Last Saturday, we jammed over from Sacramento to Long Beach for this year’s Japanese Classic Car Show better known as JCCS. This year we were privileged to be one of the media sponsors for JCCS and we were more than welcome to help promote and cover the annual event held at Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA.
This year, JCCS brought out some of the heaviest hitters shaping up the Japanese car culture of today. Utah based company JDM Legends drove all the way from their home state to join in with the shenanigans at Long Beach. These guys are definitely making it possible for people to own a classic Japanese car straight from the heart of Japan. Their company specializes in sourcing out hard to find old school classic from Japan and turning those cars into legal cars that can be driven on the U.S. streets.
With the rise in popularity of old school Skylines, such as the Hakosuka or Kenmeri, JDM Legends took upon challenge of bringing those rare gems from Japan to the States. The cool part about it all is that they actually handle all the paperwork so everything is LEGAL. The cars do come at a premium as the quote I requested on a decked out KPGC10 wasn’t something your usual young kid tuner could afford, but with that premium you get the assurance that the car is road worthy, reliable, and especially legal. So while I save up for my Skyline, I’ll be checking back with JDM Legends in the coming years.
A week before JCCS, while browsing through the JDM Legends Facebook fan page I noticed a pretty cool update that would make any Hot Wheels collector go nuts about. For this year’s JCCS, JDM Legends would be demoing a life size replica of their JDM Legends x Hot Wheels x JNC Mazda RX-7 FB. The team at JDM Legends nailed the Hot Wheels copy and it was a pleasure seeing it in person. Also I thought it was a great complement to their other demo car, a classic Nissan Skyline.
Speaking of Hot Wheels, we were grateful to run across Jun Imai, the epic Hot Wheels designer who is responsible for the iconic hakosuka and kenmeri skylines, Datsun 510s, and variety of other JDM goodies released along the Hot Wheels line. He himself is a proud owner of a proper Datsun 510 Wagon which was detailed with a rally sticker theme. The clean presentation of the 510 was well tailored to Jun Imai’s love for classic rally racing livery.
Jun also showed us a heavy hitting sneak peek of their upcoming 2013 Hot Wheels line. For next year there will be a Hot Wheels edition of the Datsun 510 wagon similar to Jun Imai’s setup, a Toyota Trueno AE86 with a touch of JNC magic, and also an old school Toyota Celica with all its vintage styling. These 3 new releases are ones that we are extremely excited about. Also a huge thanks to Jun for making it all possible for us Japanese car fanatics to collect all these iconic cars in Hot Wheels format. Keep up the great work!
After chatting with Jun we went ahead and viewed the rest of the show while the weather was heating up the venue. For the past years at JCCS, we’ve experienced a variety of weather conditions. Take for example last year when the weather was actually gloomy and it even rained a little bit. But, this year we were greeted by triple digit weather. It was hot, but the hot cars on display made all those weather pains go away.
Despite the weather, the amount of eye candy was immense with plenty of classics and FR-Ss. Yeah, yeah not a classic, but at the moment, the new FR-S is one of my favorite new cars! I love the new 2013 Scion FR-S, also known as the Subaru BR-Z and more commonly known as the Toyota 86. I typically don’t have an appetite for brand new cars, but this latest release by Toyota is just too amazing and immense. So what’s all the hype about the new 86/FR-S? I believe the FR-S is a great comeback car for the Toyota/Scion brand. It is a beautiful balance of aesthetics and performance all packaged in a car that is reminiscent of early Japanese styling and craftsmanship. This car is just too beautiful.
While we tried to cool off under the shade, we ran into a gem with quite the interesting story. The suspect is Shaunde Romaine’s 1974 Datsun Bluebird-U 610 SSS-E. This car was actually imported straight from Japan as a Japan-market model only, available from January to May of 1974. In 2011, it went up for sale and Shaunde managed to seal the deal and get this exclusive car with all the history intact. As it stands at JCCS 2012, the Datsun 610 has 28K original miles, original quality interior, and it sits nicely on Watanabe wheels. As with most old school Japanese cars, parts aren’t always readily available so a custom coilover setup was required. The custom setup was installed by Classic Datsun in Vista, CA which allowed the car to sit lower and the wheels sit tailored to the fender. Overall this was easily co Fitted Life crew member Gio’s favorite ride of the show this year.
When it comes to classic Japanese cars, I’ve always leaned towards the classic Skylines. These iconic cars are a collector’s dream and to see these present in the United States is another treat. This year at JCCS, there were a nice selection of Hakosukas and Skylines that freshened up the event. The Skyline with custom livery, which was also present at 5&A Dime’s Motor Union event, was also one of my favorites. I liked how the green, red, and white contrast worked well on the Skyline. Likewise, there was this neat Kenmeri sitting close by. The Kenmeri is another favorite of mine due its clean body lines and just its overall shape and aesthetics.
JCCS was packed with Datsun 510s and it was a challenge to pick out our overall favorite Datsun of the show. Even iconic racer John Morton brought out his BRE Datsun 510. Across the BRE Datusn was another 510 that looked so solid. I mean these cars just popped out from the crowd. When it came to the wheels and color choice, these two were done right.
Of course, JCCS wouldn’t be complete without featuring some AE86s. Walking back towards the round about, we spotted some fresh hachirokus sporting a nice setup. Again, aesthetics all the way from the color way to the wheel setup and stance. I know we haven’t touched too much on internals, but we can’t help, but respect a car with proper aesthetics.
So that pretty much wraps up our coverage of JCCS 2012. Until then, stay tuned for more stories from the design team at Fitted Life!