Springtime Cruising In California

Some would say that the tuning and styling scene has become saturated with over-the-top builds of late, but what we don’t see enough of are these cars being driven hard.

That’s something the Japanese Super Car Cruise (JSCC) set out to address when it was created.

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Evan, JSCC’s founder, and I have owned many cars over the years, including a number of iconic Japanese performance machines. There have been Supras, RX-7s, Evos, AE86s, NSXs and others, and through owning these cars we have created a large network of friends that love to get out together and drive the beautiful redwood-lined backroads in California.

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Most of our drives consist of short Sunday morning fun runs with five to 15 cars, but a few years back Evan decided to get everyone together from all of the local car communities for one large event – the Japanese Super Car Cruise. In the time since, JSCC has become a bi-annual affair, and for the first event this year I was honored to co-host with Evan in an effort to bring even more attendees out.

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In this set of photos you may even recognize a few Speedhunters feature cars, as previously shot by my buddy Trevor [see the story on Rami's NSX here]. Trevor had planned to attend this event, but was unfortunately out of town at the time.

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Despite what the JSCC acronym stands for, pretty much every iconic JDM platforms can join in on this exclusive invite-only event.

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The morning kicked off at a local shopping center where everyone could meet up, hang out, grab some coffee and take some pictures. As always, we were all super-hyped about the drive to come.

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The hour-and-a-half-long route was through Northern California’s scenic highway 280, which leads directly into San Francisco and then out to the Alameda Historic Naval Base, where we regrouped for more epic photos and hangs. The drive is obviously the best part of the event, because let’s face it, where else will you see a five-lane highway filled with nearly 100 cars cruising together?

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Being there and experiencing this drive is pure bliss, and it genuinely makes you feel like you are in a Japanese anime movie scene. The highway is as smooth as butter, the roads are open with hardly any traffic, and the 70-degree springtime California sun soaks up the air. It truly is an overwhelming experience.

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Approaching the naval base was bittersweet; the San Francisco skyline is one of the most iconic and beautiful backdrops in California so it was great to be able to park our cars in front of it, but at the same time I just wanted to keep driving with everyone else on the cruise.

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We really couldn’t have gotten any luckier with the day we chose as the conditions were absolutely perfect for our event. The first JSCC of 2018 was another success story, and we plan to host another event sometime near the end of the summer or early fall, as we always do.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Evan for letting me be a part of the event, my girlfriend Victoria for helping with the rollers while I was driving, the people who attended, and of course Speedhunters for allowing me to share this story. I hope you all enjoy the photos and write-up!

Naveed Yousufzai 
Instagram: eatwithnaveed

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19 comments

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1

EPIC MAN!!!! I am so happy to be able to call you friend and thanks for hosting an amazing event. This write-up and photos are pure talent and I hope you continue to contribute..... but more than anything I hope we can keep making these epic drives because that is what the car scene should always be about......actually DRIVING our cars!

2
Ricko J Suave

Rosebud all along

3

Great write up, it was an awesome day

4

" but what we don’t see enough of are these cars being driven hard."

How is cruising on a Bay Area freeway with 100 cars "driving hard"?

5

For legal reasons, just 'cruising' on the freeway was all that happened. Lol.

6

"Some would say that the tuning and styling scene has become saturated with over-the-top builds of late"

I would say that it's become saturated with stories out of California.

Enough with the Golden State.

Try some of the other 49 for a change.

7

Great cars are great cars, what difference does it make where they're driven? Proportionately, California has a larger car culture than anywhere else in the country, so it makes sense that automotive journalists would want to be there in the thick of things. You could sit them in the middle of Nebraska, if you'd like, but the stories would be few and far between. I do believe that these guys appreciate submissions for deserving features if you know of something local to you, for if they're in the area in the future.

8
Shotgun Chuck

The difference it make is, so much of Speedhunters' coverage is focused on Japan, California, and their attempts to imitate each other, along with occasional attempts by the rest of the country to imitate Japan. For an example of the last one, see Gas Monkey Garage; when they were working on muscle cars, they got like one feature on the site in almost 10 years, and it was for a Ferrari rather than a muscle car, but as soon as they built a Datsun with tack-on fender flares, Speedhunters was all over it. Meanwhile, every undriveable abomination from Rocket Bunny or Liberty Walk is guaranteed a full feature.

Occasionally true American/Canadian car culture will surface in the form of a major big-name show like SEMA, but you'll rarely if ever see a Speedhunters writer scouring the rest of the country for authentic, local, Japanese-influence-free car culture (unless that country is Australia or somewhere in Europe, in which case they'll still get occasional mentions but nowhere near as much as Japan). True American car culture is aging badly; don't you think it's worth a shot to try to get some younger people interested in it again? It's not just the age of the cars; things like Datsun 510s and KP61 Starlets still have staying power with people who weren't even alive while they were being made, so why not the Camaros and Mustangs that are much faster and better-looking?

9

I do like Mustangs and Camaros, but only the new ones.
The old ones are only good for straight line.
Also, "faster" and "better-looking" are subjective. Older mustangs and camaros are slow and particularly useless on the touge.
Newer mustangs can take the corner, but they like the crowd more. So there you have it, that's why they aren't too popular.

10
Shotgun Chuck

You say they're useless on the passes, but the truth is, we had our own brand of mountain racers here in the US, probably before Japan did, and Mustangs were a common choice of car back in the 1960s and 1970s. Of course the ultimate, if you could keep it under control, was a Corvette or some manner of European car, but the Mustangs couldn't have been all useless if so many people used them. Also, the original Pontiac GTO was far better in the corners than it had any right to be and, when equipped with the NASCAR road racing suspension package (which, at the time, was available over the counter at any Pontiac dealer in order to comply with NASCAR regulations), could actually outcorner the Ferrari they were named after.

11

I can agree with you here and you sounded knowledgeable about this.
Let's say the mustang and camaros can corner just as well. However, the vast majority of their owners are into straight line discipline. Handling is really not that popular with Americans. Hence, most of the posts about Americans counter parts are just drag races.
I can understand your opinion though.

12

uh-oh muscle retard alert

13
Shotgun Chuck

I tried to upvote you. The system told me I couldn't vote for my own comment. I think that says everything that needs to be said.

14

From someone whose teen years were full of Gran Turismo, this meet looks like heaven!

15

Great photo's and really nice write up.

16
Ryan Greythorn

I spy a Bimmer hiding in a row of JDM cars. Wonder if it's been tagging along throughout the event.

17

I found 2 (E30 and E36) and was willing to ask the same question.

18

Were there any S-Chassis cars at this event? Can't see any in the pics.
Or are there just hardly any clean ones anymore? lol.

19
Taylor Nelson

Man! This is right in my area. I'm bummed I missed out on this!

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