As we bid sayonara to 2013 let’s look back at some of the highs and lows it has given us. Enthusiasm for classic Japanese cars continues to grow and gain mainstream acceptance. This will only increase as cars that went on sale in 1989 are welcomed into the JNC fold. There’s a lot to look forward to for 2014, but for now here are JNC‘s Top 10 most-read stories of the year.
10. Nissan Jam coverage. A new show has appeared on the SoCal scene, showcasing the best of the Nissan/Datsun brand. Although not as big as Toyotafest yet, its first year was a success and the event seems to be off to a great start. Part 01 and Part 02.
9. Vintage Auto Salon coverage. Although SoCal remains number one, San Francisco is emerging as a strong contender for the J-tin scene. There was a lot to see in the premiere NorCal event for nostalgics. Part 01, Part 02, and Part 03.
8. A visit to Rocky Auto. One of Japan’s most famous Nissan tuners showed us his shop, full of Skyline, Zs, and genuine GT-Rs.
7. Initial D ends. After 18 years of Takumi, his AE86 and nail-biting touge battles, the series has come to an end. Don’t worry, hachiroku fans, there’s still the anime.
6. Hot Wheels x JNC Datsun 620. Our partnership with Mattel continued with one of the coolest pickups ever built. The retro orange color and simple decor (with the JNC inkan, of course) was a huge hit and became very difficult to find in stores.
5. The Classic Japan show of Australia. In particular, it was the segment devoted to 1980s machines. In one more day the 25-year rule will fully encompassing 80s cars. It’s time to start collecting. Part 01, Part 02, Part 03, Part 04, and Part 05.
4. Driving the Chubu Touge. This year we toured one of Japan’s many mountain passes, where drifting was born. Along the way, many rare examples of Nihon steel were captured by Skorj’s amazing photos. Part 01 & Part 02.
3. FJ40 Land Cruisers sell for big money. The classic SUV market is booming and FJ40s are getting extremely valuable. Examples are selling in the $60-90,000 range, and it probably won’t be long before we see a six-figure specimen.
2. The Mazda Furai is dead. One of the greatest concept cars built in the last decade was burnt to a crisp. Although the actual destruction occurred years ago, the truth only came out in September of this year. Mazdafarians mourned.
1. The Nissan IDx concept is unveiled. The moment nostalgic Nissan fans have been clamoring for. We got our first glimpse of what a compact, rear-wheel-drive car inspired by the many milestones of Nissan’s history might look like, live from Tokyo. It holds the record for most comments ever on a single JNC article and the car’s designer even weighed in from Nissan’s UK studio.
Honorable Mention. Toyota 2000GT sells for $1 million. Though it didn’t crack the Top 10, we strongly believe this story should be in the top 3. Just a few years ago it was unthinkable that an old Japanese car would ever be worth seven digits. This year one sold for $1.2 million and two more for $950,000-plus. It’s almost as historic as the 2000GT’s debut. Once again it has shown the world that Japan can compete with the world’s best.