5th Annual Nissan Jam: SoCal’s All Nissan, Datsun, and Infiniti Car Show

Whether it’s Nissan’s 240SX, the 300ZX, classic collector Skylines, or the company’s newest generation of vehicles that you enjoy, the 5th Annual Nissan Jam car show in Anaheim, California offers the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal to a massive collection of rare, high-quality show and race cars.

With the success of last year’s Nissan Jam event held at La Palma Park in Anaheim, CA, the teams from Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS) and Japanese Nostalgic Car (JNC) joined forces once again to deliver another memorable event in 2017. This year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Datsun 510, a milestone for a vehicle whose popularity among today’s tuner crowds has increased tremendously.

Joel Tan has been making a name for himself within the show car circuit. If Tan’s name sounds familiar, that’s because we featured his immaculate home-built ’73 Toyota Sprinter Trueno in our 2016 Wekfest Long Beach coverage.

Tan was up to his usual tricks once again as he unveiled his newest creation late last year, a ’72 Skyline Hakosuka. The “works” style look was achieved using Victory 50 headlight covers and a custom oil cooler which now resides where the front bumper was originally located. The formerly mild mannered GTX received a complete makeover using Victory 50 coilovers and fender flares to tuck a set of SSR MKI’s measuring 13×10-inch -28mm offset up front and 14×12-inch -51mm offset on the rear. A Victory 50 big brake kit was also installed as Tan regularly takes his machine to the canyons for some spirited driving.

“I built this Skyline GTX with a livery that was common among race cars from the early ’70s.”

“The fender flares and wheels I powder coated in gold offers the perfect combination for this project” states Joel.

Under the hood sits Nissan’s L28 straight-six engine using Mikuni AA 3Triple carburetors and Ireland Engineering velocity stacks. The cylinder head was rebuilt and massaged with a full port and polish job. While the drivetrain consists of a Nismo clutch, lightweight flywheel, and close ratio transmission.

He began sourcing parts from random shops and online sources from overseas to puzzle together the interior. Finding parts for a Skyline isn’t exactly an easy task but somehow Joel was able to bring it together and even threw on this cool Sapporo beer shift knob as the final touch.

“When I purchased the car, the exterior was in decent condition but the interior needed the most attention,” recalls Tan.

It was no surprise that Tan received two awards at Nissan Jam for 1st place Best in Class and top honors with the Japanese Nostalgic Car Award.

This 2009 Nissan GT-R R35 was outfitted with a Rocket Bunny widebody kit and carbon fiber hood. The GTR was resprayed in a custom black cherry hue with gold accents to deliver a unique look to an already stellar car. Perhaps the most unusual item on this car was the roll call plastered on the doors.

Pepper, bread, milk, pineapple, and eggs? The clever logo styling ques were taken from various performance manufactures such as NOS and Greddy, which we immediately believed the owner to be some sort of chef or Sous chef. However upon research of the “#brokelife” sticker we came to find out that the stickers were nothing more than a list of foods consumed in order to save every penny for spending on building his GT-R. Never the less it was a cheeky promotion for a man who relegates himself to a strict Cup O Noodles diet in the name of his hobby.

We were excited to see one of Team A-Bo-Moons’ Nissan R32 drift car from Hiroshima Japan make its appearance at this year’s show. The name A-Bo-Moon was derived from the founders of the drift team, the Satsukawa brothers. The younger brother Akinobu Satsukawa’s first name “Abo” was combined with “Moon” from the cartoon Sailor Moon. Both older brother Tomonori and Akinobu have a strong passion for drifting—and the Nissan R32—so they started a drift team with matching R32 4-door Skylines in the same color and graphic schemes. The wheel and aero packages are the only way to differentiate between the seven different team members’ cars. Other than that, the cars are all mirror images of one another. Over the past few years, Team A-Bo-Moon has become a cult classic among the Japanese and US drift fanatics thanks to their crazy personalities and aggressive vehicle appearance.

Akinobu’s R32 was stateside from a previous drift demo event held on the East coast. The R32 is powered by a RB20DET power plant with a GT2530 turbocharger and Tomei camshafts. Cooling upgrades consist of a Koyorad oil cooler and aluminum radiator. For suspension, Swift coilovers are fitted on all four corners with Gouhara extended lower arms, tension rods, rear upper control arms, and traction rods. The exterior modifications on his car mix together a BN-Sports hood, a drag wing, Ganador mirrors and a 326-Power roof wing. A set of Work VS-KF wheels in 17×9-inch +0 offset occupy the front fenders, while 17×9.5-inch -5 offset inhabit the rears.

Speaking of drift cars, this second-generation Infinity Q45—otherwise known as the Nissan Cedric (Y33-chassis) in Japan—probably isn’t most people’s first choice to shred sideways. Ernie Gonzalez definitely was thinking outside the box when he built his drift machine, and was fueled by the doubters within the drift scene.

“The drifting community said it couldn’t and shouldn’t be done on a car so big,” recalled Gonzalez.

The original engine was replaced with a 2JZ-GTE power plant and outfitted with a R154 5-speed transmission. In order for the shifter to align properly, it was extended 4.5” to achieve the perfect location. During the rebuild process, the entire car was stripped and sent to GSWERKS in Palmdale, California for a full custom cage, bash bars, and tubed front-end. Upon completion, Newport Auto Resto smoothed out all the dents and resprayed the car in Viper Red paint.

Ernie and his Q45 can be found regularly at local drift events such as Just Drift shredding his tires and having fun in his luxury drift car.

You never know what to expect when you attend a car show. Take for example this ’84 Nissan 720. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of campers or motorhome manufacturers—Ford or Chevy? That’s exactly what we were thinking, but Abe had something else in mind when he purchased his 720 brand new.

“This is my weekend getaway home and it has everything I need to comfortably stay off grid. Hell, it’s even solar powered” says Abe.

He welcomed us inside for a closer look and we were rather impressed. Once inside we found a functional shower, TV, full-sized bed, stove, microwave, an eating table—not bad. This Nissan basically covered all the creature comforts needed for a road trip with your friends or family members. I’d seriously consider buying one if they weren’t so hard to find!

This immaculate ’72 240Z is Paul Miramon’s pride and joy. Sporting a number of modifications, the bright Canary yellow Z definitely has the horsepower to back up its stellar looks. The engine consists of a L28 bottom end with a N42 cylinder head outfitted with an aggressive race cam. An MSA 6-to-1 header and dual pipe exhaust system offers a deep growl when standing on the throttle.

Triple 40DOCS Weber carbs and a five-speed transmission complete the engine modifications. Techno Toy Tuning coilover suspension and pillow ball mounts along with ST sway bars allow the 16-inch Rota wheels wrapped in Toyo Tires to handle any road conditions.

The interior was completely redone in black leather and modified using Status Racing GTX Ring racing seats, 4-point harnesses, a MSA short shifter, Coco floor mats and a Momo steering wheel.

This Juke Nismo was fully customized by Ryan Edge and looks pretty mean. Edge upgraded the exterior with a set of custom side skirts, front and rear splitters and bumper canards for a cool take on the otherwise average crossover.

Boden Autohaus plumbed the Air Runner suspension to allow Edge to tuck his wheels under the fenders.

The engine bay still sports the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine but with a few upgrades including custom aluminum charge pipes and intercooler, blow off valve, upgraded turbo with hood exhaust dump, larger sized injectors and a Nitrous Outlet single fogger system with purge.

It’s been a year since we last saw this Nissan Hardbody truck but by the looks of it, owner Luis Chavez has been putting in some work. The SR20DET-powered ’94 pickup sits on a set of rare SSR 18×9-inch wheels wrapped in 265/35-18 Federal tires.

The engine bay—sporting an iconic, retro HKS graphic scheme—is accentuated by a number of sought-after parts including a Greddy intake manifold, Garrett ball bearing turbo, HKS intake filter and Sard side-feed fuel rail. A Nitrous Supply single fogger kit helps to bump up horsepower levels as well as aid in spooling the turbo quicker. Kik Fab and Tune located in Buena Park, California dyno tuned the Nissan using an APEX’i Power FC.

The interior door panel and headliners were both reupholstered using Bride material to match the bucket seats. A pull-type hydraulic handbrake system was integrated to allow Chavez to get sideways with his ride.

For added safety, a full custom roll cage was integrated into the interior, while a fuel cell was moved toward the trunk to offer improved weight distribution.

Rusty, crusty but still a rarity among the Datsun lineup was this ’69 Laurel. This vehicle is in original condition and was purchased from an elderly man from Japan.

What makes this Laurel such an uncommon find is the G18 Prince motor which resides under the hood. The G18 consists of a 5 bearing layout and a short stroke. The valves are of a V-type arrangement and a multi-ball combustion chamber with aluminum cross flow heads. The G18 was discontinued in ’75 due to tightened emission regulations and replaced by the less desirable L18.

We love hearing the back-story of how a classic car came to be, and this Datsun 510 had a great story that the daughter of Lennart “Len” came to share at the event. Unfortunately, the daughter was so immersed in conversation with John Morton—yes, legendary Datsun 510 race car driver John Morton—that we couldn’t get her name but she mentioned that the car was purchased brand new by her father back in 1969 and has remained in the family ever since. Her dad built and raced the car well into the ‘80s up to 1989 when he finally retired from racing and building 510s.

The car was placed in storage and remained there until 1992 when it was repainted but once again parked till 2016. That was when a close family friend brought it back to life and rebuilt the engine.

I overheard the daughter mention that all the folders and photo books documenting the 510 and his father’s legacy will be carried on.

“I was riding in this car before I was even born, and was nearly born in this car on PCH,” she joked.

Attending Nissan Jam became a family affair for Valdivia brothers Osvaldo and Carlos, with Osvaldo bringing his green ’64 NL 320 while Carlos rolled into the show with his own ’64 312 Bluebird.

Both vehicles were fully restored down to the last bolt, boasting great attention to detail and period correct color. An interesting fact is the engine, which produced 60 horsepower. The 1,200 cc engine transfers power though a column-mounted three-speed shifter.

Carlos cleared up our question of how owners of old vehicles source their parts. One look at the pristine interior of his car and it’s hard to imagine this vehicle is over 53 years old.

“A lot of time and perseverance” stated Carlos.

We’ve been closely following the progression of this ’71 2000GTX Skyline Hakosuka ever since Rick Ishitani purchased it 2 years ago. The previous owner purchased the vehicle from Japan, but prior to shipping it was completely revamped by legendary Datsun tuner Rocky Auto. Similar to Joel’s GTX, a set of fender flares were installed before fitting it with classic Watanabe wheels.

The engine bay recently received a full makeover by Taka’s Kyushu House. The original carburetors were replaced with triple Mikuni 044’s and complimented with steel braided lines. The velocity stacks, valve cover and heat shield were all polished to a high luster. Rick opted to ship and install a Fujitsubo header and exhaust from Japan, and finished it off with a Cusco three-point strut bar. Owning bragging rights to numerous car show trophies, it’s a safe bet to say this Skyline is on the road to plenty more awards in the future.

When Jose Tarin purchased this ’71 Datsun 521 truck, he knew from the get-go that he didn’t want to follow your average cookie cutter build.

“I could have taken the easy way out, threw in a SR20DET-engine and called it a day, but where’s the creativity in that?” says Jose.

“I wanted to be different and decided on installing a Toyota 3SGE Beams engine.”

The Beams engine—which stands for Breakthrough Engine with Advanced Mechanism System—was only available in Japan, is equipped with VVT-I, and produces 197 horsepower at 7,000 rpm. Jose not only managed to fit this engine inside the engine bay, but also replaced the original steering box with an updated rack and pinion setup.

The windshield wiper containers we’re now so accustomed to being plastic on today’s modern cars was originally designed as a pouch back in the earlier Datsun years. While it may look like those Kangaroo wash bags you take camping to shower with—named because it replicates the Kangaroo’s pouch—it was a common item among cars from Japan in the ’70’s. Definitely weird, but an interesting item never the less.

Inside the cockpit, the seats and door panels were reupholstered to replicate the original OEM colors and stitch patterns. Notice directly under the Speed Hut GPS speedometer sits a large motor? That is an electronic steering assist motor that aids to increase steering agility. Pretty clever!

Chris Khan has managed to amass a number of cars to his collection over the years, but the one true love he continually tinkers with to this day is his trusty ’95 240SX S14 Zenki. The 240SX was rebuilt from the ground up starting with a DMAX type 3 body kit, front over fenders, hood and Chargespeed rear fenders. An eight-point roll cage was installed before the car was sent to JV Autobody to receive a fresh coat of paint. Once the bodywork was complete, Chris finished off his ride with Circuitsports LED taillights and clear headlight lenses, and bolted on a set of 18×10-inch +0 offset Rays Gramlight wheels.

Under the hood, the original KA24DE-engine was removed in favor of a single-turbocharged 2JZ-GTE non-VVTi power plant with a R154 transmission. In order to increase horsepower numbers, Chris dropped in a Garrett GTW 6766 turbocharger, Hayaimoto intake plenum, Black Ops 1,700 cc injectors, stainless exhaust manifold, Synapse 50mm wastegate, 90mm billet throttle body, which was all tuned using a AEM EMS Series 2 engine management system.

The Nissan Hardbody has long been a popular truck within the low rider community. Alvaro Orellana modified his ’93 Nissan using every trick in the Low Rider handbook.

The stock engine was redone with custom engraving and color matched with wire loom and painted accents.

The entire undercarriage was hand engraved and the rear leaf springs were replaced with three-link suspension and hydraulics using four high-pressure pumps. The front suspension was custom made and the entire frame was reinforced including the rear axle to endure the punishment of wheel hopping.

The swing out tailgate leads to a trunk bed stuffed with hydraulic pumps along with Kinetics batteries and a custom sound system.

The Nissan NX 2000 has become one of many Nissans you rarely see on the streets today. Jun Andrana professes his love for his NX, and is the original owner from all 26 years of its existence.

“The engine is original and shows over 250,000 miles on the odometer but continues to run strong,” states Jun.

Over the years, the SR20DE engine has been upgraded with an HKS intake, exhaust, DNA stainless header and Stillen ECU.

Jun’s keeping it old school with exterior modifications consisting of a VIS Racing body kit sitting lower to the ground using KYB struts with Eibach springs on the suspension. A rare set of 15-inch Chevlon wheels give his NX a period correct appearance.

Check out that interior—26 years old and looking like it came out of a showroom! Exactly how does he do it?

“Attention to detail and keeping it clean at all times. It’s as simple as that,” Jun replied.

Dick Cheung took some time out of his busy race schedule to attend the show with his ’71 Datsun 510. The 510 is a fully sanctioned SCCA race car with log book. Dick even campaigns the car in the Vintage Auto Racing Association (VARA ).

Within the VARA class rules, the 510 was modified to accept an external fuel shutoff valve, Halon fire extinguishing system, full roll cage and fuel cell.

A custom front bumper feeds the L18 engine with SSS carburetors while a set of Panasport wheels wrapped in Kumho tires deliver traction around the race track.

What on Earth is that? I mumbled to myself under baited breath as I approached what looked like a golf cart on steroids. This custom two-tone purple machine is known as a Nissan S-Cargo and was manufactured in Pike Factory, Japan. The car was never officially exported with only 12,000 made from ‘89-‘92.

Interestingly enough, this Nissan uses a B11-generation Sentra chassis and was styled after the Citroen’s 2CV Fourgonette. An E15 1.5-liter carbureted engine that delivers a whopping 70hp powers the S-Cargo.

Unique to the vehicle is the porthole windows, Targa sunroof and full view side windows. Would we own one? Highly unlikely, but chock this one up as one of the more unusual cars to come out of Japan.

The Datsun B210 has never been a popular car among today’s youth and with just cause. Considering the less-than-attractive exterior and the suspension layout including rear leaf springs were a deterrent for anyone attempting to turn this into a high performance race machine.

Regardless of how we view the B210, there was no denying that Rogelio Martinez’s restored machine was a real crowd pleaser at the event.

Rogelio spent countless hours restoring his B210 to showroom condition. The paint was flawless as was the interior. If the Nissan museum is in search of a B210, they should know that Rogelio is the man to call.

From one extreme to another, this Shakotan/Zokusha-styled machine owned by Andy Cabrera takes vehicle modifications to a whole new level. It takes some testicular fortitude to drive around the streets of LA with an exhaust like this. As unusual as it might seem, this type of extravagant exhaust setup is commonly seen and accepted within the Japanese automotive sub culture.

We came across this S13 240SX outfitted with some pretty rare aero parts including a Koguchi Power vented hood, full Type X aero kit and Type X rear wing.

Even rarer were these Panasport G7-C5C wheels—inspired by Group-A Racing—that are highly sought after by both show cars and drifters alike. These wheels were extremely limited in quantity and are considered the holy grail of all Panasport wheels, if found in good condition they can fetch a pretty penny.

How do you measure success? For Roy De Guzman, it was when Hot Wheels decided to immortalize his ride and cast an exact replica of his ’72 Skyline 2000GT he had owned for over 12 years. Roy’s Hakosuka made quite the impact on Hot Wheels designers a few year back when it caught their eyes. It was then he was asked if he wanted to collaborate with the big toy maker to produce a miniature version of his car.

“I was blessed to be a part of something as big as Hot Wheels. I’ve grown up owning and playing with Hot Wheels cars,” says De Guzman.

The custom blue and white livery was designed by De Guzman whom attributes his architectural talents enabled him to transfer a vision onto a blank canvas, in this case his car. In order to achieve the GTR look, Roy installed a set of fender flares, mirrors, and rear wing. The engine swap is a simple 2.8-liter setup with 40mm Mikuni carbs, MSD 6AL ignition box and blaster coil, Rubber Soul heat shield, and side exit exhaust by Best Muffler Shop.

Proper stance was achieved using GAB Sports eight-way adjustable shocks and HELP 60mm lowering springs (rears 600lb adjustable). A set of 15×8-inch -6mm offset front and 15×12-inch -51mm offset rear Watanabe R-Type wheels were wrapped in 195/50-15 front and 235/50-15 rear Toyo R888 tires.

There were so many quality vehicles we weren’t able to fit into our coverage. Regardless of vehicle loyalties, every Nissan, Datsun, and Infiniti was well represented at this year’s show and the turnout was overwhelming. Having attended a number of Nissan Jam events over the years, it’s apparent this car show continues to grow by leaps and bounds and the quality of cars continues to improve with every passing year.