JCCS — The 13th Annual Japanese Classic Car Show


I’m no sage when it comes to investments or trends, but have been saying and writing for some years now that certain Japanese cars, from a classic and collector car standpoint, would become A Thing. And they certainly have.

Here in Southern California (where else) there is, and has been for some while, a special collector car show just for them. The JCCS for more than a decade now has become the stuff of  Japanese automotive legend, and while offshoots are springing up around the world, this is the best and original execution of the concept.  From tuners to museum pieces, nearly all the hits were here on September 23, 2017.

The left side of Nissan’s booth paired old and new, and backed up to the bay — so call it “Vroom with a View.”

The other side of Nissan’s booth dedicated to pure EVs, including the new 2018 Leaf and a couple EVs from the company’s only slightly earlier past.

My friends at #Nissan invited me to join them at the 2017 JCCS show to meet the folks who manage their heritage fleet of special cars, see the same, and enjoy a great day in the sunshine, at the beach, and a wonderfully enthusiastic car show dedicated to just about anything with a motor and wheels from the Land of The Rising Sun. And it was spectacular.

Talk about the show being next to a cool boat dock. That’s the Queen Mary in the foreground, with a ginormous Carnival cruise liner behind.

Should I be taking a luxury cruise aboard the Queen Mary, I don’t think I’d be happy to see a Russian sub siddle up alongside.

The show was held in Long Beach, in a park adjacent to the Queen Mary, not at all far from where some large number of the show participant cars likely entered the US, via the Port of Long Beach.

Turning over a New Leaf (sorry) at left, and check out the uber tiny Smart-sized EV just to the right. Too small for this market, but a logical “city car” for other space and parking challenged places.

Nissan employed the occassion to show off the all very new for 2018 Nissan Leaf, which is modestly larger, roomier and better equipped than the first gen Leaf; the new car is also more handsome to my eye, looking a little bit less like the charming snail design that somewhat defined the original. Stay tuned for a drive report on the 2018 as soon as I can get into one.

Even during early morning load-in, you could see this was going to be a apecial and completely unique event.

Betcha can’t name every car in this photo — two are Nissans you guess the rest.

JCCS is a lot of what you might expect, and a ton of what you don’t. When you think of classic Japanese branded cars, you likely think of Datsun 240Zs, Datsun 510s, 2000 and 1600 roadsters, Miatas, RX-7s, and a pantheon of Hondas. They were there to be sure. And on top of that, a wide variety of other wonderful seldom seen stuff like JDM market Skylines, quirky Subarus, Hondas I’ve never seen or heard of, rotary powered compact pickups, and some wonderful scooters and motorcycles.

Nissan, Mazda, Honda and others supported the show as official sponsors. Disappointments? Not many, or I should say really just one — the sinewy Toyota 2000 GT, for some the seminal and original collectible Japanese sports car (remember it in the 007 flick “You Only Live Twice?”) was notably absent. Of course they are rare and expensive, but there are a few around, and not a single example at this show this year. Bummer. But an immaculate Nissan Pulsar Sportback!?!? Yeah, we got that.

Lots of photos below, and please enjoy….

Gotta give these guys Points for Prresentation…not only was this eggshaped Subaru 360 restored to near Pebble Beach Concours quality, the little train surrounding it had a pair of them loaded up as transport cargo. Go ahead — doubleclick to blow up the photo and zoom in.

Just a more detailed look at the quality and authenticity of this Subi 360 resto. talk about great detailing and presentation.

Lovely, pleasant and friendly young trophy girl smiled, greeted, and posed for countless selfies.


Remember the Nissan Pulsar Sportback I mentioned? Proud owner has had it about six years, and looked for for ten. Its immaculate, original, and with very low miles.


Honda City model never sold here. Note right hand drive on this example.


Racing Beat is a well known and longtime provider of Mazda Go-Fast goodies, and they brought out a dazzling display of cars to go with their vendor booth.


Mazda North Ameircan Operations brought out its 4-rotor prototype sports racer from its own collection, this car a very close cousin to the Mazda 767 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991 — the only Japanese car to ever win Le Mans outright. Zoom Zoom, Indeed.


One of my favorites from Nissan’s heritage fleet is this immaculately restored 510 sedan, authentic down to the whitewalls and hubcaps.

Remember this name and logo?

Everyone loves car show swag, and Nissan, for only the cost of a social media post, was giving out these nifty JCCS / Z-Car hats….

…and they raffled off some nifty limited edition Datsun/Nissan Matchbox cars too!

Nifty limited edition 1970 Datsun 510 Rally. No you can’t have mine, and you won’t find this one on eBay.

When you say Datsun 510, most people think of the Brock Racing Enterprises Trans-Am championship winning two-dor sedans, but the handy sportwagons are handsome, and can be made just as fast and good handling as the sedans. Must have been ten of these on hand. and I like ’em.

For a time, this Nissan compact pickup was the fastest four cylinder truck in the world with an LSR of over 140 mph.


Naturally, ever manner and flavor of Z-Car was on hand from stock original to heavily or modestly modified 240, 260s, 280s, and 300s. Check out this trio of brightly colored exZamples.


Remember the original Celica ST and GT? Still great lines and size, always reminded me of Japan’s take on the ’66 Mustang 2+2.


It’s rare to see a Mazda Cosmo — freaky rare to see a pair of them together.


This uber retro cool classic urban hipster Nissan Figaro also earned lots of points for presentation. Quite a few of these in the US now. Note retro plate.


Never heard of a Nissan Pao? Think of it as the somewhat more rugged, safari like version of the Figaro (which it is not, BTW). Or maybe Figaro meets Citroen 2CV or Citroen Mahari? Wonderfully weird, no matter….

See it really is a Nissan!


Don’t you agree that Motul makes a very very very fine motor oil?


Subaru BRAT — “Please keep your hands inside the ride at all times.” Jump seats in the open back of a Japanese baby El Camino was never a great safety idea…


Selection of Japanese bikes was outstanding and I think I remember owning one or two of these old faves.


Gutless Racing or not, this Mazda RX-3 track rat was beautifully built and turned out.


Gotta luv a cents of humor.


Without question, the best restored, most authentic, cleanest, and most nicely presented Datsun 2000 Roadster I’ve ever seen. Tasty, and immaculate.


Sadly I failed to buy one of the show’s nifty official T-shirts, but I’ll be there next year and won’t miss out this time. Stay tuned at www.JapaneseClassicCarShow.com.