VIDEO: You could tune pretty much anything in Japan

In the 90s, Japan was so high on octane that you could find aftermarket parts for just about any car imaginable. In this Best Motoring video, the hosts step out of NSXes and GT-Rs for a second and test drive tuned regular cars that are accessible to a teenager making minimum yen at the local Lawson. Whether its a 4WD Mazda hatchback, a late-model front-drive Corolla family sedan, or an ancient A60 Carina (the four-door Celica, if you will), all are flogged at the track.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: For the record, we’re going to be That Guy about the Nissan Skyline

A couple of weeks ago Donut Media published their first “Up To Speed” video, a primer of sorts, and the subject was none other than the Nissan Skyline. If you haven’t heard of Donut Media, they make entertaining automotive videos and push them out across various social media outlets. Their target demographic is definitely the millennial import crowd, since most of their videos include Japanese and drift cars. It’s great to see an outlet with some strong outreach dropping knowledge on one of the most iconic nameplates of all time and the video has a lot of great information, but there are a handful of inaccuracies in their Skyline history. 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 for those with a bit of a long memory, bright spots did exist, and not just inside your Playstation or local Tamiya-dealing hobby store. If you’re a Mazda fan, such a spot occurred in 1988.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: Matchbox Nissan Junior first look

Last week the annual Matchbox Collectors Gathering took place, and the upcoming 1962 Nissan Junior pickup was shown in production guise. As these photos from the event’s Facebook page show, it’s a perfect fit with the classic Matchbox “workhorse” look and feel.  Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC do you need to buy now before prices get ridic?

Last week’s post about the FJ Company’s Land Cruiser restomods turned into heated discussion about skyrocketing prices of JNCs. We’ve seen some shocking prices for well-restored FJ40s, and while there are still examples within reach of most buyers, it may not be that way for long. We think FJ60s will follow soon, and when we talked to FJ Company last fall they said that the time to buy one was, “yesterday.” Even if you’re not looking for an apocalypse-ready rig the prices of most Japanese classics are rising, with the rate of increase depending on the model.

What JNC do you need to buy now before prices get ridic?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC nameplate needs a decor set?”  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Celebrating 30 years since the AE86 conquered British Touring Car Championships

For cars that are immensely fun to flog in the twisties, there are few better than the Toyota AE86. Less discussed, however, is its racing provenance. We’re not talking about its touge battles on Mt Akina, here. Or even talking about Japan. We’re taking about the UK, where during the car’s heyday in 1986-87 it twice won the British Touring Car Championships. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Classic looks and modern power converge in these Land Cruiser restomods

We met the owners of the FJ Company at SEMA last year and were astounded by the level of craftsmanship in their builds. These guys and gals take classic Toyota Land Cruisers and thoroughly modernize the drivetrains so they can be driven in current-day traffic with confidence. Continue reading

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EVENTS: Mitsubishi Owners Day 2017

In past years, we haven’t found a lot of JNC-worthy material at Mitsubishi Owners Day. Ninety-nine percent of the cars there were white Evos, parked in formation like some kind of Galactic Empire land fleet. This year, however, there were all sorts of interesting offerings from the triple diamond clan.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 3rd Touge California, 2017

Because we, along with title sponsor Mazda, were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the rotary engine this year, a large contingent of piston-less cars were lined up at the starting grid of the 2017 Touge California. Joining them were decades-old twin-cam Toyota fours, Nissan straight-sixes and even a V8 or two. Most were carbureted, and with a 200-plus-mile journey ahead including elevations of 4,900 feet in scorching, triple-digit heat, it would prove to be a test of endurance for all. Continue reading

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NEWS: Hakosuka Nissan Skyline crashes, one dead

A tragic report coming out of Japan says that the driver of a Hakosuka Nissan Skyline has lost his life in a crash that saw the car burst into flames. According to TBS News, the collision occurred on the morning of July 25 near the Harada Town area of Onomichi City in Hiroshima Prefecture. News footage from the gruesome scene shows the Skyline and the kei car it collided with pushed up against a guardrail and everything but the steel parts burned away. Continue reading

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PRODUCT GUIDE: From the creators of Rocket Bunny, a new widebody kit for the Datsun 620

In the race to find the next hot kyusha to widebody, TRA Kyoto has unveiled its latest creation, the Pandem kit for the Datsun 620.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: No big deal, just a couple of 2JZ Toyota 2000GTs driving around

You know Rocky Auto, the famous Japanese tuner known for his radical takes on classic Nihon steel. When it came time to build his ultimate creation, a 2JZ-powered Toyota 2000GT, however, the originals were too rare and valuable to modify. So founder Yoshiya “Rocky-san” Watanabe hand built some 2000GTs from scratchContinue reading

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QotW: What JNC nameplate needs a decor set?

Yesterday, news dropped of a 60th anniversary decor set celebrating the Nissan Skyline. Items ranged from small dishes with taillight designs to 1/6 scale engines and piston-shaped tumblers.

We all surely have a little something on display in our homes. For some, it’s a few historic j-tin hot wheels on a desk; and for others its a 1968 Toyota Corona grille on the wall.. no? Just me?? Hmmm..

Either way, we could all benefit from hitting up the local home store, drifting the shopping cart (trolley) in the home decor section and filling the cart up with some J-spec offerings. Maybe a toaster oven that burns a RX-7 Wankel rotor on each piece of toast, or some iconic Civic mini hubcaps to rest our beverage of choice on. So, I simply ask:

What JNC nameplate needs a decor set?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What 1970s JNC had the best race livery

Continue reading

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Decorate your home with this Nissan Skyline 60th anniversary merch

Although the Skyline’s official birthday was back in April, the 60th birthday party for Nissan’s most famous model is still in full swing. The company has developed an entire catalog of goods that are all themed around the Skyline. While most automaker apparel is cringeworthy, some of these items are actually neat enough that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to have them around the house. Continue reading

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VIDEO: It’s hard finding Cosmo Sport parts in Japan

If you haven’t been keeping up with Mazda Germany’s web series about the restoration of a very rusty Cosmo Sport race car, you’re missing one of the best car restoration shows out right now. Since we last checked in, there have been several more episodes, two of which take place in Japan.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE?: Never-titled Suzuki RE5 rotary motorcycle

Given the strengths of the rotary engine, you would imagine that they would be a natural fit for motorcycles. Small displacement, high power and high revving, these are all prerequisites for a motorcycle engine. Surprisingly only a handful of motorcycle manufacturers brought one to market. Sure, in the mid-1970s all of the major Japanese brands had prototypes for a rotary motorcycle but of those brands, it was only Suzuki who pulled the trigger in 1975 when they made the Suzuki RE5 that you see before you.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: M2’s first Auto Japan release revealed

Here is the first look at the castings of M2 Machines’ new Auto-Japan series. If you aren’t familiar with M2, they are highly detailed 1:64 scale cars that have traditionally been American muscle cars and hot rods. This is their first foray into the world of Japanese classics, and there are three models in the initial release. Each one of those in turn has three variations — stock, custom and a chase car similar to a Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Listen to the engine roar of three seminal GT-Rs

We’ve snapped a lot of photos and spilled a lot of digital ink writing about the Skyline GT-R, but one thing that images and words can’t convey is the amazing aural power of its incredible engines. Luckily, Motor Trend provides that soundtrack in an Ignition episode video about three landmark generations of the legendary GT-R, from the raw snarl of the Hakosuka’s S20 to the turbocharged boom of Godzilla’s RB26DETT to the high-tech woosh of the R35’s VR38DETT.  Continue reading

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QotW: What 1970s JNC had the best race livery?

Welcome to another week of QotW!

We’ve seen a bevy of summer fun thanks to all the events that have been covered right here on JNC. I noticed several vehicles that appear at these shows are decked out in new and old-school liveries. Frankly, I like this trend (as long as they race them on the track!) as they show off the curves and accents of the exterior styling. Most prominently, the tarmac battlers of the 70’s have been getting a lot of love. This got me to wonder:

What 1970s JNC had the best livery?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “JNC Challenge, Part 08

Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2017 Nissan Jam, Part 04 — Nissan Forever

Why do people love Nissans so much? Our final installment of our Nissan Jam coverage, offers an explanation. Perhaps it’s the sheer diversity of not just the cars from the factory, but that of the custom styles they inspired.

Speaking of inspiration, the official JNC booth car was none other than Roy De Guzman’s world famous Hakosuka. We spent the day before the show driving it through LA, where Angelenos young and old threw countless thumbs ups our way.  Continue reading

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