Gone Retro: A Saturday morning at the Nostalgic 2 Days
As we all know too well, Japan is our closest source for inspiration for our very own builds. It’s easy to think that visiting and paying attention to the biggest show in town will net us the best and most unique ideas to bring back home and apply to our own vehicles.
But you see, Japanese car culture is so much more than just Tokyo Auto Salon. Automotive-related events are spread far and wide throughout the whole calendar of the year, each catering to a certain kind of car enthusiast. Considering that we’ve tried seeing a bit more different things from our trip to Osaka Automesse, it was a great coincidence that I was able to catch another show before heading back home: The 2020 Nostalgic 2 Days.
As its name suggests, the Nostalgic 2 Days (or Nos2Days for short) is a gathering of classic/neo classic vehicles spanning the decades prior to the new millenium. All there is to appreciate for retro japanese Kyusha (old cars) is here to find under the roof of Pacifico Yokohama – a 40-minute train ride away from Tokyo central.
Organized by Nostalgic Hero magazine, Nos2Days mainly caters to the fairly sizable demographic of japanese car enthusiasts that still hold faithful to their 70’s and 80’s steeds. That said, retro Japanese old school builds are out and abound the wide halls of the show. This meant there were 240Z, Hakosuka and Kenmeri Skylines, and AE86s everywhere. Plenty of the models here were hardly released abroad, meaning you would truly have to know your J-tin old school to be able to appreciate these vehicles – thankfully I’m fairly well versed then.
Now, while you may think that Tokyo Auto Salon will have the big JDM legends like Supras, Skylines, NSXes, and RX-7s abound, the fact is that these cars are well past their glory days. Do remember that these cars are approaching 30 years of age, and the Tokyo Auto Salon always brings focus to all that is new and latest for the aftermarket on the eastern hemisphere. New cars will always take center stage for events like those, but fret not: events like Nos2Days are beginning to cater to our love for the legends of the 90’s as well.
Nos2Days does not limit their love for retro to Japanese brands. There was a healthy smattering of European and American vehicles on display – and these vehicles are rare by global standards too. A Ford GT40 next to a Rally-prepped Ferrari 308 and a Mercedes 190E Cosworth Evo II? That’s cream of the crop by concourse standards for sure.
A Lancia Stratos even sat beside the main stage where events would regularly be held. These things are diminutive in person, I can understand why these were considered difficult to master even by the most skilled of drivers. Short wheelbase, mid-ship mounted V6, and rear wheel drive. You’ll never see a car like this make production anymore with modern safety standards.
This, dear reader, is a Volvo P1800. Yes, this svelte coupe is one of Volvo’s first production cars made in the early 60’s till the 70’s. And yes, those are Hayashi Racing Streets fitted onto it. Only in Japan for sure.
With cars as old as these there have been plenty of schools of thought that go into building such vehicles. This ratrod four-door Skyline may appear weathered on the outside, but then you take a peek at the engine bay…
… and you can practically eat off it. This juxstaposition is a display of just how much attention went into the build despite its supposedly rotting exterior.
The 80’s era was well represented as well. I particularly fancy this clean Z31 at the R31 House booth sporting a restrained-yet-cleanly-executed RB20DET swap. Nothing too fancy outside but they paid full attention to detail. Excellent execution.
While R31 House is known for their dedication to the lesser-loved Skyline, they have a good showing of what they can do with the BNR-series GT-R platforms. A BNR32, BCNR33, and BNR34 are lined up for display with a host of their special parts.
Of note are these R31 House brakes fitted on the BCNR33 GT-R – complete with chassis codes on the caliper.
One of the cars I didn’t particularly notice till the end of my rounds was this black widebody FC3S seated at the Trust booth. Widebody on Work XT7s on black made this a subtle yet menacing street car, but only when they popped the hood did I realize just how menacing this car truly is.
For those of you aren’t well-versed with rotaries let me spell this out for you: 20B-REW three rotor swap with a Trust T88 turbo hooked up to it. I’d reckon that’s easily good for 700whp. Say your prayers.
Manufacturers were also out to share their respective heritage programs for some of their special vehicles – this is where their market is afterall. Here we see Nissan’s Heritage Parts program showcasing all their new exterior bits for the BNR32 Skyline GT-R. Owners can now order new bumpers, side skirts, and rear wings complete with gurney flaps underneath. There were also some internal parts like a full engine block/head assembly, fuel pumps, and pulleys all readily available. Man, you Skyline GT-R folks got it good. The Eunos Roadster (MX5/Miata) also had a restored example on display too. Now if only Mazda can extend the same support for the RX-7s huh? Need me some LHD interior bits please.
The organizers had several programs going on at the main stage throughout the course of the 2 days. The one I encountered was a show and tell session by some owners. They would be asked to drive their cars to the stage and talk about them to a small crowd. By chance I was able to catch this gentleman talking about his pristine 1987 Mazda RX-7 FC3S. First-owned and under his care for 33 years, the RX-7 currently has 160,000kms on the clock and a complete array of original Efini and Savanna bits and pieces. The owner looked so proud having a rotary time capsule like this preserved, and the crowd lauded his efforts to keep the car on the road as well. To top it all off, his wife was there filming the whole thing. Couple goals right there.
I love how the vibe of this show is very laid back. These folks from Garage Star Field were very friendly when I purchased a shirt from them. Their sacho (boss) even gave me a free keychain as well as a face mask to protect from the flu. In the little nihonggo I could understand I think he was saying something to the degree of “we’re only a few left keeping rotaries alive, you need to stay alive too. Wear a mask!” Sacho is right though, I gotta stay healthy to represent rotaries here in Manila.
The most annoying thing about this show (for my wallet at least) was the plethora of memorabilia and die cast models available all around. I particularly got hustled by a booth which sold Ignition Models at half off, and then I walked into the MZ Racing rotary merch booth aaaaannd there goes my trip budget. Good thing we were flying home the next day.
I seriously, seriously wanted this 1:6 scale model of the R26B quad rotor used in the Mazda 787B. But at JPY 92K (Php 40,000) without taxes I had no choice but to go home crying.
Despite that though I truly enjoyed the morning I spent at Nostalgic 2 Days. Laid back atmosphere, no pretension from booths, no pervs fawning over models. Pure quality and all about love for a bygone era of automobiles, that’s something that hits very close to home for us for sure.
Words and Photos by Aurick Go