Look at the Japanese classics shown at Pebble Beach this year!

Japanese or JDM cars have never featured heavily at Pebble Beach – but 2018 changed that with the Japanese Automotive Invitational. Here are the highlights

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BRE Datsun 510

Surely one of the coolest-ever sedan/saloon race cars. And note the Infiniti Prototype 9 in the background. All part of a great Japanese showing this year at Monterey Car Week.

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1964 Datsun 1500 Roadster and 1966 Toyota 2000GT

Beautiful – and note that there were just two of these open-top 2000GTs built, for the Bond movie You Only Live Twice.

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1969 Subaru Sambar

OK, neither Colin McRae nor Richard Burns drove a Sambar, but this is where Subaru started. No flat-four, either, but an air-cooled, two-stroke, two-cylinder 356cc engine in the rear.

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1967 Nissan Patrol

This early Patrol is stunning. It’s a second-generation model – the first-generation Patrols having been around since 1951, believe it or not. It was sold as a Nissan through Datsun dealers, confusingly.

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1974 Nissan Cherry X-1R

What a great car! The Cherry was Nissan’s first front-wheel-drive model, and the X-1R was the performance version. It’s now super rare and sought after.

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1990 Lexus LS prototype

Yes, not just an LS but the prototype, shipped over by the factory specifically for this gathering.

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Mazda Miata/MX-5

Easily recognisable – and behind it is the reasonably familiar Nissan Figaro, and the less commonly seen Nissan Pao.

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1976 Honda Civic ‘Lady’ Concept

We’d never ever seen this before. Great that it was there – probably sensible that it didn’t go into production, though...

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Race car collection

In stark contrast to the ‘Lady’, the race cars oozed intent. Here we have offerings from Mazda, Nissan and Toyota, which brought out one of its Le Mans cars.

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1976 Toyota Toyoglide 600

Not sure how well it ‘glides’, but there’s a real appeal to this little Toyota. Just behind it there’s a 1964 Mazda R360, another of Japan’s dinky kei cars.

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1989 Infiniti M30

The M30 (M for ‘medium-sized’) was introduced in 1989. Yes, 1989 – and in fact Infiniti will turn 30 years old next year.

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1971 Mitsubishi Colt Galant GTO MR

This was Japan’s performance car of its day: twin-carb, twin-cam, five-speed and 123bhp. Hidden behind (sorry!) is a 1990s Autozam AZ-1, mid-engined and with gullwing doors.

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