Author Archives: Ben Hsu

KIDNEY, ANYONE? Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Rallye Côte d’Ivoire winner

Before the Lancer Evolution, Mitsubishi’s AWD turbo rally warrior was the Galant VR-4. Starting in 1988 and until the launch of the Lancer Evo, Mitsubishi campaigned the Galant VR-4 in World Rally Championship races across Europe, earning the triple-diamond marque an early reputation for ruggedness and … Continue reading

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MINICARS: Charge your phone with a Fairlady Z

There are few phone accessories a boring as a portable charger battery, usually no more than a rectangular box with an LED light and a USB port. In Japan, however, you can now charge your phone with something a little more … Continue reading

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VIDEO: A cartoon history of the Suzuki Alto and motorcycle business

After a brief hiatus, Suzuki is back with two new cartoon videos explaining how the company got where it is today. The first outlines the genesis of the Alto, a revered name in kei cars, and the second explains how … Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Mitsubishi rally cars showcased at Megaweb

Though owned by Toyota, the Megaweb showcase in Odaiba, Tokyo and the adjacent History Garage offer much more than Aichi steel. Since last year, there has been a rotating exhibit of famous rally cars, often on loan from other automakers. Currently, it is Mitsubishi’s … Continue reading

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OPEN THREAD: What did you think of JDM Legends episode 01?

The premiere episode of JDM Legends is airing on Velocity Channel on the west coast right now and has aired in most of the country. What did you think? Leave your comments in the open thread below.

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VIDEO: Subaru releases dueling heritage spots

This year is Subaru’s 60th anniversary as a carmaker, its 50th anniversary in the US, and also the 30th anniversary of STI, so it makes sense that the company is going HAM on the heritage spots. In a span of a … Continue reading

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JNC THEATER: Behind the scenes with JDM Legends on the eve of their Velocity Channel premiere

Until now, the world of automotive-themed television shows has been pretty lackluster when it comes to Japanese cars. That’s all about to change with the Velocity Channel’s JDM Legends, titled after the Utah shop of the same name and premiering tomorrow, April 17. … Continue reading

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NEWS: Toyota launches bare-bones Land Cruiser

As lovers of nostalgic cars, a common gripe is that modern machines have too many bells and whistles, too many electronic nannies that stand between you and the driving experience. As it turns out, Toyota has heard your sad cries and just released … Continue reading

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Happy 411 Day from JNC

Even in Japan, the Nissan Bluebird 411 is a rare sight. Make it a wagon and it’s doubly rare. This example was positively mint, though, seemingly brought to modern Tokyo via time machine. Happy 411 Day from JNC!

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NEWS: Leaked Mazda document reveals 181 horsepower for 2019 MX-5

A document disclosing mid-generational changes to the Mazda MX-5 has leaked. The paper reveals a fairly significant bump to 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque, up from the current 155 horses and 148 lb-ft. Here’s the details on how they squeezed more juice … Continue reading

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VIDEO: A Loyale Wagon gets plenty of screen time in this new Subaru ad

Subaru has been putting a lot of old wagons in their recent commercials. And by a lot, we mean two, but it’s still more than what you’d expect to see. In the latest spot, called “Forever Young,” a grandpa and … Continue reading

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QotW: Does the current state of a marque affect how you feel about its classics?

It’s not easy being a fan of Japanese cars these days. Most no longer offer a smorgasbord of performance cars like they did in their heydays. Some seem to have abandoned the enthusiast-worthy models that made them great altogether. It’s kind of … Continue reading

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Happy MA46 Day from JNC

With all the recent scuttlebutt about Supras both new and newly classic, we didn’t want to let April 6 pass by without mention of the Supra that started it all, the MA46. There’s a couple things to note about this spread from the … Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? “Absurd condition” 5k-mile FJ40 Land Cruiser will surpass $100,000

The FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser is no stranger to high dollar bids, but a recently listed example might just set a new record. That’s because while we have seen immaculately restored examples break (barely) the $100,000 mark, this one is a bone … Continue reading

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NEWS: Toyota and Subaru have begun work on the next-gen 86 and BRZ, and they’re putting a bigger engine in it

Toyota and Subaru have reportedly begun development of the next-generation 86 and BRZ models. The lightweight FR twins are currently in their sixth model year, and have remained essentially unchanged since 2013. Addressing one of the most persistent critiques of the current model, the … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Watch Nissan’s earliest electric car in motion

Long-time readers of JNC will be familiar with the 1947 Tama E4S-47-1 electric car. It’s one of Japan’s earliest electric vehicles, and one we’ve written about many times. Until now, though, we’ve never seen it running. 

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MARKETWATCH: 5,700-mile Supra Turbo sells for $80,500, winner says Nakai body kit coming

A near-new 1994 Toyota Supra twin-turbo sold for $80,500 over the weekend. Its rarity was in the fact that it had only 5,664 miles on the odometer, and was said never to have been modified. That could all change soon. 

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50 YEAR CLUB: Toyota HiLux

Fifty years ago Toyota introduced what would become the most enduring workhorse the world has ever seen. Though ambitious in name, the HiLux — a portmanteau of the words “high” and “luxury” — was anything but. Utilitarian and austere, it was … Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? EM1 Honda Civic Si sells for $22,750

The 1999-2000 Honda Civic Si is not really a classic yet going strictly by age. Going by what this pristine example just sold for, however, it might be one of those cars that becomes a classic in its own time, fetching more than … Continue reading

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MINICARS: Japan Post issues Toyota 2000GT stamp collection

Japan Post has released a stamp set in honor of the venerable Toyota 2000GT. Of course, since this is Japan it’s not just a sheet of postage stamps. The commemorative set comes with a 1:64-scale diecast car, a display case, and … Continue reading

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