VIDEO: Here’s every generation of the Honda Trail Cub

Here’s a very informative history lesson on the Honda Trail Cub (or Hunter Cub, or Postie, depending on which continent you live on). Produced by Honda, it goes through every iteration of what started out as a Super Cub modified for off-road use. It starts out with a C105T, developed in 1961 by American Honda thanks to an Idaho dealer of Super Cubs, but it’s a super rare chrome plated version, given in 1963 as a gift to top US dealers.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Isuzu Elf had a cute name but did massive work

The Elf is to Isuzu what the Land Cruiser is to Toyota or the Skyline is to Nissan. At 61 years old it’s the longest running nameplate in Isuzu’s history, and a truck that can be seen in almost every corner of the globe (including the US, where it’s rebadged as a GMC W-series. Unless you’re living in a unabomber cabin in the woods, chances are that something you own has been on an Isuzu Elf. Continue reading

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Here are all the references to past Z-cars on the Nissan Z Proto

Now that we’ve had some time to digest the Z Proto, let’s take a look at what Nissan has given us. In the company’s own words, the Z Proto is mostly a design statement. So, we can’t really speculate any more on the chassis or power, but there’s still a lot to unpack. Continue reading

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Mazda classics take a lap at Tsukuba Circuit during a 4-hour Roadster enduro

Many automotive journalists don’t even own cars. Why do that when you are supplied by a never-ending stream of press loaners that show up in your driveway every week? However, if you were to poll all the journalists, you’d probably find that the car most owned by this strange breed of human is the Mazda Miata. It handles well enough to excite after doing time in a slew of numbing SUVs. It handles well enough to excite after thrills in six-figure luxury sports cars. And, most importantly, it’s reliable enough to own on a scribe’s meager salary. That’s probably why in Japan Mazda has held a yearly 4-hour endurance race for journalists every year since the Roadster’s introduction in 1989. Continue reading

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Toyota sees the new Z and would like to remind you about the GR Super Sport

You might have heard that over the weekend, Toyota won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the third time in a row. It’s a tremendous feat, even if it ran largely unopposed by any other automaker. Toyota also took the opportunity to remind the world that it is, in fact, working on a hypercar that will make the Lexus LFA look like a Camry. Sure, Nissan, your Z Proto might be the talk of the town, and the R390 GT1? That’s cute. This is the GR Super Sport, and it’s probably going to have close to 1,000 horsepower. Continue reading

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The new Nissan CEO’s first car was a Z32 Fairlady Z

Nissan has been through a tumultuous couple of years. In November 2018 its CEO of nearly 20 years Carlos Ghosn was arrested on charges of misappropriating company funds and has since become an international fugitive. His replacement, Hiroto Saikawa, lasted less than a year before resigning over improper overcompensation. All the while, the company faced falling sales made even worse by the onset of the coronavirus. Makoto Uchida became CEO in October 2019, promising to turn the company around and rebuild the internal structure that made his predecessors’ alleged improprieties possible. It’s won’t be an easy road, but Uchida has at least one thing going for him — his first car was a Z32 Nissan Fairlady Z. Continue reading

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QotW: What pivotal Japanese car made our modern favorites possible?

Today is Respect for the Aged Day, a Japanese holiday that honors the elderly. With the introduction of a new Z, one of original models that changed western perceptions of what a Japanese car could be, it seems only fitting to consider the predecessors that have made our hobby what it is today. While the Z might be an obvious choice, one could argue that its little brother, the humble 510, put more Japanese cars in driveways. There’s no right or wrong answer, and it probably depends on what your modern favorites are.

What pivotal Japanese car made our modern favorites possible?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your fondest Nissan Z-Car memory?Continue reading

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The Nissan Z Proto wasn’t even a thing until three years ago

The Nissan Z Proto is finally here, and that’s a good thing. For one, it means Nissan plans to bring a seventh-generation Z to market. Let’s not forget that the sixth-gen 370Z was introduced in 2008, or two Spider-Man reboots ago. For a long time, the fate of the Z35 — and the Z lineage at large — was uncertain. We recently found out just how uncertain it was. Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Isuzu TX-80 helped build modern Japan

The Isuzu TX-series trucks were a fixture in Japan’s post-war reconstruction. Their rule spanned over three decades, from 1946-79, an era that saw Japan transform from a defeated power to and economic juggernaut. TX-series trucks hauled cargo, moved earth, and were adapted into fire engines. The TX-80 in particular was a best-seller in the 5-ton segment. With seemingly zero cares given to styling, these trucks were ugly as an ox but they got the job done. Continue reading

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Why Mazda is turbocharging all the things

If there is one carmaker, Japanese or not, that consistently puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to performance, it’s Mazda. Already flush with a lineup of cars with razor-sharp handling, over the last few years it has also been quietly turbocharging everything too. Today the Hiroshima company announced that it’s now putting its 2.5-liter turbo into its CX-30, essentially a 3 wagon with plastic cladding. But why? Continue reading

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All seven generations of the Nissan Z gathered for a family portrait

With any car possessing as much heritage as the Nissan Z, you can’t just trot it out with paying respects to its elders. So it was only natural that Nissan would bring out its classic Z-cars from its own collection to the debut of the Z Proto in Yokohama, Japan. Here’s the entire clan, all gathered together, to welcome the latest addition to the family. Continue reading

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This is the seventh-generation Nissan Z Proto

It’s hard to believe, but the Nissan Z Proto is the first new Z design in nearly 12 years. It was way back on November 15, 2008 we showed you the first photos of the 370Z ahead of its official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Since then, several other Japanese sports cars have seen reboots, but arguably none have the name recognition, the following, and the brand heritage of the Nissan Z. When you have that much history and fandom, expectations run sky-high and it’s an almost impossible bar to clear. From what we know of the Z Proto, though, we think Nissan just might have pulled it off. Continue reading

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Watch the debut of the Nissan Z Proto live right now

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SHOWA SNAP: Nissan Fairlady Z unveiled at Tokyo Motor Show

On October 18, 1969 the motoring world was forever changed when the Nissan Fairlady Z was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show. These lucky attendees, who probably all have heads of gray now, got to see it in person. Did they fathom the sports car revolution that was about to transpire when the car before them was unleashed to the public? Tonight, nearly 51 years later, we can be these young men as Nissan unveils the long-awaited seventh-generation Z online. JNC will have our impressions of the Z Proto, with photos, here at 5:45 pm Pacific Time. Stay tuned.

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Honda launches NSX 30th anniversary minisite in Japan

Over the weekend Honda launched an NSX 30th anniversary minisite in Japan. But wait, you might say. Didn’t Honda already celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NSX last year? Well, you would be correct. The event at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show celebrated the 1989 debut of the Acura NS-X Concept. The production NSX was announced on September 13, 1990 and went on sale a day later, September 14. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your fondest Nissan Z-Car memory?


By tomorrow night the world will know what the long-awaited seventh-generation Z-car will look like. It’s been over 50 years since the debut of the original, so let’s take this opportunity to reflect on our fondest memories of the Z, no matter which generation.

For me, personally, it was probably receiving a Bluestreak toy from my aunt as a birthday present. Transformers, though, were flying off store shelves and nearly impossible to get. My aunt didn’t even know what they were, just that they were “popular with the kids.” I’ve competed in a TSD rally in a good friend’s 240Z, gone camping with my wife out of a 370Z, driven a sub-200-mile Z32, and attended the Z’s 50th birthday party at the hotel where the original 240Z was unveiled, but I will never forget this toy. At the time my peer group was outgrowing Matchboxes (but not cartoons created as 30-minute toy advertisements targeting children) so it was no longer “cool” to like toy cars. Bluestreak not only made me realize there was something special about the Z, but rekindled my love for cars of all sizes, a passion that I haven’t strayed from since.

What’s your fondest Nissan Z-Car memory?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “If you could only own one car from each Japanese marque, what would your garage look like?Continue reading

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VIDEO: Behold, the Isuzu Sumida bus

Pre-war photos are very difficult to come by, but Isuzu has just released a video comprised of images of the Isuzu Sumida bus from 90 years ago. The Sumida was one of Isuzu’s earliest designs, introduced in 1929. In fact, it even predates the company known as Isuzu, which at the time was still called Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding & Engineering. Design began in 1927, in the aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 that leveled much of Tokyo. With rail systems disrupted, it became clear that trucks and buses were desperately needed if Japan’s economy was to recover and grow. Continue reading

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Happy 25th Anniversary, Sony Playstation


On September 9, 1995 the original Sony PlayStation went on sale in the US. There were only 10 original games available at launch, and the shining star among of them was Namco’s Ridge Racer.

Sure, it didn’t have any licensed cars (although there was that one car on the cover that looked like a cross between a Mitsubishi Eclipse and FTO), but it as the name implies, it was inspired by the mountain driving popular in Japan at the time. It was a pioneer of drifting physics as well, which became integral to the personality of the game. In other words, the PlayStation and Ridge Racer brought an early form of touge battles to American living rooms long before anyone in the States knew of Initial D (Sega, for its part, went with the 3D Daytona USA).

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Nissan Z Proto: I am manual, hear me roar

Nissan is really coming on strong with the Z Proto teasers. It was only Monday that they seemed to hint at a manual transmission. Many of you jokesters said that it was probably just the gear selector for a CVT, a not entirely unjustified concern. However, another teaser that dropped just this morning shows definitively that yes, the Z Proto will have an honest-to-god stick shift, with six-speeds and a rev match on/off switch like in the 370Z. We also get a few more glimpses of the exterior and some engine sounds. Continue reading

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Happy 910 Day from JNC

The Nissan Bluebird 910, also known as a shorter, four-cylinder version of the original Nissan Maxima, saw no shortage of racing action. Nissan even entered it in the 1981 Safari Rally, equipped with a turbocharged Z18ET said to output 230 horsepower. Sadly, it got stuck on one of the stages and thus timed out of the race. Still, Nissan managed to sweep the podium with other entries, so it was an overall success. Happy 910 Day from JNC!

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