Author Archives: Ben Hsu

QotW: What would you store in a Global JNC Vault?

On this day in 2006, construction began on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, an international bank that stores the building blocks of important plants in case of a global catastrophe. The seeds tell the story of Earth’s flora, and is … Continue reading

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The history of Toyota’s insane dealer networks, explained

“Why does Toyota have so many dealership chains in Japan?” you may have asked yourself at some point, “And why do certain dealers sell only certain models?” It’s all very confusing. Well, as of last month, if you’re buying a … Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Touring car classes mix it up at the 1973 Japan Grand Prix

While open-wheeled cars were the main event at the 1973 Japan Grand Prix, the supporting Touring Car races were where the action was. Take the TS-a class, for example. Here were racers based on cars that anyone could afford. Nissan … Continue reading

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MINICARS: Peep this incredible 1:64 scale Japanese parking garage

We’ve mentioned before that the Chinese website AliExpress is great for finding weird gems of miniature car greatness. Take this Japanese-style parking garage for 1:64-scale diecast cars, for example. The two-story playset looks like the type of scene where street … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Everyone come see the brand new 1966 Toyota Corolla

The debut of the Toyota Corolla was a big deal in 1966. Though, it’s quite likely that even Toyota didn’t know how big of a deal the new model would be. The idea was a small but sporty compact that … Continue reading

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Mississippi man saves total stranger’s Mazda RX-7 from flooding

Here’s an uplifting story, centered around something we can all agree on: love for the FD3S Mazda RX-7. Mississippi has been hit hard by Tropical Storm Cristobal. During the storm, someone posted on Facebook photos of an orange FD parked … Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC from 1984 would you buy new today?

On June 8, 1949 George Orwell published his seminal dystopian work 1984. It’s an excellent book everyone should read, even though I don’t recall any cars being in it. Luckily, the real 1984 had quite a few cars, especially a … Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? A Honda Civic Si has sold for $50,000

It was just a few short years ago that two low-mileage EM1 Honda Civic Si coupes sold for a just under $25,000. Turns out, that was an excellent investment because their values have just jumped up quite a bit. Today, … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Akihabara, Tokyo, circa 1971

Akihabara, also known as Electric Town, is Tokyo’s epicenter of electronics, old school video arcades, and hobby shops with enough miniature cars to fill an ocean. Back in 1971, it wasn’t quite the otaku paradise yet, with Meiji Era buildings … Continue reading

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Canada’s supply of the limited edition Phoenix Yellow Civic Type R sold out in less than four minutes

Back in February Honda announced that it was bringing back the iconic Phoenix Yellow to the 2021 Honda Civic Type R. The special edition color, along with a 46-pound diet, would be limited to 1,020 worldwide. If pre-orders in Canada … Continue reading

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The upcoming Mazda 3 Turbo is essentially a Mazdaspeed 3 without the name

Despite repeated denials by Mazda, about a year ago we predicted that the company would come out with a turbocharged Mazda 3. It looks like that is indeed happening, as indicated by leaked codes from Mazda’s dealership extranet system. Essentially, … Continue reading

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A Nissan Skyline GT-R has been lovingly restored… by Toyota

The world is utterly divided and in turmoil right now, so this is exactly the kind of story we need. Recently, an R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R was restored by expert mechanics as part of their duties for one of Japan’s … Continue reading

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QotW: What are your thoughts, hopes, and fears for the new Z?

After teasing us for a decade plus, last week Nissan made it official. There will indeed be a seventh generation Z. That’s great news for car enthusiasts, especially in this day and age where sports cars are an endangered species. … Continue reading

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OH, KEI! The Jimny Santa Monica was a cute beach cruiser based on Suzuki’s mini-4×4

With summer is upon us, so are dreams of beachside cruising. In the history of kei cars, there was perhaps no vehicle more fitting for that purpose than the Jimny Santa Monica (it’s right there in the name!). Built upon … Continue reading

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Here’s your first look at the seventh-generation Nissan Z

Nissan dropped a video this morning that teases its upcoming lineup in a new, post-Ghosn, post-COVID era. Notably, the it provides the first glimpse of what the seventh-generation Z could look like. Notably, this rendering of what we’ll call the … Continue reading

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And now for your viewing pleasure, videos of brand new NSXes

Two NSX videos were released yesterday, one from each side of the Pacific. The first was a retro review of the 1994 Acura NSX from Motorweek, America’s favorite (only) public broadcasting car testing show. However, instead from the regular parade … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Watch an epic battle of 90s sports cars

In a race that looks like a real-life Gran Turismo battle, the best of 1990s sports cars duke it out in this 1995 episode of Best Motoring. The field is a who’s who of Bubble Era machinery, including a Supra … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: A Toyota police car pulls over a Datsun, 1965

Like many cities around the world, traffic has died down dramatically due to stay-at-home advisories stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Tokyo’s Shuto Expressway has seen a 60 percent drop in traffic, meaning it probably has not been this traffic-free since … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the best inexpensive Japanese off-roader?

Recently we saw some laudable off-roading conducted by an unexpectedly capable 1978 Subaru station wagon. That has made us yearn for a truck that we can take into the wilderness without worry. To make this question more challenging, let’s add … Continue reading

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Here’s a GT-R50 Kenmeri Skyline homage in the proper colors

Earlier this week Nissan released images of the first production GT-R50. It featured a subtle tribute to the Kenmeri Skyline GT-R show car from the 1972 Tokyo Motor Show — one that was in fact too subtle for some. So … Continue reading

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