Author Archives: Ben Hsu

EVENTS: All-Toyotafest 2017, Part 05 — Trucks

Toyotafest is the only Japanese car show that can boast such a wonderfully diverse a mix of both car and trucks. This year, Toyota celebrated the Land Cruiser but there were just as many HiLuxes, Stouts, Tacomas, and other assorted trucks. 

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50 YEAR CLUB: Toyota 2000GT

Fifty years ago, the automotive world was forever changed. It was a Tuesday, May 16, 1967 that the Toyota 2000GT was introduced. It marked the dawn of a new age, a breakthrough in not only Japan’s automotive industry, but in … Continue reading

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EVENTS: All-Toyotafest 2017, Part 04 — The rise of the E30 Corolla

There is never a shortage of Corollas at Toyotafest, and for years the best builds in the field belonged to the AE86, TE27, and TE72 contingents, maybe even a front-driver AE92. This year, however, the 1975-79 E30 Corolla has emerged as a new … Continue reading

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Happy Mother’s Day from JNC

To all the moms out there, thanks for doing all that you do. Happy Mother’s Day from JNC!

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Toyotafest Spotlight: Orly Tapay’s Works replica KP47 Starlet

One of the stars of Toyotafest this year was Orly Tapay’s 1974 Toyota Starlet. Not only was it a rare model never sold in the US, but it was a stunning replica of a Toyota works racer from the heyday of … Continue reading

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Toyotafest Spotlight: JZ-powered Celica drag racers

Two of the biggest head turners at this year’s Toyotafest were a pair of seriously mean drag racers built on a daruma Celica chassis. Both were caged, tubbed, and running mills from the legendary Toyota JZ family. 

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EVENTS: All-Toyotafest 2017, Part 03 — Fun to Drive

“Fun to Drive” was the tagline of Toyota Japan for much of the 1980s, and it was absolutely true. Toyota once had a whole portfolio of stylish, slingable cars that were also — and this is a key component of fun … Continue reading

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Toyotafest Spotlight: Richard Pope’s 1977 Celica Liftback

After a decade of attending Toyotafests, the thing we look forward to most are the surprise builds that come out of nowhere. This year, one of the cars that really caught our eyes was Richard Pope’s 1977 Celica Liftback. 

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Happy 510 Day from JNC

Nissan introduced the Bluebird 510 in 1967. Here’s to killing giants for half a century. Happy 510 Day from JNC!

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EVENTS: All-Toyotafest 2017, Part 02 — Celebrating the all-conquering Land Cruiser

Toyotafest this year took the opportunity to honor what could be Toyota’s most legendary model. Sure, a neck-snapping Supra, drifting-birthing AE86, or luxe Lexus may be the dream cars of the first world, but for the rest of the globe the Land Cruiser is the ultimate aspirational … Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2017 All-Toyotafest 2017, Part 01 — New Digs

Like RAV4 sales numbers, the number of cars at Toyotafest is ever-expanding. Now in its 22nd year, the country’s most comprehensive Toyota, Lexus and Scion car show has outgrown its home at the Queen Mary. This year, organizers from the Toyota Owners and Restorers Club … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your best “3-digit purchase price” car story?

If you’ve been around J-tin long enough, you’ve purchased a 3-digit car. That’s when the transaction price is less than $1,000, and we’re not talking about the so-called “value” you declared to the DMV. We mean money that actually exchanged hands, … Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Honda Civic Racing History

The Honda Civic was a giant slayer if there ever was one. Rarely in history has one model done so many things so well. One of those things was racing, a facet of the Civic rarely covered in Western media. … Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? This 1980 Honda Prelude is gold, Jerry!

For five generations and 22 years the Prelude was sports coupe of the Honda lineup. Later iterations were some of the best handling front-drivers ever built, darlings of the Tuner Era, but the SN-chassis is where it all began. And when … Continue reading

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REMINDER: 2017 Toyotafest is this Saturday

Just a friendly reminder: The 22nd Annual Toyotafest takes place this Saturday, May 6, at its new location. It’s still in Long Beach by the Queen Mary, but it will now be held at Marina Green Park. Instructions can be found … Continue reading

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QotW: Which car should automakers make reproduction parts for next?

We learned last week that NISMO is going to start making brand new parts for the R32 Skyline GT-R again. This is great news for enthusiasts, who will be able to restore and drive their cars, and also great for the … Continue reading

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NEWS: NISMO announces Heritage Parts restoration program for R32 Skyline GT-R

This is huge. NISMO announced this week that its is launching a program to recreate discontinued parts for certain Nissan cars. Called the Heritage Parts program, its purpose is to “provide support for Nissan performance models.” First up is the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R, which achieved … Continue reading

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Radwood is Goodwood for cars of the 80s and 90s

A new car show in northern California just might have the best name ever in the history of car shows. Described as Goodwood for 80s and 90s cars, Radwood will be held on June 3 in San Francisco, California. Basically, … Continue reading

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Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Mainetenance, 1928 — 2017

American author Robert M. Pirsig died on Monday at his home in South Berwick, Maine. His passing was made known by his publisher, William Morrow, who said that the writer’s health had been failing. Pirsig is most known for his classic 1974 … Continue reading

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TUNE UP: Happy birthday to Show Ayanocozey, lead singer of bosozoku boy band Kishidan

Today is the birthday of Show Ayanocozey, the gloriously pompadoured lead singer of one of JNC‘s favorite bands, Kishidan. Though the concept of a bosozoku boy band likely began (like many Japanese bands) as a gimmick, and everything they do is … Continue reading

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