2015 Japanese Classic Car Show (80’s & 90’s Era) in Torrance, California

Odometer (Legend):  538,825


Odometer (ILX):  143,838


Trip Distance:  784 Miles


“Do you ever take a break?  You are full throttle!”  That was a valid comment yesterday from my friend Marc in Austin.  It’s been a little bit tough to pin me down lately.  Sometimes I wake up in a motel room wondering just briefly what city I’m in.  On Sunday morning, that city was Torrance, California.  My friend Rustin – who’s one of only a handful of people granted access to my location at all times via his smartphone – saw that I was hanging out at Toyota’s campus and his first text message of the day was:  “I won’t tell Acura.”


Many of my blog followers probably enjoy looking at vintage cars as much as I do – Especially those that hail from Japan.  It wasn’t 10 minutes after the conclusion to the 12th annual ALV awards program, and I was starting my trip to California – yet again – for a car event with a different purpose:  the Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS).


The last time I went to JCCS it was for the 2014 program in Long Beach at the Queen Mary ship.  This version of the JCCS was a little different from that one.  While the JCCS event at the Queen Mary caters to pre-1985 automobiles, the “Neo Classic” show – new this year – invites participants who drive 1980s and 1990s cars.  Those decades I consider more “my” generation of cars.  My first Japanese car was my beloved 1989 Prelude Si, so from a young age, I have had an appreciation for vehicles of that era.

So once again I hit the open road in the tried & true Legend and headed out on my ~400-mile drive to the west coast via Interstate 10.


The show was one of the best-organized I’ve ever attended.  “Load-in” was easy and the parking was not only pre-assigned, but there were highly visible volunteers directing traffic to designated areas.  I arrived at the same time as my friend Chris who drives an immaculate 1986 Honda Prelude with fewer than 50,000 miles on its odometer.  Throughout the day, I ran into old friends and made a few new ones.  Surrounding me was a parking lot full of cars from the last two decades of the 1900s:  An entire section dedicated to Toyota Supras, at least a dozen Nissan 300ZXs, and of course a Civic and Accord from almost every generation.  Sprinkled into the mix were a few especially well-preserved examples, like this immaculate 1990 Lexus LS400 driven by a father-son pair.


Serenaded by a DJ who played period-appropriate tunes like Billy Joel and George Michael, my friends and I wandered the grounds and enjoyed the sights and sounds of some of Japan’s greatest creations.  By 11:00 a.m., it was time to indulge in Taco Truck grub, and it wasn’t long after that when my friend Brett from Huntington Beach arrived.  As Brett and I were admiring the R/C car “drift track,” a familiar face lined up next to us:  Penny!  Penny is a long-time Legend forum member who hails from Orange County and who I’ve known for the better part of a decade.  She joined us for a walk over to the Toyota Automobile Museum next door on Van Ness Rd.  (More on that later!)


I spent very little time at or near my car all day, but I did hear a few comments from people and saw a handful of passers-by taking a photo here and there.  One guy who now drives a Nissan Skyline commented, “I had one of these and I should’ve never sold it!”  Another guy said, “I’ve seen this car on YouTube!”  A few other special guests arrived throughout the course of the afternoon, including fellow Legend club members Mark and Raul who both drive second-generation sedans.  They each invited me to take a peek at their rides and it was an honor to be granted an exclusive tour.  Raul’s 1995 sedan had 166,000 miles on the odometer and Matt’s 1992 had 222,000.



Thanks, guys, for coming out to say hello!  Keep me in the loop on those upcoming west coast meet-ups.  By 2:30 p.m., the skies had cleared a bit and I was glad for my SPF 50 sunscreen.  One of the show administrators took the stage / mic and announced the first, second, and third place award recipients in each category.  Chris won a well-deserved Second Place for his Prelude!  I hit the road westbound and headed home shortly after the conclusion of the show.  You know you’re in LA when you describe your route like this:

I took the 110 to the 405 to the 22 to the 55 to the 91 to the 215 to the 60 to the 10.  That was seriously my route!  I arrived in scenic Desert Center, California just in time for a couple of quick sunset photos.  The drive home was uneventful – and that’s just the way I like it to be when I’m driving a car with 538,000 miles on it.


Here are the rest of my photos from this quick out-and-back car show trip!

Setting up


Mattel / Hot Wheels Designer Ryu Asada and his NSX.  He also attended NSXPO.


Accords and Integras in this area.


My friend Armando’s immaculate Subaru SVX which I’ve featured before.


Supra Parking Only.


This 1989 Prelude 2.0 Si reminded me so much of my first Honda!  This one only had 68,000 miles on it.


Crazy-clean 40,000 mile 1986 Civic Si right here.


… Complete with cassette tapes on display!


Here’s Chris’ award-winning Prelude.


I love the simplicity of those analog gauges.


Nissan Skyline area.


An NSX joined the party later in the day.  I didn’t get the chance to meet that guy.


Chris, Armando, Tyson.  Notice:  Each of us had on appropriate apparel.  Chris was wearing his Prelude shirt, Armando had his SVX one, and I was wearing my shirt from the recent National Acura Legend Meet (NALM) in Houston.


“Family Photo” with my Legendary friends.  Left to right:  Mark, Raul, Tyson, Penny, Brett.


Pit stop in the Palm Springs area to make a delivery to my friend Scott who has a 34,000 mile Legend (background).


My photos from the Desert Center offramp.  Nothing fancy here!




And lastly, just a couple pictures from our look inside the Toyota USA Museum.


Right off the bat – one of Toyota’s finest!  The Avalon!


Long lineup of Lexus models, each with just a few miles on the odometer.


I’ve always loved these old Toyota pickups.  This 1989 showed 30,000 miles on the odometer.


And Toyota’s (or, at the time, Toyopet’s) first passenger car for sale in the USA.


It’s no wonder that a car this size was considered underpowered with only 60 horsepower.


Short vid:

21 Responses to “2015 Japanese Classic Car Show (80’s & 90’s Era) in Torrance, California”

  1. autoscribe1974 Says:

    Thanks for the 3Gs!

    • Just for you, Mark! 🙂 Forgot to mention – one of the highlights of my day was that Raul brought a copy of the Hemmings magazine with my (your) article in it. He had me sign it! So cool 🙂

  2. Never slow down! Its what keeps us alive!

  3. Hi Tyson,

    Wow your Legend almost got 539,000 miles and then 540,000 miles soon! I love this pictures of classic cars in 1980s and 1990s. It was pretty brand new and low miles on it. I wish I really want to go South California for road trip lol. Are you going to drive your Legend more this week? I can’t wait to see turn 540,000 miles on your Legend! 🙂

    • Thanks Josh! Southern California is home to a lot of clean old cars because they don’t have to entire very harsh weather (just harsh traffic, I guess!). Yes I’m still driving the Legend this week because it’s going in for a oil change today – due for service already thanks to the long trip to Houston and back already. Luckily I use a “punch card” and this oil change will be free 🙂

  4. I had two copies of the Hemming’s magazine with me for you to sign in Houston but it never happened. PB not happy you put over 780 miles on the coupe and it only had a 280 mile jaunt up to the north Georgia mountains last weekend. I’m a little over 324,000 miles now. Great blog always!

    • Thanks Kevin! Apparently TJ also had some Hemmings mags at NALM he was going to give away but he forgot as well. Maybe next year. Speaking of NALM it sounds like you guys had a productive Planning weekend out there in northern GA. Can’t wait to see the results.

  5. Man you definitely have had car show overload lately :). keep it going! The coupe looks great as always

    • Thanks Marc! I know, it’s been one thing after another. Your coupe would have definitely taken “Best Honda / Acura” if you’d had it there in attendance.

  6. I could sure use a connection with a Hot Wheels designer! Can’t he fashion a Legend coupe like yours? How about Micro Machines? Can you hook me up there, too? It looks like another great trip for you.

    • I’ll tell Ryu to get going on a Legend Hot Wheels. And that reminds me – I need to dig up my MicroMachines for you soon! They’re around here somewhere. Remember the TV commercial for them where the guy talked really quickly?

  7. For Christmas, I want the Coupe with a big red bow in my garage. Make it happen…

  8. I have such an appreciation for vintage Japanese automobiles. They are just so cool. One of my old roommates has an 89′ Toyota pickup and I believe it has over 240,000 miles on it and it runs beautifully. Your Legend looks fantastic in those sunset photos. Awesome to see 540,000 miles right around the corner.

    • Sunny, glad you can appreciate the cars in here! There’s something special about those older Japanese cars for sure. Those Toyota pickups are bulletproof for sure. Thanks for reading. I have a few Legend trips planned in the coming weeks. 540k will be here possibly by the end of October.

  9. rustinoscar Says:

    Omg. I’m famous!!
    Looks like a fun trip!!

  10. Nice to see some love for the older vehicles!! Looks and sounds like a fun trip!

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