Nostalgic Attack: Classic Car Life Never Stops
All weather heroes

For all of the craziness that was in my previous post from the JCCA New Year Meeting at Fuji Speedway, it’s pretty bewildering to think that was just the parking lot. And while the unofficial side of the New Year Meeting is certainly good enough to be its own event, the official stuff is just as amazing.

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With the change in venue from urban Tokyo to Fuji Speedway, there was certainly a shift in the New Year Meeting’s vibe for this year. This was largely due to the inclusion of open track sessions for a variety of vintage cars.

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While the Tokyo events didn’t disappoint with their assortment of everything from Nissan Sunnys to Ferrari Dinos, I have to say that having all of the competition machinery present made things even better this time around.

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The weather didn’t make for the most ideal racing conditions for rare and valuable classics, but the water didn’t seem to deter many of the drivers that wanted to break in 2014 with some proper track time.

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If you’ve seen the final racing scene from the movie Rush, then you’ll know how treacherous the conditions can be at Fuji Speedway. While things last Sunday might not have been quite as dangerous as the 1976 Formula 1 season finale, I still have a tremendous amount of respect for the drivers that were out there running hard in the rain.

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Just like the any other automotive scene, Japan’s classic car community has layers; including restorers, collectors, cruisers and racers. Not surprisingly, Sunday’s event featured a big showing of vehicles from the latter category, such as this wicked 240ZG from Garage Masuda.

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While some of the JCCA’s other meets include actual race groups, the New Year Meeting was more about free-running. That didn’t mean there weren’t plenty of full-on race cars that came out though. This 310 Nissan Sunny for example has been built for battle in the TS Cup series.

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It’s not so often that you’ll see a Ford Capri and a Hakosuka Skyline parked beside each other. These cars may have come from completely different makers on opposite sides of the globe, but together you can see quite a few similarities. All it takes is a scene like this to reinforce my belief that 1970s-era race cars are the greatest of all time.

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I love seeing legendary racing colors on ‘normal’ cars, and this wide-bodied SA22C RX-7 pulls off the Mazda 787B livery perfectly. If the car’s looks weren’t outstanding enough, you could hear the screaming rotary coming from miles away. Not unlike the actual 787B I suppose…

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And speaking of legitimate historic race machines – here’s Nissan’s 1968 R381 (Chevrolet V8-powered), with the rival Toyota 7 lurking in the background. For many, just the chance to see these two legends up close was worth the price of admission alone.

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Other run groups consisted of cars that were much more street friendly, like this S130Z Fairlady. People will always flock to the original S30 body style, but cars like this show that the newer models can be just as cool too. I love the factory coloring and period-correct SSR mesh wheels here.

Old cars, fresh style
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The longer you hang around the vintage Japanese car scene, the more you stop referring to cars by their model name. This for example, is not known as a first generation Toyota Celica. Instead, it’s called Daruma thanks to its resemblance to the traditional Japanese doll.

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Ah yes, the good old San Maru Z. Of course this isn’t just any regular S30, but the well known Phalanx Machine that’s been a New Year Meeting regular for as long as I’ve been attending.

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Datsun 510? Nissan Bluebird? Just say the words ‘Go Ichi Maru’ and any Japanese enthusiast will immediately know you are talking about the legendary machine pictured here.

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There were tons of 510s that came out to Fuji on Sunday, including race cars, custom street cars, factory restos and even this super-cool rally machine out of Osaka. It’s like the famous Safari Rally 510, only cleaner.

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And while famous Japanese models like the Skyline, Z, Celica and RX-7 made up the bulk of the track day participants, there were also plenty of more unusual machines getting in on the action.

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Peek at the front of this car and you’ll probably think it’s another one of the many Hakosuka Skylines that came to Fuji. Look a little harder, and you’ll notice it’s a rare wagon model that actually came out to race.

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I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a Hakosuka Wagon and a 230 Nissan Gloria coupe running flat out side by side, and chances are I’ll probably never see it again. This sort of thing is why I love the New Year Meeting so much.

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How about a 330 chassis Nissan Cedric Brougham four-door hardtop built for the circuit? Everything about this car is great, particularly that tough-sounding side dump exhaust.

Classic car life
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Aside from the cars that were actually running in the track sessions, the New Year Meeting paddock offered plenty of other stuff for kyusha fans to drool over.

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I especially liked this first generation Corolla sedan from Shizuoka’s Wide Going Garage – as  branded by the super cool hand-lettering on the rear quarter panel.

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Oh how I love you JCCA New Year Meeting. You are surely the only place in the world where you’ll find a mint Lamborghini Countach in one corner.

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And then a line of 50 series Toyota Crowns sitting in another. Even better is the fact that all three of these Crowns are of the rare pickup body style.

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Also following the proven ‘simple is best’ route is this tidy little 110 Sunny four-door. The car is almost completely stock in appearance, save for a dropped ride height and a set of custom-widened steel wheels. Love it!

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Also popping up at Fuji Speedway was the mega-slammed Porsche 914 that we spotted at a couple different events last year. Obviously the owner isn’t afraid of a little rain.

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How’s this for another example of Japanese creativity? It’s the ‘Brumos Datsun’ 210 Sunny. Porsche purists, you can accept my apologies in advance.

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I’m guessing the collectables sellers were quite happy that the event organizers placed them inside of Fuji Speedway’s pit garages on Sunday. Not only could they stay dry, but they were also drew plenty of showgoers who were looking for a place to escape the rain.

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These 240ZG race car and Speed Racer Mach 5 model kits were just a few of the cool items I spotted during my brief look through this year’s selection of goodies. I knew I should have brought a few extra suitcases with me!

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I could easily dedicate several more posts to the 2014 JCCA New Year Meeting, but my time in Japan has consisted of non-stop action and there’s plenty more Speedhunting adventures that need to be shared.

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Rain or shine, Tokyo or Fuji – the New Year Meeting will always hold a special place in my heart. Until next year then!

PS: I’d also like to sincerely thank Speedhunters reader Mr. Yuya Kasai for giving me an umbrella to use when he noticed I had left mine back home in the USA. Kasaiさん、傘ありがとう!

Mike Garrett
Instagram: speedhunters_mike



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I want that Safari 510 and the 914. The lowered stance with the fog lights looks awesome. I'd spend so much money on the toys there, I'd be so in debt…….


This is simply vintage awesomeness.  510s, S30s, RX-7s, and more, what a place/event! The more I read about this event the more I want to go. As a Japanese car enthusiatst ( Most of us are ), This has to be on your bucket list. I can't wait to go and see this in person next year. Nice photography work and write up Mike as always.


Great pictures despite the rain. Love the Porsche 914.


i used to have that 037 model and the red porsche next to it


Is that a red Hino Contessa in the far left of that line of Toyota Crown pickups!?


that blue skyline looks very attractive. usually you see them in white, black, silver, and champagne colors... it works very well! awesome way to stand out from the crowd!.




yess, i love the e10 corolla!  have any more shots of it?


KE10 Corolla and B210 Datto were 2 very cool little cars......but not many there disappointed to be honest. Model stalls were great to look at and get out of the rain....of course it's impossible not to buy a few, but you've got to know when to stop :) Definitely an event worth visiting, I can only imagine how much better it would be on a perfect day like the Friday 2 days before!!


Ooooo- the early RX7's are really growing on me!
In and around Surrey, UK (usually seen running between Woking and Guildford... Throughout the day) there is a "787b homage" MX5/eunos flip light tintop. Ropy sounding as hell, but it always gives me a smile whenever it goes by.


Yeah, no doubt it would have been different if things weren't wet, but I can't complain much.


So good!


Agree totally.


I think so!


Thanks much!


Seriously! As if Japan wasn't tempting enough on the wallet already.


Thanks bud! See you there next year!


That sounds pretty cool.


Mike Garrett  You will, How many suitcases should I bring? Hopefully, I can drift when I get there too.


If I see it, I'll grab a photo, it needs work (to say the least) but it's just so dam cool when you pull up at lights and see the chequerboarded local legend next to you.. Brilliant.


My whole deal with the classic japanese cars is that each tells a story. Even the brand new builds tell a story about their past life


Give us photos of that red Hino Contessa!!! Amazing pics as always Mike, thanks!


Another good one Mike...looking forward to more posts from your trip too Japan.
(That white Corolla four door looked super nice).


Give us more Mike!  We need more from the New Year Meeting.


How come there aren't much classic Mitsubishis? Weren't the Galants and Lancers as popular as their contemporary Datsuns and Toyotas there?


There are a handful, but in whether it's today or back in the '70s Mitsubishi only sold a mere fraction of the cars that Nissan or Toyota did.


Thanks! I wish I had the time to publish more!


Thank you!


I honestly wish I had the time/bandwidth to post every car there haha.




Mike Garrett  I did not expect that. I have long been waiting for those '70s Lancers to pop up in one of your articles!


1968 Nissan R381 , being a Chevrolet V8 powered Nissan before it was cool ... :P


Fantastic shots, Mike. Thanks!


Mike Garrett  I could have the time. You should hire me to publish stuff for you.


Two Hakosuka wagons in two consecutive posts from you, sir. Feature, i say! F E A T U R E ! ! ! C'mon dude. Stop teasing us.


Hey Mike, how much do those model kits cost?


This just made me want a 510 again...


JapCarVideos I've always wanted one! haha


FeelXtra Depends. Anywhere from $10 up to a couple hundred bucks depending on rarity and condition.


tenpennyjimmy That's something I'll have to look into!


MattAtDoyle Thank you sir!


Thank you sir may I have another!