April 21, 2024

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Geared for the Automotive Life

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JDM and F1 Cars Take Center Stage at Audrain Automobile Museum

Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) cars have exploded in popularity the world over — particularly among younger collectors. The Audrain Automobile Museum’s 33rd exhibit, “JDM & Beyond – The Worldwide Influence of Japanese Automobiles” pays tribute to fuel-efficient economy cars from Japan’s humble beginnings, iconic Japanese sports cars of the 1970s, some of the most fabled sports cars and Formula One cars from the 1980s and ‘90s and groundbreaking sport motorcycles. 

The exhibit runs from March 16 through June 9, 2024. 

The exhibit highlights Japanese car culture, including drift cars, tuner cars and brands such as Honda, Subaru, Nissan, Toyota and motorcycles from Kawasaki and Honda.

Among the highlights of the exhibition are a 1988 McLaren-Honda MP4/4 F1 car powered by a 685 horsepower, 1.5-liter turbocharged Honda V6. This car was driven by World Champion Alain Prost to three 1st and three 2nd places in the 1988 season. Additional features include a 1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R, a 1997 Subaru Impreza 22B-STI, a 1998 Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution homologation, a 2000 Nissan Silvia S15 drift car built by the legendary “Smokey” Nagata, founder & Owner of Top Secret Co., Ltd., and a one-year-only turbocharged and fuel-injected 1983 Honda CX 650 motorcycle. 


  • 1970 Subaru 360 Deluxe Sedan
  • 1972 Datsun 240Z
  • 1972 Toyota FJ43 LWB Land Cruiser
  • 1975 Honda Civic CVCC (Lent by Ken & Sue Weidner)
  • 1988 McLaren-Honda MP4/4 Alain Prost F1 car
  • 1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R
  • 1993 Honda NSX R (Lent by Vincent Howard and Dr. Wei-Shen Chin, with an assist from The Cultivated Collector, New Canaan, CT)
  • 1993 Autozam AZ-1 (Lent by Neal Heffron)
  • 1993 Mazda RX-7
  • 1993 Toyota Sera (Lent by Tom Laferriere)
  • 1993 Falken Mazda FD RD RX7 drift car (Lent by Redline Restorations)
  • 1994 Toyota Supra Twin Turbo Targa
  • 1995 Toyota Supra GT300 Smokey Nagata, Top Secret Performance (Lent by Redline Restorations)
  • 1997 Subaru Impreza 22B-STI Prototype (Lent by Ernie Boch Jr.)
  • 1998 Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution homologation (Lent by Redline Restorations)
  • 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 by Signal Auto (Lent by Redline Restorations)
  • 2000 Nissan Silvia S15 by Top Secret Tunning (2001 D1 Drifting Champion – 1st place) (Lent by Redline Restorations)


  • 1963 Honda C105T Trail 55
  • 1972 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV 750
  • 1983 Honda CX 650 Turbo
  • 2003 Suzuki GSX 1300R Hayabusa, 40th Anniversary Edition

“The import of the 1958 Toyopet was not so well received, but Japan’s manufacturers quickly mastered good design, engineering and price point, endearing American consumers,” said David de Muzio, Audrain’s Executive Director and Chief Curator. “That, and the 25-year import rule, has fueled our passion and interest in Japanese imports and their domestic market cars and motorcycles.”

“While it might not have been apparent in the rest of the world, there has been serious automotive enthusiasm in Japan for decades,” said Audrain CEO Donald Osborne. “It is only now with the films starring ‘tuner’ cars and the generations growing up with auto-themed video games that the obsession and cult following globally for these special and unique vehicles has been recognized. We are excited to bring these cars and motorcycles together and give enthusiasts the opportunity to experience them up close.”

Learn more here.