Support our mission
Japanese visitors take photos of a 1959 convertible Corvette displayed alongside a 1966 Stingray Corvette at the Classic Car Festival New Year Meeting, hosted by Japan Classic Car Association, held in Odaiba on Sunday.

Japanese visitors take photos of a 1959 convertible Corvette displayed alongside a 1966 Stingray Corvette at the Classic Car Festival New Year Meeting, hosted by Japan Classic Car Association, held in Odaiba on Sunday. (Christopher B. Stoltz / S&S)

Japanese visitors take photos of a 1959 convertible Corvette displayed alongside a 1966 Stingray Corvette at the Classic Car Festival New Year Meeting, hosted by Japan Classic Car Association, held in Odaiba on Sunday.

Japanese visitors take photos of a 1959 convertible Corvette displayed alongside a 1966 Stingray Corvette at the Classic Car Festival New Year Meeting, hosted by Japan Classic Car Association, held in Odaiba on Sunday. (Christopher B. Stoltz / S&S)

A row of Datsuns line up for a car parade at the Classic Car Festival New Year Meeting. Approximately 13,000 people and over 500 cars were expected to gather during this annual event where classic car owners get to show off their cars and mingle with other historic car enthusiasts.

A row of Datsuns line up for a car parade at the Classic Car Festival New Year Meeting. Approximately 13,000 people and over 500 cars were expected to gather during this annual event where classic car owners get to show off their cars and mingle with other historic car enthusiasts. (Christopher B. Stoltz / S&S)

Two 1960 Messerschmit KR-200s, also known as Kabinen roller’s, drive around for the car parade.

Two 1960 Messerschmit KR-200s, also known as Kabinen roller’s, drive around for the car parade. (Christopher B. Stoltz / S&S)

Japanese visitors purchase model cars from vendors.

Japanese visitors purchase model cars from vendors. (Christopher B. Stoltz / S&S)

A 1965 Convertible Mustang 289-GT sits in a row of mustangs waiting to be judged.

A 1965 Convertible Mustang 289-GT sits in a row of mustangs waiting to be judged. (Christopher B. Stoltz / S&S)

TOKYO — Piercing-cold morning air didn’t bother classic car fans excitedly huddled around the 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, 1965 Ford Mustang or 1972 Nissan Skyline 2000GT.

No, they were there to share experiences in restoring their own cars and to compliment other owners on how well maintained their cars were.

Around 13,000 enthusiasts turned out to check out more than 500 classics — built between 1950 and 1979 — at the Classic Car Festival New Year Meeting held Sunday in Odaiba.

The annual event, hosted by the Japan Classic Car Association since 1977, is a chance for car owners to show off their well-maintained, polished vehicles and it allows others the opportunity to look at and sit in cars that they’ve only seen in magazines.

“Anything goes. People selling stuff, different types of cars and the number of cars gathered. It’s fun,” said Mustang Stingray owner Shinichi “Big Hand” Kimura. “It’s a place where classic car lovers gather.”

The festival was broken up into two areas: a display section where cars were parked for people to look around, and a booth section where individuals and companies sold goodies like old car magazines, model cars, stickers and hard-to-find old car parts.

To the delight of many, some cars paraded around the block surrounding the venue, giving visitors a chance to see them in action.

Despite the chill in the air, the event had a cozy atmosphere.

“I get to see the people I see every year and the new people, who love these kinds of rare cars,” said car dealership owner Hiroyuki Okane, who has participated in the event for the past 11 years.

Hiroyuki Ito, who owns a Messerschmitt KR 200 — considered a “bubble car” — traveled roughly 250 miles from Gifu prefecture in central Japan to participate in the show. He said it is an opportunity to “get together with bubble-car owners that are mostly in the Kanto region.”

The JCCA holds events throughout the year, but this is the only one that exhibits cars. Other events are usually classic car races. The next race will be held at Fuji Speedway on April 13. For more information, check out the Japanese-only JCCA Web site.

Some of the cars that took part in the Classic Car Festival on Sunday:

author picture
Hana Kusumoto is a reporter/translator who has been covering local authorities in Japan since 2002. She was born in Nagoya, Japan, and lived in Australia and Illinois growing up. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and previously worked for the Christian Science Monitor’s Tokyo bureau.
twitter Email

Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up