MOTORSPORT: The Toyota Supra is now a NASCAR

With the impending return of the Supra, it was only inevitable that Toyota would announce its official participation in some form of motorsport. Well, the first one is here, before the car has even launched. We just didn’t expect it to be NASCAR. SuperGT, D1GP, or Formula D? Sure, those would make sense, but oddly enough after looking into it the connection isn’t that bizarre. Continue reading

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WILDLIFE: An unmolested Supra Turbo proves unicorns do exist

On holidays, Los Angeles turns from a sprawling grid of congestion into a post-apocalyptic streetscape of empty boulevards. Drives that would take hours during rush hour take minutes as the city’s 6.4 million cars go into hibernation. Perhaps that explains why yesterday, on Independence Day, this 1997 Toyota Supra Turbo came out to play.  Continue reading

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Happy Independence Day from JNC

Released in 2017, the US-flag Tomica Toyota 2000GT was part of a special edition Flags of the World series that decked out Japan’s O.G. supercar with — you guessed it — flags of the world. In fact, it is the second version of a stars-and-stripes laden 2000GT. The ongoing series is a collaboration with Apita Uny, a huge Japanese grocery and department store chain. Anyway, it’s not every day you see a 2000GT draped Old Glory. Have a safe and happy Independence Day from JNC.

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SHOWA SNAP: Ginza in the 1960s

Ginza is not just one of the most expensive areas of Tokyo, but of the world. In the early 1960s the area wasn’t quite as developed yet, but look at the cars. Toyopet Crown taxis, privately owned Datsun 210s, what looks to be a Hino bus, and even a 1961 Chevy Impala sedan swarm the streets. You can almost smell the hydrocarbons!  Continue reading

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NEWS: Kawasaki’s retro-styled Z900RS goes on sale

Since its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, the retro-styled the Kawasaki Z900RS has been well-received in its home market. The bike we called “the Kenmeri Skyline of motorcycles” for its place in Japanese motoring history just went on sale July 1 and comes to market with healthy aftermarket support. As a follow-up, Kawasaki quickly turned the nostalgia dial up to eleven with the Z900RS Cafe., to be released later this summer. If that wasn’t enough, Kawasaki then announced it’s coming to America. Now, the slate of of colors and graphics packages have been announced.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Toyota launches GR Sport 86

The first true sports car since Toyota’s launch of its Gazoo Racing performance sub-brand goes on sale in Japan today. The GR Sport 86 is based of the Toyota 86 (née Scion FR-S, aka Subaru BRZ) but features a series of mild upgrades. And before you ask, the answer is no, it does not come with any more power.  Continue reading

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QotW: What will future JNCs look like?

Nameplates like Supra and GT-R have a special place the hearts of fans and motorsports enthusiasts, and many of their design elements have stood the test of time. But could they be hindering new designs for future JNCs? What would the next GT-R look like if it didn’t have to have round rear combination lamps, or if the Supra didn’t have to have an inline six? What would a model lineup look like if we cleaned the slate and rebuilt it on new ideas and interpretations of travel? It’s a question manufacturers struggle with all the time.

What will future JNCs look like?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “JNC Roulette – Red or Black exterior?Continue reading

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NEWS: Nissan celebrates 50 years of the GT-R with a 710-horsepower golden Godzilla

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the Nissan GT-R, one of the most sacred names in autodom. To celebrate the upcoming birthday, Nissan has teamed up with the design firm Italdesign, which also happens to be turning 50 this year, to create the Nissan GT-R50. The custom is described by the company as a “GT-R without limits.”  Continue reading

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TRA Kyoto releases Rocket Bunny Pandem kit for FC RX-7

Because we must now widebody all the things, TRA Kyoto has released a Rocket Bunny Pandem body kit for the FC3S Mazda RX-7. The company recently released a video rendering of the proposed kit on its Facebook page. While recent kits for rotary cars have been controversial, this one actually looks quite at home on the second-gen RX-7.  Continue reading

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Koyorad releases new radiators for 90s Chaser, 300ZX, Maxima

Our partners at Koyorad are releasing a slew of new cooling options for 90s cars, including the JZX90 Toyota Chaser, Mark II and Cresta triplets, as well as the Z32 Nissan 300ZX and J30 Maxima. It may seem odd to sell an aftermarket part for cars that was never sold here, but the X90 chassis has reached the 25-year mark that allows them to be imported, and Koyorad sees a large enough influx of them to  Continue reading

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EVENTS: All-Toyotafest 2018, Part 05 — A whole lot of RWD

Toyota still makes large sedans, economical cars with transversely mounted engines, and powerful sports cars (at least in V8 form), but the once plentiful species of lightweight, rear-wheel-drive compact has dwindled to just one model. Toyotafest might be the last place in the country where you can see a decent gathering of RWD Aichi steel that isn’t wearing a Lexus badge.  Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Toyota taxis queue at the old Kyoto Station

Kyoto is one of Japan’s most historic cities, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at its travel hub. Bullet trains pull into Kyoto Station on an hourly basis, sending hundreds of passengers into a vast structure of glass and steel resembling a spaceport. That wasn’t always the case, as this photo of the old Kyoto Station, taken in 1991, shows.  Continue reading

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Happy 626 Day from JNC!

Many forget that the original Mazda 626 came in rear-wheel-drive and pillarless hardtop coupe form. If you can find them, they are typically pretty well preserved and fairly affordable. Perhaps you can adopt one today, this happy 626 Day!

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VIDEO: Walk through Toyota history with this new Crown ad

Not content to update a mainstay of Japanese culture with the debut of the new Century last week, Toyota has now unveiled a redesigned version of Japan’s second-most time-honored model, the Crown. The fifteenth generation goes on sale today, marking an unbroken lineage of Toyota sedans that dates back to 1955. To market the all-new Crown, Toyota has released a commercial that follows the company’s entire history.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Daihatsu debuts retro-styled Mira Tocot kei car

Daihatsu says that its Mira Tocot is designed for women, but we kind of want one. The styling is appealingly somewhat retro, and reminds of the Nissan Pao. It has the same utilitarian look and comes in cool throwback colors, and as most kei cars now are tall boxes the Tocot still retains a charming hatchback profile.  Continue reading

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QotW: JNC Roulette — Red or Black exterior?

A beautiful paint job really sparkles under the sun. Nowadays there are amazing mint rides on just about any car show lawn, and two colors that seem to dominate show-and-shine events are red and black. It’s easy to be blinded by gleaming crimson with matching door guard trim, or get lost in the thrice-buffed deepness of a black abyss. Which color just works on a JNC? Which color do you prefer?

Red or Black exterior?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “If you had a chance to buy your JNC again, what would you do differently?

Continue reading

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NEWS: Get ready to VIP because the third-generation Toyota Century goes on sale today

For decades, it has been the preferred chariot of high-ranking government officials, captains of industry, and bosses in some of the shadier corners of Japanese society. The essence of the Toyota Century is tradition, and as evidence the latest redesign is only the third in the model’s 50-year history. Only 50 will be sold each month, and it goes on sale today.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Mazda UK celebrates 40 years of the RX-7

2018 marks 40 years since the debut of the original Mazda RX-7. According to Mazda UK, Mazda has sold 2 million rotary-engined cars, with 850,000 of them being RX-7s. To honor the occasion, they’ve produced a video bringing together three generations of the beloved sports car (in the shape of a rotor). Continue reading

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Proposed import tariffs could make your next JNC or their parts a lot more expensive

If you’ve been following the news, you may have heard about President Trump proposing a 25 percent tariff on imported cars and their parts. So far, much of the discussion has focused on new cars but in reality, the proposed rules would affect us JNCers just as much. Currently, the import duty is 2.5 percent, so imagine that increased by a factor of 10 for car or part imported from Japan. Here’s what you can do about it.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: All-Toyotafest 2018, Part 04 — RWD Celicas

With a new Supra on the way and Toyota’s increased focus on more powerful and likely very expensive sports cars, let us not forget the humble Celica. For seven generations it was Aichi’s entry level sports car, and long before the zippy front-drivers and AWD rally monsters, the Celica was a proper, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe.
Continue reading

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