Historic Japanese Classic Car Gathering

….aka “The cars you wish you had.”

Northern California. NorCal. The Bay Area. Whatever you want to call it. This region isn’t exactly known for its awesome car shows/meets and vast car scene. In fact, the only event held here that people ever get hyped about (excessively, might I add) would be Wekfest. I was pleasantly surprised that the HJCC gathering was going to be held at the Marina in San Leandro. I knew that I had to put this down on my calendar, and would not miss this for the world. Even though it was Spain v. Italy in the UEFA finals, I already knew Spain was going to win. It made the decision to drive up to the East Bay that much easier.

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Preview: Historic Japanese Car Gathering

Gonna make this quick:

Here’s apreview of a later post for the Historic Japanese Car Gathering in San Leandro, CA that I had attended with Robert and Jason.

I took a decent amount on pictures, but for me, quality > quantity. I had to keep with the theme so there’ll be a lot of these style of pictures.

Retro Pool

A nice collection:

Credit: Al’s Car Stuff

Special Visit

Pleasanton, California. A small city deep inside California’s mountain valley. Many people wouldn’t think that this place holds any special value. It doesn’t, unless you think Safeway HQ is something valuable. In any case, I came across a website called “Specialty Sales Classics” and they sell vehicles on consignment, ranging from old American classics to British cars such as the MG and Lotus. They have consignment centers in Pleasanton, Benicia and Fairfield, and it seems they all sell similar cars. However, the Pleasanton center held one special gem that I found on their website: An R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R.

As soon as I saw this, I had to go see it. I honestly have never seen one in person, even though I’ve come across a Silvia S15 (Formula D) and Skyline R33 (street-legal). I shared the link with Robert and Jason and within a few days, we were on the road and on our way to Pleasanton.

Upon our arrival in Pleasanton, we casually rolled through the area until we came across the big warehouse screaming “Specialty Sales Classics.”
Obviously we were in the right place, so we parked and made our way towards the entrance.

As soon as we walked inside, we were greeted with various sports cars crammed into small spaces. It seems they were fully intent on utilizing the entire size of this building,

We all strolled around a bit to take a look at the inventory. There was no salesman to greet us, so we were unsure about entering the building. We didn’t immediately unpack our cameras as to play it safe. We walked to the other side of the complex to look at the other cars where there actually were people. Again, all we saw were more cars crammed ever so carefully. It looked as though our shooting opportunities would be limited due to the constraints presented to us.

Despite this, we walked back to the side of the building where we entered and started our shooting from there.

Outside the entrance of SSC was a BMW 2800CS. Jason was drooling over it because it is his dream car. It isn’t a 3.0 CSI though, so he was a bit bummed out. The asking price, according to Jason, was not a fair price given the fact that it was a 2800CS and not a 3.0CSL. I’m not a BMW guy myself, but I’ll take his word for it.

This first picture of the E9 was provided by Robert:

The E9 was pretty cool to look at and I can appreciate a classic Bimmer. After looking over the E9, I focused my attention to the main attraction: the R34. It helped that it was right towards the front of the building, but it did not help that there was no shooting room for the car. With that said, here are the pictures that I did manage to take of the R34.

I has asked one of the workers there that we started having a conversation with to open the hood of the Skyline to which he gladly obliged. Seeing the famous “RB26” stamped on the valve cover made me smile. The engine in its stock form isn’t the greatest, but its top-notch construction does allow for a desirable HP output increase.

I was glad to have seen the car in person. The R34 was a high point of the day, but I didn’t want to leave just yet. There were other cars that caught my attention. I don’t have a lot of descriptions for the upcoming images, but I may have some here and there.

Another shot supplied by Robert:

This car was pretty cool. Apparently it’s a 1930 Gatsby. I don’t know anything about this car, but the craftsmanship on this car was intriguing.

Saw a nice Ford GT:

Austin-Healy 100-6:

1961 Corvette:

Pretty interesting how low the Corvette’s shifter was:

The beautiful dash:

A nice LaSalle:

Worn out step:

Fairlane 500:

Pontiac GTO:

DeLorean DMC-12:

Overall, a pretty good day out. Not a bad collection of cars left for consignment. I wish there was more room to shoot more of the cars, but eh, what can you do.

Thanks for looking!

Everyone Has a First

As you may already know, the Scion FR-S has already been released in the US.

Everyone under 25 has flocked to get it, new 16 year old drivers yearning for it, and insurance companies getting ready for the impending doom Toyota’s new RWD sports car is going to bring.

People enjoy talking about their firsts. Their first steps, first shot, first love, first race. Whatever the case may be, your “first” is always something memorable. Unfortunately for this fellow, it wasn’t.

An owner of a brand new FR-S recently transitioned from a Honda CRX. Because he’s attacked a certain corner in a certain way before, he thought he could do it with the FR-S’ control off, just for kicks.

Needless to say, the results were not pretty. Here’s his forum post.

The end result:

I hope this comes as a lesson to not practice your “awesome” driving skills in your new car (or any car) on a public road. There’s a difference in “spirited” driving and “reckless” driving.

Art + Engineering

While procrastinating to do my scheduled studying, I went on YouTube and started looking for automotive videos.

I came across this one, titled: The Pagani Huayra Story – A Documentary

I found the video to be more that interesting. It shows that art can truly be expressed in the form of an automobile. I particularly enjoy the precision and craftsmanship of Pagani. I envy the factory workers. Must be great to work there. I wonder how people end up with jobs as cool as these.

I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did.

California Dreamin’

Rolex Historic Automobile Races, Monterey Calif., August 2006

Credit: jbp274


The garage. The car. The life.

Autocross at the Marina (PCA Club)

…and I couldn’t haven written a more dull title than that.


Last Sunday, my friend Joseph and I attended an autocross event at the Marina Municipal Airport, about an hour and a half away from here.
I never thought I involve myself in the world of autocross because I frankly thought it was boring. Before this event, I strongly preferred track over autocross, but this changed my mind. Although I didn’t personally navigate the course, I was able to ride along with Shaikh for two runs (one with street tires and one with his super-sticky Hoosiers). The course was fun overall and Shaikh’s best time was a 44.1. Pretty good for a Miata against the plethora of Porsches.

If you look closely, Shaikh is giving a thumb’s up to that notion.

Handling over power, especially in autocross. It also helps when you’re an experienced driver too. Speaking of power, there was a pretty cool 1978 Ford Fiesta Mark I at the track. It had a Chevy 400hp V8 in the rear, does 0-60 in 3 seconds, and is all street legal. If my memory serves me correctly, its best lap time was in the 43s. Joseph spoke to the owner of the Fiesta, and aside from the crazy fabrication it needed to get the engine in the rear, the Fiesta also had an automatic gearbox. Although it doesn’t sound ideal, the owner explained that it was more reliable than the manual gearbox. Another interesting aspect of this car was that it was featured in the October 1986 issue of Hot Rod Magazine. I guess the owner had this car since it was first introduced.

Among the nicer cars that were in attendance, I ran into this Porsche 930 Turbo.

In addition, there was this 1955 Chevrolet 210…

…as well as this Dunebuggy with a Subaru WRX STI engine:

Here are some shots of Shaikh’s Miata:

They’ve always said, “the worse thing that can happen in an autocross event is that you hit some cones.” Unfortunately for these cones, they look like they’ve been hit one too many times.

Even the finishing line cones look like it had its share of run-ins as well:

And to round off this post, here some other snaps I took during the event. I got pretty lazy towards the end, and I found that a lot of cars pretty much left as soon as their runs were up.

Clever license plate, bro.

Well that’s about it. It was a blast to be there. I may want to autocross my new NB in all its stock glory really soon. Thanks for the autocross bug, Shaikh!

Clean and Mean

What an NSX. *Droooooooool*