Japanese Performance Cars Shine in US Auto Museums: Exploring New Exhibits

by AutoExpert   |  3 June, 2024

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Not so long ago the "cool cars" referred to American muscle cars and that's all. The rest were perceived as...mhm..okay. But no more! The well-known famous Japanese cars are finally allowed to step into the spotlight and museums are actually considering them.

Blame it on the Fast and the Furious or the need for good gas mileage back in the day, but Japanese cars have come a long way. They're not just reliable little runabouts anymore. We're talking about high-performance beasts like the Mazda RX-7, the Toyota Supra, and the Nissan GT-R – cars that can hold their own against anything on the track.

Japanese Performance Cars

For a long time, though, this awesomeness wasn't reflected in the car world's halls of fame – museums like Pebble Beach. But things are changing!

Japanese Performance Cars

Several museums are finally celebrating the passion and innovation behind Japanese cars. The Audrain Automobile Museum's new exhibit, "JDM and Beyond," showcases everything from a quirky 1970 Subaru 360 to a legendary 1988 McLaren-Honda race car. The LeMay Museum in Washington just opened "Shinka: An Immersive Japanese Automobile Exhibit," featuring iconic Japanese cars from the classics to modern marvels.

Japanese Performance Cars

Even the Petersen Museum in LA has hosted Japanese car exhibits and has an annual Japanese Cruise-In that brings out a ton of enthusiasts.

This isn't just a West Coast thing either. The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento and the prestigious La Jolla Concours have also featured Japanese cars. There are even dedicated Japanese car shows like the Japanese Classic Car Show and Toyotafest happening all the time.

Japanese Performance Cars

Sure, Pebble Beach still doesn't have a Japanese car class (yet!), but progress is being made. Even the Japanese American National Museum in LA is planning a car-focused exhibit in 2025 or 2026 that explores the unique car culture of Japanese Americans in Southern California.

Japanese Performance Cars

So, if you've ever been told Japanese cars are boring, well, those people are stuck in the past. Head down to your local museum or car show and see for yourself why Japanese cars are finally getting the respect they deserve!

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