Author Archives: Ben Hsu

VIDEO: Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the super-rare 1983 North American FJ40

Jonathan Ward is the head honcho at ICON, a company known for its restomods of classic trucks. Ward started out restoring FJ40s and possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of them. He says the North American market 1983 FJ40 is the best FJ40, of all … Continue reading

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QotW: How do you feel about auction prices affecting JNCs?

We’ve seen some pretty astronomical prices for J-tin in recent years. We always knew cars like the hakosuka and kenmeri GT-Rs, Toyota 2000GT and Fairlady Z432 were going to be rise in price. Frankly, they were never that cheap to begin with. This week, we saw even new-ish cars … Continue reading

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NEWS: Toyota to buy Daihatsu, make it a global brand

Toyota has announced it will buy out Daihatsu in a stock deal worth about $3 billion. The Big T currently owns a controlling stake in the small car manufacturer, approximately 51.2 percent, and Daihatsu has served as Toyota’s kei and compact car arm since … Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Holy crap, a 280Z 2+2 just sold for $49,500

If you needed more proof that originality counts, here it is. In the JNC world, a 1975 Datsun 280Z 2+2 is a special breed. Its 5 mph bumpers and rooflines practically guarantee that no one but the kindest of owners will adopt … Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 8,700-mile R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R [UPDATE]

Another year, another round of auctions in which Japanese steel is dangled in front of bidders who wouldn’t have given a flying Figaro two years ago. This time it’s another Skyline GT-R, not the Hakosuka or Kenmeri but Godzilla himself, the BNR32, and … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Drifting Hakone in 1992

Imagine a winding touge packed with Japanese drift machines — Silvias, RX-7s, Supras, Fairlady Zs and AE86s. So. Many. AE86s. Last year we showed a video proving that underground drifting was already reaching fever pitch by the late 80s. By 1992, Hakone Pass — one of … Continue reading

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VIDEO: 40th Anniversary of TRD

Founded in 1976, Toyota Racing Development is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. At the Tokyo Auto Salon a video played on loop, showing highlights of the last four decades. From Starlets to AE86s to Celicas to Supras, this is … Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2016 Tokyo Auto Salon, Part 02 – Callbacks

One of our favorite types of customization is when a new car references something old, whether its Japanese motorsports history, an ancestor in its lineage, or just a general obsession with nostalgia. Here’s all the cars that are rolling inside … Continue reading

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EVENTS: Tokyo Auto Salon, Part 01 — Old School Cool

As one of the most important auto shows on the Japanese calendar, the Tokyo Auto Salon is a showcase of Japan’s latest and greatest tuning trends. With every customization style imaginable on display, however, old school cool is not always easy … Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2016 Tokyo Auto Salon Spotlight – Liberty Walk S30 Z

It’s understandable that most non-JNCers would recognize Liberty Walk as the purveyor of trendy widebody kits for Ferraris, GT-Rs and other assorted supercars. In his heart of hearts, though, founder Wataru Kato is an old school bosozoku.

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QotW: What’s the greatest forced-induction JNC?

The Skyline Japan GT-EX kicked off the Age of the Turbo when it debuted in April 1980. Not only was it the first Japanese car to rock a snail, it was deemed so important by Nissan that it was positioned successor to … Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2016 Tokyo Auto Salon, Part 01 — A Preview

The Tokyo Auto Salon kicks off this weekend, and that means it’s time for the craziest builds the Japanese aftermarket has to offer. While gold-plated GT-Rs and VIP vans are still very much a part of it, looking past the glitz this year … Continue reading

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DETROIT: Aisin’s 1961 2-speed Toyoglide

This crusty old transmission seems like it should be sitting in the back of an old Japanese garage in some rural prefecture but it was displayed proudly, behind glass, at the Aisin booth at the Detroit Auto Show. 

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DETROIT: Soul Red is the new white

Despite our decree that white was the best color for Japanese cars, Nihon automakers are still continuing to make cars in other colors. One hue that seems to be surpassing the traditional white is Soul Red. 

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DETROIT: White is the best color for Japanese cars

The NSX proves that the best color for Japanese cars, especially Honda sportscars, is white. 

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DETROIT: Akio Toyoda’s rousing speech about Toyota’s future

Lexus has unveiled its new halo sports coupe, the LC 500, at the Detroit Auto Show. If you’re thinking you’ve seen it before, that’s probably because it looks identical to the LF-LC concept that spawned it. This is, amazingly, an … Continue reading

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DETROIT: Toyota Kikai gets an American makeover

One of the funkiest concepts to come from the Tokyo Motor Show last year was the Toyota Kikai, a steampunkish, Miyazakian retro hot rod. It’s a re-imagining of the automobile for a world where mechanical objects are things of beauty … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your most anticipated 25 Year Club addition?

Each year on the calendar brings us another round of cars that turn 25. Why is this significant? In short, 25 is the age at which most governments will grant a car historic status, which makes them eligible for things like collector car license plates … Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: The Super Silhouette Nissans that inspired a generation of bosozoku

One of the biggest treats from the NISMO Festival at Fuji Speedway the display of Nissan’s Super Silhouette racers from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Developed for Group 5 specifications, their extreme aero styling inspired a generation of bosozoku and kaido racers. 

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MOTORSPORT: How Nissan thwarted the Toyota in the golden age of the Japan Grand Prix

By 1968 Toyota had had enough of losing their home country’s biggest race — the annual Japan Grand Prix — to Nissan. They had just debuted the nation’s flagship sports car in the 2000GT, but it was getting trounced by the Prince/Nissan R380, a … Continue reading

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