2018 Pebble Beach Concours: Japanese Automotive Invitational

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceJapanese Automotive Invitational
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance showcases some of the most elegant and sought-after vehicles in the world, but almost all of these automobiles originated in Europe or America, and most were built before World War II. This year automobiles built in Japan got their chance to shine at Pebble in the first Japanese Automotive Invitational. Infiniti was the primary sponsor of this special event, although other Japan-based automakers including Subaru, Toyota, Mazda and Honda had significant vehicles on display in addition to Nissan and Infiniti. Click through highlights of this impressive collection of Japanese automotive history.
VIDEO: Overview of the Japanese Automotive Invitational

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1972 Nissan Skyline GT-R “Hakosuka”
The GT-R has a long history as one of the highest-performance models sold by Nissan, and this example is the first Skyline to wear the GT-R nameplate. Limited to just 1,113 unites, the Skyline GT-R was designed for competition and features wider tires, a limited-slip differential and a 2.0-liter engine producing 160 horsepower. This GT-R is painted Safari Gold — the rarest factory color available at the time.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1964 Datsun 1500 Fairlady Roadster
The Mazda Miata wasn’t the first Japanese roadster to compete with sporty offerings from Great Britain — take a look at this early Datsun roadster.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1964 Datsun 1500 Fairlady Roadster
A unique feature in this fun little sports car is a third seat in the rear that seats its passenger sideways for extra legroom.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1969 Subaru 360 Deluxe Coupe
For those driving Subaru Outbacks and Imprezas, this is the predecessor to your car. The 360 was introduced in 1958 and became Subaru’s first passenger car in America. The 360 has a tiny 356cc engine mounted in the rear, mated with a 3-speed manual transmission.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1967 Nissan Patrol and 1969 Toyota Land Cruiser
This fun, intriguing display showcases two early SUVs that could have easily been seen on- or off-road together. Although the Land Cruiser is still sold here, Nissan no longer offers the Patrol in America.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1967 Toyota 2000GT Roadster
The Toyota 2000GT was first introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1965. Apparently the sporty little car garnered considerable attention — two of the coupes were transformed into roadsters for use in the 1967 James Bond film “You Only Live Twice.”

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1967 Toyota 2000GT Roadster
This example is one of those two roadsters — driven by Akiko Wakabayashi with Sean Connery in the movie.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1959 Datsun 220
The oldest vehicle on display at the Japanese Invitational, this Datsun 220 was one of a mere 10 trucks imported to the U.S. to be used to test the market in California. The 1000cc engine generates 37 horsepower and is teamed with a 4-speed manual gearbox with a column shifter.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1959 Datsun 220
According to the owner, this is the only fully-restored example of those original 10 imports.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1990 Lexus LS Prototype
Almost 30 years ago, Toyota introduced this LS Prototype luxury sedan to launch the all-new Lexus brand.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1990 Lexus LS Prototype
Initially the largest vehicle in the Lexus lineup, this LS Prototype is closer in size to the current Lexus ES.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1964 Mazda R360
This tiny coupe with big windows is Mazda’s first 4-wheeled passenger car.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1964 Mazda R360
Introduced in 1960, the R360 features seating for four and a 4-stroke V-twin engine mounted in the rear.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1975 Honda Civic CVCC
The Honda Civic is one of the most popular vehicles in America, and it all started with this little coupe.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1975 Honda Civic CVCC
This first-generation Civic also featured the CVCC — Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion — engine, which helped this new car meet the strict emission restrictions of the early 1970s.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1997 Acura NSX-T
Introduced in 1990, the Acura NSX was a rolling showcase of Honda’s capabilities in the sports car arena. The first lightweight NSX is powered by a 270-horsepower VTEC 3.0-liter V6 engine teamed with a 5-speed manual gearbox.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1997 Acura NSX-T
Thanks to its impressive performance, the NSX proved that an exotic sports car did not have to come from Europe.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceInfiniti Prototype 9
It seemed fitting that the central display of the Japanese Automotive Invitational would be Infiniti’s Prototype 9 concept that combines the style and ideas of early race cars with a futuristic all-electric drivetrain. Keep going for a look at some of the other vehicles on display at the Japanese Automotive Invitational at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1990 Mazda Miata Showroom Stock C Racer

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1990 Mazda Miata Showroom Stock C Racer

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1994 Nissan 300ZX IMSA GTS Racecar

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1969 Subaru Sambar

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1990 Infiniti Q45 T

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1990 Infiniti Q45 T

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1978 Dome Zero

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1978 Dome Zero

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1968 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1968 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota IMSA GTO Championship Car

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota IMSA GTO Championship Car

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1976 Honda Civic “Lady” Concept

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1976 Honda Civic “Lady” Concept

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1999 Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R V-Spec

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1999 Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R V-Spec

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1992 Autozam AZ-1 Mazdaspeed

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