Author Archives: Ben Hsu

VIDEO: How Honda was making some of the world’s most precise machines in 1967

Though Honda was still in its infancy in 1967, it was already conducting some of the world’s most precise engineering. A video tour of the company’s Wako R&D facility and various plants is a fascinating glimpse into Honda’s operations at … Continue reading

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MARKETWATCH: MF12 Toyota 2000GT prototype sells for $820,000

At a high end sports car auction in Tokyo last weekend, a 1969 Toyota 2000GT sold for a record ¥88 million ($820,000 USD). Though other 2000GTs have sold for over $1.1 million, this is a new auction record for the … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Chiyoda, Tokyo, 1972

Tokyo’s subway system is a confounding wonder, but as late as 1972 the metropolis still had streetcars that drove alongside traffic. Here in the Chiyoda district, 510 Bluebirds, Cedrics, Sunnys, Corona Mark IIs, and kujira Crowns teem among the rails. … Continue reading

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What cars were parked at Toyota USA headquarters in the 1980s?

Toyota is long gone from southern California, but back when they were still in Torrance, their massive campus was a showcase of its then-current models. This was especially true in the 1980s, when their star was on the rise. These … Continue reading

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VIDEO: FJ Company’s G43 is a restomod Land Cruiser done right

There is exactly one Japanese car that has achieved the kind of cult following that spawns aftermarket companies building ground-up tributes to the original, and it’s not a car at all. The Toyota Land Cruiser, like the Porsche 911, has … Continue reading

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NEWS: Japan’s postal service honors 50 years of GT-R and Z with postcards

Like Christmas cards in the US, Japan has a tradition of sending nenga, or New Year’s postcards for the upcoming year, during the year-end holiday season. This year, to honor the 50th anniversary of the Nissan GT-R and Fairlady Z, … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the coolest JNC work vehicle?

It’s Labor Day, an occasion to honor the hard working men and women that make the world go round. We also recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of one of Japan’s most popular work vehicles, the Isuzu Elf. It’s the perfect … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Motorweek reviews the 1987 Acura Legend Coupe

Lexus and Infiniti might wear the Japanese VIP crowns today, but in 1986 Acura was the first to challenge the idea that a luxury car could come from Japan. The Legend was loaded with features like leather, automatic climate control, … Continue reading

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NEWS: The best way to get around Kyushu right now is via Land Cruiser

Torrential downpours have struck Japan’s western region of Kyushu, where three deaths due to Typhoon Krosa have been confirmed and the government has issued evacuation warnings for 870,000 residents. Footage of vehicles up to their headlights in brown water is … Continue reading

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NEWS: Toyota and Suzuki’s stock share meld takes us one step closer to a Japanese Big Three

Some industry news out of Japan tells us that Toyota and Suzuki have made their courtship official in the way that multinational corporations do: by taking a stock stake in each other. The two companies announced a technology sharing partnership … Continue reading

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NEWS: Isuzu celebrates 60th anniversary of the Elf

Yesterday, every major newspaper in Japan carried the above spread in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Isuzu Elf, the first Japanese cab-over-engine light truck in its class. In six decades and six generations, the Elf has sold over … Continue reading

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PIXELATED: The latest Gran Turismo Sport update is packed with Japan’s best

The next Gran Turismo Sport update features an all-Japanese lineup of performance icons from five different carmakers. This is unusual, as these updates typically feature a smorgasbord of machinery from all around the world. For update 1.43, though, no matter … Continue reading

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QotW: What Japanese luxury car would you get, and why?

We all love our roadsters and lightweight coupes but sometimes you just want the nicer things in life. Whether it’s a serene cabin as quiet as your penthouse living room, a fancy stereo, or just a seat that’s not made … Continue reading

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EVENTS: Infiniti celebrates 30 years

As host of the  Japanese Automotive Invitational, Infiniti took the opportunity to showcase, well, itself. 2019 happens to mark 30 years of Nissan’s luxury brand, and it threw a big birthday party complete with classics, concepts, and some special edition … Continue reading

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NEWS: Toyota may kill off the Land Cruiser in the US market

We desperately hope this is wrong, but rumor has it that Toyota plans to kill off the Land Cruiser in the US market. If true that would mean the longest running model in the company’s history, offered continuously since day … Continue reading

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MINICARS: The Datsun 240Z introduces a new Chameleon paint for Hot Wheels cars

Hot Wheels is about to introduce a new type of paint. Chameleon, which transitions from purple to green depending on the angle of light shined onto it, has been around in the full-size car scene for a while now, but … Continue reading

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QotW: What rite of passage every JNC owner must endure?

Complete this sentence. You’re not a JNC owner unless you… Prefer driving a slow car fast? Live in deathly fear of salt? Have overpaid for parts from Japan? Have abused your AAA towing privileges to move a parts car? With … Continue reading

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NEWS: Lexus’ Nori Green Pearl is the new best color

Normally we don’t really report on a new car unless there’s some link to a past model, like a revived beloved nameplate, or some throwback design touches. There’s not much that’s retro about the new Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series, … Continue reading

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EVENTS: Some galleries from SpoCom SoCal 2019

If you want to see what thee latest trends in modified cars are, the SpoCom show is a pretty good place to start. The annual, multi-city show is where the cool kids vie for giant trophies for their whips. Subtlety … Continue reading

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NEWS: Honda releases retro StepVan-inspired N-WGN

At a glance the all-new Honda N-WGN might look like any number of kei vans zipping along the streets of Japan, but the design is actually much more clever. It’s never explicitly mentioned in Honda’s 1800-word press release, but Hondaheads … Continue reading

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