On Saturday Nissan celebrated the completion of its restoration of the Group A HR31 Skyline GTS-R that ran at the 1988 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. With only 800 homologation models made, the R31 Skyline GTS-R is a rare and technologically advanced model, even if often overshadowed by its GT-R brethren. This particular car has even more historical significance, however, as it marked the first time an official Nissan sanctioned Skyline competed in Europe. Continue reading
A heavy snow storm struck Tokyo Monday, dumping 9 inches of powder on the capital city. According to NHK about 50 cars were stranded on Tokyo’s iconic Rainbow Bridge. The weather interfered with Tokyo’s train schedules as well, and according to Reuters 250 flights at Haneda Airport were grounded. Continue reading
One of the worst feelings in the world is that sinking feeling you get upon seeing the rollers of a police cruiser in your rear view mirror. I saw a set of lights on my 86 a minute after entering a local town’s city limits. The offense? No front license plate on my zenki bumper. The bolt holes for a US plate differ from those of a Japanese number plate so I simply left it off. Luckily, I always roll with a trunk full of tools, so I zip-tied the plate on and got off with a warning.
Has your JNC ever gotten you in trouble with the law?
It’s official, Mazda’s rotary engine is making a comeback, but perhaps not in the way sports car enthusiasts hope. Rather than powerful, turbocharged powerplants in a new RX car, the new rotary will serve as range extenders on a fleet of self-driving electric vehicles that Mazda and Toyota are co-developing together. Continue reading
JNC stopped by Mattel’s design center yesterday and saw what promises to be one of the most coveted Hot Wheels for 2018 — the Nissan C10 Skyline Van. Designer Jun Imai was kind enough to share the final version with us, card art and all, and it is gorgeous. Continue reading
When asked about a good JNC for someone on a budget, I usually find myself turning to Nissan’s back catalogue, particularly the models from the mid- to late-1980s. It’s not that they were inherently better than Toyotas or Hondas, but rather, they were prolific in making sporty cars (much the opposite, sadly, of today). I rattle off the usual suspects — Z31, S12, or, if feeling a bit flippant, a ringer like the Stanza Wagon to see if they’re still listening. However, there’s one car that I always completely forget about until I’m perusing the darkest reaches of Craigslist: the Infiniti M30. Continue reading
Today is January 17, or World Isuzu 117 Day. That’s probably not a real holiday, but it should be. Celebrate with a tour across Japan in a 117, or a visit to a 117 specialist shop. There aren’t enough holidays celebrating Isuzus on the calendar!
Promotion has begun for a new TV drama in Japan that crosses Speed Racer and a A Night at the Museum. Called Midnight Supercar, the star car is a 2000GT and the museum is the Toyota Automobile Museum itself. Continue reading
The video we’re featuring today is of a Nostalgic Race Day at Autopolis, an international racing circuit in Oita Prefecture. Autopolis, currently owned by Kawasaki, hosts a number of races for Super GT, Super Formula, Super Taikyu and MFJ Superbike, but here it’s invaded by classic domestic steel. Continue reading
The Mitsubishi Starion is an icon of the 1980s, and one of the great Japanese sport coupes of the pop-up headlight era. That’s why it’s odd that there have been surprisingly few models of it in any scale. Here are the first images of the model that will fill that gap. Continue reading
A true titan of 20th-century motorsport, Dan Gurney has passed away at the age of 86. Considered by many to be the greatest American racing driver in history, Gurney’s contributions to the world of auto racing as a driver, engineer and businessman are so considerable that a single tribute seems inadequate to fully capture the magnitude of his success.
A childhood transplant to California, Gurney became a part of his new home state’s burgeoning hot rod scene in the late 1940s. Following a stint in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he returned to California and quickly found work as a driver for privateer sports car teams. Continue reading
You’re driving your beloved JNC, and through the sea of blob-shaped crossovers you see a familiar shape. Low to the ground with simple lines, thin pillars and an expansive greenhouse, could it be? You get a little closer. Sealed-beam headlights and an hint of chrome trim. It’s a fellow traveler in Nihon steel.
Do you wave at other JNC drivers?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the worst thing you’ve spilled in your JNC?” Continue reading
Toyota has stubbornly refused to show the next Supra at major international motor shows even though prototypes have been photographed countless times. Instead, as enthusiasts cry, Toyota been quietly working on sleek new supercar concept, which it has just unveiled at the tuner-fest known as the Tokyo Auto Salon. Continue reading
In the world of collector JNCs, there is a hierarchy. Ultra-rare, highly sought after blue chips include the Toyota 2000GT, Mazda Cosmo Sport and Hakosuka Skyline GT-R. Continuing down through “affordable” classics like the Celica, RX-7 and 240Z, somewhere towards the bottom are cars that live in the shadows of the aforementioned. This is where the S130 resides, and cars like it are an absolute god-send for people looking for a JNC on a budget. The question is, was the S130 280ZX that bad? Continue reading
A new study has revealed which cars are bought new and kept by their original owners the longest. So, if you’re looking for a well-preserved one-owner car in 2028, this is what you’re likely to find. The good news is, all but one on the top 15 list is Japanese, with Toyota comprising a full two-thirds of it. There is, however, some bad news. Continue reading
We at JNC often pass each other cars we’d like to buy, so when Ryan messaged me, “Ben! Give me your kidneys now!” with a link to a 1985 Subaru GL-10 4WD sedan on Craigslist Wyoming (apparently, there is only one domain for the entire state), I clicked immediately. What opened was one of the cleanest top-of-the-line, fully optioned, box-era Subarus I’ve seen in decades. Continue reading
The diecast world has long been missing models of several seminal Japanese cars, especially when it comes to larger scales. One that’s been long desired by collectors but never seen before in 1:18 scale is the A60 Toyota Supra. That’s all about to change with an upcoming release from LS Collectibles. Continue reading
Do you like bolted on bubble flares, takeyari shaped like lightning bolts, and blinding dome lights that look like they’re off a 1960s police car except they’re purple? If not, well, maybe avert your eyes so you don’t see the parade of Celicas, Soarers and RX-7s decked out in less-than-reversible mods. If so, then behold a glorious night cruise with the bosozoku. Continue reading
Interiors. In many cases, the interior plays second (or third) fiddle to a car’s performance or exterior panache. Further still, we tend to neglect the rotting carpet or always-covered-in-grime trunk floor. But boy oh boy, a clean interior is a sight to behold, and keeping it in good nick is easier said than done.
In my younger years, I thought I could balance, in traffic, a tall chocolate milkshake on the flat part of the transmission hump of my near-spotless 914 interior (Cup holders? What cup holders?). One good brake check sent the shake on a one-way trip to spillville.
What’s the worst thing you’ve spilled in your JNC?
At the 1972 Tokyo Motor Show the most anticipated race car in Japan was unveiled at the Nissan stand. The Hakosuka Skyline GT-R was the most beloved touring car in the country, but its time was coming to an end. Nissan was unveiling the next generation of Skyline GT-R, the Kenmeri, and was so confident of its ability to continue the legacy that it debuted the car in race guise and gold Kobe Seiko 8-spoke wheels. Except, it never raced. However, at the recent NISMO Festival the revived prototype was given a chance to run, just as it was always meant to. Continue reading