A huge line-up of 1350 Japanese cars of every marque and model stretched across the Beaulieu parkland for the sixth Simply Japanese rally on Sunday 30th July, with 102 more cars than in 2016 making the event’s turnout an all-time high.
Over 2,600 participants enjoyed the jam-packed show, which celebrated much-loved Japanese marques from Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda to Lexus, Mitsubishi, Subaru and more. Ranging from highly modified performance coupes to diminutive city classics, there was something in the diverse line-up to please every fan of cars from the land of the rising sun.
Throughout the day, show-goers voted for their favourite Japanese car of the day in the People’s Choice Awards. Winning the award was Chris Davies’ crowd-pleasing 1992 Honda CRX Del Sol, which featured a custom-built 2.2-litre engine in its brightly painted and beautifully prepared engine bay.
Chris from Gatwick had spent 12 years rebuilding the modified car into its current condition, doing almost all of the work himself. “It is my pride and joy, and nothing beats a blast down a B-road in it with the roof off,” said Chris. He was presented with a commemorative Beaulieu trophy and a special Autoglym prize by Beaulieu Events Co-ordinator Hesper Stratford.
Runner-up Jamie Carter from Warminster had just finished an 18-month rebuild of his 1989 Toyota MR2, putting it back on the road only four days earlier in time for the rally. Also scoring highly was the immaculate 1993 Nissan 300ZX belonging to Joel Pickering from Essex, and the 2003 Toyota MR2 of Simon Sinclair from Oxfordshire. “I love everything about it,” said Simon of his Toyota. “It’s my road therapy, my way to relax.” All three owners were presented with Beaulieu prizes.
Club stands were at the heart of the rally, with 40 clubs and owners’ groups putting on impressive displays of their members’ cars. The Southern Subaru Car Club stand featured no less than 18 sporty Subarus, while nine examples of the legendary Mitsubishi Evolution could be found on the Evolution Club stand. The Celica Club featured a spread of Toyota Celicas from across the popular model’s 36-year life, while Mighty 5s and Mazda Community UK together created a huge line-up of Mazda MX-5s, ranging from early examples right up to the latest generation.
A rare sight was a 1975 Datsun 180B estate, with this scarcely-seen family wagon parked next to an equally unusual 1979 Datsun 120Y estate. Fans of the Nissan 300ZX and 350Z were spoilt for choice, as were campers with a range of Nissan Elgrand and Mazda Bongo Friendee motorhomes. Demonstrating the variety of the show, three of the latest Toyota C-HR hybrids rubbed shoulders with a well-preserved 1985 Nissan Micra K10.
Simply Japanese is just one event in Beaulieu’s 2017 Simply rally line-up, which includes Simply Smart on November 12th. For more information on the 2017 Beaulieu events calendar, click here or find us on Twitter, on Facebook or on Instagram.