Author Archives: Ben Hsu

RIP Yutaka “Mr K” Katayama, 1909-2015

Yutaka Katayama, beloved former Nissan executive and noted sports car enthusiast, passed away Thursday at the age of 105. Known as “Mr K” and respected and adored by legions of Nissan owners, Katayama was responsible for many of the early successes of … Continue reading

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Chicago Auto Show: Mazda reveals Heritage Collection of accessories

Leading up to the Chicago Auto Show, Mazda announced it was releasing a Heritage Collection of accessories. Needless to say, we at JNC were very excited. Not only that, but the show would be a reunion of sorts, as the original Mazda … Continue reading

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NEWS: Mazda is 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed’s featured marque

Mazda will be the featured marque at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year. It will have been eight years since a Japanese marque has taken center stage. One of the world’s premiere automotive events, the FoS takes place on the estate … Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2015 New Year Meeting, Part 05 — Racers and Replicas

There is no shortage of motorsports history in Japan, and it’s not uncommon there to find road-going replicas of some of of the nation’s most iconic — and some not-so-iconic — competition machines. Here at the New Year Meeting, it’s a … Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Nissan puts the “LM” back in GT-R

JNC owners, myself included, love to spout on about the superiority of rear-wheel-drive to anyone that will listen (and many whom won’t). Nissan wants to prove all of us wrong with a front-wheel-drive GT-R. No, that is not a typo. The latest evolution … Continue reading

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Chicago Auto Show: 1967 Toyota 2000GT

For those of you in the midwest dying to see an honest-to-god 1967 Toyota 2000GT in real life, get thee down to the Chicago Auto Show, going on until February 22. Toyota is taking three of its classics on tour, displaying … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the one modern feature you wish JNCs had?

As pilots of decades-old Japanese warhorses, we all pride ourselves on driving the simplest, everything-you-need-nothing-you-don’t motoring experiences. Blind spot monitors? Ha! Backup cameras? Ha! Airbags? Double ha! We are hard core. Sometimes though, as hard as it is to admit, isn’t just … Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2015 New Year Meeting, Part 04 — Shakotan Sleds

The previous installment of our New Year Meeting coverage focused on originality. In Part 04, we travel to the opposite end of the spectrum. But among all of Japan’s customization styles, shakotan is perhaps the most appealing to JNCers. Translated as simply “low,” shakotan cars are … Continue reading

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VIDEO: A look back at the Chicago Auto Show

The Chicago Auto Show kicks off today. The nation’s oldest car show, it has faded from prominence in recent years, but here’s a look back at what Japan was up to during its 80s heyday. Helpfully, the Chicago Auto Show has uploaded … Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Nissan Fairlady Z432 up for auction

A 1970 Nissan Fairlady Z432 is going up for bidding at the RM Amelia Island auctions next month. JNCers know the drill: its namesake 4 valves per cylinder, 3 carbs, and 2 cams stems from the S20 straight six sourced from the Skyline GT-R of … Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2015 New Year Meeting, Part 03 — Bone Stock Beauties

Japan has been the source of some truly extreme car cultures. Sadly, a “custom car” was the type of vehicle deemed most unseemly by Japanese women in a recent survey. No matter. Despite a western eye that cherry picks the only the most severe … Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2015 New Year Meeting, Part 02: Sports Coupes and Sports Sedans

In Part 01 of our New Year Meeting coverage, we looked at the early days of Japan’s infatuation with sizzling Sixties sports cars. In Part 02, we look at the Disco Decade’s explosion of new sports coupes and sports sedans. 

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QotW: Which Japanese automaker has stayed truest to its roots?

Holy crap, the curmudgeons really came out in last week’s QotW responses. Well, we asked for it. This week, however, we’ll take a more positive spin. Which Japanese automaker has stayed truest to its roots? We’re going to risk the wrath of … Continue reading

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You can now ride a Toyota 2000GT train in Japan

How awesome is this? A Toyota 2000GT wrapped on the side of a train. Of course, it is in Japan and the train is the Linimo, a mag-lev train in Aichi Prefecture. Japanese rail companies often create limited-time decorations for their trains, … Continue reading

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VIDEO: World’s coolest cop meets Mazda RX-3

Speeding tickets. It’s like a tax on driving. You never know when you’ll be plucked by laser for the Shirley Jackson lottery. Once in a blue moon, however, you completely luck the eff out and get pulled over by the coolest … Continue reading

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QotW: Which Japanese automaker is furthest from its roots?

Sometimes you have a great history and come to the table with some big wins already under your belt. Then you make a bad decision, miss the goal by one yard, and ruin everything you’ve worked for, leaving legions of … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Motorweek reviews the Toyota Cressida

The Motorweek archives continues to entertain with another star of the 1980s, the Toyota Cressida. Before it was rediscovered in recent years by those with drift sedan or zokusha aspirations, the X70 Cressy was nearly entirely forgotten by much of the automotive … Continue reading

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JNC RADIO: Sing along to the The Auto Show Song

Originally released in 1964, “The Auto Show Song” was composed by famed Japanese songwriter Tetsuro Hoshino and performed by action movie star/singer Akira Kobayashi (there are a lot of crossover entertainers in Japan). It was an old standard of the Showa Era, and sounded … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the strangest JNC sighting you’ve encountered?

As Nissan designer Ken Lee put it, part of the fun with old Japanese cars is that you have to be in the know to recognize the gem that’s hiding in plain sight. The preponderance of interesting background cars in You’re Under Arrest has … Continue reading

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Detroit Auto Show: Acura NSX scale model

The new Acura NSX will retail for approximately $150,000. If that’s too rich for your blood, we spotted this scale model tucked away in a corner of the Acura booth at the Detroit Motor Show. It will, according to the company, … Continue reading

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