Classics from the Land of the Rising Sun


In its second year, Classic Japan, organised by the Toyota Club of Victoria is growing ever more popular. This year there were so many retro rides that the cars were spread over two ovals at Como Park in South Yarra.



With no trophies or prizes there was no competitive element to the day, meaning that it was a relaxing day for all. A day to appreciate well-known models and forgotten favourites originating from the land of the Rising Sun. Photobucket

Classic Japan caters for retro Japanese cars and bikes prior to 1987. Photobucket

Dripping in chrome was this Prince. Fit for an King. I mean Emperor. Prince Motor Company had success building premium cars. Among its most famous car lines were the Skyline and Gloria, both of which were absorbed into the Nissan range after their merger in 1966.


I love the shape of the Isuzu Bellett. Photobucket

This rare early Skyline had been beautifully restored to its former glory. Photobucket


It was great to see so many Rota’s at Classic Japan. Loving the number plates. You would definitely want to block your ears when this fires up! Photobucket

Classic Japan oozed nostalgia. Photobucket

I loved this beautful Datsun Fairlady. Photobucket

The Fairlady was not a slow car in its day. In 1968, models imported to Australia were fitted with a competition package as standard, which included dual  carburetors and a special cams capable for 110 kW. With good fuel economy, not to mention reliability they were a sound and inexpensive alternative to the MGB, Triumph, Alfa’s and Fiats. PhotobucketPhotobucket

Two ultra rare Honda Scamp’s were a sight. Photobucket

This KE was so clean. Immaculate is an understatement. Photobucket

We’ve posted about this 1965 Toyota Sport 800 at Toyota’s Winterfest. Check out our coverage here


Being organised by their club, the Toyota’s were present in force, probably the most dominant marque.Photobucket

A very tidy Capella, with period dished wheels. It’s all in the details. Check out the rotary shaped indentation near the boot key lock. Photobucket

This incredible RX7 really stole the show. Wide body arches, massive rear wing with added aero with some huge rear wheels. It packed a real punch…Photobucket

Yep you guessed it. Intercooler, custom plumbing. With so much space free in the Rotary engine bay its a no-brainer to boost the Rx7. Such a shame the Mazda has killed off the Rotary engine!


The shapes and character of early Japanese cars are so interesting. The detail in the Skyline’s tail lights for example. That old adage, “They just don’t make them, how they used to” applies here.  Photobucket


These two look familiar. Check our our previous coverage here.Photobucket

Crazy fitment. Stretched much?Photobucket

An angry looking watanabe-wheeled Z ready for the race track. See if you can find the same car in this post.



The unmistakable sharp lines, boxy and angular shapes of the AE86. The Tueno and Sprinter models are rapidly becoming collectable and with the phenomenal success of the BRZ/86, enthusiast interest in Toyota’s old and new is here to stay. Photobucket

The JDM wing mirrors take this Corona’s styling to the next head-turning level.


Simmons wheels were the choice of many retro rides and its easy to see why. Photobucket

One of the my favourites. Photobucket

You just can’t beat an unmolested Datsun 240Z. Such unmistakable lines. If you have not already seen this Youtube clip by Jay Leno on the past and present Z cars, check it out here.


Retro Japanese cars come in so many different shapes and sizes. They are never boring!


One of the cleanest and Corolla’s I’ve seen, in the perfect 1970’s colour palette. Photobucket

The colour of this Celica was the perfect combo with period wheels. For more on this car see herePhotobucket

Seeing double. Twin Cam friends.


The immaculate paint job on the KE reflected its surroundings. Photobucket


This beautifully maintained Mazda 1500 sedan was a highlight. These early Mazda’s were designed by Bertone. You can clearly see the European influence with the excessive chrome,  low and sharp lines. Photobucket


A well detailed engine bay. One of many on the day. Its clearly evident that these cars are cherished by their enthusiastic owners. Photobucket


As we left Williams Road, a couple of Japanese rides were spotted. I simply could not resist the timeless lines of this Isuzu Bellett. The dog seems pretty content with its mode of transport!


And just another ordinary Corolla. Australia’s most popular car? The future of the Retro JDM scene looks very bright with excellent events such as Classic Japan.


Well that’s it from us! We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of Classic Japan. We would like to congratulate the Toyota Club of Victoria for organising and promoting this great event. With huge wide-ranging crowds and interest the event was surely a success. We look forward to bringing you coverage of Classic Japan 2013.

Stay tuned to Driven Threads for more motoring coverage coming soon. Next week we will be heading to Grip Shift Slide’s X Import Monster Summerdays and Enginebays . Be sure to check out the special offers on our range of Melbourne designed and printed tees! In the meantime heres another one. Rotary that is!



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