There were several significant classics and performance cars that crossed the auction block at the BH Auctions last week, but there is one more machine worth mentioning. The LM07 Toyota Group C race car wasn’t particularly successful, but it kicked off a tradition in one of Japan’s most unique car cultures that lasts till this day. If you’ve ever wondered why so many kaido racers run Olio Fiat logos on their cars, you’re looking at the reason. Continue reading
Do you have a dream of unlimited parking for a real life Gran Turismo garage? Do you have a dream that one day all parts, no matter how obscure, will be offered in the heritage catalogs of every carmaker? Do you have a dream that the descendants of GT-Rs and the descendants of rotary-engined Mazdas will drive together (because the companies will continue to make them for geneerations to come)? On a day marked by dreams, tell us:
What’s your greatest JNC dream?
There’s some scuttlebutt going around about how the next-generation Nissan Z will have heritage-inspired design cues. First of all, hallelujah! Zed-heads and sports car fans in general should be thrilled that there will be a next-generation Z. Secondly, the heritage design cues are said to be hearken back to both the original S30 Z and the Z32. Continue reading
We wouldn’t kick a half-million-dollar Kenmeri out of our garages, but when it comes to Skyline GT-Rs that really get our juices flowing, it’s the ones at the Tokyo Auto Salon auctions. This year, there were two very special examples that are essentially once-in-a-lifetime chances representing the best of two eras of Japanese motoring. Continue reading
The New Year Meeting is no more, sadly, but back when times were headier an Isuzu 117 was the way to exit in style. Happy 117 Day from JNC!
Last weekend, at the same event that saw a Nissan Fairlady Z432-R sell for over $800,000, several S20 siblings traded hands for significant sums as well. Nissan Skyline GT-Rs of both Hakosuka and Kenmeri generations are seeing increased interest at classic car auction. While these sale prices are nothing new when it comes to sales in Japan, the amounts still serve as a public marker for the values of Nissan’s flagship performance machines. Continue reading
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Tomica, Japan’s favorite diecast metal cars. The childhood toy of almost every car aficionado in Japan, they are as imprinted onto the minds of enthusiasts there as Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars are in the US and UK. To commemorate the occasion, Tomica has a number of activities planned. At a press conference yesterday, they announced collaborations with three actual carmakers. Continue reading
Last weekend Honda unveiled its S2000 20th Anniversary at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon. Man, that’s a lot of twos and zeroes. The car exhibited several minor changes, mostly subtle and cosmetic, that kept true to the original design. Continue reading
Over the weekend a Nissan Fairlady Z432-R sold for ¥88.55 million, or $804,600 or so at current exchange rates. That makes it the most expensive S30 Z — and one of the most expensive Japanese cars, period — ever sold at auction. Given the history of the model, however, perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising. Continue reading
In the US, we often think of the late 1990s as when the good times came to an end. The flagship Japanese sports cars had left the US market, and automakers began building cars to the preferences of local markets, meaning once fun but practical choices started to get dumbed down for the average commuter. However, in Japan, even though the bubble economy had burst, many golden age sports cars continued production through Y2K. Continue reading
Today is Coming of Age Day in Japan, the day when all those who turn 20 years old between April 2 of the previous year and April 1 of the current one officially become adults. It’s fitting, because as is the custom when we change our calendars, our QotW is all about the cars that pass the 25-year threshold to become official classics. For 2020, that marker is 1995, the year of Braveheart in theaters, Chrono Trigger on the Super Nintendo, and Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” blaring from every double-DIN head unit. That’s right, cars from the year that eBay launched are now importable into the US, eligible for historic plates, and qualify for classic car insurance. Tell us why you picked what you did.
What’s your favorite Japanese car from 1995?
It was announced yesterday that on January 3, 2020, racing driver Yoshikazu Sunako passed away at the age of 87. The former Prince and Nissan works driver was a pioneer during the nascent years of Japan’s motorsports scene, perhaps most known for helping kick start the legend of the Skyline. Sunako came in second at the 1964 Japan Grand Prix driving his blue No.39 Prince Skyline 2000GT, a family saloon stretched to accommodate the straight-six engine of a Prince Gloria, and sent into battle against a purpose-built Porsche 904 Carrera GTS. Continue reading
At the Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota has debuted a new hot hatch that it says is the spiritual successor to the almighty Celica GT-Four. While that claim does raise an eyebrow, the GR Yaris is a potent machine that could have hailed from the Bubble Era. It’s based off of Toyota’s World Rally Championship entrant like the Celica before it, and has dazzling specs for a compact. Continue reading
It’s Kenmeri Day, the holiday where you take a road trip with your significant other to a deserted field and frolic through the grass for no reason. Enjoy!
Last May Toyota became the latest Japanese carmaker to announce a heritage parts program, starting off with items for the Supra. Just hours ago, Toyota announced that not only is the program kicking off this spring, but that it will extend overseas. What’s more, the company has released a list of initial parts that will be offered. Continue reading
At this point we all know that the Mazda MX-5 Miata is a very special car. Despite four generations and 30 years in the books, it is one of the last enthusiasts’ cars left that remains pure to its original mission — to provide a superbly engaging driving experience that connects you to your car. For its 30th anniversary, our friends at Savage Geese have created a wonderful five-part documentary chronicling the development of this singular machine. If you already love Miatas, you’ll love them even more after watching it; if you don’t, this may just nudge you into the Miata cult. Continue reading
It’s been a while since we checked in on Honda’s Beat Parts program, which once again produces parts for Honda’s popular mid-engined, kei roadster. Since the program was announced in August 2017, the list of parts available has grown. And, after learning what it took to get them back into production, we can see that it’s a miracle the Beat Parts program happened at all. Continue reading
Recently Patrick sent me a link to the trailer for Dark Waters and wrote, “The magic happens at 0:08.” That magic, it turns out, was Mark Ruffalo’s character driving a tan T130 Toyota Corona Liftback. I didn’t really think anything of it, but then a few weeks later the trailer for Just Mercy drops, and Michael B. Jordan’s lawyer character is driving — you guessed it — a tan T130 Toyota Corona Liftback. Continue reading
It’s a new year, a new decade. A chance to start off right. Will you finally make progress on that long-awaited project, take that road trip of a lifetime, complete your collection of the JNCs of the Wonder Bread Crazy Cars trading cards line (there are only two), or track down that elusive part even if you have to personally comb through every landfill in Japan?
What’s your JNC New Year’s resolution?
On December 23, Toyota held a farewell ceremony for the beloved Mark II and Mark X sedan. The final example, a white Mark X 250G, rolled off the line at Toyota’s second-oldest plant, the Motomachi factory in Aichi Prefecture, as workers waved goodbye. The car was immediately driven to a small sendoff where it was parked beside a first-generation Corona Mark II, the car that started it all. Continue reading