Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Category: car feature

Car feature: Nissan 2400GT HGLC10 at Garage Denissen

About five years ago I found a Dutch Nissan 2400GT brochure for sale on our local classifieds and I posted photos and scans of this brochure on my blog. Then I got contacted by Frans-Jan Petrij about his two Nissan 2000GT and 2400GTs and I posted a few of his photos. One thing led to another and I got contacted by a Nissan dealer called Fons Denissen who told me he actually has a Nissan 2400GT HGLC10 in his showroom!
Nissan 2400GT HGLC10 at Garage Denissen
Obviously I visited the Denissen dealership in 2010 and took a lot of photos of the 2400GT that was crammed between a few modern Nissans and at the back of the dealership there was a Datsun 240Z on a pedestal. Unfortunately my digital camera was dysfunctional so most photos were scrambled and had black lines in the photos. So I made the promise to return to the dealership and I finally was able to keep my promise and visit them again.

In the four years that passed a lot had changed at their dealership. They now also represent the Kia brand, the Datsun 240Z has gone and the Nissan 2400GT took its place on the pedestal: Continue reading

Shakotan Civic on Hayashi Streets

Three weeks ago I posted this Honda Civic in my Down on the Street regular. Back then I assumed that Hayashi Street rims are so rare and hard to find in the Netherlands that they were the Rota Shakotan knock offs.

And boy was I wrong there! Only three days later Bas Kuiper wrote the first comment that they are actually genuine. So I met up with him last Thursday, had a chat and shot some pictures of those very rare Hayashis and, of course, his Civic:
Honda Civic EG on Hayashi Street rims
His Civic is lowered so much we had to meet up down the road as his Civic probably would have hit the speedbumps. In the end the spot itself turned out to be a very nice background. 🙂

A picture to prove the wheels are genuine Hayashi Streets: Continue reading

Car feature: Bulgarian Galant Sigma Hardtop CS Extra

Dido posted a comment under a post I wrote about the Mitsubishi Galant Sigma that he owns one. So I followed the links and found his Facebook page which is scattered with images of his pride and joy:
Bulgarian Misubishi Galant Sigma Hardtop CS Extra
Naturally it is an import, but it is actually no one else than the Japanese Ambassador who brought it to Bulgaria! But the previous owners thought it was junk and did no maintenance on it and left it for four years in a field. That’s when Dido bought the car.

It is just amazing how much switchgear you can mount in a car: Continue reading

Car feature: Nissan Gloria Brougham VIP Y30

It can’t get more VIP than with this Nissan Gloria Brougham VIP Y30! If not only for its interior, but also for its smooth VG30ET 3 liter V6 turbo engine! Apparently Youtube user iwa730 wants to share its luck with us:

Its got about everything Nissan and the Japanese innovation could cram into that 185 inch long ship: cruise control, active suspension, cruise control and radio controls on the steering wheel, auto transmission with sports switch, radio with tapedeck, aircon, leather seats, pluche door cards, adjustable power mirrors, code protected driver side door, genuine hardtop roof, wire wheels and the list is probably ten times longer than this!

Also the car is in great imbalance: the V-30-turbo Brougham VIP badge is about ten times as heavy as the Nissan badge on the other side of the car! 😀

Anyone wants to trade his Nissan Gloria Brougham VIP for my Carina TA60? 😛

Car feature: Original AE86 cup racer from Holland Part 2

The AE86 driven by Mike van der Raadt was one of the cars used in the Dutch Corolla Cup. The Dutch Corolla Cup started out as a one brand only racing cup. All cars should be equal to each other and could only be modified under restrictions. This allowed drivers to show their skills more than the tuners could do with time and money. It made the cup very competitive and fun to watch. Of course, due to the equality of the cars, a lot of banging was done and not many of the cars survived.
Here you can see some pictures of the Dutch Corolla Cup in action:
Dutch Corolla Cup with three Corolla TE71 competing
Dutch Corolla Cup with four Corolla TE71 in the rain

When the Dutch Corolla Cup entered its second generation of Rollas it received a different engine as well: the 4AGE of the AE86 instead of the 2T-G of the TE71. With this new engine it became again the field of time and money. The more money put into the team, the better the outcome. Then in 1986, also probably due to the obsoletion of RWD Toyota cars, the new Starlet took over and the races were only driven with the new FWD Starlets.

Of course the teams and drivers still used their Corollas in different cups and races, like for instance the ETCC, BTTC or endurance races.

The AE86 driven by Mike van der Raadt was a very competitive car in the Dutch Corolla Cup and not only in the Corolla Cup, but also later on in the Super Touring Class (nowadays referred as Group A). Theo Koks said in his last interview that there were only two really big competitors: the AE86 driven by Mike van der Raadt and the VW Sirocco of the director of Zandvoort.
As you can see in the picture below the Corolla was competing in the Super Touring class:
Dutch Corolla AE86 tuned by Nobels

And it claims that the Corolla GT put the lap record of Zandvoort back into Dutch hands. IMO that is a bit impossible: Formula one just disappeared from Zandvoort back then and atleast those cars should be much much faster than this Corolla GT. Perhaps the lap record was set for the Super Touring class.

Back to the Corolla Cup: there are most probably still some other Corolla Cup or endurance racecars out there. I know for instance that the AE86 driven by Jasper Spaan stared its life as an endurance racer. It is RHD, non-European from origin and had a diff cooler in its axle. It was stored for 16 or 17 years when he bought it. Maybe this car was used in one of the endurance races on Spa as well.

I did find a bunch of pictures of Toyota Corollas (AE86) on Spa Francorchamps here, but no pictures of Jasper’s car. Anyone got more pictures of the old endurance races on Spa Francorchamps?

Car feature: Original AE86 cup racer from Holland Part 1

Some days ago Speedhunters posted some info about a 24 hours Spa Francorchamps AE86 and a BTCC AE86 Touring car. It made me remember that we still have an original AE86 cup racer here in Holland.

AE86 cup racer, image courtesy of Paul van Rooij

During the 80s there was an AE86 cup driven in Holland and Belgium. Most cars did not survive but some should still be hidden in sheds, just like this car from IJmuiden. After the driver( Mike van der Raadt) retired the car was cherished by one of it’s sponsors/creators put on display for almost 20 years. Only a short while ago it got sold to it’s current owner who is racing with it happily on Zandvoort.

Here is a video of the car starting:

More info about this car and the ae86 cup will follow next weekend. 😉

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