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Kyusha Mania: 5 Standout Cars From JCCS 2017

Now that you've had a look through our event gallery from the 2017 Japanese Classic Car Show, it's time to go into greater detail on five particular cars that stood out to us this year. From rare JDM machines to homebuilt heroes, these cars represent a perfect cross-section of the JCCS experience. Let's get started.

1. JDM Legends 1972 240Z

There aren't many shops in America more adept at classic Japanese cars than JDM Legends in Salt Lake City, and their showing at JCCS this year did not disappoint. Along with a Nissan Bluebird and an incredible Hakosuka Skyline, they brought out this perfect take on the iconic Datsun 240Z.

JDM Legends 1972 240Z

Datsun 240Z interior

Rather going with a crazy engine swap of over-the-top styling, JDML took a back to the basics approach with this one. Under the hood sits the traditional naturally aspirated L28 inline six displacing fed by a set of 45 mm OER carbs.

Datsun 240Z L28 inline six

The bodywork is subtle, with the only real changes being a front air dam, Z432 rear wing and a modest set of fender flares containing the 15-inch RAYS TE37Vs.

15-inch RAYS TE37Vs on Datsun 240Z

Datsun 240Z

2. B-Swapped '78 Civic

You are guaranteed to see lots of amazing Datsun and Toyotas at JCCS each year, but vintage Honda builds are a bit more rare. That's what made Juan Salguero's 1978 Civic Hatchback stand out so much.

B-Swapped '78 Civic

For starters, the cars was exceptionally clean both inside and out. But that was just the beginning.

1978 Civic Hatchback interior

A closer look would reveal upgraded parts that suggest this classic Honda isn't quite stock under the hood. Take these forged CCW wheels for example.

forged CCW wheels on '78 Civic

Then you take a look in the engine bay and see that it's powered by a B18C1 VTEC engine from an Acura Integra GSR. And it's not just the swap itself that impresses; it's the exceptionally clean presentation of it all.

B18C1 VTEC engine from an Acura Integra in a '79 Civic

It's hard to beat the combo of classic Honda styling and legendary VTEC power, and cars like Juan's show that a properly built old-school Honda can be every bit as cool as a Datsun or Toyota.

3. Bonneville-Spec Nissan Hardbody

OEMs are well represented at JCCS, and this year's Nissan display included this unusual piece of racing history from their factory collection: a 1994 D21 Hardbody pickup truck.

Bonneville-Spec Nissan Hardbody

Powered by the same KA24 engine that came in the American 240SX, this Hardbody was specially prepared to compete in land speed racing at Bonneville and El Mirage and during the 1990s. 

1994 D21 Hardbody pickup truck

Although the truck doesn't differ a ton from the street version, it has all of the necessary bits — including a roll cage, lowered stance for better aerodynamics and a set of the requisite Moon Discs providing that cool hot-rod look.

1994 D21 Hardbody pickup truck interior

At the time it set speed records for a four-cylinder pickup with a 142.9 mph run on the salt flats at Bonneville. And that's actually a pretty impressive figure given the modest underpinnings of the minitruck.

1994 D21 Hardbody pickup truck wheels

All in all it's a really cool piece of Nissan racing history. We especially dig the classic red, white and blue colors that it shares with so many of the brand's legendary race cars.

1994 D21 Hardbody pickup truck

4. 1981 Honda City

One of the most enjoyable things about JCCS is seeing all of the cool and quirky JDM cars that were never sold in the United States. And this 1981 Honda City is a perfect example of that.

1981 Honda City

Combining stylish looks with a small size and excellent fuel economy, the City was a very influential car in Japan. It helped form the mold of the small, upright vehicles that would come to dominate the market.

1981 Honda City steering wheel and interior

1981 Honda City rear

This particular example is in all-original condition. It's also displayed alongside a Honda Motocompo, a small 50cc scooter that was designed to be folded up and stored in the City's rear cargo compartment.

Honda Motocompo

Together, the two vehicles would become symbols of Japanese motoring culture during the '80s, and without the success of cars like the City, the history of the Japanese domestic auto market would be a whole lot different.

1981 Honda City

5. 1JZ-Swapped '78 Cressida

Last but not least we have a car that's equal parts form and function, with a big helping of uniqueness thrown in for good measure. Initially Joseph Haven's car just looks like a simple and clean MX32 Toyota Cressida, but as you get closer you realize there's a little more going on here.

1JZ-Swapped '78 Cressida

1JZ-Swapped '78 Cressida

Under the hood sits a 1JZ-GTE fitted with a single Garrett GT3076 turbocharger, and the engine bay itself is clean enough to eat off of. The transmission comes from a Nissan 350Z, and the whole setup is kept in check with an AEM Infinty ECU.

1JZ-Swapped '78 Cressida with a single Garrett GT3076 turbocharger

And while the engine swap is pretty serious, the rest of the car is true to the fun-loving style of Japan's kyusha scene. Check out the zebra-print bucket seats for example, which pair perfectly with the old school Pioneer audio equipment and woodgrain Nardi steering wheel.

'78 Cressida kyusha-styled interior with zebra-print bucket seats

Finally, tying things together are a set of classic SSR Mk.I wheels — and I'd guess that's the recipe for a whole lot of sideways fun once that big Garrett turbo gets spooling.

'78 Cressida with SSR Mk.I wheels

There you have it. Five very different but equally cool vehicles that made this year's edition of the Japanese Classic Car Show so great. With awesine cars like this, you shouldn't be surprised to hear that we are already counting down the days to next year's event.

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