History has taught us that the EG Civic was one of the greatest compacts of all time, but how was it reviewed when it was new? Surprisingly, it wasn’t for the things we love about 90s Hondas like responsive engines, race car engineering filtered into a humble compact, and stone cold reliability. Instead, it was a bunch of boring things that, 30 years later, no one cares about. Continue reading
Back in post-Oil Crisis 1976, small cars were finally getting some attention as Americans shifted from land yachts to compacts. Datsun positioned the 710 as one that didn’t feel like a penalty box. As touted in this ad, it boasted features like “33 mpg on the highway and 23 in the city,” “wall-t0-wall nylon carpeting,” and Datsun’s 40 years of experience building “today’s size cars.” That’s pretty compelling, and they didn’t even mention the groovy stripes yet. It’s too bad you don’t see many of these anymore. Happy 710 Day from JNC!
A couple of months ago, Harbor Freight Tools recalled a bunch of their jack stands. Those 3-ton and 6-ton units were under risk of collapsing due to a manufacturing defect that could cause the support pawl to become disengaged. 1.7 million sets were recalled, and some of those customers who returned the defective stands were given replacements. Now those replacements have also been recalled. Continue reading
Nicky Grist has co-driven in over 130 WRC races, won 21 of them, and even racked up a season championship. He’s navigated for legends like Colin McRae, Juha Kankkunen, and Armin Schwarz. He’s shouted instructions for legendary teams like Ford, Toyota, Subaru, and Mitsubishi. However, when it came time to buy his dream car of his own, he chose an ST185 Celica GT-Four. Continue reading
It’s official. The Mazda 3 now comes with a turbocharged powertrain. There were rumors about this last month, and if you’ll allow us to toot our horns a bit, we predicted this a year ago, even if we got the name wrong. And this Turbo 3 isn’t just a way to carry on the traditions of, say, the 323 GTX or Mazdaspeed 3. It’s really one of the few new cars today that feel like the wonderful sport compacts Japan gave us in the 80s and 90s. Continue reading
These days, Acura Integra Type R values are higher than those of an Acura NSX. Prices have shot as high as $82,000, with most decent examples in the $60,000 range. On paper, the numbers don’t look that spectacular. Its 1.8-liter inline-four had less than 200 horsepower, 195 to be precise, or just 15 more than the much cheaper GS-R. The torque spread was even less, just 130 lb-ft versus 128. Its 0-60 time was around 6.6 seconds, just 0.4 faster than the GS-R’s. Aside from a larger wing, it looked nearly identical to its lesser siblings as well. But a car isn’t just the sum of its spec sheet. Continue reading
Today is July 7, or 7/7, or Sevens Day, the day we celebrate the indomitable Mazda RX-7. Since this year marks the 100th Anniversary of Mazda let’s honor the day with the very first RX-7, the 1978 SA22C, in its iconic Mach Green color. As mentioned in the second installment of our Mazda centenary retrospective, This futuristic little sports car came right out of the gates with rotary guns blazing, winning the 24 Hours of Daytona in its inaugural year, then following up with a win at the Spa 24 Hours in 1981. It paved the way for everything from the Le Mans-winning 787B to the legendary FD3S. It’s truly one of the all-time greats. Happy RX-7 Day from JNC!
Toyota has announced that it will start making reproduction parts for the Supra and 2000GT. Even better, it says that the parts will be available both in Japan and “overseas,” which means that they will likely be coming to the US. Back in May 2019, we reported that Toyota announced a GR Heritage Parts Program for the A70 and A80 Supra. Today, Toyota added the 2000GT to the list. Here’s a rundown of what will be available initially. Continue reading
For the most part, we at JNC are not Watch Guys. However, we do recognize that it’s a thing that might tick our boxes, if we weren’t pouring every spare dime into cars, and we know that there is a large overlap between those who like vintage cars and those who like a nice wrist-worn timepiece. But hey, convince us why watches are worth our attention, and maybe recommend some befitting of someone who likes vintage Japanese cars. Just know that we aren’t prepared to spend GT-R money on one.
What are your favorite automotive-themed watches?
For many older Japanese cars, plastic bits are near impossible to find. Or, if you do find them, they cost a fortune. They’re not like muscle cars, where you can open a Year One catalog and basically rebuild a 1969 Camaro from scratch. JNCers have had to rely on the innovation and passion of individual enthusiasts to make up the gap. For example, look at these beautiful Mazda RX-3 taillight lenses made by an owner from Detroit, Michigan. Continue reading
Say you’re a hard-core Nissan nut, you’re feeling a bit peckish, and a plain old non-Nissan snack simply won’t do. Fortunately for you, Nissan has officially issued a new line of senbei (rice crackers), one of Japan’s most popular munching options, in the shape of classic Nissan cars. Continue reading
Mazda turned 100 years old earlier this year, and to mark this very special occasion we went in search of what makes this small Hiroshima carmaker so unique. In the previous installment of our retrospective, we examined Mazda’s origin story and early milestones. We arrived at the dawn of the Rotary Era and the development and Cosmo Sport, arguably one of the most futuristic and innovative cars ever created. In Part 02, we pick up where we left off with the Savanna, better known to the rest of the world as the Mazda RX-3. Continue reading
On June 30 Honda announced a factory “Refresh Plan” for the 1987-90 VFR750R motorcycle, more commonly known by its model code, the RC30. The bike was an important part of Honda’s motorsports history, a factory homologation special created to win the inaugural World Superbike Championship of 1988. It did that, repeated the feat in 1989, and won a slew of other two-wheeled championships as well. Crammed with loads of race-developed technology, at the time of launch the ¥1.48 million (approx. $15,000 USD) street-legal version was the most expensive motorcycle ever sold in Japan. Continue reading
Back in April, Mazda announced a slew of 100th Anniversary Edition models to commemorate a century of doing business. Now, Mazda North America has announced that at least one of those models — the most important one, arguably — is coming to the US (Mazda Canada has announced more 100th AE models, including the 3, CX-5, CX-9). Here’s your chance to get a white Miata with a classy wine red top and interior. Continue reading
It’s National Camera Day, so instead of a written answer this week we are seeking photos of JNCs. They don’t have to be of your car, taken today, or even good. As with the usual Answers of the Week, we will pick a winner based on entertainment value, whether it’s humorous, inspirational, or something that tugs at our heartstrings. It would be ideal if the photo told a story. If there’s a story behind the picture words are okay too, but remember, a picture is worth a thousand of them (side note: our website, which is so old it’s practically nostalgic itself, isn’t great for embedding photos, so feel free to copy/paste a URL link in the comments).
What’s your best JNC photo?
The Mazda 626 was known as the Capella in Japan, and though it had some really trick technology on it, it was mostly remembered as a fairly middle-of-the-road compact in the US. However, if you were in Japan, you could get the Capella Canvas Top. It was basically a regular Capella except with an old-timey rollback canvas roof, but instead of cruising by the Riviera in the 1960s you were gliding through Bubble Era Japan. Happy 626 Day from JNC!
The 80-series Land Cruiser brought Toyota’s venerable off-roader into the modern age. The 70-series was never sold in the US, and as capable the 60-series was, by 1990 it was getting pretty ancient. The 80-series balanced perfectly the off-road capability of the older Land Cruisers while not delving into full-blown luxury mode that following generations did. Though the Supra existed, the 80-series became something of an unofficial flagship for Toyota, with a price to match. The updated 1993 model was reviewed favorably when new, but in hindsight it was drastically underrated. Continue reading
Anyone who is into Japanese cars needs no introduction to BRIDE. The racing seat company has produced all manner of butt-holders for the aftermarket and racing community. However, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the company says it will use its racing seat knowledge to create branded face masks as well. Continue reading
Recently the internet helped get the restoration of a rare left-hand-drive 1960 Prince Skyline underway. As fate would have it, another chance to help resurrect a glorious piece of Japan’s automotive history has presented itself. And the car in question could not be more different — a Supra race car from the height of the Tuner Era, one of the Toyota Team Castrol TOM’s Supras that raced in JGTC. Continue reading
Just a quick update about the rare 1960 LHD Prince Skyline that was found in an Idaho junkyard. In an Facebook update yesterday by Alexis Campos, who discovered the car originally. It reads “I have received numerous amount of messages, phone calls, emails about the Prince! Didn’t think this would blow up like it did. Today, the Prince is officially sold! It will be on its way to Japan 👍.” [UPDATE: According to the yard, the car has been paid for and they are looking for wheels to slap on so it can be shipped to Japan immediately.] To everyone who helped get the word out about this rare car, great work helping saving this car. Hopefully we’ll see it at a car show in Japan in a few years!