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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Oct 4, 2009

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

A trio of 2000GTs courtesy of the Toyota USA Automobile Museum Words and pictures by Roy Nakano When the Toyopet was first unleashed into the United States back in 1957, nobody in his or her right mind anticipated that the vehicle would one day attain collector status. Indeed, the first offerings from Japan were miserable cars, even by the standards of the day. By comparison, the Volkswagen Beetle of the 1950s was vastly superior. Well, that was then. Now, "made in Japan" connotes quality and reliability, and we just held witness to the 5th annual Japanese Classic Car Show. The first three Japanese Classic Car Shows were held at the Queen Mary. However, the show has grown so much in popularity that last year's show took place at Hidden Valley Park in Irvine, CA (the former home of Lion Country Safari). This year was the 5th show, and the Irvine venue proves to be a perfect fitting for this event. The Japanese Classic Car Show Association sponsors this event, and they are proud to point out that it has become the largest old-school Japanese car event in America. "The show was successful from the start, but popular opinion pulled in many directions," says the Association. One thing that keeps improving is the quality (as well as the quantity) of cars at the show. We're not talking about high brow concours cars, but they include some of the cleanest, most highly cared for samples of vintage Asian vehicles on this side of the Pacific Ocean. And yet, the down-to-earth fun factor is not lost.

Toyota Celica No. 00005

Honda's first USA car, the 600

510s in all manner of condition were on display

Corona: The car that put Toyota on the map in the USA

1966 Toyota Stout 1900

Frenchy Dehoux's 1958 Toyota Crown

Mark Nguyen's 1964 Datsun pickup

Leonel Del Cid's 1964 Datsun Bluebird

Kyle Ranauro's 1959 Datsun 1000

Glenn Robert's 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport

Datsun 1600s & 2000s galore (AKA Fairladies)

Marcelo Vercelli's 1969 Fairlady Roadster

Some drove from as far away as Ohio and Canada to attend

Even the cars in the parking lot looked great

1961 FJ25 Land Cruiser, courtesy of the Toyota USA Automobile Museum


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