Long Beach, California isn't just known for West Coast Choppers' Jesse James, it's also the location of one big-ass boat, the Queen Mary. A recent sunny Southern California Saturday the LBC waterfront was the site for a Japanese classic car show. An impressive turnout of vehicles, each over 25 years old lined the banks. Parked in groups were a variety of Mazdas, Datsuns, Hondas, Toyotas, Subarus and Nissans.
Plenty of clean Datsun 510s and Roadsters represented alongside Datsun 240Zs. An array of Mazda RX-2s lined up next to Toyota hachi-rokus next to Honda N600s. Most impressive were two 1970s right-hand drive Nissan Skylines. Second in jaw-dropping, drool-inducing awe were four 1967 Datsun 2000 Roadsters-four of the only 1,000 released in the U.S. After chatting with the owner I found out they were for sale - for a mere $25,000 each. Now that is some mark-up and yet somewhat of a bargin for such a rare gem to change hands.
I would venture to say that the most unique car on display was Glenn Roberts' tiny 1964 Mazda R360 Coupe; Mazda's first production car. With a 356cc air-cooled 16 hp engine and four-speed manual tranny, this puppy tops out at 55.92 mph with an astounding fuel mileage of 75.27 mpg. Sounds like the perfect daily driver. Weighing in at a mere 870 pounds it looks like the dwarf of a Smart or Honda N600. No word on if it was driven or trailered from its home state of Arizona.
The huge numbers of spectators demonstrated just how alive and well the Japanese classic car scene is today. It is impressive how well these cars are maintained, some 30 to 40 years old. A lot of love and pampering went into the vehicles and we are happy to show love back by featuring our favorites on these pages.