Outlaws & Old Guys: JCCA at Fuji
A new chapter begins

If you’ve followed my stories over the years, you’ve probably heard that my personal favorite car event of all time is the Japanese Classic Car Association’s New Year Meeting, which has been a winter time tradition in Japan for a couple of decades now. Whenever possible, I try to arrange my visits to Japan to coincide with the NYM, and this trip was no different.

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However, the JCCA New Year Meeting as we’ve known it in the past might be gone for good. This isn’t a bad thing though, and I’ll explain why in a moment.

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For as long as I’ve been attending, the New Year Meeting has always been held in Odaiba, right smack in the middle of Tokyo. Odaiba’s wide parking lots have long been popular spots for car gatherings thanks to their central location and ease of access via highway or public transportation – but things are changing…

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As you know, Tokyo has been chosen to be the host for the 2020 Summer Olympics, and it seems the Odaiba area will be seeing heavy development over the next several years as preparations for the games ramp up. It’s primarily because of this that the JCCA decided to move its popular New Year Meeting to Fuji Speedway this year.

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JCCA is no stranger to FSW, with their annual Fuji Jamboree event being held at the circuit every spring – but what would the famed New Year Meeting be like at a new venue? That’s a question I set out to answer. On top of that, the forecast at Fuji called for rain on Sunday, which would make for an even bigger departure from recent NYM events.

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The day’s excitement began well before we reached the race track. While rolling west down the Tomei Expressway out of Tokyo, we began to encounter lines of vintage machinery that were  obviously heading towards the circuit. Originally I was worried that many of the kaido racers and other shakotan machines that make the New Year Meeting so enjoyable wouldn’t make the longer journey to Fuji, but once we got on the highway and heard those distinct exhaust notes, all fears subsided.

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We hopped off the highway at Nakai Parking Area for a quick break, and the lot was filled with kaido racers and other cars that were gathering before heading to the track. For me, even a dozen cans of Boss Coffee can’t match the early morning excitement that this stuff brings.

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Once we got off the expressway and began to make our way through Gotemba, there was an even higher concentration of modified machinery that had taken over the town. It was sort of like that Marlon Brando film The Wild One, only with Skylines and Mark IIs instead of old Harley Davidsons.

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During a quick pit stop at a Seven Eleven store near the track, we met the owner of this bitchin’ Kenmeri Skyline. He was stopping at the store to pick up some last minute beverages for the day’s festivities. Party on!

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While the track was only a couple of kilometers away, it would end up taking quite a while to actually reach the gate because a massive queue of cars had formed on the roads leading into the speedway. At this point, I decided I’d hop out of my friend’s car and walk to the gate.

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Not only would this be faster, but it also gave me the chance to check out some of the cars that were waiting to get in. Even with the big traffic jam, everyone seemed to be in good spirits.

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That easy-going attitude is something that so many members of the kyusha community share. While I’ll be the first to say that some of these guys (and their cars) can look a little intimidating at first, they are actually some of the nicest and friendliest folks you’ll ever meet. Such is the kyusha brotherhood.

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Speaking of friendly guys, once I made it through the gate I ran into Mizuno-san of Mizuno Works. He had just arrived with a group of his friends and the famous Celica LB Group 5 replica. But the Celica wasn’t the craziest car they brought out.

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Nope, that distinction would go to this mad contraption that arrived on the back of a flatbed transporter. More on this sucker during the next post…

This is what heaven looks like
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Shortly after that, I made it to the main parking lot behind the grandstand – where a large number of stunning street machines were gathering.

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This was one thing that hadn’t changed from the Tokyo venue. There may have been a lower number of cars this time (largely because of the weather) – but this unofficial part of the New Year Meeting was as great as ever.

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Speaking of the weather, it was around this point that a steady rain began to fall. This forced most of the kyusha fans and owners to take cover in one of FSW’s drier areas.

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I figured this would be a good time to head beneath the track and into the paddock where the ‘real’ New Year Meeting was already under way.

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This brings me to one of the coolest parts of the ‘new’ New Year Meeting: the racing. While previous NYMs were static-only affairs, this time the gathering featured open track sessions for enthusiasts to run their machines through Fuji’s corners and down the immense front straight.

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While the wet weather may have kept some racers away, it was obvious that a little water wasn’t going to stop these guys from running, and running hard. That’s what I love about Japan – wet or dry, hot or cold – these guys will be out there enjoying their cars.

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And perhaps the only thing more thrilling than watching Hakosukas, S30s, 510s and others screaming down Fuji’s front straight is watching them do it while throwing up rooster tails of water. I would have loved to have spent the entire day shooting trackside, but this was one of those events with just too much stuff to fit into one day.

Collect and enjoy
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The flea market area was back, and digging through the stacks of car parts and collectables provided a nice break from the rain that was falling outside the pit garages.

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Once again, I didn’t have enough time to take a proper look through these goodies. That’s probably a good thing though, as my trip isn’t even halfway done and I’ve already filled up most of my extra suitcase space.

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But surely I could have found some extra room in my luggage to accommodate a pair of SSR MkIIs or old school one-piece Work Equips. Right? Right?

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The car club area was also back, and once again I really enjoyed getting a look at what some of the brand specific and regional owners’ groups were up to.

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I mean, where else will you see something like a miniature Subaru 360 go kart? Then again when you think about it, even a real 360 sort of looks like a miniature go kart…

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Seeing as how the New Year Meeting had relocated to one of Japan’s most legendary race tracks, it was only natural that some historic competition machinery would be present. This is a ’69 Toyota 7: a car which originally made its racing debut right here at Fuji.

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Elsewhere, there was this Ford GT40 replica which added a nice V8 rumble to the sea of four and six-cylinder music that was echoing off Fuji Speedway’s enormous grandstands.

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While there was a decent showing of European and American machines, it was really the domestic machinery that was dominating the free-run groups.

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No complaints here though. How can you not like seeing vintage JDM machinery being put to good use on the circuit?

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Eventually, the rain went away and sunlight began to peak through the low clouds, though by this point most of the racers had either headed home or were getting ready to finish for the day.

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By the time I headed back up to the parking lot, most of the crazy machines had already departed the track. The cars that stuck around however, were putting on a nice show for the group that had assembled to watch the action. Thanks to these guys, I now have the sounds of screaming OHC sixes and musical horns looping in my head.

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So, is the JCCA New Year Meeting still my favorite event after the venue change and crappy weather this weekend? As you can probably tell from this story, the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, I think even if this event was held on the surface of the moon, Japanese enthusiasts would find a way to bring out their cars out and have some fun.

Make sure you stay tuned, because next time I’ll talk a little more about the cars that made the 2014 New Year Meeting so great…



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I would enjoy a small feature on that GT40 replica..would be interesting


Mike, that meet looks amazing!  These pictures are awesome opossum!  I've just made a ton of additions to my wallpaper collection.

It's getting me more excited for Nostalgic 2days when I have Feb 22 off in Japan on a work trip!


Man! Wish I was there. So much eye candy!


This is another event that is going on my bucket list. Screaming vintage 4 & 6-cylinder motors running the Fuji Speedway hard, what's not to love about it. Also, the heritage of the JDM vehicles myself and others look up too. This would have to be a event to go to in the span of a life time for a JDM car enthusiast.


That Bellett!  So many wallpapers to choose from.


Kyu Kuruma meets have collective attitudes that must be spread throughout the world. Friendly people with cars they want to share, that has to be the perfect car meet.


I hope we get to see more of the Gr.5 Celica replica!


OMG...Liivin' the Dream Mike!




Guys, when will there be a calendar on speedhunters!? Every visit to the site recently ends in disappointment as I realise I've missed another amazing event right on my doorstep! It's hard for a Gaigin in Japna to know whats on when...


Guys, when will there be a calendar on Speedhunters!? Every visit to the site recently ends in disappointment as I realise I've missed another amazing event right on my doorstep, it's hard for a Gaigin in Japan to know whats on when...


anymore pics of that  a10 violet in pic 9. it seems impossible to find pics of those decently slammed

Gianluca FairladyZ

When i go to Japan.. I have to inform about all the good events and then go to them......... Yes i'll have to do that...




@Croftmatt  Pick up one of the many great magazines here and open it.  All the big events are listed somewhere in them.  Check out the calendar on Minkara for small events.  I saw a foreigner-run site once devoted to exactly what you want.  It went away pretty quickly probably because it is too hard to maintain an up-to-date listing of the dozens of events going on in a single week here.


I had the chance to go to JCCA Fuji Jamboree last spring, this is the best event I've seen...
Please more coverage on JCCA events ( there is 4 events per year ) or old school events ;)
Thanks Mike for your post, too bad for the weather...


Seems like everyone's taking their photography up a notch ;) Terribly regretting not making it up there this time (sigh)
Question about that group 5 replica - it's got Saitama Works logos all over it rather than Mizuno Works. Was it the previous name or another shop altogether?


Mike, the shot of the hakosuka and Fairlady running in the rain is outstanding.


seeing the cars on track with the rain makes for an interesting photo. glad to see none of the cars wrecked!


right click, save as, rinse, repeat :D


so many wallpapers and drool worthy machinery! top work mike! lots of envy.


@Croftmatt  I like this idea. It would be cool to see a calendar with the times and places of the events that you cover, so readers can attend if they see one in their area. Too often I only find out about an event in my area after it has happened.


God, that blue boxy thing on the flatbed looks hideous. Looks like one of those plastic little toy cars you could get for 5 cents.


JCCA New Year Meet or TAS?


TAS is good for a little taste of everything, but if classics are your game, NYM is the place!


I think that's actually kind of the idea haha.


Thank you sir!


Hope your ISP doesn't throttle you. Haha!


Actually, there were a couple cars that got a little banged up but I didn't want to take or post photos because I thought it would be kind of tabloidish.


Thanks Steve!


I beleive it's more of a group rather than a shop. I'll ask Mizuno-San the next time I see him.


Thanks! Normally, the weather would really bum me out but there was so much cool stuff to see it didn't bother me too much actually.


Here's a towel haha.


Yeah, if you keep an eye on print mags or social media it's pretty much all there. Even if your Japanese isn't great (mine isn't) it's all pretty straight forward to figure our.


Haha! Thank you sir.


I'll look into doin a full shoot when I have the chance!


I agree completely, although in Japan you'll find the same thing in other scenes besides just the classic car one.


Always cool to see something different!


Do it!


Come out next year!


Thanks much! I wish I could stick around for Nos 2 Days, but I think blow out the shutter on my camera if I hung around that long!


Hahaha! And that was just at work ;) It's a shame we don't get anything close to this in the UK. The retro rides gathering at Prescott's the closest I've found, it's a good day if you ever get the chance :)


Mike Garrett  Might be:D


At first glance that first red skyline looks like some crazy hatchback invention with other red car right behind it. Optical illusion.


Mike GarrettAmazing photos!!! This is definitely the event I have been waiting for coverage of, compared to TAS for sure! The PA restrictions this year really killed the kaido racers unfortunately. 

Also the photo that really blew my mind is of the used wheels for sale. What on earth are those tires mounted on the pair to the left?! Nothing that low, wide, and small has been made for ages!


Whats with the crazy white balance?!


I was just reviewing the article and...the picture of the Skyline and the Z duking it out in the rain simply stole my heart!