Author Archives: Ben Hsu

From C10 to R35, the mutual rise of the GT-R legend

As the CEOs of Japan’s car companies each try to top the next by promising to return to their glory days of automaking, Nissan is left without a champion. Enthusiasts cry out for the lack of an affordable Miata, 86 or S660 fighter, claiming the once … Continue reading

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QotW: If you could only drive one car for the rest of your life, what would it be?

So here’s the situation. You can pick one car, any car, but it’s the only car you can drive for the rest of your life. Money is no object, but you can’t choose a 2000GT so you can sell it and use … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Why you should buy a Datsun 510

“Experts across the world concluded it had to be a copy of the BMW. It wasn’t… As long as it could be dismissed as a copy, the global car industry didn’t have to face the real threat the Datsun 1600 represented,” … Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Unmolested 1985 Toyota Cressida

Years ago, unmolested Cressidas could be found on the List of Craig all day long, at “just a used car” prices barely cracking the three-digit mark. These days, nearly every Cressida for sale has been cut, slammed, or converted into either … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Restoration of the first US-market Honda begins

Last year we showed you one of the most significant Honda automobiles in the world. Many spectators at JCCS walked right by the decrepit Honda N600, not realizing that it was serial number N600-1000001. That makes it the first Honda automobile built … Continue reading

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NEWS: Toyota 86 to get facelift with new name

In addition to a new (yet old) name, the lightweight sport coupe formerly known as the Scion FR-S will get a facelift when it transitions to the Toyota marque this fall. Meet the 2017 Toyota 86.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day from JNC

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NEWS: The Scion FR-S is now the Toyota 86, may get more variants

When we first reported that Scion was no more we also told you that all its models would be transitioned to the Toyota brand. We reported that when that happened, the Scion FR-S would be called the Toyota FR-S, even though that … Continue reading

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VIDEO: James May goes to Japan

In the latest episode of James May’s Cars of the People, the former Top Gear host travels to Japan and drives some JNCs. Specifically, he gets behind the wheel of a Mazda Familia (aka 323) hatchback in its hometown of Hiroshima, … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Jay Leno drives the Fugu Z

Watch two car cultures collide as Jay Leno and Sung Kang (along with his “legit Asian” buddies) discuss the award-winning Fugu Z. The car may not be everyone’s cup of matcha — one of the builders has an interesting definition of … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The most high-tech Japanese sports car of the 90s

What was the most high-tech Japanese sports car of the 90s? Quite possibly the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4, with its all-wheel-drive, twin-turbos and active aero. Today they seem to be taking a back seat to cars like the NSX, RX-7 and Supra … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your most heartwarming JNC story?

Somehow, old cars inspire tales of friendship, camaraderie, and bringing out the best in your fellow humans. Case in point: this weekend we learned about an entire country that banded together to help one owner restore a Toyota Corolla that had … Continue reading

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VIDEO: A nation of car enthusiasts helps restore a tsunami-destroyed 1971 Corolla

Five years ago, waves from the devastating tsunami that struck Japan’s eastern coast swept Masayuki Watanabe’s 1971 Toyota Corolla from its garage. Today, he got that car back. 

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How Subaru became masters of AWD

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the twin disasters — a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and devastating tsunami — that struck Japan off the coast of Tohoku in 2011. In remembrance, we are re-running a series of stories that relate to event’s aftermath. Another version … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Check out this Honda Head’s massive collection

In a video titled Honda Kokoro (Honda Heart), a collector welcomes viewers into his incredible collection of Honda memorabilia. If the wall of valve covers didn’t clue you in already, it is a collection of epic proportions, from bikes to Hot Wheels, generators to Honda-branded … Continue reading

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VIDEO: A key part of Japanese industry now lost

Here’s a video, perhaps in the same grade-school documentary series as the one about Japanese industry in the 1970s. It has no cars, but you can still learn a thing or two. In particular, there’s a scene showing a family-owned sewing business (6:19 in the video … Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2016 New Year Meeting, Part 03 — This is Japan

A life-size Gundam robot towers above the trees. Giant windowless shopping centers operate like small cities. In this snapshot of a hyper-futuristic metropolis floating on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay, tradition comes in the form of a parking lot teeming … Continue reading

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Happy International Women’s Day from JNC

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VIDEO: Watch loads of JNC goodness in this documentary about Japan in the 1970s

The video you’re about to watch is what American schoolchildren were taught about Japan in the 1970s. Throughout it all, there are brilliant scenes of Showa Era Japanese streets and the cars that populate them. 

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QotW: What’s your best tale of JNC indestructibility?

One of the greatest things about owning a JNCs is its reliability. Think that’s boring? Well, while macchine nostalgico Italiano owners are leaking vital fluids, Deutsch nostalgischen auto owners are trying to figure out why you need to remove the transmission to change a bulb, … Continue reading

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