Plenty of Japanese-centric shows have popped up around the nation over the last decade, but only Adelaide’s All Japan Day pulls a bulging entrant list and epic crowds in equal measure.
Helping the event’s popularity is the fact that the show is for all Japanese and models, not just the chromebumpered classics, with late model turbos, mini-trucks, drift pigs and burnout rigs sharing Glenelg’s grass with rare classics, both big-dollar and not. Couple that with the popular, beachside location and a zero-dollar entry fee, and you’ve got a winning combination.
One of Australia’s only S110 Silvias made the trip (just), along with an early UP10 Toyota 700, presented in mint condition, but the big drawcard for classic Japanese enthusiasts was Roberto Formato’s rare Mazda R130 Luce Rotary Coupe, fresh off the boat from Japan.
Kristian Appelt and his team of volunteers worked hard to ensure the day ran smoothly, starting with their trademark ‘archway window’ parking setup; All Japan Day is an event that consistently looks great from above. Moving away from the two-day format trialled last year, the show was used to launch an all-new event; the All Japan Day Classic to be held 13 October to specifically cater for vehicles built prior to 1989.
As usual, entrant fees went to charity with All Japan Day 2019 raising $8500 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Great work again to the AJD team and we’re looking forward to October.
THIS HERE is my whip. A mate of my dad sourced this car for me; it was his old man’s from brand-new and has only clocked up 108,000ks. It was bone-stock when I bought it, right down to the Valeside Motors sticker and original, dealer-supplied numberplate. This only had a 1200cc as standard, but it’s got a 1300cc 4K out of a KE70 in there now. I put a sidedraft carburettor on it but would like to install a 13B rotary one day.
Mine has the Japanese dashboard, so it’s black instead of brown and it seems to have the Japanese diff and tail shaft; I can’t tell you why, though. I’ve installed AE86 suspension in the front, so it tracks a little wider, with coil-covers, camber tops and AE86 slotted brakes. The wheels are Aussie Cheviot Armorlites; they’re heaps similar to Mark 1 SSRs, a popular Japanese wheel.
I came across the Toyota quarter window louvres on Facebook; they’re ex-Malaysia. They seem to love these things over there.
THIS WAS my first car; I got it when I was 17 years old. It was fitted with an A12 out of a Datsun 1200 ute, so I stuck the original J15 1500cc four cylinder in it and blew up a couple of four-speed, column shift gearboxes.
The ute now runs an L18 motor out of a 180B, backed by a short ratio, R30 Skyline five speed. It’s got a Dell’Orto carburettor and an exhaust that sticks out too far.
I painted the tailgate and pretty much removed the suspension, including doing a bit of a custom lowering job using a forklift. I think the left-hand leaf spring is having a bad day today; it normally sits better than this. The right side is heaps better.
It rides on a set of Enkei Apache 8 alloy wheels, which I imported from Japan. They’re 15x8s with a negative 28 offset, so they’re a bit aggressive. Aside from those few changes and the fact that nothing worked, it was exactly like this when I found it, right down to the original Les March dealer stickers.
MY R130 Luce is only four weeks into Australia and was just registered last Thursday. Being fresh from Japan, I didn’t really know what I was getting, but this one turned out to be really good. For instance, it’s got no sun damage, which is amazing for a 50-year-old car.
The Luce was the only front-wheeldrive rotary Mazda ever made and runs a rebuilt 13A motor. The idea was to make it more spacious and stable on the road; in fact, it was called ‘The King of the Highway’ when it was advertised in Japan. Although they were supposed to come to Australia, they never did and with only 976 made, it’s even rarer than my Cosmo.
The Cosmo is my dream car; it’s a 10A-powered, L10B long wheelbase. This Cosmo was purchased brand new in 1970 by a gentleman in Burnside, South Australia. I suspect it came in through Singapore or something to make it look like a second-hand car as the dealers couldn’t access them. An executive within Mazda Australia bought it in 1984 and the company was custodian until 2015. It’s had a good life.
THIS RARE Holden Shuttle had been unregistered for 10 years when I bought it, but hadn’t been driven in about 20 years, so it’s a genuine barn find.
Isuzu only sent 250 of the Shuttle LS over to Australia; they were just too expensive, so I guess nobody really bought them; they were replaced by the Shuttle LT which wasn’t as nice inside.
The LS was really highly specced with dual aircon, dual heating, nine seats and cloth trim throughout. Every row folds down and you can make a full-sized double bed out of them. It uses a 1.8 litre 4ZB1 motor which is related to the 2.0 turbo Piazza motor and is backed by a fiveon-the-tree transmission.
It’s a weird but interesting van; for instance, the driver’s side has a switch to electrically control the passenger side power window. That sounds pretty normal until you realise the driver still gets a crank-action, windup window!
It’s really warm today and I’ve got my kids Cooper and Layla with me, so we might scoot off as soon as we can. Even though we’ve got two aircons, we’ve got no aircon!