Feeding Your Nostalgia, Japan Style

‘Nostalgia’, according to the Oxford Dictionary, can be defined as “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past”. I call it the first realization that you are getting old, that whole ‘it was all so much better back in the old days’ sort of comment that you probably criticized your elders for making during your youth, yet now you find yourself doing. And this fits into the world of cars rather well.

Upset at the direction the whole industry is moving in? Not a fan of the push to electrify the world? Tired of uninspiring design languages that lack individualism? Well, come thy disappointed motorist, let me show you a world where excitement is rife and where cars make the right sort of noises and produce the right sort of smells.


I’ve been visiting the Nostalgic 2 Days show in Yokohama for the last seven years, and it has never failed to capture the passion that exists for vintage cars in Japan. This is a show that each year manages to surprise, and one that continues to evolve and bring more modern classics under its wing.


By that I mean cars like the Honda NSX, which is very much a collectable these days, and one that can command some serious coin.


Something that has always impressed me about this Nostalgic Hero magazine event is how it captures the speed the scene that supports it is moving. Every year, more and more shops seem to pop up, offering parts and upgrades that allow people to personalize their cars in ways that weren’t possible a decade or two ago.

One thing you must always remember is to never make assumptions here, as you never know what a car might be hiding.


See what I mean? Business on one side, party on the other.


Star Road is one of the biggest players in this market. They’ve perfected their signature restomod, a recognizable style that has become a bit of a fashion, and with it a price tag to match.


But this is just the tip of the iceberg; there is so much to discover at Nostalgic 2 Days that it really boggles the mind.


There is always something to marvel at, especially when the level of customization improves every year. More parts, more solutions, more fine-tuned skills that all combine to make cars really stand out. Case in point, this S30 running a six carb L28.


There are always curve balls being thrown at you as you walk the halls of the Pacifico Exhibition Center, and this replica Lancia Stratos was one of them. Not so much for its looks…


…But for sporting Alfa Romeo V6 power out the back. This thing must sound glorious.


Mizuno Works is one of the biggest names in Nissan kyusha and L-series engine tuning. Their military green demo cars were quite the sight.


The C130 Laurel remains my favorite Japanese classic. It’s different enough to stand out from the more hyped-up Zs and Rs, but has such unique lines, and of course that considerably chunky rear end which is commonly referred to in Japanese as butaketsu, or pig’s butt.


Here’s a perfect example of needing to check every car in detail at this event. If you casually walked past the K’s Blast booth you’d assume you were seeing another aggressively over-fendered S30.


Take a closer look, however, and you realize it’s also powered by an RB25DE NEO out of an ER34 Skyline.


Do you have a soft spot for the F31 Nissan Leopard? Then Carshop Friend is your, well, friend…


Much like R31 House for the R31 Skyline, this company has capitalized on the Leopard and become the go-to place for the best cars on the market. It certainly makes for a nice alternative to a Z20 Soarer.


For many years, our friends at Number7 have been working on a very special Hakosuka project. This is not it, but it sure as hell was grabbing attention with that candy red paint. More on the other Hako’ when they finish it…


Endless was there to show off its brake products for older cars, and their demonstrator was nothing less than the very first Nissan Silvia.

Nice brakes, but I’m not sure about the wheel choice for this particular car.


I’m sure you’ll agree that some things are better when they’re not meddled with.

Endless even had this Fiat 500 with a Fujitsubo exhaust and a strange extractor-looking contraption sticking out from the engine bay.


This AMG 560 SEC from Vintage Car Visco is the sort of car an aspiring yakuza member would have dreamed about in the early ’90s.


It’s always interesting to see how you can fuse modern touches with vintage cars. Speed Forme is very good at this.


Check out that head cover for the L-series.


The 50th Anniversary 300ZX from 1984 is one of the coolest Zs ever made.


However, the epitome of a tuned Z is anything running an OS Giken engine.


OS’s TC24 twin cam head for the L-series is not only a thing of visual beauty, but the most extreme single aftermarket performance part available for these engines.


And for those that can’t help themselves, OS Giken has even released a 3.0-liter stroker kit for the L-series.


The X30 generation of the Mark II/Chaser/Cressida are cars you usually see built in shakotan style or as vintage drifters, so this slightly higher-riding example really stood out.


At the very center of the exhibition center was a vintage race car display featuring legendary cars from various private and manufacturer-owned collections.


That included this F1 car from the Honda Collection.


Nismo continues to add more and more components to its Heritage Parts list. They had a nice display showcasing the entire lineup.


From the RB26 head…


…To the cylinder block…


…And on to the one-off parts they are now able to create with a new process called dual-sided dieless forming. This is a pretty amazing process which will be key in helping enthusiasts keep older cars in tip-top condition.

I have to say, I wasn’t at all impressed with the Nismo seat covers fitted to the BNR32 they had on display though. They seemed loose-fitting and unfinished.


The car was also running the OEM spoiler and Nismo flap that has now been added to the Heritage Collection inventory.


Mazda too showed off its heritage program where they can fully restore cars like the Roadster.


However, my eyes were on this deep red Cosmo.


It ‘s nice to see RAYS has released another new version of its TE37 ‘Vintage’ wheel. This is the TE37VSL 1920Limited, available in 4×100 and 4×114.3 fitments for 15 and 16-inch wheels up to 9J wide.


For me, the show-stopper this year was a new collector-oriented outfit called Auto Roman’s display of three cars, starting off with this metallic blue Ford GT40.


People that know, will know.

This is indeed the real deal, and therefore the most valuable car at the event by a long shot. The last time I saw it was a few years ago when it was driven at the Hakone Turnpike for the filming of a MotorHead magazine video.


Like the GT40, this Ferrari 308 Group 4 rally car was brought out of the same M’s Vantec collection, which if you recall is the same place that road-legal Porsche 962 belongs to.

I’ll give you a look at the third car in the lineup via a spotlight I’m prepping, but given the awesomeness of this trio, Auto Roman is a place we’ll need to visit sooner or later.


I really enjoy seeing how Shibata-san at R31 House keeps reinventing himself, taking all the knowledge and experience gained from being Japan’s most respected RB20DET tuner and applying it to other RB-powered cars.

R31 House’s exhaust manifolds are what have made them so famous. These complex equal-length manifolds take the sound potential of the RB20 to new heights.


Now Shibata is offering these manifolds for those that want an R31 House touch on their RB26.


The manifold looks pretty crazy when mounted, positioning the single turbo conversion nice and low.


The same can be said for the ER34, and the RB25DET powering it.


The best thing of all is how they also fit a front-mount intercooler to get rid of the excessively long piping, and then run their own inlet plenum and large single throttle body. Ron, are you seeing this?


This DR30 on the booth was a close-to-stock example. No fiddling around here.


The FJ20DET under the hood has been kept in original spec, while the ’80s exterior was enhanced with a considerable suspension drop and Enkei92 mesh wheels.


An Lexus LFA look for your JZA80 Toyota Supra, perhaps?


Have you ever wondered what would happen if Italians designed a Rolls-Royce? Well, this Camargue is the answer. Penned by Pininfarina in the mid-’70s and offered for sale up until the mid-’80s, this luxury 2-door coupe is the spiritual predecessor to the modern day Wraith – minus the Italian design and suicide doors.


Don’t you just love these wonderful creations from the past?


I’ll close off this main post with possibly the best automotive marketing exercise ever crafted – the Honda City Turbo II and Motocompo. This should be standard equipment on all cars, especially now with electric mobility becoming the next best thing. Maybe Toyota can integrate the e-Broom concept it showed at the Tokyo Motor Show last year with its next-gen Prius or something…

Stay tuned for a bunch of spotlights from Nostalgic 2 Days 2020.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

That “Camargue” looks like it’s one of those knock-off cars straight outta Grand Theft Auto!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

So weird I love it


Rare old thing that Isuzu Piazza. Always thought it had a bit of 86 Corolla in it appearance wise. Utter tank to drive until Lotus got their hands on it.

Dino Dalle Carbonare



Dino so where are the JDM guys from the other post that were complaining there is no JDM coverage? Man some people just HAVE to complain! Just like women. i have no complaints about Speedhunters. One of the coolest sites on the internet!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

There are a few spotlights to follow, so much JDMness coming your way everyone ;)


damn Dino, definiitely one of my favourite articles recently... those cars a beautiful

skyline dohc rs
red cosmo
fiat 500
nissan sylvia
S30 - with 6 carbs
loving the patina'd side of the hako

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks mate!


And this is what got me into JDM
Yup I'm a JDM fanboy

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Welcome to the club haha


Every since subscribing to Nostalgic Hero couple years back, Nostalgic 2 Days has been almost my #1 on the to-do list when I go to Japan. Thank you for the coverage as always!


no rx7's or ae86's????? :(

Dino Dalle Carbonare

There is one in there and also AE86 coming as part of the spotlights


ummm, white FC vert, Green gen1 , last time I looked they were RX-7's


Custom Subaru SVX? Nah... The 5000th picture of an NSX? Obviously. Classic Speedhunters.


This! Why no more photos of that SVX? Much more interesting than a standard NSX.


I know, right? Not only is it a single-tone pearl (which is super duper rare if factory) but it has custom front fenders I haven't seen before and a big brake kit (probably custom). Mirrors also have custom indicators built in and I'm sure there's a bunch of other neat stuff going on with that car.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Reason is we see it every year and I showed it in more detail in 2019: http://www.speedhunters.com/2019/03/old-is-better-than-new-nostalgic-2-days/


I'm gonna need another pic of that pearl SVX next to the NSX in front of the KSTAFF booth. I have never seen another single-tone pearl before.


Just WOW. Really needed this today. Thanks Dino

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks man!


I'd love to hear that 6 carb s30.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Me too!!




How about some love for us old school Mitsubishi lovers? Any chance of finding some Starions, Sigma/Galants etc over there?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Good call, must research this a little


Love these kinds of events. Being pretty exposed to 90s+ Japanese stuff (my fave) is good but I love seeing the stuff that predates that too.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

So diverse it's crazy


Thanks for the coverage Dino!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

My pleasure! Check the spotlights that are coming...


Utilitas always has some of the best examples of cars! Thanks for posting dr30's and z31's too, Dino. As an owner of both, I might be biased but those are the best cars to come from 1980's Nissan in my opinion.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah their cars are pretty spotless


The 500 looks to be a tribute to the one in Castle of Cagliostro (a fun flick to check out)

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Ah, there you go, I knew there must have been a link to something...


Sigh... Porsche 904. One of 106 ever made... the stuff of Dreams. What an incredible show!


Being 53 - like every bit of it.


Wow what a lineup, I need to go to this someday! I used to have an Alfa 156 (may it give it's next owner less pain than it gave me) that had the V6 that the Stratos had, all it had was a BMC CDA air filter and it sounded like an absolute beast. People would crane their necks to see past my little jellybean to where the source of the noise was coming from pretty often. I've owned a 1200cc Italian V-twin and a 6.1L V8 since and still miss the sound that little Alfa made.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Been referred to as the best sounding V6 of all time on many occasions


I sent a message to you on facebook about a classic rare japanese corolla 2. would be a great feature article. hopefully you will consider it.


the fiat 500 is from a studio ghibli movie, - the count of cagliostro. thatll explain the thing coming out the back