Author Archives: Ben Hsu

Driving Monterey in a couple of old Datsuns

You might have heard that Monterey Historic Car Week is great, and it’s true. You can’t swing a monocle without hitting a million-dollar supercar or legendary racer. Then there was us, tooling around behind the wheel of a Datsun that cost less than $2,000 when … Continue reading

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A Brief History of the Toyota AE86 Corolla

In the second of a series, JNC is teaming up with our friends at Petrolicious to launch simultaneously a video and an article about historically significant Japanese cars. Be sure to check out the excellent Petrolicious and their beautiful short … Continue reading

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QotW: What car of the Nineties will be the next sought-after classic?

With cars like the R32 Skyline GT-R increasing in price, other Bubble Era sleds are sure to follow suit. Though the Nineties are not quite nostalgic, we can already predict what might be the next sought-after rarities (a 320hp, AWD, 6-speed folding … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Watch a Kenmeri Nissan Skyline GT-R sell for $176,000

A 1973 Nissan Skyline GT-R sold for $176,000 at auction at the recent Monterey Historic Car Week. As the first Kenmeri GT-R sold at auction in the US, it’s a significant milestone. We were fortunate enough to be able to witness the historic … Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC design has aged better with time?

Like many JNCs, when it debuted the X70 Cressida was an utterly nondescript family hauler. The ur-Avalon’s boxy lines were dismissed as typical Toyota conservative styling and it sat completely unrecognized for decades. Now we’re in a Cressida renaissance, and it’s the … Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC race replica would you buy?

Last week Ricky wrote about a British builder’s 1968 Honda RA302 replica. That gave us fever dreams of apexing an old JNC racer full tilt through a chicane, preservation of history be damned. Oh, how we wish we could buy a vintage body-in-white to pound on harder than Justin … Continue reading

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SHOP LIFE: LAX Wheel Refinishing

In a nondescript warehouse on the edge of Boyle Heights is one of the best kept secrets for a crucial part of Los Angeles life: the rim. The aftermarket wheel is an inalienable part of SoCal culture, more important than the wristwatch … Continue reading

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ANNOUNCEMENT: An 80s & 90s JCCS is coming

The folks at JCCS have an announcement to make — a new show just for 80s and 90s Japanese cars. Street Neo Classics will give a owners of Bubble Era machines a chance to show off their rides. Details have not … Continue reading

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QotW: Which JNC had the coolest taillights?

Now that we’ve determined which JNC had the coolest pop-up headlights let’s focus, like Sir Mix-A-Lot, on rears. Back in the day automakers were largely confined to sealed beam headlights, but out back designers had free reign to design insect, jet … Continue reading

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EVENTS: Toyota UK’s 50th Anniversary

In 1965, a motorcycle distributor named Pride and Clark became the first company to officially sell Toyotas in the UK. Toyota recently celebrated 50 years in the United Kingdom with a gathering of classics, many of which had their own local flavor and were … Continue reading

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QotW: Which JNC had the coolest pop-up headlights?

The pop-up headlight: automotive eyes personified, endearing relic, or just two additional unnecessary points-of-failure? Whatever you think of them, they defined an automotive era. I happen to reap a weird, endless joy from that delay between when you flick the switch and when they actually pop-up or retract. … Continue reading

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A Brief History of the Nissan 510 Bluebird Coupe

In the first of a series, JNC is teaming up with our friends at Petrolicious to launch simultaneously a video and an article about historically significant Japanese cars. Be sure to check out the excellent Petrolicious and their beautifully shot short films about vintage … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the greatest Japanese nostalgic hatchback?

The hatchback. Loved everywhere in the world but the US. Rather than embrace its practicality, we Americans refuse to date anyone driving one and insist on adding a smaller, shallower cargo area that extends over the rear wheels like a portable bathtub. … Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: 1976 Kojima Engineering KE007

You never know what you’ll encounter at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Meandering through the paddocks, we came across the 1976 Kojima Engineering KE007, a Japanese Formula One car that was poised to become a formidable challenger in F1 a decade before McLaren-Hondas began their domination. … Continue reading

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EVENTS: A tribute to Mazda at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

You know it ain’t no ordinary car show when you tilt your head up to see a pair of Mazda race cars in the sky. Twisting on a lattice of white steel, the Central Feature at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed was … Continue reading

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NEWS: Final Edition Lancer Evo bows amidst thousands of die-hard Mitsubishi fans

Over the weekend Mitsubishi Motors has unveiled the very, very last of the Lancer Evolution line. Fans of the Flanked by other great sports cars from the company’s past, the Final Edition Evo made its debut at the Mitsubishi Owners’ Day … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the best shade of JNC yellow?

If July could be a color, it would be yellow. With the golden light of our sun shining brightly as ever, beating down on us, and giving Superman his powers, it is perhaps time to ponder a hue not so common … Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 11k-mile AE86 Corolla Levin

Take a gander at what is likely the lowest-mileage AE86 hatch for sale in the world. Listed for sale in Osaka, Japan, this true JDM Toyota Corolla Levin GT Apex reads only 18,260 km on the odometer, or 11,346 miles. 

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How Subaru became masters of AWD wagons

The story of how Subaru became masters of AWD is one of pure chance. In 1970 Tohoku Electric Power Co., northeast Japan’s power company, was looking for vehicles to replace their fleet of Land Cruisers. Employees often had to venture … Continue reading

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QotW: Which nostalgic feature should be brought back?

The reasons for our love of JNCs are plentiful. Almost as plentiful as questions about why we’d drive a 30 year old Toyota/Honda/Mazda/Daihatsu rather than a comfortable new car. Many of those reasons, however, are actually good: simplicity in design and engineering, greater outward … Continue reading

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