If you caught our mega gallery coverage from the 2023 Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS) last week, you’ll already know just how amazing it was.
Marina Green Park in the heart of Long Beach, California hosted the 18th annual event, with over 10,000 spectators and 100s of cars on display. Choosing just a few builds to highlight in this JCCS 2023 spotlight post was never going to be an easy task, but we can’t argue with Darrien‘s choices. Let’s kick things off with something old school…
Jared Perry‘s Datsun 521 scooped the JCCS 2023 ‘Best Datsun Truck’ award, and it isn’t hard to see why. There’s beauty in simplicity, and through a number of select parts Jared’s truck has been reimagined in a very cool way.
The full Rocket Bunny Pandem 521 kit from the mind of Kei Muira adds a deep front lip, side skirts and rear bottom sections, plus of course bolt-on fender flares. The latter were very important for what Jared had in mind for wheels.
Enlisting the talents of custom JDM wheel rebuilder LOVE20BEE in Arcadia, California, Jared had a set of vintage Carving Wilcox ORT1 wheels (manufactured by Work) rebuilt with huge barrels that bring their specs out to 15×12-inch -51 offset.
The wheels are wild and the fitment is impeccable when the Datsun is dropped to the ground on its Air Lift Performance-based air suspension setup.
You’ll have noticed the ultra-rare deck topper out back, but what about the right-hand drive conversion? We’d love to take a closer look at this 521, so hopefully we can make that happen in the very near future.
Next up is another award-winner – this time the recipient of the JCCS’s new-for-2023 ‘Best NSX’ accolade.
Chad Castelo‘s NA1 1991 Acura NSX definitely lives up to its MUGN CEO license plate, as it’s packed full of oh-so-desirable Mugen parts.
Starting outside, there’s a Mugen front bumper, Mugen side steps, a Mugen rear bumper spoiler and underwing, Mugen rear wing, and a Mugen hatch and duct.
We can’t forget the wheels either – staggered 16×8-inch and 17×9-inch Mugen M7s fitted with Yokohama Advan AD08R tires.
There’s more of the same inside with Mugen NSX JGTC Kevlar race seats, a Mugen N1 race steering wheel, Mugen race pedals and a Mugen Formula shift knob.
While we don’t have an engine shot to share with you, know that under the rear cover is the NSX’s original 3.0L DOHC VTEC V6, which is now packing more performance courtesy of a Science of Speed twin-turbo kit. Management comes via an AEM EMS, and the engine package is backed up by an NSX-R close-ratio transmission.
With a KW V3 coilover suspension kit and added air cup system, this Acura has all the form and function.
The Imola Orange NA2 Acura NSX on Mugen MF10 wheels parked next to Chad’s NA1 is a very cool build too, but it’s one of that car’s owner’s other build that we’re going to look at next.
Jason Haradon’s 1994 Honda Civic Si took home JCCS 2023’s ‘Best Honda Civic’ award, an impressive feat for a car that was built more than five years ago. It just goes to show how much truth there is to the saying ‘do it once, do it right’.�
The Civic was originally purchased as a rolling body, but with stunning Glasurit Mineral Blue paintwork already laid down over its metalwork. Jason, who’s well known in Southern California Honda circles for his long-owned DA Acura Integra, had a clear vision for the EH3 Civic hatch, and executed the ’90s-style build perfectly.
As a bit of blank canvas, the Civic was reengineered from the ground up with quality components and stunning attention to detail.
Sitting in an ultra-clean bay, the B18C5 engine was built around a brand new DC2 Integra Type R block with a B16B Civic Type R cylinder head. The Mugen valve cover finishes it off perfectly.
Previously the Civic wore Mugen MF10L wheels in front of its blue Spoon Sports front calipers, but for JCCS 2023 it was sitting pretty on vintage Mugen NR10Rs.
Other more recent additions include the Spoon Sports carbon fiber front lip, Spoon carbon fiber mirrors and Spoon carbon fiber hatch spoiler. You gotta love it!
Finally, we have a car that’s just arrived on the scene – GReddy Performance Products‘ ‘GR33′ BCNR33 Nissan Skyline GT-R.
We don’t know a whole lot about this build, but what we do know is that it’s the latest in a line of amazing cars that have emerged from GReddy USA’s workshop in recent times.
Despite using modern parts and technology in the build, the GT-R manages to still look largely late-’90s/early-’00s era correct on the outside, which only adds to its appeal for us. That means a full suite of GRacer aero parts – the front bumper, front lower lip spoiler and side skirts included – plus a set of timeless Nismo LMGT4 wheels to pull everything together.
Under the hood is an RB26-based engine build featuring a big single GReddy turbocharger, and likely everything else the Trust catalog has to offer.
The 2023 SEMA Show is just around the corner, so hopefully we can learn more about the GR33 there.
Photography by Darrien Craven