Sixty years after the first sports cars began emerging out of Japan, the country’s astonishing contribution to the evolution of the sports car will be celebrated with a specially-curated tribute at this year’s Motorclassica.
Hosted at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne on 11 – 13 October (see special Paint & Panel discount at the end of the article), the unique celebration of Japan’s motoring giants will be presented in partnership with Nissan, with the brand celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its legendary Nissan GT-R.
Taking on the best from Europe and America, many of Japan’s early sports cars not only quickly reached legendary status, but changed automotive history forever, shaping the design evolution in countless ways and completely revolutionising the entire sports car market.
The 2019 event, while celebrating its own landmark 10th anniversary, will recognise Japan’s legendary sports cars with a hand-picked display of incredibly significant and, in some cases, little-known examples, with contributions from Datsun/Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Mazda and others.
Motorclassica’s celebration of the modernisation of the sports car by the Japanese manufacturers is just one feature of the 2019 event, which is long-established as Australia’s premier annual exhibition of classic, collectible, significant and special cars and motorcycles.
“Japan’s first sports car, the Datsun DC-3, harks back to 1952 and since then the nation’s many manufacturers have been responsible for some of the most significant sports cars of our time,” Motorclassica, Event Director Paul Mathers said.
“We want to highlight Japan’s contribution to sports car design evolution by introducing reliability and driveability, thus popularising this market segment into its prominent place in the automotive world today.”
“We are delighted to have curated an exhibition of these key Japanese sports car and we welcome the support of Nissan, one of the major contributors to this journey.”
As presenting partner of the Japanese Sports Car class at Motorclassica, Nissan’s display will include a Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 and Nissan Skyline GT-R R34, as well as the just-released Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition.
“Nissan is delighted to be involved with Motorclassica, a motor show that continues to grow in prestige and recognises the classic cars of yesteryear and today,” said Nissan Australia marketing director Geraldine Davys.
“As an official sponsor of Motorclassica, and Presenting Partner of the Japanese Sports Car Class, we pay tribute to 50 years of GT-R and Nissan’s sportscar history, and pay homage to the stunning cars that have come from Japan and the global impact that they have made.”
The Japanese Sports Car class will also feature some earlier gems from Nissan forebear Datsun, such as a 310 Fairlady from 1964 and a pair of ‘Z’ cars, a 240Z from 1972 and a 260Z from 1975.
Mazda did an enormous amount to popularise modern sports cars around the world with its RX7 and later MX5, and Motorclassica’s display will include an example of the very first Series 1 RX7 from 1980.
Earlier sports models from Mazda at Motorclassica will include an R100 from 1969, a 1971 Cosmo, an RX3 from 1974 and a 1975 RX4 coupe.
Competitor Toyota will be well represented on the sports car journey too, with examples of its tiny 800 Sports from 1966 and a Celica TA22 from 1971.
Other rare Japanese sports models to be included in the tribute will be a 1966 Honda S600 roadster, a Daihatsu Compagno Spider from 1968, a Honda 1300 Coupe 9 from 1971 and an Isuzu 117 XE coupe from 1979.
The 10th annual Motorclassica 2019 will be staged at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne from 11 – 13 October.
Click here to book your ticket and get a special Paint & Panel discount, quote PAINT19MC