In true Bobby Nitro style, we’re starting the year with a bang.
What better way than a group shoot of six kwaai JDM vehicles, all parked with proper observation of the social distancing rule.
But first, about that term JDM. It stands for Japanese Domestic Market, referring to cars built to be sold exclusively on the Japanese market.
The misconception comes in when it is said that all Japanese vehicles are JDM. This is not true, while all JDM cars are Japanese, not all Japanese cars are JDM.
Look, it gets complicated, and for many petrolkoppe, JDM has come to mean different things, including a somewhat purist idea of keeping a Japanese car purely Japanese all the way, especially when it comes to any aftermarket add-ons or parts.
Bobby Nitro spoke to a couple of the proud owners of these Japanese cars, like Adrian Lakay. A consummate Datsun collector who brought his 521 bakkie and R33 GTR. Adrian says: “I’m a die-hard Datsun fan, my dad’s first car was a 521. This one I bought two months ago, and I’ve sourced disc brakes as well as redone the dashboard.”
To Adrian, JDM means everything Japanese. He adds: “My 2021 will be complete if I realise my dream of acquiring a 510 wagon. Then I’m done, as my wife is getting mad at me filling all the parking space.”
Nathaniel Johnson restored this black 2.8 litre GTX Skyline to immaculate condition. “Funny thing happened,” he says, “as I was pulling up to Wembley to collect dinner, I saw the guys hanging out and next thing they invited me onto this shoot. I said ‘cool, I’ll roll with it’.”
Over three years, Nathaniel stripped his Skyline down to the nuts and bolts, cleaned and restored, and put it back together good as new.
Brent Fisher’s 510 Datsun SSS is iconic on the show and shine scene. He has recently replaced the powerplant with a CA18 DET engine, saying the 1800 turbo motor “gives me more under my foot seeing this is my daily drive”.
Bobby asked what his definition of JDM was. Brent says: “To me it means old school retro Japanese car stories, with a nice set of wheels!”
Zuheir Mowlana rolled up in his yellow Quantum that scooped a bunch of prizes when it entered the show and shine scene some years ago.
Though it was Wade Thomas’ 1997 Nissan 1400 bakkie that it must be said was the real eye-catcher, with it’s fire engine red colour, white vinyl accents and kwaai scoop out front. This cabbie has some character, to say the least.
Wade says: “After I bought this car, I did a full restoration, the motor, gearbox, custom arches and bodywork. My favourite part are the wheels.”
What Wade has gone for here is known as the Rocket Bunny look, with bright colour, big fins and arches. It’s a look that can take a small car and give it a meaner, bigger appearance. His dreams for 2021 include a new colour, some air suspension maybe, basically trying on something new.
So, ja, what a collection of well-loved vehicles, and what a way to kick off the new year. Nicely done to photographers Thomas Holder and Shahiem Bell on a productive collaboration.