Happy S30 Day from JNC

We need to take a quick poll, guys. Today is May 30, or 5/30, or S30 in leet speak. So, a day to celebrate the first-generation Nissan Fairlady Z, then? However, in some corners of Z fandom S30 day is celebrated on the last day of September, or “S 30,” which is just as valid! Which day should we celebrate the gloriousness of Nissan’s game-changing sports car?

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OH, KEI! The Jimny Santa Monica was a cute beach cruiser based on Suzuki’s mini-4×4

With summer is upon us, so are dreams of beachside cruising. In the history of kei cars, there was perhaps no vehicle more fitting for that purpose than the Jimny Santa Monica (it’s right there in the name!). Built upon the second-generation (1984-1990) Suzuki Jimny, it replaced the body with a composite, door-less dune buggy-ish body. Sadly, they are also increasingly rare. It’s estimated that surviving Santa Monicas number only in the single digits. Continue reading

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Here’s your first look at the seventh-generation Nissan Z

Nissan dropped a video this morning that teases its upcoming lineup in a new, post-Ghosn, post-COVID era. Notably, the it provides the first glimpse of what the seventh-generation Z could look like. Notably, this rendering of what we’ll call the Z35 confirms two promising things: 1.) That the Z will indeed live on, and 2.) have the S30-inspired looks that that have been rumored. Continue reading

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And now for your viewing pleasure, videos of brand new NSXes

Two NSX videos were released yesterday, one from each side of the Pacific. The first was a retro review of the 1994 Acura NSX from Motorweek, America’s favorite (only) public broadcasting car testing show. However, instead from the regular parade of practical cars reviewed from Owings Mills, Maryland, this time they are at Pocono Raceway hot lapping Japan’s premier 1990s supercar. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Watch an epic battle of 90s sports cars

In a race that looks like a real-life Gran Turismo battle, the best of 1990s sports cars duke it out in this 1995 episode of Best Motoring. The field is a who’s who of Bubble Era machinery, including a Supra Turbo, R33 Skyline GT-R, FD3S RX-7, SW20 MR2, 993 Porsche Carrera, and not one but two NSXes, one automatic and one manual. The manual NSX even comes in the best 90s color, teal, a paint option Honda didn’t offer in the US. Who will come out on top? Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: A Toyota police car pulls over a Datsun, 1965

Like many cities around the world, traffic has died down dramatically due to stay-at-home advisories stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Tokyo’s Shuto Expressway has seen a 60 percent drop in traffic, meaning it probably has not been this traffic-free since its early days in the 1960s. In this 1965 photo it was so traffic-free, in fact, that a Toyota Crown police car was able to pull over a 310 Bluebird driver, blocking off an entire lane during daytime hours on the famously narrow Shuto. Other vehicles include the ubiquitous Crowns and Cedrics, but also a 1960 Chevy Impala.

Image: eBay

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QotW: What’s the best inexpensive Japanese off-roader?

Recently we saw some laudable off-roading conducted by an unexpectedly capable 1978 Subaru station wagon. That has made us yearn for a truck that we can take into the wilderness without worry. To make this question more challenging, let’s add a budget — say, $5,000 or so, or about the blue book value of that Subaru. That effectively eliminates options like the Toyota Land Cruiser and other classic SUVs. Also, because this is JNC, we’ll add the caveat that we don’t want to abuse a mint or rare vehicle just to thrash around on some rocky trails. Aftermarket support would be a nice bonus as well.

What’s the best inexpensive Japanese off-roader?

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 favorite automotive museum experience?Continue reading

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Here’s a GT-R50 Kenmeri Skyline homage in the proper colors

Earlier this week Nissan released images of the first production GT-R50. It featured a subtle tribute to the Kenmeri Skyline GT-R show car from the 1972 Tokyo Motor Show — one that was in fact too subtle for some. So courtesy of Italdesign, here’s another one that’s a more on the nose. Continue reading

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You can now drive the Mazda RX-Vision… in Gran Turismo

One of the most stunning concept cars of the last decade has been the Mazda RX-Vision. No one has been able too drive the supposedly rotary-powered sports car, but that’s about to change — at least in the virtual world of Gran Turismo Sport. On May 22, the RX-Vision GT3 race car will be available in the racing sim. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Watch this 1978 Subaru GL Wagon master Moab

Moab, Utah is famous of its tough-as-nails off-roading obstacles, and normally one would not think of tackling them with anything less than a Toyota truck or Jeep. One owner of a 1978 Subaru GL, however, took his 42-year-old economy wagon with 67 horsepower way, way off-road. Surprisingly — or perhaps not for Subarites — the old blue workhorse surpassed all expectations. Continue reading

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The first Nissan GT-R 50 pays homage to the Kenmeri Skyline

Nissan has released images of the first production Nissan GT-R50. Part of the extremely exclusive supercar’s $1.1 million price tag stems from the fact that each one features a hand-made body by Italdesign. It may be an exorbitant expense, perhaps, but it’s one that allows for some degree of customization. And as it happens, the first one appears to be a tribute to a 48-year-old Skyline GT-R show car. Continue reading

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Happy 521 Day from JNC

Today is the day that we celebrate reasonably sized pickups. Yes, we know there’s a 520 but they are extremely hard to come by and thus difficult to take a photo of. So let’s just say May 21 is also 520 Day Observed. Whatever you call it, hope it’s a good one for ya!

 

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PSA: Stop using these Harbor Freight jack stands immediately

Ah, Harbor Freight. It’s like the McDonald’s of tool stores. You know it’s probably not good for you, but when you’re working hard and need a quick fix so you can get on with your project, their easy access and dirt cheap prices are there to lure us in. Sometimes that lack of planning comes back to bite us in the ass, like when one of the most important tools in your arsenal — jack stands — become the subject of an NHTSA safety recall. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Mazda racing liveries, animated

Mazda UK has released a new video called “Our Greatest Motorsport Liveries” to honor its 100th Anniversary.  The short animated movie goes through several of the company’s famous racing colorways, varying from the Group B RX-7 to the renowned (ha!) Le Mans-winning 787B. Continue reading

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DESIGN: A modern Honda roadster inspired by the Beat and RA272

Honda has come out with a new electric vehicle, a small, rear-wheel-drive electric hatchback called simply the Honda e. We have to admit the production version, while a good car, was a bit of a visual letdown after the fabulously retro concept. However, automotive designer David Beasley, friend of JNC and the man who penned the beloved Nissan IDx concepts, recently sent us an incredible vision of how Honda could utilize the e’s platform for something that embraces its heritage and offers enthusiasts an exciting driving machine. Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Kawaramachi-Sanjo, Kyoto, 1972

Kawaramachi-Sanjo, a shopping and nightlife district just northeast of the historic Gion section of Kyoto, was a lively spot after the sun went down. Sharp cars would cruise down Kawaramachi street, past a Fujiya Grill. On this particular 1972 evening, a Datsun Sunny Coupé, Isuzu Bellett, and Toyota Corona Coupé await fare alighting from a Nissan taxi. The same street looked a lot more sober in the harsh light of morning, though. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your favorite automotive museum experience?

Today is International Museum Day, and even though must museums are still temporarily closed due to the coronavirus, they are destinations of wonder, learning, and preservation. Needless to say, we are particularly fond of car museums, whether they are official showcases of the automakers themselves, private collections, general interest institutions, simply a place for an automaker to store their treasures, or a car show at a museum. There are countless memories and experiences that you simply can’t get anywhere else.

What’s your favorite automotive museum experience?

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 favorite tire?Continue reading

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Behold, Japan’s suddenly famous Drift Dog

Earlier this month, a video of a Japanese dog went viral when the owner filmed it running down the side of an irrigation canal. Its cuteness, plus the fact that it had kind of an angled gait, quickly garnered it a crap-ton of views. Of course, it wasn’t long before the Initial D comparisons emerged. Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Infiniti G20 was trapped by its luxury badge

Long before there were bros revving their G37s, there was the Infiniti G20, the first of Nissan’s entry-level cars for their luxury marque. Though it was largely forgotten as a rebadged P10 Nissan Primera, mostly because of its un-luxury-like front-wheel-drive layout, this was no Lexus ES. This was an actual performance car with advanced technology under the skin. Continue reading

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ART CORNER: Yamaha is here to help you crochet a bike out of actual yarn

Of all the coronavirus activities that companies have encouraged us to partake in over the last few months, Yamaha’s might just be the most bizarre. The motorcycle maker has an entire series of downloadable templates that allow you to crochet their vehicles. Yes, crochet, as in with actual yarn. Or, if you prefer, you can make them by needle felting, an art form I did not know existed until now. Continue reading

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