The 10th rendition of the hugely popular car show known as German vs Jap is set to warm up the Nasrec Expo Centre, south of Johannesburg, on July 9, 2023.
Image supplied by The Classic Car Show
Chief organiser Dawood Hoosein says that over 1000 red-hot German and Japanese cars are expected for this year’s event, which promises a day filled with breath taking sights of some of the best customised cars in the country.
The show is organised by the SouthSide Crew car club, which has been in existence for over two decades now, and is also involved in drag racing and other motorised exploits.
“At the core of our club is a passion for all things motoring, and this shows in the cars that we draw to the German vs Jap event,”
“It’s been a true privilege to see this show grow to one of the biggest of its kind over the years. We appreciate cars in all their interpretations, and the ingenuity and dedication our exhibitors bring to this event is truly inspiring.”
The German vs Jap show began about a decade ago as an addition to The Classic Car Show, which caters to more traditional classic cars, as well as American Muscle Cars, hot rods, vintage cars, VW Beetles and Buses, and sports cars with origins in England, France and Italy.
Such was the interest shown in latter-day hot VW Golfs and Polos and much-prized BMWs, as well as even hotter Honda Civics, Toyota Conquest RSis, Nissan Sentras and the like, that the German vs Jap segment has been drawing huge numbers of younger enthusiasts to the Classic Car Day at Nasrec each year.
This year the show will feature a number of components. This will include a Show Ride section, a Hot Ride section, and a Limbo competition, where the winner will be the car with the lowest overall ride height, and has to drive under a measuring beam under its own power (no pushing is allowed). A new component of excitement this year will be a Dyno competition, sponsored by Japan Auto. There will be prizes for the most powerful front wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive cars, measured on site at Nasrec on the dyno.
The standard of custom entries in the Show Ride section has been extremely high in recent years. Dawood Hoosein says that he feels many of the cars to be on show in Hall 5 could enter the best car shows in the world. Here you will find highly modified versions of the best Japanese and German classics, many of them with amazingly creative paint jobs, radically-conceived body kits and wings, and, of course, with radically lowered ride heights.
The judging of these cars will actually take place the day before the show in Hall 5, and like the Hot Ride entrants, these cars have all been pre-entered for the event.
The types of cars entered for this event has evolved over the past few years. This year show-goers can expect some extravagantly modified Toyota Supras, Toyota 86s, Subarus, Honda S2000s, Mazda MX5s and a plethora of top-level BMWs, Porsches and Mercedes-Benzes to be on show.
This will be in addition to the mainstay cars that formed the groundswell of this event, which comprise Volkswagen Golfs and Polos, Honda Civics, Toyota RSis and hot Nissans of many types.
There will be category winners in these divisions, and on Sunday, July 9, visitors to the show will have the chance to vote for their favourite Hot Rides.
There will be various prizes on offer for the entrants, including Best German Modified, Best Japanese Modified, and the best OEM (original) versions from Japan and Germany entered. Other categories will include ones for the best suspension systems (lowered), best wheels, and the best bakkie entered.
For the Limbo competition, the whole idea is to get the car beneath a boom lowered progressively by carefully-measured increments. To do this, competitors are allowed to load as many of their friends into a car to get it to ride low, as well as deflate the tyres. But the car must complete the run beneath the boom under its own power.
Lowered suspension systems and special wheels are perhaps the signature features of all these cars entered for the German vs Jap show, and there is also a non-competitive section for cars, which will be allowed to be displayed in their own section, as long as they sport lowered suspension systems (stance) and special wheels. The key note of many of these cars is the use of air-ride suspension systems, which allow a car to be lowered when it is stationary and then raised for normal road use.
These non-competitive entrants are required to register their cars at the transport hub at Nasrec which is located south of the main administration building of the Expo Centre, early in the morning on July 9.
Show within a show
The marrying of The Classic Cars Show with the German vs Jap show has been highly successful. For this year’s 2023 event, the traditional classic cars will once again enter Nasrec at Gate 6 on the south-east side of the venue. The German vs Jap cars will enter at Gates 1 and 2 on the west side of the venue. Spectator parking is available at a cost of R30 and the spectator entrances are at Gates 3 and 4, on the south-west corner of the venue, and also at Gate 5.
Spectators interested in both the classic cars and the more modern modified cars will have access to both shows running side-by-side. Tickets bought at the gate are R100 for adults and R30 for children under 12. By booking through Computicket, prices will be R80 for adults and R20 for children. Parking will be R30, payable only at the venue.
The classic segment of the show will draw the usual delightful mix of American muscle cars, such as ’55 Chevys and the like, through customised pick-up tricks, to true-blue British classics, such as MGs, Triumphs and Jaguars. Expect a big Ford contingent this year, as the Ford Cortina is celebrating 60 years in South Africa this year, having been launched in this country in December 1962.
Another classic to look out for is the Chev Can Am Firenza. These V8-engined monsters were launched here 50 years ago, and in 1973 they were capable of a 5,5-second 0-100 km/h sprint time and a top speed of 230 km/h. Only 100 examples of this South African-conceived classic were ever built.
A day of family entertainment is on offer at The Classic Car Show 2023, with kiddies play areas, a flea market, helicopter rides and drifting at the Nasrec skid pan to get the blood boiling. The special new entrances for classic cars at Nasrec have been arranged to ease traffic build-up at this hugely popular petrol head event.
The Classic Car and German vs Jap shows open on Sunday July 9, 2023, from 8 am to the public and run until 4 pm. Computicket prices are R80 for adults and R20 for children under 12. Prices at the gate are R100 for adults and R30 for children under-12. Drivers of classic cars are admitted free as exhibitors.