As the Tokyo Motor Show wowed crowds with futuristic concepts, a festival on the other side of town celebrated automotive heritage. The Toyota Automobile Museum Classic Car Festival in Jingu Gaien, held on November 30, brought together car fans of all ages for a shared purpose: paying homage to the cars that brought us to where we are today.
The Classic Car Festival is held annually in Tokyo, and aims to promote car culture by exhibiting cars from as many makers, countries and generations as possible.
This year’s festival began with a crosstown parade starting outside the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery. In total, more than a hundred vintage vehicles, led by a 1960 Toyopet “Crown Model RS21” (below, left), braved the mid-morning Tokyo traffic on an 11-kilometer course around the city.
Once the vehicles returned, visitors could get a close-up look at the wide variety on display. While the festival cars spanned the better part of the twentieth century (from a 1919 Rolls Royce “Silver Ghost” to a 1983 Alpha Romeo “Giulietta”), center stage was given to a special exhibition celebrating the motor shows and cars of the 1960s. In addition to some limited-production Japanese sports cars from the decade, including a 1962 Hino “Contessa 900 Sprint” (below, left) and a 1962 Prince “Skyline Sports”, the festival was graced with a host of classic European and American sports cars, including a 1967 Jaguar “E-Type” hardtop (below, right) and a 1969 Chevrolet “Camaro RS/SS” convertible (above, right).
Alongside the many sleek, eye-catching sports cars on display, there were also some of the everyday vehicles that contributed to mass motorization during the Sixties―vehicles that have since become emblematic of the decade, such as a 1967 Volkswagen “Type 2” (below, left), affectionately known as a “Splittie” due to its distinctive split windshield, and a 1968 Austin “Mini Countryman Mark II” (below, right) with its wooden structure highlights and barn-style rear doors.
Throughout the day, visitors voted for their favorite cars. It certainly couldn’t have been an easy decision for anyone, thanks to the number of fantastic vehicles on display, but ultimately the honors went to a sharp red Lamborghini “Miura P400S,” pictured in action below.
Only a few kilometers from the flashy, competing booths of the Tokyo Motor Show, this year’s Classic Car Festival saw speakers representing Toyota, Nissan and Hino come together to talk about the cars that inspired them early on in their careers.
The event underlined the fact that, despite rivalries and the passage of years, some cars are timeless and truly bring joy to many.