For this portion of our JCCS coverage, Jason Arroyo of Club-S12.org collaborated with S12Silvia.com’s Colin Masterson to share their thoughts and the progression of this iconic car show and of the S12’s featured in it.
This year was a pretty good year. The turnout in general was quite impressive. What did you think of it?Jason:
I was glad to see some of my favorites return, but I see that some really amazing cars were brought to the show for the first time too. How many was it this year?Colin:
From what I recall, the number of cars registered was just shy of 400, which is a bit amazing considering where they were all parked. The park seems small on the onset but can hold quite a bit. And out of those 400 registered, ten S12s were present. Not a bad number considering. It was more than the AE86 interestingly enough, which only had eight present.
Now that you mention it, I also noticed that the 510′s were in short supply this year. Last year they were out in force. That’s too bad because usually the 510 owners have lots of interesting swaps in their cars, and they put a lot of effort into detail work.
Colin: I wasn’t aware that the 510s dropped in numbers so much. What I did notice was that the classic Z’s were everywhere. I do know that the Nissan/Datsun brand most definitely dominated the show this year.
Yep. We were large and in charge.Colin:
As for dominating, being last year’s placements as well, the S12s and the lone S110 that dominated the podium for the 80′s Datsun category were again placed this year. Unfortunate as it is, I do not recall hearing any Z31s taking the podium either. Do you think this could be a sign?
I do, actually. Two years ago, it was ONE car. Last year had a nice turnout of S12′s, prompting them to create an actual “200SX” section and win us a much better spot along the waterfront. I think we gave them what they were hoping for, which was a great lineup of 200SX’s. Sure, all but one were S12′s, but I tend to think the S12 has fleshed out a better niche than S110′s have on the whole. And we had great neighbors next to us, because the Datsun roadsters were ranked to our side. Lots of beautiful cars there.
I know! We were across from some Gonzo VIP styled cars, which always get people, and the Roadsters, but there was a lot of attention drawn to the S12 lineup. I would say four S12s in particular caught the public’s eye… but would you attribute the attention to the natural movement of the crowd or because the S12 section actually drew interest in a similar fashion that the other traditionally popular chassis usually do?Jason:
I think there is actually a new interest in the S12. In the oldschool Japanese car world it’s becoming something of a novelty, but in addition, it seems that people like it for its fresh approach. The AE86 is old news as the years pass, and our cars aren’t. We’re a new opportunity for people who want to try something different but still maintain a certain 80′s Japanese sports look and feel. And we’d seen most of that day’s AE86 offerings before in previous shows and magazine fanfare, whereas we brought new cars this year to our section at JCCS. Definitely a fresh view for people at the show.
Yes, we did have new cars, and I read elsewhere that people commented on how “cherry” the lineup was overall. I’m sure that seeing nine S12s in fine form and well presented is something different. Despite half the cars being new and half being the same as last year, I don’t recall hearing anyone saying anything on the level like, “Oh same as last year.” They seemed genuinely impressed. It was either that or maybe because we had such a good spot. I know one of the models wanted us to leave so she could park her RX-8 where we were for some pictures of her own.
I think it was a bit of both, and I thank the JCCS committee for giving us a great spot this year. I was told that they try to mix it up a bit each year, but here’s to hoping we get back to the water’s edge again next year. So what did you think of the vintage motorcycles?Colin:
I am not much of a bike person to be honest but there was one that really struck me. The one on the wood pallet, low slung, and was very angular… I appreciated that one a bit.
Ahhh yes, the steampunk styled bike, with the headlight set underneath the frame. That was pretty bad-ass. I got a kick out of the “Motocompo” mini bike from the 80′s…. something probably sold in Japan but not here. Looked like it folded up neatly into a little box.
Oh that bike. Yeah, that was a kick. I wouldn’t mind playing with that as a pit bike for sure. Would make life easier getting around. But yeah, the “steampunk” styled bike, not surprising that I was drawn to that. To be honest, although I had more time to walk around this year than last, I still didn’t walk around enough. I am usually stuck talking to people.Jason:
I had the same problem, actually. I went to get food and one of our guys was sitting with my car. I get back, and he said people were asking him a bunch of questions about my car. That’s the drawback to bringing a car people are interested in. People like you and I are torn between wanting to go look at all the other rides and answering questions. What did you think of the Honda turnout? I was actually impressed. Especially with one black Integra, very clean… all the body lines miraculously lined up flawlessly.
Funny you mentioned the first gen Integras. A friend of mine back in middle school “found” me by my car after all these years and we got to talking. I ended up going to check out the first gen Integras since he has one. He showed me the line of them and I have to say, that black one was quite impressive.Jason:
It was, wasn’t it!Colin:
It has quite a bit of rare imported stuff. My buddy gave me the run down and apparently it has been featured in magazines in the past. There weren’t many Hondas at the show. Besides being dominated by the Nissan/Datsun brand, the second largest at the show was Toyota. Another thing I noticed is that the RWD chassis dominated. In the current automotive environment that favours FWD and automatic, it seems that events such as these RWD and manuals dominate.
And to reiterate what you said earlier, the Nissans did indeed dominate. Everywhere you turned, there was a Z, or one of our S12′s, or a Datsun roadster. But there were still the favorites like the oldschool Celicas, and some of the older VIP cars. And of course, Mazda once again brought us their wonderful 80′s GT car lineup, which is always great to see. On another note, for the vintage wheel fans out there, we saw some amazing examples of vintage wheels. I spotted a pristine set of Techno Phantoms on a Celica.Colin:
I saw a set of old school Mugen CF-48 wheels on one of the first gen Integras. I wasn’t even aware that Mugen made wheels. That’s one thing I love – looking at the coverage of JCCS after the event. Seeing the collection of wheels people took photos of. I would say that for vintage or old school rims, this is the event to see the largest selection. I see lots of rims but they are all of a modern style, and to see so many people keeping it time-period correct is nice. Something that I don’t adhere to apparently with my Intelesse II’s.
That’s okay, because you find a merge of modern and vintage, and my car is 100% vintage, all the way down to the 80’s Volk GR-C’s. Different strokes for different folks. The variety is important here. Not every vintage car has to be so strict. We love the crazy modifications and updated rides as much as the traditional ones.Colin:
What did you think of all the vintage Japanese automotive extras that were on the cars? For example, the “air conditioning” unit that connected to the window of a 510. It was on Garage Autohero
‘s 510 known as The Heap.
Loved that! It’s like when you go to an American old car show and see similar American versions. Definitely brings additional authenticity to the show.Colin:
Did you think the show ended abruptly? I was surprised by how soon they were able to get things going. That was actually nice. What did you think? And the judging. It seemed really fast this year, and I didn’t see any of the judges spending as much time as last year by the cars. Not to mention I was a little surprised the winners were mostly the same this year. What are your thoughts?Jason:
Well, most of the best examples are the same people. Including us. That means we’re the foundation for the whole thing. I would actually like to see new people win awards more often, but that means that people need to bring new cars we haven’t seen before. Of course I’m all for that! And yes, they seem to have the closing motions down pat now, in their second year at the Queen Mary venue. Another thing I wanted to mention is that the Queen Mary itself lends to some amazing photo shots as she sits in the background… quite picturesque really. I think that it’s one of many elements that brings it all together. A great show, with great cars, and great turnout once again. But I still want to know – where was the Toypet?Colin:
Did you mean the Toyopet?Jason:
Ahh yes, that’s the one… the 1950′s hand crank started wonder that was there the previous two years. I didn’t see it on my brief run-through, did you?
Not a clue to be honest… I didn’t see it. I wanted to see the Mazda 787B but unfortunately I don’t think it ever showed up. And speaking of the older small cars, what did you think of those Honda 600s? Something like 300 of them are known to be left, and I believe there were 10 present.
That’s the great thing about this kind of a vintage auto show. Some of the gems that show up are actually some of the rarest cars on this side of the world. Apparently I’m not outside of that because someone told me my car “wasn’t supposed to be on this side of the world”. I guess the right hand drive gives it away. I wasn’t actually planning to bring it, but I’m glad I did show up with the rest of you all, because we’re altogether what makes up our great section in the show.
Well, you are aware that among the ten S12s that showed, we sported six different engine options. I would say that is pretty impressive.Jason:
Now that you mention it, that makes us nearly as versatile as the swapped 510 fans. I’m glad we’re able to give people a comprehensive sampling of what an S12 is, and what it can be depending on the imagination and gumption of the owner.Colin:
So, with two great turn outs and indeed proving that the S12 chassis is as capable as so many others, what do you think or hope for next year’s event and the future of S12s in JCCS?
I’m looking forward to next year for sure, so much so that I’m going to get off my arse and (finances permitting) do something new to the RS-X. I’ll definitely be there with it next year if at all possible, and I might even bring my other S12 as well.Colin:
I would like to have one or two other guys from the Pacific Northwest come down but most cannot deal with the traveling and required time off. Not to mention, with how clean the showing was this year, I do know that the guys from where I live will have a challenge on their hands with the SoCal guys. Hopefully next year we’ll see an increase in numbers. I’ve heard of a lot of talk of people getting excited after seeing both our presence and how well we were received. I am looking forward to showing up next year and hanging out. I just need to spend more time than I did this year. A great group the S12s guys in SoCal are. If I come down next year, I haven’t decided yet if I will be showing my car. I’m looking at a very booked year with Formula D. However, if I do show next year, I’m possibly taking a break after that. I’m a little surprised I have done this well so far.
I hope you do bring your car back next year… RB26 swaps into ANY sort of car are rare as it is, but to see it in an S12 and executed so cleanly is a prize that should be at the show every year as far as I’m concerned. Regardless, I’m glad that we were both there, and that we were joined by such a great variety of S12′s alongside of us. It was a good turnout, for S12′s, for Nissans, and for pretty much ALL oldschool Japanese classic cars. The Queen Mary is a gorgeous vintage cruise ship, and the waterfront sets the perfect tone for the event.Colin:
Indeed. I would like to thank those who hosted me in Cali, Andrew and Justin. I do have to say, cars are not supposed to come back after road trips looking better than they started. I want to thank those of JCCS who organized it and put so much effort into a fine show. I hope all goes well and look forward to much success next year!
And thanks to Greg Smith for helping me with the details to get the RS-X there at the very last moment. And I do mean at the very last moment. Here’s to JCCS 7, and see you all next year at JCCS 8!
With this being the last part of our JCCS 2011 coverage, we want to leave on a good note. On the 23rd of Sept., those in charge of JCCS posted up a blog entitled Editors’ Picks over at Japanese Nostalgic Car
. Starting out the blog they opened with their favourite 80′s car, which happened to be a fine example of a 1987 Nissan SE (VG30E) owned by Gustavo Sanchez (Colonel Gustard
). We are all thrilled that an S12 was picked among the various other chassis that were present and to have it go to such a deserving and unexpected individual/car makes it that much more so. Many congratulations to Gustavo and I have to say, well deserved! – Colin
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For links to other galleries and blogs the covered JCCS 2011, visit our thread over in our Community to view more pictures and share your thoughts, insights, and opinions: Japanese Classic Car Show 2011.
Credit for pictures goes to Cameron Jurgensen with much thanks for all his efforts.Colin Masterson is a senior contributor for S12Silvia.com and has been involved in S12’s for over six years. He has covered numerous shows in western North America, and helps to promote/organize car shows in Washington state. He is also involved in promoting professional drifting through a competitive drift team.Jason Arroyo is the Site Administrator and co-founder for Club-S12.org, and has helped to develop the S12 community at large for nearly ten years. He has prior involvements in DSM, Honda, and Shelby Dodge automotive communities, as well as the Nissan Z car communities.