Before you read on, know my knowledge of old Japanese cars is quite limited. By limited I mean it extends to reading the badges on the back. That’s about it. So if you’re hoping for an educational piece I can only apologise.
But going to this show was a great experience even for someone as inept at classic JDMs as me. This is the 9th year the Nostalgic 2day show has been held. I first knew of it last year when I was in Yokohama and saw posters around the city. Of course at that time it was too late to go and have a look. So I had to wait a whole year to see what it was all about.
What makes this show different to most other car shows I’ve been to in Japan is this is primarily a trade show. Well that and the lack of booth girls. An absence of booth girls also means an absence of pervy old men photographing. Meaning everyone at this show were there for the cars.
A reason why there weren’t any booth girls could be because there weren’t any big companies showing off their latest concepts or cars. Instead, most of the exhibitors are classic car specialists showing some of their stock and ultimately hoping to make a sale.
For a country that so deeply respects its traditions, the Japanese motoring calendar doesn’t have as many events or show celebrating its old times as I would’ve thought. That’s changed recently of course, with shows like this, the Automobile Council show, and various events such as the La Festa Mille Miglia. That’s what drew me to this show; it’s focus on classic cars.
I saw this show as an educational trip for me. The show was organised by Nostalgic Hero, Nostalgic Speed, and Hachimaru Hero magazines – specialists in classic Japanese cars. It’s billed as “the largest trade show of Japanese classic cars” and I don’t doubt that for a second.
It took up a decent amount of space at the Pacifico Yokohama exhibition centre. As the name suggests, it’s held over two days. This year over 21,000 people visited the show in its two days, up 101.1% from the previous year. In total 181 vehicles were on display.
As you’ll be able to tell from the photos, most of those vehicles were Nissan cars. That shouldn’t come as a surprise as Yokohama is Nissan’s home turf. If you like old Skylines and Zeds, you’ll love this show. Basically everything you can think of doing to a Hakosuka or a S30 Zed, was there at this show. Want a Mustard Yellow Hakosuka? You’ve got it. A Rocket Bunny 240Z, sure thing.
Being a month after the spectacle that was the Tokyo Auto Salon, it was refreshing to see cars at a Japanese show with somewhat restrained modifications, if any at all. This wasn’t a show comparable to the Auto Salon at all, most of the cars were in original or close to original condition.
The ones that were modified were done so tastefully. The orange 240Z with the carbon fibre overfenders comes to mind. Of course, some cars from the Auto Salon did make an appearance again such as the Rocket Bunny 240Z, Pandem Volkswagen Golf, and the odd blue Triumph.
Going back to the Nissan cars for a second, there were some oddities such as an American-spec Silheighty with Texas plates. The asking price was a cool ¥1,850,000 ($22,725). Continuing the Silvia theme, on the red carpet display (signifying it must’ve been quite special) was a S13 Convertible. I didn’t know they ever made a convertible version of the Silvia before the S15 Varietta but there you go. One thing I did take from this show was that Nissan desperately need to make a modern day Silvia successor.
Moving on, and once you’ve fought your way through crowds surrounding most Hakosuka displays, you’ll find a few more modern GT-Rs scattered around the hall. The white R34 V-Spec only had about 3000km on the clock, somehow justifying the ¥15,800,000 asking price ($194,106). In its defense it did look it had just come from the factory down the road.
I mean I could spend the rest of this article talking about all the various Nissans at this show but maybe I should move on to the Toyota 2000GT. It was after all the poster car for this show. I was expecting to see one red 2000GT but to my surprise there were two. Plus the actual 2000GT Roadster from the James Bond movie, ‘You Only Live Twice’. It doesn’t matter how many times I see a 2000GT, they just get prettier and prettier.
Of course, with that comes a price tag that keeps going up. These days a 2000GT can fetch for around $1 million or so. Let’s be honest, that’s out of most people’s budgets. So if you really want to have a 2000GT but don’t have a spare million, Rocky Auto have the solution for you.
These guys are the go-to company for 2000GT replicas, subtly called R3000GT. These replicas use a 3.0-litre inline six 2JZ engine mated to a 4-speed automatic. I’m not sure if they do manual options but surely they would. You can even have the choice of an open-top replica. They’re very good replicas, most people wouldn’t notice. Until they saw the 1990s Toyota automatic gearstick inside.
Other special cars include displays from cars that were featured on the front pages of the organizers’ magazines, the Liberty Walk Mazda RX-3, and a 1966 Honda T360 truck. There were some European cars on display, predominantly Porsches though. There was an AC, a Mercedes, and a random Rolls-Royce to add balance too.
A big part of the show are all the various car parts for sale. If you need parts for your Wankel, your R31, or bonnet art, there’s something for everyone’s needs here. Likewise, if you like model cars you’ll be spoilt for choice with some rare and discontinued models on sale at quite reasonable prices. Either way, there’s something there to tempt you away from your yen.
If you have even the slightest interest in Japanese cars I’d suggest visiting the Nostalgic 2days show at least once. There’ll be a few legendary cars you’ll be familiar with and you might see something you never knew existed, as was the case with the convertible S13 Silvia for me. Being quite a small show it also leaves you time to see the rest of Yokohama, such as visiting the Nissan Global Headquarters or NISMO factory.