One of the great things about living on the West Coast is how established the Japanese classic car community is. In many parts of the US, there's still people who laugh at the idea of a Japanese classic car show, but out in Long Beach this past weekend it was clear that Japanese 'nostalgic' cars are serious business indeed. The turnout of vintage Japanese cars was quite spectacular, with lots of rare, interesting stuff you almost never see on the roads anymore — and, here on the US, you almost never saw on the roads, period. So come along with me, have a weird rainbow sno-cone that rapidly melts into a brown slush lump, and join me on a quick tour of all this great old Japanese iron:. There were a number of very-well maintined Mazda RX-2s. What really struck me about many of them were these huge, lavishly chromed turbo setups many of them had. Rotaries sure are odd looking under the hood.
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What makes something collectible? Perhaps a current or perceived future monetary value? Or could it be a sentimental value? Whether you collect stamps, porcelain pigs or automobiles, it is because these things speak to you on some level, because you enjoy them and they reflect a piece of you. In the world of collecting cars, classic American and European marques have always been treasured for their power, beauty and special character. Yet, to this point, Japanese cars have not enjoyed the same treatment-but as time passes, this will surely change.
Call it the Gran Turismo effect. If you grew up playing the racing classic, you are according to math now entering your peak earning years. And chances are, if you're dipping your toes into the vintage car world, you're at least considering some of the cool Japanese cars that were featured in the game—particularly the affordable ones you saw on the streets and wished you were driving instead of your grandma's hand-me-down Oldsmobile.