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.

I kept referring to it as SkylineMania only because I had found out that JDM Legends was going to be bringing its entire entourage of 70’s and early 80’s Skylines. The Hakosuka (C10), Kenmeri (C110), and Tekkamen (DR30) all showed up and to say that they “stole the show” would be an understatement. I would probably say that 80% of the time, attendees were hanging around these cars moreso than most of the others. I don’t blame them. You’ll rarely ever see these cars stateside unless they all congregate in one specific area. With that said, here bring on the Skylines!

We met Eric from the widely-circulated Depth of Speed video “Taking the Plunge” featuring his newly-acquired Hakosuka Skyline from JDM Legends. If you’ve already seen the video, you already know that the he and the car were meant for each other. At the meet, Eric explained to us that he had literally called JDML non-stop from October – February. The fine people at JDML knew that he was the right person for the car, despite the fact that he was far down the reservation list. If you want it that bad, you’ll find a way.

Here is a picture of Eric straightening the Hako with Robert in the background looking on.

As many of you may (or may not) know, Robert is a die-hard fan for this chassis. For him, this event was Japanese vintage heaven, and he was overwhelmed by the sight. He couldn’t help but keep talking to Eric, who might I add was very approachable. He asked about the process, how long it took, and could not express anymore how badly he wanted to own one in the future. I remember Robert telling me “You think I’m freaking out now? Imagine when I actually own one.” Robert isn’t easily amused, but when he wants something very bad, he will think about it over and over and over etc. The reminiscing and “ughs” and “WANT!!” commentary can go on. Point is, Robert wants it more than anyone else.

Some group pictures of Robert and Jason talking about the Hako and Eric’s experience.
(Y U SLEEPING JASON?)

What makes Eric’s car great is that he doesn’t mind driving it around everywhere. He doesn’t care about breaking necks or causing traffic jams. For him, he enjoys the ride, and when he acquired the car, it felt perfect for him and he knew that it was the car that he truly wanted. Aside from any mechanical fixes, Eric hasn’t touched the car since he purchased it. I’m glad he did, because it looks amazing in person.

These photos don’t do the car justice, but they’re the best I had, unfortunately. Pardon the photography slump.

Because Robert and I had gotten there a little past noon, a lot of the cars that were there earlier that already left or were in the process of leaving. Despite the fact the event was slated to end at 5pm, many people chose to leave early. It felt more like a Cars and Coffee meet because of all the “early to arrive, early to leave” mantra of the attendants.

This lone Datsun 510 was sitting next to the water. I found that the venue was a great place to hold this event. The parking lot was right next to the water and had a gorgeous view of the Bay.

As more cars started to leave, I found myself looking at some of the leftover cars a bit more. I ran into a couple of builds that were aesthetically pleasing.

In my opinion, this Corolla is pretty clean. Although it was simple, the Work Equips matched it well.

The Performance Options S30 on Equips:

Their Corolla:

Here’s a car you’ll rarely ever see in your lifetime: A Fairlady 2000. This thing was a beauty in person. I had intended on going back to take more detailed photos of the car, but as soon as I was able to break away from whatever it is I thought was more important, the 2000 decided to pack it up and go home 😦

A snap of a Datsun 2000:

Pretty sure this flared out S30 caught my attention right off the bat. I still want one….. very bad.

Another picture of the lone 510….in color!

I was able to capture this 510 as it was leaving:

This green 510 caught my eye too:

Apparently Work Equips are very popular with these vintage cars. I appreciate the period-correctness.

A 260Z with minimal flaring.

This S30 was particularly interesting because it was very clean, low-key (no fender flares, and yes, I know the color is bright), and the engine bay looked immaculate:

Soon it was time to head out too. Robert HAD to give his last goodbye and a handshake to Eric. They vowed to see each other again soon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we run into him again. I guess you can say that this picture represents a future owner meeting a current one (or something like that).

In terms of pictures, that’s all I have, but the experience was not one to forget. I spent most of the time roaming around and looking at the builds instead of taking pictures. The Hakosuka is quite the car to see in person. In fact, I’d argue that the Japanese cars in the 70s were and are still difficult to beat in terms of aesthetics. It takes a special person to be able to own and take care of these classic cars. I would also think that it takes a lot of patience to maintain one as well. If you really love your car, you’ll always find a way to keep it looking good.

Finally, thanks to all who showed up and brought their cars. You’ve provided inspiration for my friends and I. Thank you to the organizers of the HJCC. You made this happen, and thanks for holding it in NorCal.

Thanks for viewing!

  1. Awesome pics of my Z! Although bright, that’s actually the original color. You either love it or hate it.

    • Oh don’t get me wrong, I really like your Z! 🙂

      What you have there, good sir, is an immaculate build. I tip my hat to you. 🙂 Are you from around here?

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