With our 4-hour shinkansen ride coming to an end as we pulled into the Central Tokyo station just before dinner time, there was just one extra pit stop we had to make before we head towards our base at the Celestine Hotel in Ginza. Our favourite ramen joint, Rokurinsha.
Eat your heart out Ichiran, you ain’t got nothing on Roku.
While most people would start taking in the sights on their first full day upon their arrival into Japan’s capital, we had some rather different plans in mind and instead, hopped onto an express train straight towards the neighbouring port city of Yokohama.
It was time to visit, the Nostalgic 2 Days show. Put together by the folks from Nostalgic Hero magazine, the Nostalgic 2 Days is a 2-day event that showcases classic machinery from the 60s, 70s, and recently, the 80s and 90s. It might not be as big and flashy as the Tokyo Auto Salon, but what it lacks in pomp and circumstance, it makes up for with plenty of old-school charm and razzle-dazzle. The Nostalgic 2 Days is not just a celebration for lovers of kyusha, but a celebration for all auto-otakus. With our tickets in hand, it was time to head in.
Unfortunately with space not quite as abundant at this event, some of the exhibitors had to pack their cars ever so tightly together which made for it a little tricky getting in a shot. Not often you see a Toyota Sports 800 flanked by a pair of 2000GTs.
Speaking of Toyota Sports 800s, here’s one rebuilt with support from the factory!
You definitely cannot go wrong with Toyota factory team backing you up. A fitting car to showcase as the Sports 800 (Or Yota-Hachi in JDM speak) was Toyota’s first-ever sports car. Unveiling almost 60 years ago back in 1963, this little Toyota back in the day pushed out 44 horses from its 800cc engine, not a big number by today’s standards but neither did it have a big number for its weight, 580 kilograms. It sure must be fun piloting this thing around the tight streets of Tokyo!
With slightly over 3000 cars produced and only 10% reportedly surviving today, the Toyota Sports 800 can definitely be classified as a very rare car, but in terms of rarity, it’s quite hard to beat one of these. The open-top Toyota 2000GT.
Just how many were made? 2. Specifically built for the 1967 Bond film, You Only Live Twice. Both cars were one-offs from the factory and were put together in less than 2 weeks. I’m not sure if this is the real deal but it sure looks close.
That card pretty much just says, “66 Toyota 2000GT Bond car” and at the bottom, it seems this car has won something at a 2019 “Love Classic Cars Awards” event.
If this was indeed one of the two Bond film cars, I shudder to think how much it’s worth.
Speaking of machines with unobtanium values, how much do you think this Honda RA271 is worth? Honda’s second F1 racer.
Equipped with a minute 1.5-litre V12 pumping out 230 horses at a screaming 14,000rpm, it was the most powerful F1 engine back in 1965.
While the RA271 might not have been in many races or won any it competed it, further development led to the RA271’s successor, the RA272. The first Japanese car to win an F1 race.
I know it’s hard to imagine it but back in the day, the boxy 4-door Prince Skyline and slippery yet beautiful wedge-shaped Porsche 904 were rivals battling it out on the Suzuka circuit. The Prince, yes, not yet Nissan, nearly beat the Porsche too.
Rumour has it that Toyota secretly sponsored Shikiba, the drive of the Porsche 904, even helping him obtain the car, all to take down the rival Skylines. Who knows. But from that day on, the “Skyline legend” had begun and it became a moment in time when the automotive world sat up and paid attention.
Prince’s squadron of Skyline GTs might not have won that fateful day, but it swept the field, from second to sixth place. And for one lap, the ill-handling, cobbled-together sedan faced off and overtook a purpose-built sports car prototype from one of the most legendary names in motorsports.
Not quite as pretty as its successor, but this was where it all began.
Another flag-bearing Prince Skyline but for a rather different occasion. I seriously doubt they will be using a Nismo GT-R for the 2020 Olympics.
While the Prince GT sedan might have kickstarted the legend of the Skyline cars, it was the successor to that car which signed, sealed and delivered the goods to racetracks around the World. Securing a total of 83 victories in 2 years. Taking on not just local rivals but once again, Porsche. This, of course, had a massive effect on the street-cars being sold and today, original GT-Rs can be worth quite a bit of money. This one on sale was listed for a tidy 19,800,000 Yens. Close to SGD$270,000. How’s that for an investment? Values of actual cars are also the reason why many choose to recreate their own GT-Rs out of slightly lessor models like the GT-X. Unfortunately, this has also had the added effect of skyrocketing the values of those cars.
Cars like this, a C10 Hakosuka 2000GT. It might not have quite as astronomical a price tag as the GT-R but 6,900,000 Yens is still quite a sum.
This example looked particularly clean, it would be a real shame if anyone decides to saw that beautiful rear surf line off to fit fender flares.
I had a strange suspicion that this Hakosuka at the Watanabe wheels booth is a real deal GT-R.
Many of us are accustomed to seeing the Hakosuka GT-R in coupe form, but did you know (I’m sure many of you do) that the GT-R first appeared as a sedan?
Can you spot the difference?
I might be purely speculating but word of the street is that the less modified an example is, the higher the chance it is a real GT-R. While I have no idea which is an original GT-R, I can say I much prefer having a cleaner approach to aesthetics. That silver C10 sitting perfectly on a set of Star Road Glow Stars was just gorgeous.
Or do you prefer something more butch?
One of the cover cars of Nostalgic Hero magazine and an OG GT-R.
With many of these kyushas now having built quite a massive following around the World. It comes as no surprise that many other cars being exhibited were also showcasing “For sale” signs. So far, the only thing we saw within our budget was that little Honda Acty pickup, going for a (I think) rather reasonable 500,000 Yens.
Sadly, many of the more desirable kyushas were quite likely out of my reach. Like this beautiful C130 Nissan Laurel.
If you had to ask, you probably can’t afford it.
Sitting on a choice set of Hayashi Yayoi wheels, this Laurel was one of the prettiest cars at the show. Clean, good stance, great wheels, fantastic colour. What more could you ask for?
Beautiful bodywork surfacing, and this was back in the 70s. Interesting tidbit, back in the day, the C130’s rather ample rear end bodywork earned it the nickname, Butaketsu Laurel. In English? Pig’s butt Laurel.
Yet another interesting tidbit about this generation of the Laurel was that Nissan made an EV version of the car. Back in 1974. Based on the sedan variant, the Nissan Laurel C130-EV was developed to be used by VIPs at the 1975 International Oceanographic Exposition in Okinawa. The next electric car made by Nissan after the Laurel EV wouldn’t appear for another 24 years.
Here’s an odd sedan Hakosuka also sporting a price-tag of 4,400,000 Yens. An odd price for such rusted-out bucket no?
Well, that is until you take a look inside the cabin and engine bay!
No rust here! 2 generations Skylines, both clean and beautiful, both for sale, both not cheap.
While the Skylines were busy ruling the tracks and streets of Japan, it was the Bluebird/510s that gained popularity elsewhere around the World. These cars used to be a dime a dozen but have steadily shot up, having got on the classic car inflation boat really early.
Elsewhere, I spotted yet another lovely auto I wish I could pony up the yens for. An MS40 Toyota Crown Wagon. While it might have hailed from the 60s, but it was still quite the looker. This was one of the highlights of the show for me. I am in love with this Crown Wagon.
Perfection. This thing was mint!
Check out that lowering rear glass window. Imagine all the fun we’d have with our doggos!
I really really want one. Ideally, this one. Is anyone willing to crowdfund me?
A similar era Crown but in sedan form with matching year plates!
Yet another Toyota Crown, this time in coupe form and coming from the 1970s, hard to believe that this car’s design is already 50 years old. It still looks relatively modern if you asked me. Definitely some American influences in the exterior design.
While this would probably have counted as a semi-large Coupe back in the day, it’s positively small by today’s standards. Curiously, this was one of the few without a “for sale” sign.
Not one to rest on their laurels (hehe), Nissan also built a premium luxury cruiser to battle Toyota’s Crowns and Centuries, their creation? The H150 Nissan President. Developed as a possible submission for a limousine to be used by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan. While it might have missed out duties with the Emperor, who preferred being chauffeured around in specially built Nissan Prince Royals, the President served as the official car of the then Japanese Prime Minister, Eisaku Satō.
The first-generation Nissan President also offered an optional EAL (Electro Anti-lock System), Japan’s first electronic ABS. Food for thought. Compared to the sports cars on sale, the President’s 2,970,000 Yen asking price doesn’t seem too bad now, does it?
And with that, let’s all take a breather as I end Part 1 of my coverage. Here’s a random girl standing in front of a first-generation Toyota Celica. Enjoy!
Read my other Nostalgic 2 Days posts?
Nostalgic 2 Days 2020: Historic Youth Part 1
Nostalgic 2 Days 2020: Historic Youth Part 2
Nostalgic 2 Days 2020: Hachimaru Heroes
Nostalgic 2 Days 2020: Import 浪漫
Nostalgic 2 Days 2020: The Stuff