A Nissan SoCal Summer Sunday
It’s Nissan’s Turn

We all know that Southern California is blessed with one of most active automotive scenes on earth. There’s pretty much something cool going on every weekend all year long, and in this respect fans of Japanese cars in particular have got it quite good in sunny SoCal.

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Dig Hondas? The yearly Eibach meet is the place to be. Like Mazdas and rotaries? There’s a huge annual spectacle called Sevenstock. And let’s not forget the massive gathering of enthusiasts at Toyotafest in Long Beach every May. Even Mitsubishi holds a big meet for owners every year at its North American headquarters.

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However, up until recently there was one major Japanese automaker that was left out of the fun. Yes. I’m talking about Nissan – a brand whose fans have gone a long time without having a real event to call their own in Southern California.

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Nissan’s corporate presence may have left the region years ago for Tennessee’s friendlier business environment, but that hasn’t changed the fact that the West Coast is home to some of the marque’s most loyal fans.

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Knowing this, the same group behind the highly popular Japanese Classic Car Show decided to create an event for SoCal’s Nissan and Datsun enthusiasts. It’s called Nissan Jam, and after a successful inaugural event last year, the show returned for 2014 over the weekend.

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I wasn’t able to attend the 2013 event due to a scheduling conflict, but this year I made sure that I was in Southern California when Nissan Jam rolled around again.

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Once again, Connell Nissan in the city of Costa Mesa played host to the event. I’ve got to say that it’s damn cool to drive down Harbor Boulevard and see the spot that’s usually filled with Altimas and Sentras packed with vintage Datsuns and other cool Nissan machinery.

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The size of the show was smaller than Toyotafest, but that seemed to be an effect of the dealership’s limited space more than anything else. For an event that’s as new as this one, the enthusiasm for Nissan Jam seems very strong.

Long Live The Old School
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As for the car lineup, Nissans from all different eras were represented, but it wasn’t surprising to see that Datsun-badged machinery made up the bulk of the show.

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Along with the rows of 510s, 240Zs and other classic models – there was also a strong representation from local S13 and S14 owners, along with plenty of late-model Zs and GT-Rs.

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Joining the selection of US market Nissans and Datsuns were also several examples of imported Japanese market vehicles, which have always had a strong presence in LA.

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While they were never officially sold here, the lines of the Hakosuka Skyline look right at home among under the palm trees and sunshine of SoCal.

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Should I ever be in the position to buy a ‘Box Skyline’ of my own, I’m not sure if I’d be able to pick between coupe or sedan. They are both damn cool in their own right.

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Here’s a little peak at a particularly badass Hakosuka that you can expect to see more on soon. Sorry for the tease…

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Another rare JDM machine that’s found its way to California shores is this immaculate Bluebird SSS. The engine bay in this thing was seriously spotless.

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240Zs were out in big numbers, with everything from restored factory-spec show cars to modified examples, like this fat-tired, RB-powered monster.

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The wonderful Datsun 510 was also present in many two-door sedan and four-door sedan forms. I even spotted a few JDM Bluebird coupes.

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Don’t forget the 510 wagon either. This yellow example on RS Watanabes has to be one of the cleanest around.

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While we’re on the station wagon kick, here’s a super-cool Datsun 610 wagon that’s still wearing its original paint from 1975.

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I love the way the trumpets have been painted in the same orange metal flake as the valve cover on the 610’s L-series four-cylinder engine.

Rarities & More
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Datsun pickups were also a big part of Nissan Jam. Check this 620 with a built NA SR20 and a set of custom Barramundi wheels from Japan. Yes please!

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Here we have another Datsun 620, but one that’s been customized with a ‘rat rod meets Japanese street racer’ theme.

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It’s definitely cool to see more people fixing up old pickups like this. They offer a ton of potential and can still be had on the cheap, unlike your average 510 or 240Z.

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One of the things that impressed me most about Nissan Jam was the selection of more obscure Nissan and Datsun models that came out. I was liking this low mileage, factory original Datsun 210 that was recently bought from its original owner.

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Without a doubt though, one of my absolute favorite cars of the day was this 210 fastback which has been given a full Sunny conversion with small bumpers, a chin spoiler and a perfectly sized set of SSR Mk.IIs.

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It’s always cool to see people giving some love to Datsuns from the late ’70s and early ’80s too.

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In 1988 Nissan introduced an upgraded edition of the 300ZX named Shiro after its unique pearl white paint job. Production was limited to just over 1,000 examples and this particular car was in un-touched original shape.

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Z31s will likely never be as popular as the Zs that came before or after them, but you can see they offer lots of potential when done right. A good friend of mine drove one of these when we were in high school so I’ll always have a soft spot for this model.

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Is it too early to call the look of the 180SX Type X ‘timeless’? Nah, I don’t think so…

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Amazingly, you can actually still find a stock 240SX on the streets of Southern California. I’ve got the photographic proof right here! Bonus points for being a two-tone coupe.

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It might have taken a while to happen, but Southern California Nissan enthusiasts finally have an event to call their own. L-series, RB and SR unite – in the land of freeways, traffic and smog all is now right.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: speedhunters_mike
mike@speedhunters.com

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49 comments

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1

Boy oh boy! This post has cheered me up big time from a stressful day at work. I don't own a Nissan and haven't as of yet, but this post sure as hell makes me want one.

2

Stock?  Are you kidding?  Stock is like a foot higher off the ground lol.

3

Love the Hakosuka Skylines! Was lucky enough to have one next to me at a local Japanese Car meet last year ;)

4

I wanna see a super clean R30 RS-Turbo

5

Z31s are highly underrated, awesome cars with bullet proof engines.

6

Wow nice to see not one but 2 gen 1 Patrols in the same place

7

So much goodness in here! I miss my Datsun so much :'(

8

Nice to see B210's getting some love. The B210 (120Y overseas) has been largely ignored over here for decades.

9

That S13 coupe is not stock, it has an Onevia conversion... Great write-up though! You need to do a feature on that Z31!

10

Wow, I live about a 4 minute drive away from Connell Nissan, not know of the event When was and who exactly threw this event? I just want to make sure I don't miss one again...

11

PS13 Nope thats how they came in America Coupe and Hatch had pop ups here!

12

very nice.....

13
Panagiotis Rounis

Some more pics of the b310's?

14

huge hakosuka fan here...
Btw, those Datsun pickups look awesome

15

Oh , those are 610-series Bluebird ... never saw one of those before !

16

IshMel PS13 It looks lowered as well. Still a clean car though.

17

maximumyin Yeah that two tone 240 is not entirely stock. I is lowered for sure.

18
BrandonTilghman

whoa...nice cars. but not one, not ONE shot of the Z32s that where there? shame shame...

19

Who is selling diecast? There are some great collectible datsun out there!!!

20

@Venom247 That was me. I came out from Phoenix to sell model kits and diecast cars. I'm already trying to restock for JCCS in September. Hope to see you there.

21

Bummer my Z didn't make it... oh well can't win them all =)

22
Omer (beercoozie)

That burgundy (or is it maroon?) 280ZX on the first page/chapter is so, so, so awesome.

One of many awesome cars in this report. 

Thanks!

23

lol 120y'd you buy it

24

Great event with many nice cars in attendance! A pleasure to look at :-)

I photoshopped a B310 Wagon and modified it into a shooting brake a while ago: 

http://www.virtualmodels.org/VM_images/VirtualModels_Nissan_Sunny_California_ShootingBreak.jpg

Cheers
Sebastian

25

My car was missing it's chin spoiler when the pic got snapped... Not bad actually ^_^

26

I think I spy a ZZZAP 280Z behind the red 280ZX.

27

ZeroSixZ33
nissanjam.com or http://www.facebook.com/NissanJam
The JCCS (Japanese Classic Car Show) team as well as JNC (Japanese Nostalgic Car) were the creators and organizers of Nissan Jam

29

i'm a honda guy and i grew up with nissans and luv them as well ..grew up with nissan sunny b11 b12 b13.... 120y which yall call a fastback ... and alot of 510 bluebirds which we just brand and call them 1600 ... great cars dont mind gettin a 510 coupe some time ...

30
CharlesChris15

royshakosuka which one was yours? there were quite alot without the chin spoiler XD

Author31

ZeusEdwards Always kind of though to keep with the different names in different countries!

Author32

royshakosuka lol

Author33

DriverSeb I like that a lot!

Author34

Omer (beercoozie) Burgundy - such a fine color.

Author35

QuocPham Too much good stuff!

Author36

@DATSMO BrandonTilghman There ya go.

Author37

RDS A rarity even in Japan.

Author38

jdmRob Yeah I'd love to have a 620 someday.

Author39

ZeroSixZ33 Keep an eye out for it next year same time I'd guess.

Author40

Jaimesix I agree totally.

Author41

MidWest_Surfer Yeah, those things were rad.

Author42

MidWest_Surfer Yeah, those things were rad.

Author43

tokuku There are a couple rolling around the states.

Author44

Anthraxxx NIce!

Author45

nickmmele maximumyin About as close to stock as it gets around these parts :)

Author46

JakWhite Glad i could help!

47

So can you daily drive these skylines and JDM 510s???????? If so that's awesome. I live in Texas and I typically do not see Datsuns on the roads. But I'd love to own one someday.

48

I spy an R34! Remarkable to have one already out at shows, that's just awesome! I believe they were only allowed to be imported this year, correct?

49

nearwood Looks like you're right, ZZZAP if I ever saw one, nice job on the call out

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