Author Archives: Ben Hsu

NEWS: A Nissan Fairlady Z goes up in flames in Japan

Last week a Nissan Fairlady Z caught fire near Lake Yamanaka in Japan. The area, located by Mt Fuji, is known for its outdoor sports, scenery, and driving roads, and it’s a frequent hot spot for Miatas, Toyota 86es, and the … Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Nissan Fairlady 240Z-G

Monterey Car Week takes place next week, and we’re seeing more Japan-market classics trickling their way over to US shores. Perhaps the most desirable among this year’s crop is a genuine 1972 Nissan Fairlady 240ZG, a homologation special with factory … Continue reading

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Yurt it up with a Datsun 620 King Cab camper

We just learned about a new Japanese magazine that we are now obsessed with. Outdoor Aso-Kuru, which roughly translates to “vehicles for playing outdoors” is all about cars and trucks that have been modified for camping, and the photo that … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: The Shuto, circa 1969

The Shuto is the beltway system that circles downtown Tokyo, home to many a traffic jam during the day, and fleets of street racers at night. Construction began in 1962, and in this postcard from 1969 or 1970, you can … Continue reading

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ICONS: Driving a 200-mile EM1 Honda Civic Si

Although I wasn’t an avid watcher, I believe people when they say The Wonder Years was one of the best American television programs ever written. Each season of the coming of age story took place exactly 20 years before it … Continue reading

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VIDEO: No matter what “it” is, the Land Cruiser gets it done

Toyota has released a short film about the Land Cruiser, and it is pretty epic. The two-minute movie features clips of 70-Series Land Cruisers around the world, simply going about their daily duties of ferrying people and cargo. But as … Continue reading

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QotW: What car would Japanese Knight Rider drive?

The arrival last week of the Seibu Keisatsu cars at Nissan’s Zama warehouse got us thinking about cheesy 80s TV shows and their vehicular stars. Perhaps the most famous of these was Knight Rider, a “shadowy flight into the dangerous world … Continue reading

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We went off-roading with a cadre of Japanese nostalgic trucks

The mountains to the north of Los Angeles are home to some of the best driving roads in America. I had covered Angeles Crest, Glendora Mountain Road, and Mulholland Drive many times. But it was always in a light, rear-wheel-drive … Continue reading

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JNC THEATER: The Nissans of Seibu Keisatsu visit the Zama garage

Long-time readers of JNC need no introduction to the cars of Seibu Keisatsu. Japan’s most popular cop show, which aired form 1979-1984, was sponsored by Nissan and starred several customized law enforcement vehicles that are as instantly recognizable to Japanese … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Five generations of Supra together for the first time

Recently, a small gathering of Toyota Supra owners in the UK got to see the new Supra up close and personal. It was the first time all five generations of the Supra had been together under one roof. 

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 7k-mile FD3S Mazda RX-7

An amazing specimen of a third-gen Mazda RX-7 is currently being offered for sale on Craigslist. According to the ad, its interior still emanates that new car leather smell, because it has just 6,593 original miles on the clock. 

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VIDEO: Jay Leno drives the Autozam AZ-1

In the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, the car collector gets behind the wheel of another Japanese great, the Autozam AZ-1. The gull-winged, mid-engined, kei-classed sports car seems to charm the host, who actually says he might consider buying … Continue reading

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Happy 86 Day from JNC

Today is the day we honor the last of the rear-wheel-drive Corollas. Many perished in the touge battles of the 1990s, but those sacrifices early on gave us the freedom to not drive in a straight line, countless works of … Continue reading

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NEWS: Nissan to exhibit racing legends, R390 GT1 road car at Monterey

Nissan has announced some details about its plans for the upcoming Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The event will be a significant milestone, since it is the first time a Japanese marque has headlined the RMMR since its inception in 1974. … Continue reading

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EVENTS: Petersen Museum Cruise-in, Part 02

The Petersen Museum in Los Angeles puts on many events throughout the year, each with a theme ranging from hot rods to Porsches. Recently, they hosted their annual cruise-in for Japanese cars, inviting Nihon Steel both old and new to … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Even when skies are gray in 1970s Tokyo, the cars shine

Most of us probably try to avoid driving our 1970s JNCs in the rain. But decades ago, in 1970s Tokyo, streets teemed with yet-to-be-nostalgic cars, even during a downpour. Bluebirds, Celicas, Savannas, Crowns, Sambars, Skylines, and even a few examples … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Yurakucho Crossing 1971

For this edition of Showa Snap, we take a look at the same area as the one Dave posted, kicking off the series. That area is Yurakucho Crossing, just south of Tokyo Station. where an elevated Shinkanesen embarks from the capital … Continue reading

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EVENTS: Petersen Museum Cruise-in, Part 01

Last weekend the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles hosted their annual cruise-in for Japanese cars. J-tin of all eras and styles flocked to the museum’s parking structure at the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire Boulevards on a sweltering LA … Continue reading

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MINICARS: Subaru SVX and Sambar, Honda S2000, Nissan trucks join Matchbox lineup in 2019

The annual Matchbox convention took place last weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This is where the diecast brand has traditionally revealed the new cars to appear in next year’s lineup. As it turns out, in 2019 there will be several … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Akio Toyoda travels through time to talk to his grandfather Kiichiro

Apparently, in addition to making cars, Toyota has taken its substantial profits to invent and build a time machine so that its current president, Akio Toyoda, could go back to the 1950s an interview his grandfather, Toyota Motor Corporation. founder … Continue reading

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