Author Archives: Ben Hsu

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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EVENTS: The Mazda Ice Academy explains why Mazdas are so darn fun to drive

The Mazda Ice Academy’s main reason for existence was to show off the Hiroshima automaker’s newfangled all-wheel-drive system. That was good, as we’d marveled before at how they managed to give a mid-size crossover better handling than many actual cars. We wanted … Continue reading

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DESIGN: Nissan VP reveals challenges of designing with DNA

We recently had the chance to glimpse into the the mind of someone who spends every day thinking and making decisions about the cars we buy, drive, and love. Taro Ueda is Vice-President of Design at Nissan Design America, the automaker’s … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Watch the R32 Skyline GT-R lap the Nürburgring

Nowadays, for any performance car worth their salt, a Nürburgring lap is a spec sheet staple, right there under horsepower, torque, and 0-60 time. But the Nissan Skyline GT-R was doing it before it was cool. Way before. Back in 1989, … Continue reading

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Does your classic Subaru belong in a museum?

Do you have a classic Subaru? Do you want to display it in the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum’s upcoming exhibit of all-wheel-drive Japanese cars? Our friends at Subaru of America recently alerted us to the fact that they were loaning several of their own cars … Continue reading

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QotW: What once-common car has suddenly disappeared?

It’s weird. One minute they’re everywhere, so common that you almost sick of seeing them. Seemed like every cool kid in town had one. Then one day you see one and you think to yourself, “Wow, it’s been a long time since … Continue reading

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NEWS: Japan notes increase in Skyline, NSX prices due to overseas interest

The above chart was one of the most circulated automotive news items in Japan over the weekend. It depcits how the nation’s wheeled icons have skyrocketed in price since just four months, with a certain model jumping nearly 1 million yen. The cause? Cars joining … Continue reading

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ART CORNER: Reality-bending JNCs for your viewing pleasure

Chris Labrooy is a British artist who creates brightly colored 3D models that look so real you can almost touch them — except that they exist only in pixels. One of his favorite subjects is cars, but stretched out into bizarre, logic-defying shapes. … Continue reading

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