Tokyo Auto Salon 2017: Retro Renaissance

With so much interest in all things old and vintage nowadays, it’s no wonder that there were many old school machinery on display during the Auto Salon. From proper restoration jobs to machines that blended the old and new, there really was something for all old-car fans this year, perhaps more so than the years before. Here are a small selection of cars i spotted in the main event halls.

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I’m guessing with Toyota showcasing an entire fleet of rally winning machines, Nissan wanted in on some of that action too. Bringing along their Datsun 240Z rally machine, albeit not as successful as the Toyotas, these Datsuns were rather competitive, finishing second in class, fifth and tenth overall in 1971. And this particular car placing third overall in 1972. Also, take in account that when these cars were pushing hard through rally stages, the Toyota rally machines were not even born yet. Toyota might have more championship crowns but these Datsuns were pioneers.

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Have you caught on the Ferrari link yet?

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Heck, even i wasn’t born when this car was chewing up and spitting out gravel.

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There were many S30s on show this year, in all sorts of guises. This 240Z sitting at Yokohama’s booth is the uber rare 432. Basically a 240z with the powertrain of a Hakosuka GTR. Why 432? 4-valves, triple carbs, dual cams. Only 420 were ever made and we’re not too sure how many have survived. A clean one sold for USD$253,000 a couple of years back, i’m guessing that with age, prices can only go north. This one, looking particularly pristine, is probably worth even more.

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Another S130 but with a much more modern take on the retro theme. This one is from Widebody masters Tra Kyoto/Rocket Bunny/Pandem.

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Another modern take on the retro theme but this time we go totally under the skin. This is a Rocky Auto 3000GT convertible.

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At first i thought Rocky Auto had brought along another of their hybrid 2000GT replicas (it WAS an auto) but upon closer inspection and a look at the badging reveals this to be a totally different monster.

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This is no pretty faced eco-mobile, under that hand-crafted skin lies a Lexus drivetrain mated to a naturally aspirated 2JZ motor. I’m guessing if you were so inclined and rather generous with your chequebook, they could probably put together a forced-induction 2JZ with a manual 6 speed just for you.

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But i guess for a drop-top that looks as good as this, the NA 2JZ will be plenty enough for cruising around Japan’s streets.

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Endless had a trio of beautifully rebuilt cars from a bygone era all sitting on their vintage line of wheels, like this Toyopet Publica. It was tiny!

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This was probably the oldest Skyline on display, a first generation. During a time when Nissan wasn’t even around! Back then, they were the Prince Motor Company, so this my friends, is the Prince Skyline.

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This Nissan truck was rebuilt by students but it was contantly getting mobbed by showgoers so getting in another clear shot was hard!

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Yet another truck built by students, and yet another car that was constantly getting mobbed by showgoers! Maybe there were many recruiters trying to get new talent?

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Lookin good all around! With a touch of rebelliousness on the inside.

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The best shot i could get!

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When you like custom but Nostalgic Japanese truck is life!

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Jumping forward in time to the 80s, there were also a few AE86s on display, not as plentiful as previous years though. Impulse brought along two beautiful examples, one more extreme than the other.

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How do you like your AE86?

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