The Japanese Classic Car Show Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary
Photography by Trevor Dalton
Photography and Words by Trevor Dalton
2019 marked the 15th anniversary of the Japanese Classics Car Show, a car gathering for the Japanese import car community held at the Marina Green Park in Long Beach, California. Arriving at the show, the first thing you notice is how vast and diverse the selection of cars is. This isn’t just a display of some classic cars from a few marques, this is a celebration of the entire Japanese Classics car culture. The event drew an impressive crowd of over 10,000 people attending, including those arising from as far as Japan to see the show.
Walking the aisles of the show, you can see that there really is something for everyone, 4x4s, trucks, hatchbacks, family sedans, roadsters, and race cars. Concours clean cars were next to daily driven classics with visitors and owners equally enthusiastic about both. The show also contained a selection of motorcycles on display with sportbikes, café racers, and scooters parked among the classic cars. Some bikes were even mounted in the back of truck beds, such as the perfectly preserved Toyota Stout 1900 with two Hondas in the bed, making an already perfect display just a little bit better.
Manufacturer booths were scattered around the lawn with new and historic models on display. Mazda, for example, had a few rotary-powered endurance cars from their past at their booth. This included their 1979 RX-7 GTU, which raced in the 24 Hours of Daytona and their legendary Le Mans-winning 787B. Getting photos of this car was difficult with the ever-persistent crowd that exists around this car whenever it is on display.
The show wasn’t limited to the cars on display. A large number of vendors were in attendance with tents full of car parts, wheels, memorabilia, and models available to purchase. The model tents were especially popular with selections of fine die-casts, rare imports from Japan, and loads of model kits. It’s a bit of joy to see a group of friend’s geeking out over 1/24 scale aftermarket wheels for their models back home.
The show brought excitement to not just those attending but also just outside of the show. Guests walked the visitor lot looking at everything, not a part of the show, groups of lowered scooters roamed the area, and those queued in line snapped photos of Bōsōzoku cars driving by the entrance.
The Japanese Classics Car Show is for owners and enthusiasts alike. This was its 15th-year celebration, and as it continues to grow in size and crowd, it is an annual show that should not be missed.