CC Outtakes: T87’s Singles Collection (November-December 2023) – Part 1: Japanese Cars

November is a very good month for CCs in Tokyo – the dry, cool and sunny weather makes the autumn the best CC hunting season. So lots (and I mean lots) to get through, starting with a classy circa 1980 Celica GT notchback.

I’m a sucker for 1st generation Liftbacks, though. A perfect homage to the fastback Mustang from at least a couple of angles, but scaled down to Celica size.

One day, I’ll find one of these standing still and willing to pose… One day…

Long time since we’ve had one of these A70 Supras on these JDM outtakes. Definitely had better days, this one. Standing still looks like it’s its main occupation now.

So many Seras, so little time. I’ve already written one up and I don’t fancy repeating that post verbatim. Very cool cars from an era of automotive design that was not always inspiring.

A well-preserved example in the rain (it did rain on one weekend – made for a very unconventional Sunday, as we shall see) is surely worth a few snaps.

This is the very same 2001 Zagato-bodied MR-2 I caught a year ago – on the same stretch of road, no less.

Pretty effective. I recently caught another modern Zagato creation, but an even more exclusive one. It will have to have its time on CC at some point in 2024.

There is always an AE86 or ten about, but few of them are ready for CC primetime. This one, with those rare original wheels was deemed worthy of your viewing pleasure.

Same with the X70 Mark II vans/wagons – it has to be a pretty special specimen to make the cut. Here’s a now rather rare example of the earliest (1984-86) base-trim van iteration of this long-lived car.

Some fine examples of the Mark II’s “twins from another sales network” included this rather bulbous, but not unattractive, X90 Cresta from the mid-‘90s…

Would you rather have a 25-year-old 5-Series BMW or a circa 2000 Toyota Chaser? When you find a nice black one like this, it does make one pause for thought.

Slightly more left field, but equally interesting: the 1993-98 Corona Exiv hardtop sedan, appearing here in a gorgeous shade of red.

I called this a 4-door Celica, and it sort of is, underneath. Well, it’s really more of a Corona/Carina, which is precisely the same thing.

On the Crown front, little to report. This customized yet super formal late-model S150 saloon (1991-95) did elicit a smile.

A mint condition 1991-97 S130 Crown Super Deluxe Van was another highlight. Less humourous, but funny gets old quicker than old gets funny.

Early Celsiors could be ordered – just like many larger cars in the ‘90s and beyond – with the traditional chromed fender mirrors too. Always an odd sight on a more modern design.

This colour, which I’d call either dark burgundy or plum, really works on the WiLL Vi. Makes it almost palatable.

Speaking of mint, these old FJ50 Landies don’t come much cleaner than this. Even the underside looked like you could eat off it. Not easily done…

I do realize I might be the only one, but I keep getting weird Mazda trike vibes whenever I see that grille.

Speaking of grilles, eh? Now that everyone and their Subaru Sambar did a mock VW T1 Transporter and that the T2s are also getting parodied, the T3 was always going to be the newest aftermarket gimmick to gussy up your HiAce.

As I mentioned at the start, there was a wet Sunday in November that started as a complete washout (nobody at the Jingu Gaien – a rare occurrence), but turned into a pretty epic CC spotting day. In Ginza, I noticed a number of classics out and about, including this stunner of a 1967 or 68 Corolla. And the rain stopped, as luck would further have it.

It was a classic car rally going through the city, so I parked my butt on the main Ginza crossing and just pointed and clicked as much as I could. Many foreign cars, but some – like this exceptional 2000GT, were domestics. More from this very spot in the Honda section right below.

Like in an open-air museum come to life, a 1968 Honda S800 – another top ‘60s Japanese design – followed the Toyota 2000GT.

There was a cute first generation Civic, too. Not seeing many of those still around.

Some CCs are hiding in plain sight. This 5th gen Accord (1993-98) lives close to my digs, but it took me a really long time (literally years, in fact) to even notice how old it was.

Might we digress from the Japanese market for a minute? I’m in Bangkok as I write this, finally able to return there after the endless Corona restrictions and other issues. So I found a few CCs there, though not particularly out to look for anything. Like this 4th gen (1990-93) Accord, which stands out a lot more than its aforementioned successor.

Early 2nd gen (1986-89) Citys are a lot more noticeable, now that this size of car has pretty much disappeared into fat air. Call those Minis? How can a Fiat 500 be that huge? Today’s City should be rebadged “Megalopolis” or “Urban Sprawl”…

I must confess that I quite like the first couple of generations of the Stepwgn, though I haven’t documented them much. Just needed to find the right one. Which won’t be this gen 1 (1996-2001) example. Just a bit too weird for an in-depth look, but worth a quick gander.

Quick, a palate-cleanser. That NSX will do nicely. We can now move on to the Suzukis.

The star attraction here was (to me anyway) the SR-spec early ‘90s Suzuki Cervo Mode. But had it been a bit more accessible, the Honda roadster would have been even better. The Midget played the role of the aloof and shiftless foreigner brilliantly.

Two generations prior, the SS40 Cervo (1982-88) heralded Suzuki’s transition to FWD for their kei cars. Very nice design it was, too.

The sole Daihatsu entry will be another Thai encounter in the form of this unusual Mira Gino pickup. Never seen one before – a local transformation, perhaps? Love the extra lights. And the vivid colour!

Not sure what the deal was with this Pajero Mini. They’re worth peanuts, I guess.

A small trove (is two too small to qualify as a “trove”?) of old kei Mitsus was uncovered. It consisted in this almost brand new three-door Piace, the 6th generation (1989-93) of the Minica

…And an equally exquisite AWD Minicab Landventure kei van, dating from 1984-91. Just a little TLC and those kool keis would be showroom fresh.

Not convinced? Maybe a 1990-95 Diamante hardtop would be more your speed. Got to admit, these do look the part.

You know what else looks the part? The Isuzu 117 Coupé. Especially in this Series 2 (1972-77) guise – I’ll even forgive the BBSs.

Same spot a week later, and this one shows up! Some prayers are sure answered quick.

The 3rd Series cars (1977-81) are a little less perfect because of that plastic grille and square eyes. But still…

I’ve caught a Bellett 1800GT in this very neighbourhood, but this one is not it. Coincidence, or does someone have an Isuzu fetish around here?

Nothing too crazy on the Subaru front. For starters, a cute little Vivio van (1992-98)…

For mains, something more substantial – an Alcyone SVX

For dessert, the rather uncommon (in these parts, anyway) Sambar-derived Domingo. The rear engine featured an additional cylinder, for a grand total of three, is the reason for that huge rear bumper.

Not too many Mazdas to report, sad to say. This Lantis has not seen action in many moons, but it still looks the part.

Pretty extensive body kit for that Series 1 Eunos Roadster (a.k.a Miata). The rear is particularly torturous.

One of the highlights of that rally, for me, was this mid-’60s Prince Gloria wagon. And don’t worry, we’ll get to that white BMW in due course.

Another Gloria, but now badged as a Nissan: the Y31 saloon. The “Y” strands for “Yakuza” in this instance. Enough aerials on that thing for you?

Can’t keep my eyes off these Y30 wagons, so here they come, yet again. This one is a later (circa 1995-99) Gloria-badged one in base trim…

If you’d rather, there was also the option of a slightly older and in higher trim Gloria wagon – with acres of Di-noc and big chrome mirrors. I’m keen on the green, myself.

But not so fast – what about the rest of the Y30 range?, I hear you cry. Well, how about a hardtop saloon? Not bad, but do you have a standard saloon to compare it with?

We certainly do, straight from the depths of Bangkok traffic. This is the Cedric version, but we won’t hold that against it.

Interesting twofer, unfortunately hard to capture in photo form. The 306 cabriolet was clad in that dark purple / plum colour, and the late-model (circa 1994-98) 180SX was, for once, pretty unmolested.

Another cool duet, starring an Alfa 155 and a C210 Skyline saloon (seen in more detail in this post). When it rains, it pours.

Twofer number three – this time, a matching pair of R31 Skyline RS Turbos. Would that be in two- or four-door flavour, sir?

This is a special find, believe it or not. So many Skylines were base trim grocery-getters, but they all disappeared. Nowadays, every C10 around has a 6-cyl. under the hood, a refined interior and a floor shifter. This one has none of that.

Meet the short-nosed, plain-Jane 1.8 litre “Deluxe” Skyline – the anti GT-R, the one people could actually afford back in 1970. It’s been re-registered very recently, so let’s hope it gets the restoration/preservation it deserves.

Like this 1974 C110 coupé, hailing from the Nissan collection. How very nice of them to bring it over to their Ginza store for me to ogle.

Not much to add, is there? I’m definitely warming up to these, now that I’ve seen a couple up close. This one was exceptional, but then again, it’s an actual museum piece.

Fairlady sightings were plentiful too. This one was a little out of reach, unfortunately.

This one, on the other hand, got worse the more I approached.

Much better – I even like the colour. S130 for the win!

Still a lot of Paos about, but they’re not all wearing their 30-plus years so well. This one has a very careful owner.

Nissan March-based kits and add-ons are just too numerous to enumerate, but the Princess version is always a sight to behold.

There are so few S14 Silvias in Japan that it took me a minute to get my bearings. Sad to see the state of it, though.

This one also took me a couple of takes. It looked like a President from a distance, but something was not quite right. Then I made out the badge – an Intiniti Q45? Here?

It’s an RHD car and the plates make it an original JDM model, too. But I always thought Infiniti, just like Lexus and Acura, only made it to Japan in the last 10-15 years? Very odd.

Another Thai find. Aside from the marque, don’t really know what it is, but then weird pickups are kind of a superpower of theirs. [Edit: this is the locally-made 1994-2001 Nissan NV Queen Cab. Cheers, Eric703!]

Datsun 620s of the mid-‘70s are still hard at work in minibus service in the Bangkok of the mid-‘20s. Colour me pink and very impressed.

Not the first old tram I’ve run into, but definitely the first of this type, which I cannot identify at the moment.

Seasonal greetings and a truckful of presents, courtesy of a superb 1935 Datsun 14 in the Nissan showroom window. But there will be more cars to review tomorrow and the day after that: Tokyo is the gift that keeps on giving.