The Tokyo Kurassiku Ka Shou

November 29, 2011

I spent most of this past Saturday taking in the classic car show in Aoyama Itchome, about an hour’s subway ride from my suburban Tokyo apartment. It was a sunny day, albeit with the chill of imminent winter in the air. The leaves strutted their autumn colors at close to 100%, according to the NHK news, which gives an update on these important matters nightly. The cars rolled past the clapping spectators, after which they were staged in a viewing area in preparation for setting off in stately fashion to the tony Ginza shopping district.  All manner of autos were on hand, from sleek sixties’ sports roadsters to regal European touring saloons; cartoonlike Japanese city cars, and rumbling 50s’ American finmobiles. What was surprising to me was how easy-going most of the owners were, allowing onlookers to open hoods, sit in driver’s seats, and dream for a moment or two of earlier, simpler times. Queues formed to sit in the navy blue Packard cabriolet, and in the fire-engine red ’59 Chevy Impala convertible (called “open-cah” in Japanese). Liveried staff members held doors open, took photos upon request, and kept the cars spotless all the while. Naturally, the wares of the Japanese auto industry were prominently featured: Datsun/Nissan; Toyota; Mazda; Daihatsu; Honda; and more. In fact, I have never seen quite such a gathering of Rising Sun Retro in one place before, and I walked away pretty impressed, I have to say. But hey, I may as well let the pictures do the talking, right? Enjoy…

A first-gen Corvette...

...complete with yellow steering wheel!

Dramatic Ryuko, Dramatic Lamborghini

Saki channels her inner Annette Funicello

One young cops directs traffic...

...while another takes off after the bad guys!

A resto-mod '58 Chevy Impala

Check out those taillights!


And the Mini-me doppelganger!

The Queen Mum of cars, a stately Rolls-Royce

The Spirit of Ecstasy spreads her wings atop the Rolls grille


My dad's first car, an Austin A40

The kid-size Subaru 360

...and its slightly larger Italian cousin, the Fiat 500

A brace of MGs


A Corvair-esque NSU from Germany

An oddity, a Messerschmitt, I believe

The driver's entrance to the tiny BMW 600

A minimalist Lotus 7

A MINI woody with real wood...

The return of Christine

The one I wanted to drive home, an Austin-Healey 100-6

Gorgeous Facel-Vega from France

This is a Daihatsu?!!

The delectable Nissan Silvia ca. 1966

Dinky Honda S800

The seriously rare Watanabe Griffon

A rotary-engined Mazda Cosmo

The high-style Nissan Cedric

Equally slick from the rear...

The highly sought-after Toyota 2000GT coming...

...and going.


The 2000GT's little sister, the tiny Toyota 800

...and again.

And, last but not least, the Old Guard.