The kids were out of school, at least for a little while longer. They had just gotten back from Japan, and some friends followed them over the pond a few weeks later. Every Japanese visitor always wants to see Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, and Disneyland. We were happy to oblige and spend time with them.
Shortly after our beloved house-guests left, I had a scratch I’ve been needing to itch. #KCRW radio was advertising about the Roots of Monozukuri Exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum. As this is a limited run, I was hoping to do this before summer ended. The Exhibit ends April 2019, so head on over before then. What I loved about the exhibit was the very rare vehicles that were on display. The Iconic 1967 Toyota 2000GT sports car, Fairlady 1600, and the 1969 Nissan R382 were just a few that I recognized. The museum however took me to school on a bunch of cars that I wasn’t familiar with.
- 1963 Prince Skyline: Many of us are familiar with the Nissan GTR which roams American roads, but this is it’s predecessor. Even before Prince was bought up by Nissan, the skyline was touted as it’s ultimate achievement.
- 1972 Jimny: Suzuki Samurai’s oldest grandfather
- 1954 Suminoe Flying Feather, made of 4 bicycle-esque wheels wouldn’t pass a modern safety test. Adjacent to the exhibit was a smaller exhibit on ’90/’00s tuner car culture. Two Icons of that era…
- Jonathan Wong’s 1990 Civic Si. Johnny used to be lead editor at a magazine called Super Street back before I was freelancing for them. You might be wondering what I mean by that. Before I was working here at Tokyo Automotive I was in Japan writing about cars for various automotive publications. J. Wong is a bit of an icon in the Tuner Car world.
- Stephan Papadakis’ Civic. First front wheel drive car into the 9 second mark. I remember watching that race on the internet and being glued to the screen. That car carried with it the hopes and dreams of our car obsessed generation.
The two adjacent exhibits did well to explain the culture behind the craftsmanship, and why Japanese cars have become such a dominant segment of the automotive landscape.
For more pictures here’s a link. https://photos.app.goo.gl/SSobTZSrK3CNjUZE9 I’ve created an album there.