The renowned Japanese automotive video series Best Motoring and its spinoff publication Hot Version have been canceled. According to its publisher 2&4 Motoring, the parent company Kodansha could not justify its continued existence citing declining sales figures for the past three years.
Besumo, as it was called by fans, was launched in December 1987 on VHS and hosted by Japan’s top drivers. Some of the regulars included Keiichi “Drift King” Tsuchiya, D1 driver Manabu Orido, and Juichi Wakisaka. They became famous as much for their jovial camaraderie and banter, as daring comparos that took test vehicles on all-out runs on Japanese circuits or touge battles. For those unfamiliar with the video, think of them as a more technical, Asian version of Top Gear. It was Japanese automotive culture at its finest, and it will be missed.