One of the great things I’ve come to love since moving to the Silicon Valley oh-so-many years ago, is that there are no shortage of gearhead-orientated meets around the Southbay if you know where to look. They often pop up unexpectedly by word of mouth or via tradition in shopping centers across the bay, and I hit as many as I can each month.
For the past several years one such group of diehards have been getting together for the monthly Old School Import meet in Santa Clara Ca.
Consisting largely of vintage Japanese tin such as Datsuns, early Toyotas, Hondas and Mistubishis, the group is laid back, low-key and open to pretty much any old import or cool vehicle. Rides randomly come and go throughout the evening providing a constantly changing group. Last night the mix consisted the core bunch of 510s from Ratsun, several 521 & 620 pickups, a sweet VW bug, an exquisitely abused Ranchero, an over the top 68 Mustang and a small fleet of large tow-trucks.
Yeah, tow-trucks. 3 flatbeds and one wrecker to be precise. When asked who had the fastest rig the entire group immediately pointed to the yellow flatbed in the center.
I like these guys already.
The Mustang, which was built as a GT350 “tribute” was also rumored to be for sale for the right price (you probably can’t afford it) which gets you a stroked Cleveland with 392 cubes and a Tremec 6-speed. “Johnny” didn’t give his last name, but I have the feeling this beautiful car wouldn’t be hard to track down if someone had 70 large burning a hole in their pocket.
The real star of the night however was Hector’s red ’68 PL510 Datsun. This right-hand-drive Bluebird was imported from Malaysia a few years back and is slowly being refurbished by Hector’s own hands back to it’s 100% stock former glory. Featuring a rarely seen on these shores 1300 L-series motor, 4-wheel drum brakes and a 3-on-the-tree tranny, as an extreme nerd of early obscure Datsuns I nearly peed myself with excitement.
Of interest were the “Black-Plates” refitted under California’s recent Year Of Manufacturer (YOM) license law. While I have seen quite a few cars go through the process to get the old-style plates back, this was the first time I’ve seen one out in the wild outside a car show. Once the DMV certifies you have viable plates including the proper year sticker (in this case 1968), they issue a second set of removable “tags” that are attached with the current year and month stickers for everyday use.
Interesting. Cumbersome but interesting.
The evening ended with jokes among the crowd on whether or not the ZomBee would start and the lights would work, and the battle-cry among several of us Lemons racers that we should put out a call for other South-bay street-legal Lemon cars to come join us next month.
What sayeth the Hoon-herd?
Tell us about your favorite get togethers, be it regular and informal, an annual big event or just hangin with your buds in the garage. Where do you go for your dose of Hoosiers and booze, or caffeine and machine?
(Gratuitous ZomBee image courtesy of the ever dangerous ZomBee-hunter Roger Iu)
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