After 2021’s last-minute stopgap on the hard asphalt of Angels Stadium in Anaheim, the Japanese classic car show returned to its Long Beach home, rolling on the green grass of Marina Green Park as what remained of hurricane Kay took off. the California coast and back out into the frothy green Pacific. It was a lovely setting, with the marina on one side and the Long Beach Grand Prix straight on the other. In between were about 300 of your favorite Japanese cars from years past: Datsun 510s, Nissan Zs, Acuras NSX, Toyota Tercels and Celicas, and plenty of mint motorcycles. Maybe you had one or two or a dozen at the time.
The show is a labor of love for Koji and Terry Yamaguchi who, along with hundreds of dedicated volunteers, put it on every year as a tribute to the cars they remember growing up in their native Japan. Indeed, there were more than a few right-hand-drivers in the crowd, as well as many cars that you don’t see anywhere else, like a monstrous Nissan Homy van, a more modern (1995 or so) Subaru Sambar microvan, a genuine Toyota Publica (with a Hayabusa engine) and a Honda ACTY kei-class pickup truck.
There were celebrities. Sung Kang, this guy from fast furious movies, brought his Rocket Bunny Z and an Erick Aguilar-built Datsun 510 with a Honda S2000 engine under the hood. Abel Ibarra, star of the original imported drag racing scene, brought his daily driver Mazda RX-2 along, and Yutake Katayama’s original yellow Z, Mr. K of Datsun, was there in all his screaming yellow glory.
Click to see if the car you had in high school made the show.