Author Archives: Dave Yuan

SHOWA SNAP: A bullet train glides through Yurakucho crossing

Here is a random photo of the famed Yurakucho Crossing, one of Tokyo’s most famous intersections. It is considered a prime viewing spot for the Shinkansen, or bullet trains, as they pull out of Tokyo Station southbound heading towards Nagoya, Osaka, and points … Continue reading

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NEWS: Mazda completes restoration of a 1969 Luce Rotary Coupé

Over three years ago, Mazda began restoring some of its landmark vehicles, starting with a 1967 Cosmo Sport. The Restore Program was geared in part towards passing down Mazda’s philosophy and spirit to the next generation of craftsmen and engineers, … Continue reading

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SEARCH & RESCUE: Mazda Millenia S

Dear JNC readers, we need your help. We trust that if you are reading you 1.) believe in our mission to preserve cars for posterity, and 2.) are experienced in tracking down an elusive but prime vehicular specimens for purchase. We are introducing … Continue reading

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25 YEAR CLUB: Mazda Autozam AZ-1

Kei cars are cool. Slow and small they might be, but they are feats of engineering ingenuity that extract the most space, efficiency, and usability out of a tightly defined set of rules. And sometimes, the most fun as well. … Continue reading

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COLLECTIONS: The oldest surviving Mazda rotary car in the world, and its nod to Hiroshima’s nuclear past

What comes to mind when you hear the words “priceless artifact”? Ru ware of Imperial China? Paleolithic paintings of the Chauvet Cave? In the automotive realm it’s historically significant race cars, unique or outstanding examples of production cars, and serendipitously preserved … Continue reading

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RIP Kenichi Yamamoto, Father of the Mazda Rotary Engine, 1922-2017

Kenichi Yamamoto, who famously led Mazda’s “47 Ronin” team that brought the rotary engine into reality, passed away on December 20, 2017. His family made public his passing to the Japanese press on Christmas Day. Yamamoto was 95. A bona fide legend in … Continue reading

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(not so) MINICARS: Life-size Tamiya Bruiser Toyota Hilux pickup

As Marty McFly said, “All the best stuff is made in Japan.” Cars aside, this also holds true for hobby products. And in the land of remote controlled model cars, one kit persistently remains the best of the best in … Continue reading

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ICON: Honda City Turbo, the quintessential Japanese hot hatch

High performance machines are no stranger to Honda. The Japanese carmaker may have spent recent years perfecting mass-market consumer runabouts, but its legacy in high-revving precision-handling vehicles is well cemented in the hearts of car enthusiasts. With the new-age NSX … Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Team Highball IMSA RX-7, the most successful endurance racer of all time

It is often said that rotary engines are unreliable. And yet, some of the greatest long-distance racers have been pistonless Mazdas, including what has been called the most successful endurance racer of all time: the Team Highball 1985 IMSA GTU RX-7.

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MOTORSPORT: IMSA Mazda RX-3 at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Mazda continued to flex its racing heritage muscle at this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. In addition to its usual usual cadre of booming (and zooming) rotary racers, four new participants ripped around the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the … Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? The most complete and original Group B RX-7 on Earth

There have been numerous legendary Japanese rally cars (and trucks) throughout history — Toyota Celica GT-FOUR, Mitsubishi Pajero and Lancer Evolution, Subaru Impreza WRX, to name a few. However, the iconic Group B tends to not be associated with JNCs, … Continue reading

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NEWS: Mazda launches Roadster restoration program

In another nod to the classic status of Mazda’s NA Roadster, the Hiroshima carmaker is launching an official restoration and parts support program for the world’s most popular droptop. Starting next year, owners in Japan will be able to have … Continue reading

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BACKROADS: 1988 was Mazda’s Year of the Turbo

It’s an old trope among JNC enthusiasts in North America: we never get the good stuff like they do in Japan. From the obvious to the obscure — the Skylines, the City Turbo, the AZ-1 — the list never ends. But … Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Drifting is now an FIA-sanctioned motorsport

If you are a fan of both professional motorsports and drifting, your day has come. FIA, the federation that sanctions the likes of Formula One, World Rally Championship, and World Endurance Championship — of which 24 Hours of Le Mans … Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Toyota 86 sets world record for the most drifting

Lest you forget what Toyota’s neo-hachiroku is about, the 86 just set a new alleged world record for longest non-stop drift. This is not the first time this has happened; the previous Guinness-certified world record was set in 2014, also … Continue reading

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BACKROADS: Mazda’s Great Little Car

As we gear up for the next annual Touge California in the hills of Southern California, we are reminded of the cars that came with us last year. We had a truly eclectic mix ranging from built track beasts to pristine grand tourers — and … Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? The Subaru Impreza WRC test car that you can’t have

Above is a press photo from 1997 of the then-newly debuted Subaru Impreza WRC, built to the new World Rally Car specification that replaced Group A rules. Though similar in livery as Subaru’s older works Impreza and Legacy, this model would go on … Continue reading

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50 YEAR CLUB: Mazda Cosmo Sport and Rotary Engine

Like it or not, the automotive industry is a highly conservative one. Advances are incremental, radical innovations few and far between. Amidst this seemingly depressing state, however, genuinely novel and creative ideas that challenge convention catch our attention and imagination … Continue reading

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NEWS: Historic Mazdas make more history at Concours d’Elegance

Ah concours d’elegance, an age-old tradition in the world of classic automobiles. It’s an aristocracy long impenetrable by anything but the most time-tested and pedigreed works of art. Mazda just made history by taking home wins at not one but two major concours … Continue reading

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Mazda museum to open in Germany, first outside of Japan

A museum dedicated to classic Mazdas is about to open in Augsburg, Germany. Operated by Auto Frey, a Mazda dealer in the Bavarian city, and with support from Mazda Germany, Frey’s Mazda Classic Car Museum promises to be the first and … Continue reading

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