EVENTS: 2015 New Year Meeting, Part 08 — Parking Area Finds

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Closing out our coverage of the 2015 New Year Meeting, we make a quick run through the show’s parking area. Thanks to the Japanese protocol of backing into their parking spaces, we were able to get full views of spectators’ rides to the show unobstructed by vans and kei cars. As is typical of Japan, even many areas of the parking lot were beautifully paved with a concrete lattice over manicured grass.

Early comers were able to secure adjacent spaces for similar rides, as was the case for these Fairladies. Here, twin G-noses were joined by what appears to be a fuel-injected 1975 example equipped with an SCCN air dam. Continue reading

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NEWS: Can you spot all the nostalgic styling cues of the Suzuki iM-4 Concept?

Suzuki iM-4 Concept 7

Suzuki may be gone from the US market, but it’s alive and well in the rest of the world. The 85th Geneva Motor Show is going on right now, and its automotive branch unveiled this morning the Suzuki iM-4 Concept, a compact 4WD laden with styling cues from Suzuki’s past models. Can you spot them all?  Continue reading

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EVENTS: Sunday morning at Daikoku Futo

355s_Honda S800 & Toyota Sports 800

Located right off the famed Wangan Bayshore Route in Yokohama, Daikoku Futo PA is a congress for car fiends. As die-hard fans of JDM-land know, representatives of any and every type of Japanese tuning subculture come together to appreciate the many facets of  the customized automobile. It’s like Cars & Coffee without the coffee, unless you toss a few yen into the ubiquitous vending machines. On a recent Sunday morning, the lot was full by 9:00 am. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your biggest JNC regret?

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You hear these stories all the time: “I should’ve never sold that car.” “One day it was gone and the owner said he sold it for scrap.” “I bought a Chrysler Sebring.” Life is full of regrets, and cars are a major source for them.

What’s your biggest JNC regret?

In 1999 I was working my first real job, and by real job I mean one with a desk where I could secretly browse eBay. One day, I came across a Belatrix Yellow Toyota 2000GT. Back then, it was pretty rare to see one for sale at all, so I contacted the seller to ask what reserve was. To my surprise, he actually took the time to write back, even though both he knew and I knew that I could never afford it. “It’s kind of expensive,” he said, “$150,000.” If you factored in the cost of commuting, I was almost making negative wages, but I’m still kicking myself for not taking out a massive loan and living in it. I would’ve been a millionaire today.

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your best Mr K story?

Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Another KPGC10 Hakosuka GT-R up for US auction

1971 Nissan Skyline GT-R 02

Located in Fletcher, North Carolina, this Hakosuka is the third C10 Nissan Skyline GT-R to be offered at auction in seven months. Rare in its absence of what has become known as the “hako wing,” it has been offered, notably, on eBay and in online classified ads rather than high-end auction house, by the very same seller who set a record in Monterey last year with the $242,000 Hako.  Continue reading

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PROJECT B: Owning a classic car in Japan, Part 01

Prince Skyline GT-B in Tokyo - GR21-870

Welcome to a new multi-part series on JNC, in which we document what it’s like to buy, register, and own a classic car in Japan. The car in question is a Prince Skyline GT-B, the car that started the Skyline Legend, owned by our friend Ken Lee, but not that Ken Lee, who lives in Tokyo. — Ben

My interest for classic cars began while hanging out with some friends and going out together on haikyo excursions across Japan. During these trips, I noticed that one particular friend, in addition to taking photographs of haikyo, had a thing for shooting the many old cars – noticeably classic cars of style — that we often came across. On our drives he would give me the lowdown on these cars and my interest was piqued.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2015 New Year Meeting Part 07 — Compact Flash

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Today (no pun intended!) we take a look at the classic city cars that showed up at the New Year Meeting. Some, like this happy red Honda Today, are kei cars, but not all. As you might remember, the Today was the star car in You’re Under Arrest!, the surprisingly vehicle-accurate manga and anime series, but it was also notable enough to be featured in Gran Turismo 4. Like many 80s Hondas, it had such stupendous packaging that it looks proportionally larger than a kei car and has excellent (we’ve heard) handling as well.   Continue reading

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VIDEO: Toyota AE86 unites lonely drivers around the world

Toyota has launched a new ad campaign called “Next One” in Japan, aimed at getting millennials interested in cars and driving. The latest have been a three-part series that tells a tale as old as time itself. Boy likes girl. Girl likes other boy. Boy’s slightly cooler but still nerdy friend helps him forget that trick by introducing him to the engineering excellence that is the AE86 Corolla.

What’s amazing about these films is that they have been replicated, shot for shot, in three different countries — Australia, South Africa, and Japan. It’s like a real-life Initial D without all the touge battles. Continue reading

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Mr K designed this Tokyo Motor Show logo

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With the news of Mr K’s passing this week, we thought it might be a good time to reflect on his accomplishments, both in and outside of Nissan. Yutaka Katayama’s work extended far beyond the walls of Nissan Motor Corporation, and benefitted the Japanese auto industry as a whole. Case in point: Katayama-san was one of the founding fathers of the Tokyo Motor Show, and designed its original logo.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2015 New Year Meeting, Part 06 — Trucks, Vans and Wagons

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There’s nothing like a good, honest work truck. In fact, many of the earliest forms of four-wheeled transport in Japan were commercial vehicles, but precious few, like this row of forlorn-looking Mazda Porter Cabs, have survived till retirement without major wear and tear. Here are the best workhorses from the 2015 New Year Meeting.  Continue reading

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