Category Archives: kei

EVENTS: Naniwa Swap Meet

Among the items on our Japan bucket list was checking out a real swap meet. Turns out, automotive-themed ones are not terribly common there, but we were fortunate enough to have Osaka’s Naniwa Swap Meet coincide with our stay. 


NEWS: Nissan 360, Part 03 – Driving Insane Stuff

Thus far our Nissan 360 coverage has focused on your rare but predictable classic and race cars. However, the global Nissan empire is built on stuff sold in reaches of the world you can’t even find on a map. So every four … Continue reading


ART CORNER: Build a classic Honda N360 and life-sized N-One kei car out of paper

Those familiar with Japanese culture have likely encountered the art of papercraft. You may have even built a paper car or truck yourself. But we know you’re secretly wondering what would happen if some insane origami craftsmen built an entire full-size car … Continue reading


VIDEO: UNUSUAL DRIFT! Sideways and Stoppies with Kei Trucks

Okay, so there’s nothing nostalgic about a Suzuki Carry. However, we fully approve of modifying your company kei truck with a Suzuki Every turbo, a Cappuccino rear end, and a Silvia(!) coilover setup for the express purposes of drifting said company truck. It’s undiluted sunshine … Continue reading


Happy Mother’s Day from JNC!


GRAND TOURING: Shio no Michi, the Salt Road — Part 01

Having not been away in a few weeks, we decided to take a Monday off and spend three days exploring Nagano Prefecture and some of the less traveled valleys near the Northern Alps. Using our usual form of taking the main … Continue reading


EVENTS: 2013 JCCA New Year Meeting, Part 02

In Part 01 of our 2013 New Year Meeting coverage, our photogs arrived on the scene in Odaiba, Tokyo. Nihon steel was shot, the swap meets was perused, and legends of Japanese motoring were admired. We see no reason not … Continue reading


EVENTS: 2013 JCCA New Year Meeting, Part 01

It’s a winter wonderland in Tokyo, but the blinding whiteness did not come from new-fallen snow. Instead, it emanated from the gleaming shiro paint jobs of rows upon rows of kyuusha. Two of JNC‘s intrepid photographers recently braved Japan’s icy … Continue reading


NEXT VERSION: Test driving the 2013 Honda N-One kei car

We love it when automakers dip into their bag o’ heritage for a little inspiration. Such is the case with the Honda N-One kei car. It is, sadly, not sold outside Japan. Guest writer David Lovett, however, is in Japan, and … Continue reading


Wednesday Wall: Mazda watercolors by Miki Nakajima

The Mazda Japan Facebook page has been posting a series of beautiful watercolor paintings by Mazda designer Miki Nakajima. Subjects range from the 1950 Mazda PB-type three-wheeler to the 1970 RX-500 concept to modern favorites like the MX-5. See the … Continue reading


QotW: What should Suzuki USA have done differently?

Alas, Suzuki, we hardly knew ye. This statement rings especially true in the wake of the Suzuki’s departure from US shores last week, because as JNC reader Tyler pointed out, many of their best cars were not sold here under the … Continue reading


Honda Celebrates 30 Years of US-built Accords

Here’s your daily dose of history. November 1, 1982 was the day when the first US-built Honda rolled off the assembly line in Marysville, Ohio. The first car to emerge from the newly constructed plant three decades ago was a … Continue reading


GRAND TOURING: Tohoku, Part 02

In Part 01 of our Grand Tour through Japan’s Tohoku region we headed north from Tokyo, past tsunami-devastated villages and deep into Aomori Prefecture. Normally on such trips the nostalgics we encounter are the most beloved — Skylines, rear-drive Corollas, Honda … Continue reading


QotW: What’s the coolest kei car?

Seeing some excellent examples of kei jidosha on the way back from Nagano last week got our brains churning. These uniquely Japanese micro machines are what put the island nation on the road and have been around for over 50 … Continue reading


Early Japanese classics among top emerging collectibles says Hagerty

With all the automotive madness whipped up by the Arizona auctions week, let’s take a look at how it affects the nostalgic car scene. First, collector car insurance company Hagerty issued a press release identifying three “segments represent[ing] a group … Continue reading


Subaru celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Sambar

It’s not fast, luxurious or particularly sexy, but the Subaru Sambar is a key part of Japan’s automotive history and one of its first kei trucks. If you’ve ever set foot in Japan you’ll know these little breadboxes are everywhere, … Continue reading


Friday Video: Suzuki Jimny SuperTrials

It always amazes us how unbelievably varied Japan’s automotive culture is. Here is an entire event, televised no less, dedicated to kei-class Suzuki Jimnys. In the Jimny Supertrials, these 660cc, oft-turbocharged little four-wheelers run a time attack in the snow. It … Continue reading


Suzuki Fronte 550

This here rare brown bird is a Suzuki Fronte 7-S 550. That’s 550cc’s of rear-engined, rear-wheel drive kei car sweetness. It’s difficult to eyeball the scale of this car until you get a look at the fender mirrors, which protrude … Continue reading


EVENTS: New Year Meeting 2011 Part 04: Kei Jidosha

If a flux capacitor equipped kei car from 1960 traveled to the present, it’d be totally jealous of the “massive” 660cc displacement its modern counterparts enjoy. Back then, maximum allowable engine size was a scant 360cc. But as the Mazda … Continue reading


Unloved Cars of Tochigi

Location scouting North of Tokyo, we were surprised to pass a yard not filled with the usual rural kei cars — or farming implements — but one filled with an enormous range of nostalgics.