Automobile realizes old Japanese cars are pretty cool after all


Well lookee here. Automobile, long the bastion of if-it-ain’t-Euro-it’s-crap has suddenly discovered the awesomeness of classic Japanese sports cars. Are we in the bizarro world? Their March 2012 issue even manages to review four cars — Honda S800, Mazda Cosmo Sport, Toyota 2000GT and the Nissan Fairlady Z432 — without once calling them copies of Old World models. With muscle-car-crazy Mattel building hakosukas and our recent quotes in the New York Times, perhaps what we’ve long preached is finally being recognized by the mainstream.

[Image: Automobile]

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This post is filed under: honda, mazda, media, nissan, toyota.

23 Responses to Automobile realizes old Japanese cars are pretty cool after all

  1. Tisen said:

    Soon we will have Auto Art 1/18 scale model of Honda and all those 4 will be in 1/18 scale.

  2. E-AT_me said:

    read the 2000gt text again. they mention lotus and the E type.. great article though and i’m astonished that they got all four together, esepcially a z432 and a yellow 2000gt..

    • xs10shl said:

      That’s my fat head behind the wheel of the s800. The shot pictured above was taken mid-afternoon just before the Dumbarton Bridge in San Francisco. We caught a brief moment where there was no traffic, and quickly positioned the cars for the shot. Fun times!

  3. Lukas said:

    Maybe there is hope for us european guys too!

  4. Derrick said:

    Yeah, it seems like the the world is beginning to understand the value of these cars. See the current comments on the eBay R100 being discussed on Bring a Trailer. Most people there are in disbelief that a) Mazda made an R100, and b) it could be worth over 20k. It is very interesting to witness this turn in collect-ability first hand.
    And JNC was there from the start!

    • E-AT_me said:

      if you think that’s something you should see what they said about the 2000gt that was on there a few months ago. when japanese cars come up on BAT i never read the comments. they just make me upset.

  5. dave said:

    Automobile is the crappiest of the mainstream American car magazines. I get more information reading wikipedia than any article they wrote. That said, it’s nice to see that classic Japanese cars are getting recognition here, but I’d still rather some of my favorite classic/nostalgic cars stay underground…so I can afford them.

    • Lincoln Stax said:

      I disagree. Automobile was founded and edited by David E. Davis Jr., the best automotive writer in America. The point of Automobile wasn’t to be another general interest car magazine. There was already Car and Driver, Road & Track and Motor Trend for that. It was a lifestyle magazine for people who love cars. Their writers have always been the best in the business. It’s now run by Jean Jennings, another excellent writer and David E. Davis’s chosen successor. If you want to know which supercar is one tenth of a second faster in the quarter mile than another supercar, then buy one of the other magazines. If you want to know what it’s like to drive a Lamborghini Urraco across France at top speed, get Automobile.

      • dave said:

        Granted, to each their own. I’ve tried Automobile from time to time over the years, and it just was never my thing. A lifestyle magazine, that’s a good way to describe it.

      • Tyler said:

        Well said, Lincoln. If I bought a car magazine aside from JNC and TRJ, that would be it. They always have great photos as well.

    • j_c said:

      “but I’d still rather some of my favorite classic/nostalgic cars stay underground…so I can afford them.”

      I agree. Speculators who buy cars for investments ruin the market for real enthusiasts. It’s already happened to classic European and American cars.

      • Steve said:

        As do I. Used to be I could buy all sorts of cool “JDM” parts for my 2nd gen Celica for cheap. Now they cost an arm and a leg. The supply of 18RGs has dried up…

  6. Nigel said:

    Some of this recognition started with a cetain video game, called Granturismo.

  7. schigleymischkey said:

    Now wait a minute, just wait a minute. I used to subscribe to Automobile, before blogs made the car mags redundant, and it was through their Collectible Classics column that I was first introduced to the idea of classic Japanese cars.

    • banpei said:

      I really wonder if blogs make car mags redundant. I see them as two different things as most magazines go more in depth than (most) blogs. Even a high profile blog like Speedhunters is in general not really going in depth (there are some exceptions now and then) and are doing mostly coverage of events.

      Personally I still have a couple of subscriptions (e.g. Practical Classics, JNC Mag, etc) and buy random magazines from time to time when they are interesting enough. Even now and then new magazines emerge (Rozsdakupac, 86 Garage) that are worth the initiative! :)

  8. Q8ijin said:

    its a generation thing I think. the older generations either appreciated muscle cars or European cars….

    • Lukas said:

      In Europe, it´s definately a generation thing. My generation (I´m 27) is the first to love and appreciate japanese cars, the generation of my parents grew up with the “japanese crap”-thought in mind. It will get better, but for the 70s-jncs, it´s too late in Austria! Let´s keep the 80s-jncs alive!

      • E-AT_me said:

        my dad grew up in the 60’s street racing a 63 Chevy 2 with an olds straight-6 and a 3 speed on the floor.. in the late 70’s he owned a super beetle. in 1986 he bought my civic Si brand new off the floor. he now drives an 03 civic Si. thank goodness it’s not a “generation” thing in my case..

  9. Brian said:

    My 4 favorite tins! 1 down 3 to go!

  10. Al said:

    Just curious, why does there seem to be a door just behind the front left tire on the 2000GT?

    Is that for access?

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