The Petersen Automotive Museum will present two exhibits of Japanese cars: this is the first


How do you know when the Japanese classic car scene really arrived? When will he have his own auto shows in America? This has been going on for decades. When will he have his own Touges (rallies)? Already had several. When does the first Japanese collector’s car take off for over a million dollars? It happened five years ago when a 2000GT sold for $ 1.16 million at an RM auction. (However, the first Japanese car class at Pebble has yet to take place.)

No, the Japanese classic car scene can really be a thing from May 26, when Los Angeles’ much-vaunted Petersen Automotive Museum will open not only one but two Japanese car exhibitions, the first time The Pete recognized. Japanese vintage cars at this point. in its 25 years of existence.

Aside from their historical significance, the exhibits themselves promise to be pretty cool. So far we have information and photos on one of the two. It is titled “The Roots of Monozukuri: The Creative Spirit in Japanese Automobile Manufacturing”. Monokuzuri, as you will recall from your Japanese high school class, means “the art, science, and craft of making things.” The exhibit will show how the monozukuri brought us from the first demountable kits from post-war Japan, when English and French subcompact whistles were built under license and sold to a nation crawling out of the devastation of the war, to the silent perfection of something like an Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400. It was a long journey, but, as the saying goes, it started with one step – or, in this case, one turn of the key. of contact.

“We are seeing more and more interest in Japanese classics, from this Petersen exhibition to Nissan being the star brand at both the Mitty and the Rolex Motorsports Reunion,” said Ben Hsu, founder of “When we created JNC in 2006, it was controversial whether a Japanese car could even be considered a classic. Now there is no doubt, it’s just a matter of when the best examples will become totally. out of reach.”

All the more reason to go see the exhibit and find out about the class.

The Monozukuri exhibition “… will highlight key elements of Japanese design philosophy in the years leading up to its rise to market dominance in the 1970s,” according to the museum. “Each car will illustrate this theme by highlighting the creativity, innovation, craftsmanship and collaboration at the heart of Japanese manufacturing.”

Some of the cars you will recognize like the 1967 Toyota 2000GT, the 1968 Honda N600 and maybe even the 1969 Mazda Cosmo. Others might be new to you, especially cars from the late 1950s and from the early ’60s from Datsun, Nissan, Prince (which was later bought by Nissan) and even Subaru. Browse the galleries to see if you can recognize them all. More cars will be in the exhibition; these are just a handful. And, like a NASCAR race winner, the museum would like to thank its sponsors, Nissan in particular, but also Mitsubishi, who both shipped numerous cars from Japan to the United States for the show.

“Nissan is honored to be part of Petersen’s ‘The Roots of Monozukuri’ exhibition, which celebrates 60 years of Japanese cars in the United States,” said Richard Plavetich, Managing Director of Nissan Design America. “From practical and economical to stylish and powerful, the design, durability and performance of Nissan vehicles have resulted in an 85-year global success story that will be well represented by the vehicles on display. ”

The exhibition will be in the Bruce Meyer Family Gallery presented by Rolex. The second exhibition, which opens at the same time, will be entitled “Fine Tuning: Japanese-American Customs”. It will examine the rise of Japanese car customization both in the domestic market and in the United States and how the two markets have influenced each other to redefine automotive culture, the museum said. We hope to get pictures of these cars soon, but they should include a 1973 Nissan Skyline 2000 GTX “Kenmeri”, a 1991 Toyota Cresta “Kaido”, a 1998 Honda Civic Hatchback Drag Racer and a 1974 Mazda RX-3. .

“The impact of the Japanese auto industry on American life is so powerful that the story has to be represented in two parts to truly capture the spirit of Japanese innovation,” said Petersen Executive Director Terry L Karges. “The exhibit is intended to fill the public’s interest in the evolution of Japanese manufacturing since arriving in the United States with Southern California’s place as a hotbed of Japanese car customization which has led to a nationwide boom in imported car tuning, powersports and more over the past two decades. “

“The Roots of Monozukuri” and “Fine Tuning” will run until April 14, 2019. For more information on the exhibition or the Petersen Automotive Museum, visit

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