Author Archives: Ben Hsu

Happy 117 Day from JNC

Today is January 17, so go out there and drive your Isuzu 117! What, don’t have one? Well, you can live vicariously by retracing this epic 10-day road trip across Japan in a 117 (links: Day 01, Day 02, Day 03, Day 04, Day 05, Day 06, Day … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Watch James May put together a Honda Monkey

James May of former Top Gear and current Grand Tour fame is mostly known for doing loud things with powerful cars. However, Captain Slow, as he’s often called by his more basic colleagues, also has a well documented love for Honda motorcycles, tinkering, … Continue reading

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TUNE UP: The Weeknd’s “Party Monster” Mazda RX-7

About a month ago, alternative R&B singer The Weeknd posted a photo of himself standing in the desert with an FC Mazda RX-7 in the background. Yesterday, that video, called “Party Monster,” dropped. 

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Driving Japan’s Car of the Year, the Subaru Impreza, and its great-great-grandfather

“Twenty years ago, no one was at our booth,” recalls Kazuhiro Abe, chief engineer of the 2017 Impreza. He was reminiscing about the launch of the third-generation Legacy at the Chicago Auto Show with a wry smile. He had joined the … Continue reading

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JNC PROJECT HAKO: Big in Australia

A little over a year ago, JNC‘s very own Kevin San was selected by Nulon, an Australian oil and lubricant company, to participate in a video series titled “Born This Way,” which follows hard core car enthusiasts and explores what makes them tick. … Continue reading

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ART CORNER: San Mamiya’s “Bad Face” Mazda RX-3

Our friend and contributor San Mamiya has revealed his latest illustration, titled Bad Face. It depicts the angry visage of an S124 Mazda Savanna RX-3, headlights glaring, pulled up next to a Suzuki GT380 motorcycle. 

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NEWS: This new Nissan concept has an easter egg from the Bluebird SSS

Yesterday at the Detroit Auto Show, Nissan unveiled a boldly styled concept sedan. The Vmotion 2.0’s styling is decidedly brand-spanking-new school, as it heralds the design language of all future Nissan sedans, but designers stuck one easter egg from the 910 Bluebird … Continue reading

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NEWS: The last of the V8 Lexus sedans

That was unexpected. At the Detroit Auto Show today, Lexus unveiled its newest flagship sedan, the 2018 LS 500. However, general manager Jeff Bracken dropped a bombshell soon after — namely, that the tip-top-of-the-line Lexus would no longer have a V8 under the … Continue reading

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PIXELATED: Tokyo Xtreme Racer is coming back

Video game publisher Genki recently tweeted an picture of a Nissan GT-R idling at a Tokyo expressway pull-off zone at night, ready for action. For JNCers of a certain age, then image should instantly evoke the thrill of Tokyo Xtreme … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The world’s first race cars to broadcast live from the cockpit were Toyota Celicas

Toyota Australia has just released an interview with Aussie racing great Peter Williamson. As you may recall, Williamson passed away in 2016, but his legacy as the world’s first in-car camera broadcaster lives on. The interview was conducted at the 2016 Toyota … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Japan’s best drivers compete in Japan’s slowest car

The brilliant thing about Best Motoring is that one day you get an epic AE86 track battle, and the next day you get antics rivaling 2002-era Top Gear in silliness. Take this 1996 episode, for example. Daihatsu had just resurrected the Midget II … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The ultimate AE86 track battle

In 2005, to commemorate volume number 86, Hot Version invited Japan’s top AE86 to Tsukuba Circuit to lay down some lap times. This era was the peak of innovation for AE86 tuning with the TRD N2 Corolla Levin, driven by Keiichi Tsuchiya, as perhaps … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your JNC New Year resolution?

Shogatsu, or New Year, is the most important holiday of the Japanese calendar, as important as Christmas in the US. It’s a chance to get a fresh new start on life, which perhaps means finally getting around to that project. In which case, we … Continue reading

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50 YEAR CLUB: Fuji Speedway

In a year of momentous anniversaries for Japanese automotive institutions, one stands above all others in shaping the cars we love. Fuji Speedway, which opened in 1966 and turned 50 this year, has been the birthplace of countless legends, whether … Continue reading

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100 YEAR CLUB: Isuzu Motors

What’s Japan’s oldest automaker? Like most questions, the answer isn’t necessarily a simple one, but there’s one thing that we can guarantee. It’s not Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, or any of the marques you might expect. One candidate, however, is Isuzu, … Continue reading

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JNC THEATER: Watch a Nissan Cefiro drift its way through Protector 2

Despite its status as a formidable drift chassis in Japan, the A31 Nissan Cefiro looks to the rest of the world like an average late-80s sedan. That’s exactly what makes it the perfect stunt vehicle for Protector 2, the action-packed martial arts film … Continue reading

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TUNE UP: Remember George Michael with this supercharged Subaru kei car ad

The Subaru Rex Combi VX Supercharger was introduced in March 1988, and along with it came a snazzy new ad campaign. The addition of a supercharger to the 550cc kei hatchback boosted output from 36 to 54 horsepower, which doesn’t sound like … Continue reading

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QotW: What part of 2016 are you most eager to forget?

December 31 is when the Japanese typically throw a bonenkai, or “year forgetting” party, to drink away memories of a particularly crappy trip around the sun. Maybe your ride suffered a horrible mechanical malady this year, or perhaps a favorite racing idol died, or … Continue reading

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Merry Christmas, everyone!

May you enjoy not just your presents, but the box they came in. メリークリスマス from JNC! Image courtesy of Nissan.

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VIDEO: Watch Adam Carolla hillclimb Paul Newman’s 300ZX

The Drive just concluded their video series following Adam Carolla’s journey to England as he enters his freshly restored, ex-Paul Newman Nissan 300ZX in the Goodwood Festival of Speed‘s hillclimb. Restored in the UK (a proper British restoration, not one of … Continue reading

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