25 YEARS of LEXUS, Part 01: The Lexus LS 400 is officially a Japanese nostalgic car

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In honor of yet another landmark vehicle turning 25, let’s all raise a champagne glass to Lexus, Japan’s most luxurious marque. Now, set that glass down atop a pyramid of other glasses stacked on the hood of a dyno-strapped LS 400 and gas it up to 145.

This was the way Lexus introduced itself to the world — with a tower of stemware balanced above its 250hp V8 humming at full tilt, serenely unperturbed as the sedan reached Autobahn speeds. Toyota USA was established on October 31, 1957. Thirty-two years later, in October of 1989, it would change the face of the automotive world once again. The Lexus LS 400 is officially a Japanese nostalgic car.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Mint 30k-mile Mitsubishi Cordia Turbo

1984 Mitsubishi Cordia Turbo 01

The last Kidney Car we posted was a rare, 1980s turbocharged Mitsubishi. Here’s another one, the Starion’s less well-known sibling. This 1985 Mitsubishi Cordia Turbo is currently offered for sale in Raleigh, North Carolina and with just 30,328 miles on the clock, it’s surely among the finest examples left in the country.  Continue reading

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PRODUCT GUIDE: Koyorad 22RE Toyota Trucks radiator

1985 Toyota 4Runner

Koyorad has been a great support of both JNC the website and JNCs the cars, as they are one of the few aftermarket companies consistently releasing products for J-tin vehicles. The latest addition to their Japanese Classic radiator line is actually for trucks, first-generation Toyota Trucks and 4Runners, to be exact.  Continue reading

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ART CORNER: Skylines, Truenos and Robots by Matt Spangler

Nissan Skyline Hakosuka robot by Matt Spangler

We love it when JNCs pop up in unexpected places, especially when they’re obscure models never sold in the US. Last year, a hakosuka Skyline showed up in Adventure Time. More recently, we received an email from a friend that works in the music department of Universal Studios. He had noticed the image above used on a new album cover.

We tracked down its creator, Matt Spangler, who as it turns out has had his work featured on The Big Bang Theory. We asked him what inspired his art and whether he had any more automotive work. He did.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2014 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 10 — Parking Area

1095-JR1066_Toyota Soarer Z20

Welcome to the final installment of our 2014 Japanese Classic Car Show coverage, a short one in which we scoured the parking area for J-tin whose owners had gone off to spectate. We begin with a clean Z20 Soarer and X80 Cressida, parked in tandem like an 80s who’s who of luxury Toyotas.  Continue reading

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QotW: Which non-sports, non-luxe JNC is destined to be a classic?

kobayashi tire & wheel - honda civic

Identifying cars like the GT-R or LFA as future classics is like predicting you’ll see a crash in a Russian dashcam video. It’s obvious, and you don’t get a cookie. It’s much harder to recognize a run-of-the-mill model that will achieve greatness. Therefore, we ask:

Which non-sports, non-luxe JNC is destined to be a classic?

Aside from a few specialty models, most Japanese cars were built by the millions. To make things challenging, let’s take sports and luxury models out of contention. That means no Truenos, Presidents, Fairladies, CRX Sis, or Lancer Evos.

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 People’s JNC is due for a remake?Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2014 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 09 — Editors’ Picks

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Each year as part of our Japanese Classic Car Show coverage, we pick our favorites to highlight. We had six members of the JNC team at the show this year, plus one car that we voted on collectively to give the JNC Award. Here’s what we chose.  Continue reading

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Toyota celebrates 50 years in Canada

1965 Toyota Crown Canada

Toyota is officially celebrating 50 years in Canada. Established in 1964, the story is similar to that of Toyota USA. From humble beginnings — just 755 cars sold in its first year — the company has grown at an amazing pace.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2014 Japanese Classic Car Show Part 08 — Motorcycles

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Though sleds of chrome and Nihon steel will always be at the heart of JCCS, in 2011 organizers began accepting vintage Japanese motorcycles as well. It’s fitting, anyway, as two-wheeled vehicles are still hugely popular in Japan, and is how much of the Japanese motoring industry got its start.  Continue reading

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ART CORNER: A Honda Z600 encounters a Toyota 2000GT space fish

Doujinshi Honda Z600 Toyota 2000GT

We have no idea what’s going on in this manga. All we were told is that it’s from a very short run, most likely a self-published doujinshi. In it, Honda Z600 travels through the cosmos and a Toyota 2000GT is rendered as a wheel-less space fish. If anyone knows more about it, let us know in the comments.  Continue reading

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