When we left off in part 1, we had just finished up a mad dash to get the 4 cars ready that we were taking down to the Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach, California. After loading one car onto the trailer and figuring out a way to get one inside of it, it was finally time to hit the road! Unfortunately due to “insurance” reasons, I was forced to drive that behemoth of a moving truck and trailer the entire way to California and back…. ughh. I was dead set on taking the Starlet down to JCCS this year so our good friends Todd and Mauricio stepped in to drive it for me while I kept on truckin’ all weekend long.
In my rush to get everything packed for the trip I ended up leaving my camera at the shop so everything you see from here on out was either taken from my phone or borrowed from some of the online coverage from the show that will be noted at the end of the post. We had planned on a caravan down to the show but due to our delayed departure, we finally ended up catching up with the rest of the group from Vegas in Baker, California. As awful as that truck was to drive I must admit I was really enjoying the A/C right about now.
We eventually made our way to the Queen Mary and proceeded with the setup.
While I wasn’t overly excited about being in the parking lot in the unseasonably hot 100+ degree temperatures all day long, I must admit it was quite an honor to be placed next to John Morton and a pretty spot-on replica of the race car. If you didn’t look inside to see the full street car interior you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the real thing.
Our booth was absolutely slammed all day long! The turn out for the show was great and it was awesome to be able to get to meet so many new faces and get the chance to speak with passionate enthusiasts. I even signed a few Hotwheels cars which was quite a surreal and unexpected experience. My only complaint was that we were so busy in fact that I only took a mere 30 minute break to walk the show before making my way back to our booth for fear of missing anyone.
Ryan was able to get posted up in the Skyline section which was surprisingly sparse from the 13 or so that were scheduled to attend.
He even won an award!
Ryan, I guess this means your car is “stanced” whether you like it or not ha ha! Nice picture by the way Mr. Burroughs.
My Starlet ended up being placed over by the Toyota booth near the immaculate 2000 GT and S 800 they had on display…. it’s probably because of my similar concourse-style restoration LOL. It’s quite obvious that neither of our cars are exactly ”show” quality but to us that’s not the point. We made the decision to drive them all the way out here to be a part of and show support for the Japanese classic car scene that we all love so much. I can appreciate an immaculately restored, showroom stock automobile as much as the next guy but what I truly admire is the personal touch, craftsmanship, character and style that each car carries that makes them unique and different from one to the next.
Our local buddy Duane also made the trip out from Salt Lake with us in his MK II Corona wagon that he’s only had in his possession for a couple of months.
While cruising through the Skyline section I came across another familiar face that I haven’t seen in a few years parked next to Ivan’s killer Kenmeri…
Unfortunately I never got the chance to talk to the new owner but it didn’t look like much had been changed since we sold it. Can I have it back please?
There was also 2 other people that had a big part to play in reason for us making the trip out. One of them was Mr. Jun Imai and and his absolutely stunning 510 wagon. Words cannot express how much I love this thing. As you may also recall, he’s the man behind getting us on the Hotwheels RX-7 and I can’t thank him enough for the opportunity.
The other part of that equation is Brandon Ozaki and his crazy FB RX-7. The paint work on this car was absolutely fantastic and pictures don’t so it nearly the justice it deserves. It’s cool to see how similar, yet completely different both of our 7′s turned out. This car just screams Japanese street-style to me with maybe a little bit of boso on the side. It’s unlike any other FB I’ve seen state-side, that’s for sure. I thought he had a similar widened version of the Mariah spoiler we had on our car but he told me the entire thing was hand formed out of metal… insane.
After exchanging a few e-mails it was great to be able to finally speak in person, such a cool guy…
My only regret form the show was not being able to get all of us together afterwards for pictures and have them sign our SA22 but it was just too crazy for all of us… maybe next year.
After that, it was time to pack it up and get some well deserved rest for the night. Ryan and the rest of the crew made their way back to Utah first thing in the morning but I had scheduled a photo shoot with Sean Klingelhoefer from Speedhunters the next day so my wife and I stayed behind. After negotiating L.A. traffic in that ungodly beast of a truck the next morning, we finally made our way to the location and unloaded the 7 so Sean could work his magic.
And work it he did… it’s awesome to be able to have a professional shoot the project that we’ve all put so much into.
Quite a different car from the one was shipped from the port in Osaka a few months ago.
And after a 13 hour drive back home it was time to unload and get back to business. I’m also happy to say that both the Skyline and Starlet made the entire trip without skipping a beat so let this be a lesson, 2 road trips this year in our cars that total 3,500+ miles. Don’t be afraid to get that J-tin on the road!
Whether they read this or not, I also wanted to say thank you to Terry Yamaguchi from JCCS for putting on such a great show year after year as well as the entire Japanese Nostalgic Car crew and Sean Klingelhoefer for the amazing shots. And of course, none of this would be possible without all of the hard work from the entire JDML crew… Ryan, Trey and everyone else that isn’t on the payroll but helps out anyways: Mauricio, Todd, Kenzie and my wonderful wife Naomi for putting up with all the late hours to do what I love.
This is by no means proper coverage of the show so if you’re looking for more, here’s the source: