Legends from the Land of the Rising Sun

Japanese Legends…also known as JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) Machines, Japanese Nostalgic Cars, J Tin, you get the picture.  Domestically here in the US of A, we have classics like the 1932 Deuce Coupe, 55-57 Chevy Bel Air, 67-69 Camaro, 64 1/2-70 Mustang, etc.

In Japan, the classics are cars like the Nissan Skyline, Toyota Celica, Corolla, Datsun 510 (Bluebird in Japan) and 240Z (Fairlady Z in Japan).

JDMLegends of Utah opens its doors for service

JDMLegends is a new shop located in North Salt Lake, Utah.  They had their Grand Opening last July 2009.  So bummed I missed it.  Looked like a nice gathering of Japanese cars!  R33, R34 and R35 Skyline GT-R’s in Utah at once?  Cooooool!!!

JDMLegends’ specialty is hunting down your dream JDM classic (25 years old or older) located in Japan, having it inspected and legally imported into the USA, where it can be delivered as is, or have the JDMLegends’ special touch.

Kenmeri and Hakosuka Skylines at JDMLegends July 2009

The owner of JDMLegends is a Japanese car nut named Trey Cobb.  Trey started Cobb Tuning.  Initially a turbo Subaru tuning specialist, now Cobb focuses on ECU tuning for many platforms, including the new Nissan GTR.

Toyota Celica 18R-G in disrepair

Above is the engine bay of a Toyota Celica as received by JDMLegends

Japanese spec 18R-G with the Yamaha head, dual side draft Mikuni carbs making 134hp @ 6000 rpm

…and here’s the same 1973 Celica bay after much effort by JDMLegends.  Super clean!

1973 RA21 Celica ready for delivery

Here’s the 1973 (chassis code RA21) Toyota Celica ready for delivery to a happy JDMLegends customer.

What exactly is the JDMLegends special touch?  Besides super detail and clean restoration work, it includes adding modifications like a modern turbocharged engine, 5 or 6 speed transmission, fully tuned adjustable suspensions, basically a Japanese version of a  “restomod” or “pro-touring” car.

I personally think its a perfect idea, as do their customers.

1973 Nissan Skyline Kenmeri engine bay as received from Japan

One more example of the work involved in bringing this ’73 Nissan Skyline “Kenmeri” up to JDMLegends’ standards…Here’s the engine bay of a ’73 Skyline prepped for resto work.

RB26 turbo unit from a late model R33 Skyline

And this is the finished product.  Looks great.  The RB26 comes with “280hp” from the factory in 1990’s and 2000’s Skylines.  This engine transplant is similar to putting a late model fuel injected 302 ci Mustang GT engine into a 60’s Mustang.  This is where the Restomodding comes into play.  Hot Rodding at its finest! (just with a little Japanese twist)

1973 Nissan Skyline with GT-R fender flares

Here’s that Skyline Kenmeri, a GT-R replica with the addition of fender flares.  I love the look of the early 70’s Japanese classics.  They have American muscle car body lines written all over them don’t you think?  Like the round dual horizontal headlights, sloping fastback roof lines, long hoods.  These cars are gorgeous!

JDMLegends is your place for importing classic J Tin and providing a one stop shop for services like restomod engines and suspensions, bodywork and paint (see the pic below of another Celica in progress) as well as parts sourcing from their contacts in Japan.

1977 Celica down to bare metal at JDMLegends

Check out their website at JDMLegends.com and add their JDMLegends Blog to your RSS feed or Google Blog Reader.  I did.  The blogs include detailed stories about restoration and modification work with pictures like those in this post.  Keep your eyes peeled here too as we’ll be featuring some of JDMLegends work in 2010.

Datsun 510 with SR20DET turbo powerplant

Have a favorite classic 70’s Japanese car?  Comment below and let us know.  One of mine has got to be the Datsun 510, like this one above that was recently shipped to a lucky customer in Canada.  It too runs a late model engine, this one a Nissan Silvia SR20DET turbocharged engine pumping out 400+hp.  Now that’s a power:weight ratio I’d love to experience.

Pictures by Eric at JDMLegends

JDMLegends logoSR20DET in a Datsun 5101977 Celica ready for tear down

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