Gather round, good people, as we delve through the past couple of months’ worth of quick snapshots I took of classic and/or otherwise noteworthy vehicles in and around Tokyo. As usual, we will start with the domestic stuff, as the above Toyota Sera illustrates, and move to the imports tomorrow.
There were a lot of interesting Japanese car sightings in September and October. Carrying on with Toyota, we move to the larger RWD ones, starting with this loaded early ‘90s Mark II X70 wagon.
Loaded as in “deluxe” – it’s the higher-trim LG – but also, it has that roof trunk for extra cargo capacity.
This is the X80 Mark II, made between 1988 and 1992, in sporty hardtop GT Twin Turbo guise. I’m going to have to write one of these up again, as I keep finding really well-preserved ones. They really sold boatloads of these.
I recently wrote up the X80 Cresta Super Lucent Exceed, the Mark II’s sister car, and made fun of its name a bit. But then, I hadn’t counted on the third variant of this platform, the Chaser. This is an X90 Chaser (1992-96), and in top grade, they are called “Avante Lordly.” Good God.
I will write up an older top-of-the-line Chaser as soon as, of course. The equivalent X90 Mark II, by the way, was the “Grande Regalia.” Delusions of Grande?
Mad what they catch in Tokyo Bay, isn’t it? You trawl away for sushi fodder, and you bring up an X20 Corona Mark II.
We have reached the inevitable S130 Crown part of the post. The hardtop saloons were only made until 1991, so they look pretty classic. Why are so many of them gray though?
But the wagons lasted until 1999, so they are plentiful and usually feature the post 1991 facelift styling.
I know I keep photographing these and including them in almost every of these Outtakes posts, but it’s hard to stop. They just look great, whatever the colour.
This, on the other hand, looked so unique I was compelled to take note. A lot of work went into this… er… Crown, I suppose?
There is something deeply weird and very Japanese about how this poor thing looks. Under all that body armour lays an S180 Crown Majesta (2004-09), barely recognizable behind that late-2010s-style grille.
Here’s a visual palate-cleanser after Crownzilla up there. Not sure if I already caught the same mid-‘70s Celica fastback last year, but these are also too nice to pass up.
A black A70 Supra in a dark place makes for a tricky subject to capture, but also one that can make for pleasing results.
Finding this outstandingly well refreshed Deliboy was a highlight. The great majority of the ones I’ve seen till now are falling apart, but this one has a very careful and doting owner.
That interior is mind-blowing. The attention to detail (colour-wise, in particular) is extraordinary.
Finally, to close the Toyota chapter of this saga, a very nice FJ40 Land Cruiser.
This is a brand new 2nd gen Suzuki Hustler kei car. These were launched last year, so there aren’t many about yet, but this particular one’s woodgrain appliqué made me notice it.
Daihatsu Charades are not commonly seen any more over here, so this 3rd gen (1987-93) car caught my attention. These four-door notchback versions were sold from 1989 onward as the Charade Social on the JDM. Took me a while to ID this – I don’t think I had ever seen one!
Onwards to Honda – keeping it small with a lovely blue Beat. Hard to believe only about 30,000 of these were ever made, as I keep seeing them on a regular basis.
Apologies about the fuzzy front end pic, but I needed to share this novelty with the wider world. This is a Honda S660 Neo Classic, an official Honda body kit for the S660 kei roadster sold between 2018 and 2021 in very limited quantities via just three dealerships. Pretty unique!
I’ve always had a thing for the 2nd generation (1990-95) Honda Legend coupé. Very neat styling, especially the rear end. This is the first one I’ve seen in two years here, so I take it their relatively large engine (3.2 litres is a lot for Japan) limited this car’s popularity.
We’ve seen this Mitsubishi Jeep before, but it was stationary. Here it is on the prowl. Beautiful.
Less beautiful, but pretty impressive: a well-worn 1995-96 Lancer Evo III.
By the way, this Subaru specialist is located not too far from where I live. The silver Evo III above was found in a different neighbourhood, but there are plenty of other ones buzzing around this garage, along with the Subarus.
Here’s one found in the wild: this WRX has the aforementioned garage’s “Alex” markings, so it hails from there.
Mazda-wise, it was a case of finding the same model twice. Which is fine when we’re talking series 2 RX-7 drop-top. Both wore a black body, but the fabric top was different. Beige or dark gray, what’s your pick?
I know the Miata was Mazda’s definitive RWD roadster, but some say these RX-7s are a cut above in every way – technologically, stylistically and performance-wise. But the Miata is more fun, cheaper and reliable as the day is long. I have no skin in this game, but rarity does give the RX-7 the deciding edge.
On the Mitsuoka front, the usual Viewt sightings took place, but I pared it down to this single one. Because it’s a series 2 (based on the K12 March), the best-looking of the bunch, and in black, to make all that chrome trim pop.
Another Nouera sighting. I still haven’t managed to find one of these Honda-based oddities standing still, but as soon as I do, it’ll have its own post.
And I wish I had had more time (and fewer parking lot staff looking at me suspiciously) to document this 20-year-old Yuga. They only made these Nissan Cube-based mock-Austin FX4s for a couple years, so there aren’t too many about. Ah well, next time lucky.
The recent (2016-2020) Corolla-based Ryugi wagon is always a sight that makes for very, very sore eyes. That shade of blue is quite fetching, though.
The lone Isuzu of the month (aside from the Piazza Nero we saw yesterday in greater detail) was this mid-‘70s beauty. I still have a set of 117 Coupé photos I need to write up, but it’s a slightly younger square-eyed 3rd Series. These Series 2 cars just look perfect.
So let’s finish this post on the Nissans, for once. In no particular order, because there were a lot these past couple of months, I’ll start us off on this fine 1991-94 180SX.
The S13 Silvia is the 180SX’s sister car – different body, same underpinnings. Since the differences are only skin-deep, I’m keener on the Silvia’s styling.
Nissan were really weird with their nomenclature. Big surprise, I know, but I hadn’t figured it also affected the Z cars. This 1983-88 Fairlady Z31 would have been known as the 300ZX outside Japan, which is all fine and dandy.
But then, the Z32, which succeeded it in 1989, was also marketed as the 300ZX. Up to that point, the numbers had always changed, keeping up with the displacement. But the Fairlady got stuck with a 3-litre V6 and that was that, so they kept the name despite the car being manifestly completely different.
I had been looking for one of these in an interesting colour, and this one fit the bill. The interior was unfortunately impossible to capture, otherwise it might have gotten its own post. Still, plenty of these remain on the road, so I should find the ideal one someday.
Moving on to Skyline country, here’s another R31 hardtop saloon. This one has an unfortunate front spoiler (and it’s in the white hue favoured by Japanese customers, sadly), but it’s still a damn fine car to behold. Origami done right.
The R33 is more of an acquired taste. I understand these are a bit like the ugly duckling of the “R” Skylines. But hey, they still have a cooler look than most mid-‘90s cars. The 40th Anniversary Edition badge on this one makes it a 1997 model.
Hard to believe that the R33 Skyline and this Gloria wagon were sold at the same time at Nissan Prince dealerships, but they were. These wagons are a particular weakness of mine – even more so than the Crowns or Mark IIs, these things stop me in my tracks anytime I see one.
And there are plenty about, that’s the incredible thing. They must be nigh on indestructible – and they were made for eons, from 1983 to 1997. This one is a bit too modded for my taste, but it’s a base model, in black and with the fender mirrors. Lovely combination.
Of course, some might prefer a swankier SGL woodgrain version, stock and in white. And with the Cedric badge (not that this makes any sort of difference). I caught one of these standing still and in great detail the other day again. And sooner rather than later, I will have to write a post about it. Again.
I ran into several nice Presidents lately. The short wheelbase JS is always a welcome encounter…
But the stately Sovereign (with fender mirrors to boot) gives out that plutocrat vibe like no other, except the ultra-rare Autech stretch limo. About which we may see something shortly…
On the other end of the range, the humble K11 March sold by the boatload. To stand out in that crowd, only one solution: the 1997-2001 drop-top. As exclusive as a March can get without being a Mitsuoka.
Always nice to see a stock B120 Sunny truck still at work. At 25-30 years of age, it still looks pretty solid.
And finally, we will bring this post to a close with a couple of nice old Bluebirds. This late ‘60s 510 was getting serviced in a garage in my area. It’s an interesting place, as they usually keep a side backdoor open, through which one can shoot the odd find.
This outstanding duo of mid-‘60s Datsuns, a 410 Bluebird and a Fairlady 1600, were unfortunately parked somewhere off limits to the public. I chanced a quick snap before anyone noticed – I really would have loved to get the chance to document the Bluebird and its curious license plate more extensively, but it was not to be. Good pic to end this post one though.
See you tomorrow for the foreign stuff!