NEWS: Toyota launches new GR performance line

Toyota has launched a new performance line in Japan. Called GR, it offers performance parts and complete cars, with six models offered at launch. Four more will follow and hit the roads of Japan by spring 2018. Toyota hopes to “gradually” bring the series outside of Japan, but whether that is good news or not depends on whether you think GR is a true performance line. But first, a brief history of GR.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE?: The Most Expensive 1983 Honda Accord Yet?

There is a particular Honda on eBay that we’ve been watching here at JNC, and it is this 32,031-mile 1983 Honda Accord hatchback. While it is a beautiful car, and possibly the most flawless example in existence, what caught our eye was the current bid of $20,000 with nearly a week left on the auction. We would venture to say that this is the record for most money ever paid for a 1983 Accord, especially since the original MSRP for an LX hatchback such as this one was $8,549. But is it worth it? According to the 36 bidders, the answer is yes. Continue reading

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JCCS Preview: Get a limited edition Matchbox Datsun 510 Rally Car at JCCS only

Matchbox will be giving away some special edition cars at the 2017 Japanese Classic Car Show this Saturday. They’ve provided a sneak peek at the packaging of at least one of them, the 1970 Datsun 510 Rally Car car. This will have different graphics than the mainline release, and if you look closely at the door, you will see a familiar logo.  Continue reading

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QotW: Would you buy a new electric car with with retro JNC styling?

Brandon’s question last week about the electric JNC was especially prescient, because just a day after he posted it Honda went and unveiled a retro-styled electric car. Jaguar, too, has unveiled an electric E-type, one with not just a retro design but a completely classic bod. Of course, Toyota did this five years ago with an electric 2000GT, but perhaps the sponsor stickers and modern wheels detracted from the end result. Like it or not, it seems even the world of classics is moving towards electrification.

Would you buy a new electric car with retro JNC styling?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Would you EV your JNC?”  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? $90k Nissan 300ZX Turbo

Recently, a 1996 Nissan 300ZX sold for $90,100. No, that is not a typo, nor was it your typical Z32. It was perhaps the most collectible example in the US, a big reason why the price was 10 times what a typical specimen would sell for. At the time, people thought this would be the last Z ever sold in the US. Continue reading

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MINICARS: Get your Then & Now Hot Wheels Mazda RX-7s this Saturday

This Saturday, September 16, is another one of Hot Wheels’ Kmart exclusive K Days, and it’s one you won’t want to miss. It will be the only opportunity to buy this Mazda RX-7 pair in red at a retail store.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: Automobile Council, Part 03 — Live the Classic Car Lifestyle

Now that Automobile Council has somehow swayed a bunch of automakers into putting on a big show about their heritage and getting you all jazzed about living the classic motoring lifestyle, you’re going to need a Japanese nostalgic car. That’s why the show also had select top end dealers showing off their stock of vintage steel.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Honda’s retro electric Civic confirmed for production

In a surprise move, Honda has unveiled a new electric vehicle concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show’s press days, which just kicked off this morning. It’s called the Honda Urban EV Concept, and while the official press release makes no mention of it, the car’s design is clearly inspired by the first- and second-gen Honda Civic. More importantly, Honda says it “sets the direction for the technology and design that will appear on a future… production model.” Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Calsonic and and BRE livery race again, in Australia

When we published our retrospective of Nissan’s famed Calsonic Blue livery last week we had no idea that it would soon be making its way to Australia. As it turns out, Nissan is about to revive not only this, but the famed BRE colors as well, and send them into battle side by side.  Continue reading

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ART CORNER: Initial D author’s new racing manga has begun

Four years after the conclusion of Initial D, author Shuichi Shigeno has embarked on the development of a new racing manga. The first chapter of the series, called MF Ghost, has kicked off in Japan’s Weekly Young Magazine, where Initial D began its 18 year run in 1995. While it has a new cast of characters and is set many years after Takumi Fujiwara’s famed panda AE86 raced its last race, there seems to be at least one character carried over from Initial DContinue reading

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QotW: Would you EV your JNC?

It’s National Drive Electric Week, and Nissan has just unveiled their new Leaf sporting new styling and a longer battery range. The Leaf has a ways to go before it can be considered as a JNC, but with the trend obviously moving towards EV vehicles — and emission regulations getting tighter globally; what will you do with your JNC? What if there is a time when you can no longer run a dino juice-powered motor? The only option may be to own your own secret island or EV it. What say you:

Would you EV your JNC?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC emblem/logo needs to come back?Continue reading

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EVENTS: Automobile Council 2017, Part 02 – Mazda, with heritage guns blazing

Now in its second year, Automobile Council gives car companies a chance to flex their heritage a bit. Some seized the opportunity better than others, but none came out with more guns blazing than Mazda.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE?: 76k-mile Toyota Hilux Diesel

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, $10,000 is a lot of scratch for a third-generation Hilux. However, I think we can all agree that this 1981 Toyota Hilux Diesel might be the one of the best examples ever posted on JNC. It’s a time capsule that’s spent the last few years with it’s current owner as a daily driver with a complete service history of its maintenance by the professional hands at his local Toyota dealership. Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Why Calsonic Blue is a legendary livery in Japanese racing

Outside of Japan, most enthusiasts’ first encounter with the legendary Calsonic Blue livery of Nissan’s touring cars was likely in Gran Turismo. Specifically, it graced the R32 Skyline GT-R of the Japan Touring Car Championships, and while Godzilla notably won every single JTCC race it competed in from 1990-93, the Calsonic liveried cars were the winningest, taking the championship in both the first and the final seasons. The JTCC R32s were what made the livery famous, but this wasn’t the first use of Calsonic Blue.  Continue reading

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ICON: Honda City Turbo, the quintessential Japanese hot hatch

High performance machines are no stranger to Honda. The Japanese carmaker may have spent recent years perfecting mass-market consumer runabouts, but its legacy in high-revving precision-handling vehicles is well cemented in the hearts of car enthusiasts. With the new-age NSX and Civic Type R and the likes of S660, Honda seems to be getting back in touch with its passionate side. All these Honda performance cars now sport turbochargers, and while Hondas have traditionally been associated with incredible power-to-displacement ratios from naturally aspirated engines, forced induction is not new to the marque. As such, it seems appropriate now to revisit this forbear of modern Honda performance, the Honda City Turbo, one of the most iconic hot hatches of the 1980s. Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC emblem/logo needs to come back?

Recently, we saw a great example of an AE82 with 10k on the odometer. It reminded me of the car in which I learned how to drive: our family’s 1985 AE82 in the same color, same interior, but with a manual and I believe it was a DX grade. The grille was different but the emblem was the same. “TOYOTA”. Simple, clean and undeniable.

Now, I’m a fan of emblems. I have a box of emblems that I’ve gathered over the years from junk yards and late-night eBay purchases. There are some excellent badges that I won’t say to keep the discussion free-flowing. The TOYOTA badge is not the best one out there, it’s just something from my early driving years. I do wish we got back to some of the “classic” badging… I’ll allow models that may not be in production now (but maybe could be coming back!) What do you think?

What JNC emblem/logo needs to come back?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC would make a great mobile office?Continue reading

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Have a relaxing Labor Day from JNC

It’s Labor Day in the United States so the JNC staff is taking a break from our regularly scheduled program until tomorrow. Fifty years ago, though, the Mazda factory was hard at work churning out three-wheeled trucks. The K360 kei car was built alongside the T1500 and T2000 with not a robot in sight. Industry!

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 10,000-mile 1984 Toyota Corolla LE

Do you want a supremely mint example of a hugely influential mid-80s Corolla that helped spread the Toyota gospel far and wide around the world? Behold, a 10,500-mile Toyota Corolla LE sedan. What, you were expecting an AE86? The argument could be made that the front-drive AE82, the first to be co-built in the United States with General Motors, became the foundation on which the modern Toyota empire was built.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 34k-mile 1991 Toyota MR2 Turbo

At this year’s Toyotafest we were saw an increase in stock (or stock appearing) and period correct examples of the second-generation MR2. Gone were the Invader body kits and intake snorkels from the Tuner Era heyday. Clearly, the unmolested SW20 is something collectable, especially when it has only 34,270 miles on the clock.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Restored Mazda Cosmo Sport runs the Hamburg-Berlin Rally

After a truly heroic restoration of a rusted out Cosmo Sport, Mazda Germany did what anyone would do with a newly restored classic rotary — take it on a three-day road rally.  Continue reading

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