For the past 16 years, the Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS) has quietly worked its way to becoming one of the premier events within very crowded SoCal car show waters. And while you won’t find two-step competitions or silly car limbo spectacles, what you will find are some of the cleanest examples of the rarest Japanese cars in the world, including cars you never even knew existed, along with popular fan favorite restorations, restomods, and all-out track cars all within the same parking lot.

For its 16th annual event, the JCCS staff switched venues from the show’s longtime home of Long Beach to the Anaheim Angels Stadium, about 30 miles east. The last-minute change came about when the city of Long Beach, due to the COVID disruptions, failed to guarantee venue availability, while the city of Anaheim was able to lock in the date.

Any time an event as large as JCCS makes a sudden change, there are bound to be hiccups. On the big day, the initial line to get in and pass through security checks represented a slow process. As the day went on, it smoothed out considerably. In terms of parking lot layout, there were some large gaps and somewhat awkward layouts on the outer portions of the show.

Making one’s way further into the venue, however, it became clear that it was absolutely packed with more cars than we’ve encountered at this event in its entire 16 years. What seemed like miles of Japanese classics mixed in with vendor booths and display vehicles made for JCCS’ best effort to date, and that’s saying quite a bit, as this car show has long served as one of our favorite shows of the year.

The staff at JCCS has become well known for carefully organizing groups of cars together based on branding so that you can head straight to the Toyotas, Nissans, Mazdas, etc., and get your fix. The stark cut off between sections only adds to the fun of this event as you travel from one sector to another and find gems from different manufacturers. Being that this event was so big, we certainly couldn’t capture all of the highlights but managed to grab so many photos that we’ll break the coverage into a few parts, starting with the Nissan and Datsun group here, with more coverage later this week.

Restomods are a staple at JCCS and this 1971 Datsun 510 is a shining example. The car’s body is razor straight and covered in Voodoo Blue that you’ve probably seen on 4Runners, Caymans, etc., and perched atop 15-inch SSR Longchamps.

Under the hood you won’t find the original engine, refreshed and dressed up, nor is there the popular and effective SR20 swap. Here, a street port Mazda 13B rotary is in place, surrounded by a meticulously reworked engine bay that features shaved sheet metal, fresh paint, custom brake and fuel lines, and more. The compact rotary fits neatly under a shock tower bar with plenty of space for future upgrades.

Late last year, Jun Imai of Kaidohouse showed his 510 wagon at GReddy’s GPP Live virtual SEMA event. Still under construction at the time, the GReddy crew has since put some serious hours into getting the car to its current state.

A Nissan KA engine outfitted with a complete GReddy parts catalog has been added and accompanied by some custom fabricated bits, XRP hoses, coil-on-plug conversion, and so much more.

The GReddy booth itself, which also featured Sung Kang’s FuguZ with its recent move to boost in lieu of the individual throttle body set up you’ve seen previously, remained incredibly busy throughout the day.

And if classic Z-cars are your thing, then JCCS should be at the top of your to-do list. This clean, deep grey 260Z sits nicely on TE37V wheels with aggressive Toyo tires, peeps forward with Dapper Lighting headlights, and wears classic fender-mount mirrors to round out a timeless combo.

A walk on the wilder side reveals this Datsun Z sporting large fender flares and extreme wheel fitment with stretched tires, giving it a menacing look from any angle. Note the classic, stacked twin-tip muffler still at play.

Multiple 300Z models can be found at JCCS each year. Although not as popular as the older chassis, they carry a loyal following. When given the right adjustments, like this low-slung white version, they can truly make a statement.

Move up the timeline a bit further and the display in front of the Motul booth could serve as the poster child for clean 300ZX builds. Don’t let the spotless body hide the fine details like the carbon fiber side mirrors, and a facelift via a new front bumper and vented nose panel.

This R31 Skyline chose a unique livery in the form of Japan’s most popular canned coffee manufacturer. Watanabe wheels and this chassis have always worked well together, and this version is a reminder why.

The Datsun 1000 sedan was introduced in the 1950s, and this version, other than a few scuffs, is in outstanding condition, complete with period correct white-wall tires (an option at the time).

A later version of the 1000, this one in Deluxe wagon form, sat right next to the original.

Its factory body lines carry quite a bit of character, especially the “pinch” near the center of the hatch with taillights that match the sheetmetal’s angle.

This clean Nissan Hardbody is a purpose built drag truck, but its spotless presentation is certainly show worthy. In fact, at this year’s JCCS it earned “Best Truck & SUV” honors.

The well-organized bay highlights the turbo SR20 with a billet intake manifold. The truck’s roll cage works its way through the cabin and into the engine bay, with additional bars running into the bed area, not far from the parachute that hangs off its rear, just under the drag wing. More than just a cool look, this truck has been seen lifting its front wheels off the ground during hard track launches.

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