I like to keep my trespassing to an absolute minimum).

Let’s close the Honda chapter on this splendid first-gen (1976-81) Accord hatchback, in the regulation beige, of course. What a time-warp.

We’ve seen this Isuzu Bellett GT already, but it’s the first time I’ve caught it out and about. And it’s such a cool car, I just couldn’t let it pass without a snap or two.


Someone’s pride and joy, hidden in an anonymous-looking garage, is this Irmscher-modified 1987 Isuzu Gemini. An anonymous-looking car? Initially, sure, but with that colour, those extra headlights and those wheelcovers…

Let’s finish on the Toyotas – a lot of nice ones crossed my path, perhaps more so than most times. I’ve caught this mid-‘70s Corona hardtop coupe before, but here I managed a nice profile shot. Beautiful thing, and quite the topical name.

I snapped these three photos in the span of about five minutes, in between heavy rain showers. I was in an unfamiliar part of the city and figured I might have some luck, seeing as it was a weekend. Two S130 Crown wagons and a second-gen Soarer later, I felt vindicated.

These Will Cyphas (2002-05) are not exactly rare, but they always give me a bit of a shock. Especially in that colour. I’m not criticizing – I mean, variety is a good thing, right? – but they really dialed up the weird to 11 on this one.

Let’s return to something more orthodox. And there is nothing more worthy of that epithet than the S130 Crown. I just wrote up one of these 3-litre hardtops, and finding yet another one in the wild is more proof that these sold extremely well.

As usual, there were a bunch of AE86s around, because those sold very well too. I whittled it down to two – this relatively unmolested red Trueno…

…And this heavily raceified / resto-modded white one. Neither of these would necessarily be my cup of matcha, but I’m sure some of you will be drooling on your keyboard (at least, one hopes that is saliva) for one or both of them.

Mark II wagons are more up my creek, so to speak. This was a good couple months on that front, too. This lower trim silver one with fender mirrors was as clean and straight as a 25-plus year old working wagon could be.

Looking for something a bit more drift-friendly? Try that white one. Or if you want to wallow in luxury, this green “Grande Edition” might appeal. One wagon, so many uses…

It’s crazy to think that the 1984-97 Mark II wagon and the 1990-95 Sera shared the same showroom. They seem to be (and are) complete opposite automotive concepts. Such was the wealth of variety that was the Toyota range at the turn of the millennium.

Or should that be “turn of the Century”? I’m not sure when white was offered on the VG40, but it’s not a common sight. Looks pretty cool all the same.

Nice and atypical leather interior, too. Japanese pimps must have been all over these, back in the late ‘70s. He he he…

And nowadays, said ‘70s pimps are probably getting ready for their last limo ride, so why not aim for the top, i.e. the new G60 Century? This is the longest and swankiest hearse I’ve ever seen, in this country or any other. Fit for an Emperor.

Finally, another crazy-looking dekotora truck. I’m not 100% sure, but it looks like a Hino.

See you tomorrow for the foreign stuff – it was a good vintage for those too.