Lamley and JDM. In the diecast world we have appeared to go hand in hand. That has been a little inaccurate, as I like to feature a lot of different cars, but it seems Lamley’s existence has coincided with the surge of interest in Japanese cars in both the 1:1 and 1:64 worlds. I’m just riding the train.
But there is no doubt I am a big fan of Japanese cars. I have explained how it started, back in the early 80’s, when my father broke from his Ford Dealership-owning father and bought a Honda Accord. After a plethora of Fords in my family, I thought the baby blue Honda my dad bought was the coolest car. Buying a Honda in the 80’s was not what buying a Honda, or Toyota, or Nissan, or Mazda, or Subaru is now. And when my father did it, it started me on a path that culminated in the early 90’s with my obsession with the Nissan 300ZX Z32, Acura NSX, and later the Lexus LS 300. I have never liked any car more than I liked those three.
Of course being a fan of Japanese brands only means it was a matter of time before I discovered true JDM, in the form of Skylines, Silvias, Kei cars, and more. And things went really deep when I started reading Japanese Nostalgic Car, got a proper education from Jeff Koch at Hemmings, and yes, got pulled into the deep end of the JDM pool by Jun Imai, Ryu Asada, and the whole Hot Wheels Design Team.
So I will never apologize for liking this stuff, and while some still like to call this hype, most have moved on to appreciating the lost ground that continues to be made up. Japanese cars are cool, and always have been.
That is the history of Lamley and JDM. I will always want to feature new Japanese cars from Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and the like. But on top of that, I should definitely take advantage of my surroundings. Salt Lake City isn’t the JDM hotspot that LA is, or is it? Japanese car meets are well attended here, and SLC has JDM Legends.
That means we win. Eric Bizek’s shop is a JDM lover’s dream. So many cool cars, rarely seen in the US, have passed through. And he has always been generous with his time and knowledge, educating me on Bellets, Cosmos, Crowns, Starlets, and yes, Skylines.
So when I found out Hot Wheels was doing a first-generation Silvia, the CSP311, I immediately thought of Eric, Josh, and the JDM Legends team. I had learned about the CSP311 a couple of years earlier, when Eric had a proper stock Silvia in his shop. I was struck by its unique silhouette and stunning looks. It was definitely a double-take car. Eric walked me through its history – not many were made – and showcased its hand-made details.
That car is long gone, but JDM Legends had another. It seemed to me that many collectors could benefit from a little background on the Silvia like I did a couple of years before, so I asked Eric and Josh if they would be willing to show their current Silvia off. They were more than happy to, but warned that this one would be leaving soon too. Considering how rare the CSP311 is, especially here in the US, I asked the Hot Wheels Team if they would be willing to send the early prototype over for us to compare. They were nice enough to oblige.
So this is our comparison. JDM Legends’ modified Silvia with an early Hot Wheels prototype painted in bland yellow and hilariously sitting on glow-in-the-dark basic wheels.
So you know, the Silvia will debut in Car Culture, and I have been told looking pretty darn stock. We will see it in 2020 in all its completed glory. For now, grab a cold beverage and let Eric and Josh explain why Hot Wheels doing this Silvia is so cool.