QotW: What’s the best Japanese getaway car?

GR1-854s_Toyota Chaser JZX100

Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. but when a heist goes down, it’s a big one. As in, the kind you need a getaway car or two to pull off. A getaway car has to be big enough for your crew and whatever newly liberated goods they recently acquired, stealthy enough to blend in, and — in case you need it — fast. A big, 90s four-door Toyota like a JZX100 Chaser might just be the perfect weapon. It’s right there in the name.

What’s the best Japanese getaway car?

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, “Which JNC had really low production numbers?”  Continue reading


SHOP LIFE: A visit to Mooneyes Area 1

10-2343_Mooneyes Daihatsu Midget

When recent travels took us to Yokohama, our resident illustrator and Japan native San Mamiya suggested that we meet up and go to Mooneyes Area 1. It had been a few years since we’d visited the Japanese headquarters of Mooneyes, and there’s always something different parked around the shop, so we headed to the Honmoku neighborhood where the famed brand is based.  Continue reading


VIDEO: The UK’s only Cosmonaut

Mazda 110S Cosmo Sport UK

Rotorhead. Mazdafarian. Cosmonaut. Whatever you want to call him, Phil Blake is the UK’s only Cosmo Sport owner. And apropos of nothing, Mazda Europe has just released a video of him driving his car along the Scottish North Coast 500, a road called “Scotland’s Route 66”. There’s not much information here, but if you want to see a beautiful rotary on beautiful roads, your wish is granted. Continue reading


Happy 720 Day from JNC

08_Nissan Datsun 720

Happy 720 Day! For this special occasion, here are some of the most amazing Datsun 720 trucks we’ve seen here at JNC over the years. Continue reading


GRAND TOURING: Mazda Hakone Turnpike and Izu Skyline

GR1-056s_Izu Skyline Honda S800 Coupe

While living in Tokyo has many problems, finding a place to go for a drive is not one of them. There are countless skylines, touge, and turnpikes, all challenging and spectacular roads within a short distance of the capital. For this drive, we decided to take a Friday off, start early and connect a number of them — the Odawara-Atsugi Toll Road, the Mazda Hakone Turnpike, and then the full length of the Izu Skyline.  Continue reading


MINICARS: Matchbox 2017 lineup revealed with surprising J-tin castings

Matchbox 2017 lineup prototypes

Last week was the annual Matchbox Collector’s Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mattel took the opportunity to reveal the cars and trucks of their 2017 lineup, and there are several that will surely be of interest to JNCers.  Continue reading


QotW: Which JNC had really low production numbers?

1978 Mitsubishi Sigma Dodge Colt Wagon

Sometimes market forces create strange anomalies. We all know the story about how Nissan built only 197 kenmeri Skyline GT-Rs before the racing program got canceled, but there are other instances that resulted in cars just as rare.

For example, while Dodge offered the Colt Wagon (aka Mitsubishi Sigma) in 1978-1980, according to owner Josh Mead, they all came on a single shipment across the Pacific and were spread throughout three model years. That makes the RWD wagon incredibly rare today, especially in faux wood Estate trim.

Which JNC had really low production numbers?

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 vehicle do you cheat on your JNC with?”  Continue reading


EVENTS: Mitsubishi Owners Day 2016

07-3068_Mitsubishi Colt Galant GTO

Though the company itself has undergone some big changes in 2016, Mitsubishi Owners Day was the same as ever. And by that, we mean as many chrome-bumpered classics as you can count on one hand, a only slightly more 80s cars, and every Lancer Evolution from San Diego to Vancouver.  Continue reading


Sagamiko Forest Highlight: Hakosuka Drift Car

002-1-2_Nissan Skyline C10 hakosuka drift car

The Sagamiko Forest Skyline & Kyusha Meeting had acres of perfectly painted kaido racers, but one that really stood out to us looked like it had been found in a barn. In fact, this Hakosuka is a known drifter and was displayed in the style of an old school street racer.  Continue reading


EVENTS: Sagamiko Forest Skyline & Kyusha Meeting, Part 02

012-1-10_Sagamiko Forest Skyline & Kyusha Meeting

Our coverage of the Sagamiko Forest Skyline and Kyusha Meeting continues with even more Skylines (and other Nissans too, but mostly Skylines). Approaching the event, a cardboard sign warned attendees “Do Not Blip Your Throttle”, a favorite activity of kaido racers. Having good manners so that future meetings can take place is important. Continue reading


EVENTS: 2016 Nissan Jam, Part 01 — The Cool Ones

012-1229_Datsun 510

For its fourth year, Nissan Jam has moved once again, this time to La Palma Park in Anaheim. With its new, grassier venue, the gathering of Nissan, Datsun, and Infiniti vehicles has a more concours-ey feel.  Continue reading


QotW: What vehicle do you cheat on your JNC with?

15_Toyota FJ Cruiser

As much as we aspire to live the JNC life, we can’t always do so. Sometimes we must drive a car that’s newer, not made of Nihon steel or perhaps not even a car at all.

What vehicle to do you cheat on your JNC with?

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 does your family think of your JNC?”  Continue reading


NEWS: Mazda begins restoration of 929 sedan

Mazda 929

Mazda North America has begun restoration of a 929 sedan, according to Jacob Brown, a Product Communications Specialist at the company. And according to Brown, JNC‘s very own Dave Yuan was a major reason they’ve been inspired to do it.  Continue reading


MOTORSPORT: Mazda’s 787B Le Mans livery rides again

Mazda IMSA Protoype 55 Le Mans livery

It may not be 24 hours and it may not be Le Mans, but the Six Hours of Watkins Glen is no walk in the park. In honor of the 25th anniversary of its Le Mans win, Mazda wrapped one of its IMSA prototypes — number 55, as it happens — in the orange and green livery of the legendary 787B when it ran last weekend. “It’s kind of emotional… to be in the firesuit just like they wore and [with] the livery on the car,” said co-driver Jonathan Bomarito, “The fan reaction was absolutely incredible.”  Continue reading


VIDEO: Two F1 drivers in a Honda S800

Mobil 1 Endless Road Trip

In a series of new ads by Mobil 1, McLaren-Honda Formula One drivers Jensen Button and Fernando Alonso take a road trip across the world. Though the banter is groan-inducing, the good thing is that the pair takes the trip in a Honda S800.  Continue reading


QotW: What does your family think of your JNC?


Our love for old Japanese cars may seem like the most rational thing in the world to friends and fellow JNCers, but often it leaves the rest of the unenlightened scratching their heads (ie “Why are you spending so much money and time on an old Corolla?” or “Is that thing safe?” or “What’s that smell?”).

What does your family think of your JNC?

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 was your second car?”   Continue reading


Happy 4th of July from JNC

Muto Z

For the 4th of July, here’s the most patriotic looking zokusha we could find, the Muto Z. Happy Independence Day from JNC.

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REMINDER: JCCS 2016 Registration opens today

Registration for the 2016 Japanese Classic Car Show has opened. Be sure to sign up for the US’s premier gathering of historic automobiles from Japan.

The show takes place September 25, 2016 at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California and open to both cars and motorcycles.

This year, the show is celebrating racing heritage, with special appearances by the BRE Datsun 510, Mazda’s 24 Hours of Daytona RX-7, Toyota’s SCCA Corolla TE27, and a Honda Civic Group A replica.

Toyotafest registration sold out in less than 24 hours. Don’t miss out. You can register at the official JCCS website here.


NEWS: Toyota creates Initial D-inspired 86

Toyota GT86 Initial D 05

Often, things that are blindingly obvious to enthusiasts sail high over the heads of the automakers themselves. Sometimes, though, they nail it. Take, for example, Toyota UK’s creation of a Toyota GT86 (aka FR-S) inspired by Takumi Fujiwara’s fictional hachiroku from the classic manga Initial DContinue reading


Honda celebrates 40 years of the Accord

004-Sk563_Honda Accord

The ubiquitous Honda Accord turns 40 today, launched in June of 1976 as America was still reeling from the oil crisis. It was small (with a wheelbase less than a modern Fit’s) and light enough (at 2,083 pounds) that it could easily surpass 40 mpg in highway driving, and immediately endeared itself to long-suffering drivers of gas guzzlers.  Continue reading