KIDNEY, ANYONE? You’ll never guess how much this TE27 SR5 sold for

The rise of JNC prices continues, with this 1974 Toyota Corolla SR5 having recently sold for a truly impressive sum. While we have seen Datsuns and rotaries sell for around $20,000, it’s not that common to see Toyotas in the sporty RWD coupe class pull similar amounts. Why is this car special?

In a word, rarity. Mostly-stock second-gen Corollas are almost impossible to find these days, especially those in the sporty coupe body style commonly known as the mango. The SR5 was the top-of-the-line grade in the US, which came from the factory with steel fender flares. Most of the best examples here have been either turned into race cars or converted to JDM Levin or Trueno clones. Throw in a rare color of 522 Yellow, and you’ve got yourself a 43-year old Corolla that’s worth $17,750.

In Japan, a TE27 would have come with a Yamaha-engineered twin-cam 2T-G motor. Stateside, we had no such luck, making do with the SOHC 2T-C. Though they can be tuned and turbocharged to put out strong numbers, factory output came in at a middling 102 horsepower.

Perhaps what’s most amazing about the Bring a Trailer sale is that the car isn’t in stellar condition. It’s been repainted. There are a few spots of rust at the bottoms of the fenders and rocker panels, a common problem area that trap leaves and dirt (and thus moisture). The original wheels have been replaced, though with period American Racing Libres. Overall, it’s not as clean as others we’ve seen. However, as one of the last few stock Us-spec ones remaining, it commanded a price that’s probably only going to rise.


PIXELATED: Kat’s Run Zen-Nippon K Car Senshuken

Have you ever played Mario Kart and thought, “I wish these were all kei cars.”? If so, we have a game for you. Kat’s Run: Zen-Nippon K Car Senshuken produced by Atlus Games in 1995 was available exclusively for the Super Famicom (Japanese for Super Nintendo) and featured a greatest hits of the best kei sports cars around. Unfortunately this game fell into obscurity during a flood of racing games that all came out around the same time. It’s worth understanding why this game got lost in the fray since it’s not a bad game by any means.  Continue reading


QotW: Take the JNC Challenge, Part 07

Congrats goes out to Ant and Jayrdee for helping us make a purchase! We are the proud owner of a 1986 (Kouki)MR2 (AW11) after nabbing it from a police auction. I guess we felt we wanted to go in an even more sportier direction than the Shuttle 😉  This “Mr. 2” is not the cleanest, nor the prettiest like the brochure pic above, but is in the US-only metallic blue (we have a thing for blue…); It is a heck of a looker (when wet and hiding all the faults). The fenders have some dents, a little rust near the fuel door but it has the “redtop” 4AGE which coming out of the factory topped out at 115 hp. Not much was done to it other than some seat covers and APC glow kit in purple under the glovebox.

We blew $2300 (a steal!) on this little 2-seater after taxes and titling. We have $1500. Now, the easy question is, what do we do with it? Take it to get detailed, maintenance? some high octane boost to shake down the engine that reads 166,000 miles?

What do we do to our MR2 with $1500 to spend?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC memory do you have with your Dad?

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MOTORSPORT: A history of Toyota’s heartbreaks at Le Mans, Part 02

In Part 01, Toyota ended 1992’s 24 Hours of Le Mans with a second place finish, their best to date, in the TS010. Surprisingly, a 3.6-liter Toyota 92C-V fielded by Trust (GReddy) based on the older generation of Group C racers took fifth overall and won the C2 class. A second TS010 took 8th and another 92C-V took 9th. They had finally developed competitive machines, and would mount such a siege with dedicated track weapons built specifically for the race that by the end of the decade Toyota would be a major force at Circuit de la Sarthe.  Continue reading


MOTORSPORT: A history of Toyota’s heartbreaks at Le Mans, Part 01

This week we learned that Toyota’s Le Mans curse remains firmly in tact, having robbed the team of what seemed like a sure-fire victory. The loss, due to a comically unfortunate mistake perpetrated by another team, prompted President Akio Toyoda to issue a heart-felt apology to fans, his crew, and even his drivers for not building a car that let them “drive all out.”

Even race fans that wouldn’t be caught dead in a Camry couldn’t help but root for them, but alas, it was not in the cards for Toyota this year. They’re the Chicago Cubs of Le Mans, except worse, because the Cubs have actually won. Here’s a brief history of Toyota’s tragic attempts at conquering the world’s most grueling race.  Continue reading


VIDEO: Ode to an AW11 Toyota MR2

If you haven’t watched Mr Regular yet, you’ve been missing out on some truly entertaining car reviews. Punctuated with literary references and dick jokes of the highest caliber, they are the exact opposite of the typical driving impression videos. There’s no powersliding of exotics across abandoned airstrips, just countless test drives of cars anyone can afford. So, what does a guy who has driven everything under the sun buy for himself? An AW11, of course.  Continue reading


MOTORSPORT: Drifting is now an FIA-sanctioned motorsport

If you are a fan of both professional motorsports and drifting, your day has come. FIA, the federation that sanctions the likes of Formula One, World Rally Championship, and World Endurance Championship — of which 24 Hours of Le Mans is a part — announced on June 21 its first Intercontinental Drifting Cup to take place this fall in Tokyo, Japan. Continue reading


MINICARS: Hot Wheels Skyline Japan and City Turbo prototypes

At the rate its going, Hot Wheels will soon have a model of every Nissan Skyline generation. The latest to come is the Skyline Japan, or C210 if you’re fluent in chassis codes. Unveiled at the Tokyo Toy Show, it appears ripe for customization, on widened fenders and small-scale wheels. Also revealing is the chassis, which does not exactly seem to be petroleum-based. A premium model, perhaps?  Continue reading


Happy 620 Day from JNC

Do you need a little pick-up on this Tuesday? Just think of the Datsun 620 and you’ll feel better. Happy 620 Day from JNC.


MOTORSPORT: Toyota 86 sets world record for the most drifting

Lest you forget what Toyota’s neo-hachiroku is about, the 86 just set a new alleged world record for longest non-stop drift. This is not the first time this has happened; the previous Guinness-certified world record was set in 2014, also by a Toyota 86. The record now stands at 168.502 kilometers (over 104 miles), besting the previous by 24.376 kilometers. Continue reading


QotW: What JNC memory do you have with your dad?

Happy Father’s Day everyone (well, yesterday, but you get what I mean). This week I want to ask you all about a fond memory with your father (or father figure) and how it relates to JNC. Maybe you were given a hand replacing the points on a 1968 Toyopet, or learned how to take an oil filter off without breaking out the kitty litter. Tell us,

What JNC memory do you have with your dad?

Briefly, mine involves an RX-4 wagon (in silver), a snowy day and floor mats. My family received an RX-4 hand-me-down from my grandfather when I was just old enough to really remember. We lived outside the city and would have to make a trek up a steep hill with plenty of twists and turns until it plateaued towards downtown. I never thought much of that hill. In fact, in my later years I drove an AE82, in 3rd gear, up it without a second thought. Most sane people drove the hill in second, and barely at that.

During the winter months, we found a large land yacht parked on the side, extremely close to a drop off. The driver had lost traction on a sharp corner and slid to the edge from the icy slush on the road. My dad stopped to give a hand. He was a volunteer firefighter so he had been to the same hill for emergency calls and knew how serious the situation was. Those days guard rails were sparingly used.

We tried to gather some nearby tree branches and rocks to cram under the tires but it didn’t help much. Then, we pulled the rubber floor mats out of the RX-4 and tried to give traction to the big car, with some success. Finally, I ended up sitting in the trunk with my dad pushing from behind for the big American beast to get enough traction to pull itself out of the slushy rut and back onto the road.

My dad may not have rocked a sweet Mazda jacket without a shirt like in the lead pic, but he was just as cool by saving the day in a raspy rotary wagon with grippy floor mats.

Let us know your memory. The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Take the JNC Challenge, Part 06Continue reading


Happy Father’s Day from JNC

To all the dads who helped get us hooked on cars, happy Father’s Day from JNC!


REMINDER: Nissan Jam is this Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!

Assuming you haven’t been up all night watching Toyota try break their Le Mans curse, or even if you have, come down to Nissan Jam at La Palma Park in Anaheim, California from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

This year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Datsun 510, but all Nissan, Datsun and Infiniti models are welcome.

Vendors like Powertrix and others have offered special deals on parts that will only be available at the show.

Nissan North America will have an official representatives there as well, and will be giving a special award to the car they feel best captures the spirit of Nissan Jam.

Depending how that race in France goes (we’ll know by 6:00 am Sunday) either you will be celebrating with your fellow J-tin enthusiasts or commiserating with them. See you there!

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MOTORSPORT: Why Toyota needs to win Le Mans this weekend

One of the world’s great motoring contests, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, takes place this weekend. Toyota was already a strong favorite to win, but now even more so after Kamui Kobayashi pulverized the track record during his qualifying lap. If he wins, it could send massive reverberations through Japan’s car culture.  Continue reading


VIDEO: The best car show is this Mazda Cosmo Sport restoration from Germany [UPDATE: 3rd episode released]

Are you tired of purported car shows that promise wrenching but end up being a collection of character tropes manufacturing drama while standing next to muscle cars? The answer is yes, we all are. That’s why this web series from Mazda Deutschland could be the most interesting car show on air right now. The format is instantly recognizable to anyone with a cable subscription — hosts pull a rusty heap out of a barn and restore it — except the car is a Mazda Cosmo Sport and everyone’s speaking German.  Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? Beautifully mint Mitsubishi Lancer Celeste

Today’s Kidney Car post is unique because we’re not really trying to draw anyone’s attention to an actual ad. In fact, we think it’s probably a scam. But what’s not a scam is how unbelievably beautiful this Mitsubishi Lancer Celeste is. Continue reading


MOTORSPORT: A giant cutout commemorating the Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo is up for grabs [UPDATE: It’s been claimed]

For years a giant, 15-foot-wide image of Nissan’s championship GTP ZX-Turbo prototype racer has been displayed at the automaker’s marketing agency’s offices in Los Angeles. That piece of history is now up for grabs, completely free, but the catch is you have to remove it from the property by the end of the week.  Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? Is Jim Fitzgerald’s 1979 Datsun 280ZX the most expensive S130?

The S130 Z-car is perennially known as the most affordable Z car around, often being priced in the same range as a mid-90s Honda Civic. However, this particular example is already fetching some decent numbers. It has a price of $52,000 with a day left in the auction. As you can see in the pictures that this isn’t just any old 280ZX but, rather, is Jim “Fitzy” Fitzgerald’s ex-racer. Fitzy is famous for being the most winning driver in SCCA history along with being Paul Newman’s teammate.  Continue reading


QotW: Take the JNC Challenge, Part 06

We have $3800 for a new JNC purchase. The sky’s the limit.

What should we buy next? Still need it to be a daily driver and be able to survive the summer heat (and some winter chills!).

What JNC should we buy for $3800 as a daily driver?

To find out why we have $3800, hit the jump!

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Take the JNC Challenge, Part 05”

Continue reading


BACKROADS: Mazda’s Great Little Car

As we gear up for the next annual Touge California in the hills of Southern California, we are reminded of the cars that came with us last year. We had a truly eclectic mix ranging from built track beasts to pristine grand tourers — and one yellow subcompact hatchback. The Mazda GLC, or Great Little Car, was perhaps the rally’s underdog, cheered upon by all and putting a smile on everyone’s face. Its cute mug, however, belies its importance to Mazda history.  Continue reading