Author Archives: Ben Hsu

VIDEO: Infiniti Prototype 9

Reactions to the Infiniti Prototype 9 have been polarized. Perhaps photos don’t do the one-off design exercise justice. Luckily for you, Infiniti has released a series of videos showcasing its retro EV racer concept. Sometimes seeing the car in motion … Continue reading

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TUNE UP: Biz Markie made the Mazda MPV a hip-hop symbol

Nineties hip-hop had no shortage of love for Japanese cars, but one that typically isn’t mentioned in the same breath as Lexus and Acura is the Mazda MPV. In some circles, though, it was apparently quite the coveted machine. 

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VIDEO: That one time Michael Bay destroyed a REPU

Michael Bay has unnecessarily ruined a lot of things, and today we add a Mazda REPU to that list. This is a scene from The Rock, and while most people remember the wanton destruction of a Ferrari F355, the clear tragedy … Continue reading

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50 YEAR CLUB: Nissan Bluebird 510

Fifty years ago today, the third-generation Nissan Bluebird 510 went on sale. 1967 was a pivotal year for the Japanese auto industry, with seminal sports cars like the Toyota 2000GT and Mazda Cosmo Sport debuting within a couple of weeks of each other. While … Continue reading

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NEWS: Infiniti Prototype 9 envisions a retro racer from the 1940s

Infiniti has revealed the Prototype 9, a true dream car project. Built from authentic old school construction methods and designed with parameters limited only by human imagination, it fantasizes a “what if” scenario that saw Infiniti competing in the so-called Golden … Continue reading

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NEWS: Honda announces reproduction parts for the Beat

Twenty-six years after the car’s debut, Honda has announced that it will begin making reproduction parts for its Beat sports car. The mid-engined kei roadster, introduced in May 1991, is a beloved enthusiast’s car in Japan, the only market in which … Continue reading

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The Toyota USA Museum is auctioning off a bunch of stuff before it moves to Texas

Like the rest of the company, the Toyota USA Museum is moving from Torrance, California to Texas. And as with any move it is getting rid of a bunch of stuff before it’s forced to cart it halfway across the … Continue reading

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RIP Glen Campbell, singer, songwriter, Datsun man

Legendary singer-songwriter Glen Campbell passed away on Tuesday, August 8 at the age of 81. A prolific musician, Campbell played guitar on some of the most famous American songs of the modern age, including  “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys, “Viva … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The latest Hot Version pits the Nissan GT-R against the Mazda Rotary

Speaking of rivalries, the Nissan GT-R and Mazda rotary have one that stretches back some 45 years. It was Hiroshima’s pistonless wonder that kept the Hakosuka GT-R from capturing its much sought-after 50th touring car win. While Nissan did eventually get that 50th win, … Continue reading

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QotW: Who will win Japan’s automaker Game of Thrones, Toyota-Subaru-Mazda or Nissan-Mitsubishi?

With the news on Friday that Toyota had taken a 5 percent stake in Mazda, it was clear that Japan’s great automotive houses were gearing up for a battle of epic proportions. In one corner, we have Nissan-Mitsubishi, a federation backed by powers … Continue reading

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Happy 8/6 Day from JNC

Happy 8/6 Day from JNC! Where will your touge battles take you today?

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NEWS: Toyota and Mazda deepen partnership with stock stakes, US factory

Toyota and Mazda announced late Friday in Japan that they would strengthen their partnership with a formal capital alliance. In 2015, the industrial giant from Aichi and the small carmaker from Hiroshima agreed to work together, but it was little more than a handshake. What … Continue reading

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VIDEO: This bosozoku biker chase deserves some Benny Hill music

It’s tough being a city cop in Japan. First, you have to drive a kei car. Then, at night, gangs of bosozoku bikers close off intersections and basically lead you on a circular chase while other ne’er-do-wells launch fireworks and generally get … Continue reading

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VIDEO: You could tune pretty much anything in Japan

In the 90s, Japan was so high on octane that you could find aftermarket parts for just about any car imaginable. In this Best Motoring video, the hosts step out of NSXes and GT-Rs for a second and test drive tuned … Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC do you need to buy now before prices get ridic?

Last week’s post about the FJ Company’s Land Cruiser restomods turned into heated discussion about skyrocketing prices of JNCs. We’ve seen some shocking prices for well-restored FJ40s, and while there are still examples within reach of most buyers, it may not be that way for … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Celebrating 30 years since the AE86 conquered British Touring Car Championships

For cars that are immensely fun to flog in the twisties, there are few better than the Toyota AE86. Less discussed, however, is its racing provenance. We’re not talking about its touge battles on Mt Akina, here. Or even talking about Japan. … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Classic looks and modern power converge in these Land Cruiser restomods

We met the owners of the FJ Company at SEMA last year and were astounded by the level of craftsmanship in their builds. These guys and gals take classic Toyota Land Cruisers and thoroughly modernize the drivetrains so they can be driven … Continue reading

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EVENTS: Mitsubishi Owners Day 2017

In past years, we haven’t found a lot of JNC-worthy material at Mitsubishi Owners Day. Ninety-nine percent of the cars there were white Evos, parked in formation like some kind of Galactic Empire land fleet. This year, however, there were all sorts of interesting offerings from the … Continue reading

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EVENTS: 3rd Touge California, 2017

Because we, along with title sponsor Mazda, were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the rotary engine this year, a large contingent of piston-less cars were lined up at the starting grid of the 2017 Touge California. Joining them were decades-old twin-cam Toyota … Continue reading

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NEWS: Hakosuka Nissan Skyline crashes, one dead

A tragic report coming out of Japan says that the driver of a Hakosuka Nissan Skyline has lost his life in a crash that saw the car burst into flames. According to TBS News, the collision occurred on the morning of July 25 near … Continue reading

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