If You Love Japanese Classics Then This Show Is A Must

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You probably haven’t heard of the the Nostalgic2days show before. It’s not a big international motor show like the Tokyo Motor Show, and it’s not as crazy as the automotive circus that is the Tokyo Auto Salon. Despite flying under the radar for some time, the Nostalgic2days show celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and it’s definitely a must-go if love Japan’s classics.

It’s also a lot smaller and more intimate than many shows, and that’s part of the appeal. It felt like a country fair show you’d go to out in the sticks, except it’s held in the grand Yokohama Pacifico convention center.

Perhaps the fact it’s not in Tokyo is why part of the reason why this show felt so honest and unpretentious. It was held over a weekend and this year more than 27,000 people attended the show to see the 276 classic vehicles on display to revel in nostalgia.

I had previously said Japan lacks shows and events centered on classic cars, but it turns out that’s not quite true. It’s more a matter of finding out when and where said events are held. This was the second time I attended the Nostalgic2days show and since last year it’s gotten bigger and better.

Even though it’s gotten more attention recently, it’s not exactly busy or packed. The cars are spread out nicely and there are never massive crowds on both days.

The organizers of the show are Nostalgic Hero magazine, which is key because it’s a classic car show done by and for classic show fans. They say it’s the largest trade show of Japanese classic cars, or what the Auto Salon is to tuner cars but for classics.

The main difference is there’s about 95 percent fewer booth girls and as a subsequent result 100 percent fewer pervy old men. What that means is everyone at this show is here for the cars, or car-related things.

It’s held a month after TAS, so you get some overlap of the cars on display, yes there are some modified cars here too but generally they’re all quirky pre-2000s cars. It’s more than just Japanese cars too.

Last year there were no displays from manufacturers—the cars on display were from specialist shops and dealers. However, this year Toyota, BMW, Volvo, Subaru, and Mazda had stands in the center of the hall showing off some of their beloved classics and their modern equivalents.

While BMW had the E28 M5, Volvo had a trio of effortlessly cool cars, and Subaru had some quirky models, it was the Toyota GR Sports 800 Concept that caught my eye.

This was completely restored by Gazoo Racing and received a power boost from 40 HP to 75 HP and the interior was redone. It’s meant to be a promotional vehicle, but I need one in my life.

Everywhere else though, the cars displayed were also for sale. Come at the risk of your bank account. Particularly if you have a fondness for Skylines.

If they renamed this show “The Great Nissan Skyline Show Featuring More Skylines” it literally wouldn’t make a difference. Everywhere you looked, there was a Hakosuka or Kenmeri.

There were a couple of R32s, a R33 represented by the mouth-watering 400R, and no R34s (probably all hidden away waiting for their values to skyrocket).

Amazingly, there were several R31s displayed at the aptly named “R31 House”, the bronze colored GT-S wagon was a particular highlight for me.

Right in front of the entrance as people walked in, there was a special display of some of the best cars in the show. The obligatory Toyota 2000GT was there (valued at ¥113,000,000/$1,054,290) and of course a Hakosuka Skyline GT-R.

But the red Kenmeri GT-R really caught my eye. Apparently only seven of these left the factory in red, but even a one-of-seven car doesn’t justify the ¥98,000,000/$914,340 asking price here.

Yes, you read that right.

There was a Skyline of every flavor for every taste. Whether you wanted one completely stock, recolored, or track ready, it was there for you to see.

It was quite interesting to see all the different variations of the same car. Some modifications were done quite similarly with a few differences here and there. The pair of Kenmeris at the East Car stand were particularly nice as they weren’t GT-Rs but GT-Xs instead, showing some love for the “lesser” versions.

There were a couple of 2000GTs spread around the show as well. Prices for these still seem to hover around the $1 million mark, though the car auctioned off by BH Auction at TAS last month ‘only’ went for ¥83,600,000/$779,988.

But if you desperately want a car that looks like a 2000GT without the 2000GT price tag, Rocky Auto has the solution. They make the 3000GT replica.

The chassis is entirely new and original built by them. The engine is Toyota’s 2JZ and can be had with either a six-speed manual or four-speed auto. The best thing is they’ll even do a Roadster version, just like the one from James Bond.

The catch? Well, one of Rocky Auto’s 3000GT will cost you around $187,000. It’s not cheap, but it’s a fraction of what an original 2000GT would cost.

Speaking of priceless Japanese cars, welcome to the Dome Zero. This was by far the best car I saw at the show simply because I wasn’t expecting to see one, let alone two. Cue flashbacks of playing Gran Turismo on a PlayStation 2.

I didn’t know much about Japan’s failed supercar project; I always thought there was one prototype car (the silver one) but lo and behold there’s a red car as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were one or two other prototypes out there. Funnily enough the engine used in the Dome is a Nissan 2.8-liter inline-six, an engine that was in probably most of the other cars on display.

Other cars that caught my eye included a U.S.-spec Nissan 240SX convertible. It was left hand drive and even had a California plate on it. Apparently it’s been for sale for two years. I wonder why he’s having difficulty selling a left-hand drive Japanese car in Japan. But still, if anyone in America wants it back it’s listed at a reasonable ¥2,490,000/$23,232.

Another car/vehicle was the super kawaii Mazda Porter truck, powered by a 360cc two cylinder engine. Look at those massive anime-style headlights; don’t you just want to pick it up and take it home? It’s not something you’d buy, but adopt.

If you want something bigger but from the same era, then there was also a 1969 Toyota Crown Utility. I didn’t even realize they made Crown pickups but it was reminiscent of an Australian Holden or Ford ute.

Between this show and the Automobile Council, classic car shows are starting to pick up pace in Japan. There are a few events spread throughout the year such as the Suzuka Sound of Engine and the Asama Hill Climb (an event I’m dying to check out) but I hope shows like the Nostagalic2days continue to go strong. More than anything it was an educational day out, encountering cars I hadn’t seen before and reading up about them afterwards.

There were many more cars to talk about but it’s probably best to check it out and immerse yourself in all the classic JDM glory. This show won’t take a whole day to check out so once you’re done here, the Nissan Global Headquarters is a short walk away, and the NISMO Omori Factory is nearby too so you might as well check those out too.

You know, just in case you haven’t seen enough Skylines.