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BBC Autos

The Roundabout Blog

JDM gems shine – in Utah

BBC Autos’ recent visit to the quasi-museum lurking beneath Mazda’s Irvine, California, headquarters stirred a hankering for some classic Japanese metal.

At a time when muscle cars reigned in America, the Japanese domestic market – also known as JDM – was busy fabricating what would become some of the most coveted designs on the road. Models like the Nissan Skyline, bearing a nameplate traceable to the late 1950s, established themselves as some of the most respected and tunable sporting cars on the market.

The above video, by Utah-based videographer Josh Clason, showcases several flawless examples of rare and sought-after Japanese vehicles, including a first-generation Toyota Celica, a Nissan Skyline in the four-door 2000GT and two-door GT-R trims, and even a modified Toyota Starlet hatchback. These cars aren’t garage queens, however. Check out the shots at 2:47, when three of these classics take to the streets in a cruise that would please many a JDM fan.

Clason’s video artfully highlights the aspects that made these cars famous: the furrowed brow of the earlier Skylines, the narrow stance of the Celica and the low-slung body of the 2000GT. JDM Legends, a garage based in Murray, Utah, has restorations ranging from the faithful to the subtly modified – the white Skyline GT-R coming with a twin-turbocharged RB26 engine swap from a late ‘80s Skyline. With the right parts, this power plant can be tuned to over 1,000 horsepower. Love them or hate them, era-specific fender mirrors adorn each of the cars.

For North American fans who might fancy these gems from the land of the rising sun, JDM Legends maintains a selection of clean examples for sale. Meantime, savour the sight of these vehicles in high definition.