KIDNEY, ANYONE? 425,708-mile 1962 Toyopet Crown Wagon

Toyopet Crown Wagon S30 1

The S30 Toyota Crown Station Wagon is so rare, Toyota USA doesn’t even have one in their museum. They have two Toyopet Crown sedans, which are already exceedingly rare in the States. Wagons? They make 2000GTs seem as common as Camrys. Now comes only the second one we’ve seen for sale since JNC started in 2006, and the first that’s not covered in more surface rust than a rat rod meet. The only catch? It’s in Lima, Peru. Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2015 Nissan Jam, Part 01

30_Nissan Datsun 510

Though only in its third year, Nissan Jam has become a regular on the nostalgic car show calendar. For 2015, the show moved from its former home to a new location, West Covina Nissan. The larger space allowed for more cars than before, as well as the opening of the all-Nissan show (which already incorporated the Datsun brand) to welcome the Infiniti marque as well.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Japan’s car secrets, revealed!

Car Bros JDM Car Culture Secrets

The internet has no shortage of videos from Japan with the following premise: “Hey you poor, clueless American dreaming of Skylines and girls that look like anime characters, let us reveal to you all the JDM car secrets because, as a result of our superior engine swapping and/or drifting skillz, we have been accepted into this mysterious, centuries-old clan of car ninjas like Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai. Also, we bought a ticket to Narita on Orbitz. #JDMlyfe #BigInJapan.”

However, there is only one video — just one! — that cuts through all the BS and gives you the true scoop. Check out the Car Bros’ penetrating exposé into the real JDM.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Toyota celebrates 10 million domestic Corolla sales

Toyota Corolla TE27

Over the weekend the humble Toyota Corolla surpassed 10 million in domestic sales, and Toyota Japan released a small video to in honor of the occasion. Of course the Corolla is already entered the record books in late 2013 for racking up 40 million in worldwide sales, but considering the fact that Japan has a population of just 127 million, those are pretty stellar numbers. The second-best selling car, the VW Beetle — which was still being built in Mexico until 2003 — doesn’t even come close at 21.5 million.  Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to fetch a car?

Wangan Midnight Devil Z junkyard

Most of us car guys can’t even be bothered to assemble a respectable outfit for the social rituals that humans have to endure, such as weddings, dinner with the in-laws, or going to stores that are not Autozone. But then your friend sends you a Craigslist link to a $900 heap of metal and cracking vinyl in some far-flung corner of the country, posted by someone who a.) does not realize digital photos are free and b.) shoots the subject as if it was Bigfoot disappearing into the woods, and suddenly you’re looking up one-way flights on Kayak. Or you remind your best bud about the time you helped him with his engine swap to guilt him into driving across three states with you and a mostly-complete bag of sockets. Hey, it said “ran when parked!”

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to fetch a car?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What made the NSX so special?”  Continue reading

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EVENTS: Toyota Sports 800 50th Anniversary, Day 01

H0826_Toyota Sports 800

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Toyota’s first sports car, the 1965 Toyota Sports 800. Though small in size, the Yotahachi, as it became affectionately known, quickly developed a devoted fan base thanks to its ultra light-weight construction, aircraft-inspired styling, and unique removable “targa” roof panel that debuted two years before Porsche’s. To honor this unique automobile, Toyota sponsored two events on successive days, first at its home in Aichi Prefecture and then in the capital of Tokyo. Continue reading

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MINICARS: The ultimate Hakosuka Skyline scale model will take you two years to complete

Nissan Skyline KPGC10 GT-R Hakosuka subscription model 01

Only in Japan could something so obsessed with detail, patience and completism exist. This KPGC10 Nissan Skyline GT-R scale model is, quite simply, astounding, measuring over 21 inches in length at 1:8 scale and comprised of over 400 individual pieces that you assemble yourself — but that’s not even the astounding part. Each one of those individual pieces is mailed to you separately, week by week, over a span of two yearsContinue reading

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REMINDER: Nissan Jam this Sunday

NissanJam2015
Nissan, Datsun and Infiniti cars ranging from the 1960s to modern times will be on hand at the 3rd Annual Nissan Jam this Sunday, June 7.

Doors open at 10am and admission is free. The show is in a new location this year at West Covina Nissan at 205 North Citrus Street in West Covina, California.

There will be music, raffle prizes and, most importantly, cars, cars, cars!

Stop by the JNC booth for some shirts, decals, or scaled-down Nissans by Carriage House Models. See you there!

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NEXT VERSION: Can you name these classic Toyota racing liveries?

02_Toyota GT86 classic livery

In preparation for the upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed, Toyota UK has prepped six GT86 (known here as the Scion FR-S) sport coupes in racing liveries from the company’s past. Can you name them all (answers below, no peeking!)?  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2015 NISMO Fiesta

025p16_NISMO Fiesta

In its fifth year, NISMO Fiesta has become the premiere event for Nissan nuts of Texas. With a new venue in the capital of Austin, the Nissan devoted came from all over the Lone Star State, with a few traveling from as far as Louisiana and New Mexico! The three-day event had a host of activities lined up, so we made the trip from Fort Worth. Continue reading

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QotW: What made the NSX so special?

1990 Honda NSX

Of all the great automobiles to emerge from Japan, Honda’s NSX occupies a singular plane. While Nissan, Toyota and Mazda built GT-Rs, twin-turbo Supras and rotaries with endless potential for power, Honda built a car that did not need to be modified at all. It was simply great. Everyone has a favorite story, trivia fact or sighting for the NSX.

What made the NSX so special?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your dream touge build?”  Continue reading

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EVENTS: Petersen Museum Japanese Car Cruise-In

16_Nissan Datsun 510

There are many things to hate about Los Angeles, but its car culture isn’t one of them. As the trendsetting capital of the custom automobile, it holds the motorcar in such high regard that there’s a shrine to it located smack dab in the middle of the city. Located at the corner of the famed avenues of Wilshire and Fairfax, the Petersen Museum is featured just as prominently as galleries of art, natural history, and architecture along what’s known as “Museum Row.” And recently, the Petersen hosted its second-ever event dedicated to Japanese cars.  Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Nissan GT-R NISMO LM gets retro livery

Nissan NISMO GT-R LM livery

One heritage car may be dead, but another lives on, sort of. Since its US debut at the Chicago Auto Show we’ve been immensely curious about the front-wheel-drive Nissan GT-R NISMO LM. And no, that is not a typo. The car with which Nissan intends to challenge the toughest enduro in the world is indeed front-wheel-drive. And now they’ve revealed its new livery, a throwback to Nissan’s 1990 Le Mans prizefighter, the R90C.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Honda origin story in manga form

Soichiro Honda manga

In 1946 Soichiro Honda began strapping surplus WW2 generators to bicycles to create the first Honda motorcycles. In a new series of videos issued by Honda Japan, excerpts of the Honda origin story come to life in videos narrated in English and Japanese.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Motorcycle-powered hot rod Honda S600

Hot Rod Honda S600

Talk about a dream touge build. Back in 2007, my brother from the same mother Ben and I were freezing our arses off in a drafty Nagasaki apartment dreaming about insane Japanese hot rods that we wanted to build. None was nuttier than a Honda S-chassis with a liter-bike engine. Why? Because at the time decrepit S600 shells were plentiful and worth nothing on eBay, we believed in only same-marque engine swaps, and we wanted above all to keep the spirit of S600 in tact. Of course, the unholy trinity of funds, space and time (or lack thereof) prevented it from happening. Fortunately Matt Brown made no such lame excuses and did this exact thing.  Continue reading

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NEWS: RWD Nissan IDx will not see production, may be AWD

6101_Nissan IDx Freeflow

The news is out: The Nissan IDx is dead. This sad revelation is being reported after The Truth About Cars talked to Pierre Loing, VP of Product Planning at Nissan North America.We at JNC can confirm we’ve been hearing rumors about the IDx being stillborn from Nissan engineers as early as August 2014. TTAC says that the IDx concept’s styling may live on in a small, front-wheel-drive coupe, but we’ve heard that from Nissan that there’s is a chance it will come to market on an AWD platform.  Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your dream touge build?

Usui_Touge49b

Touge. It’s the reason Japanese sport coupes adhere to the doctrine of lightweight, high-revving philosophy. 73 percent of Japan’s landmass is mountainous, and the touge roads are where a uniquely Japanese form of hoonage was born. So, if you live in a country where the best roads snake like ramen noodles over drastic elevation changes, you’re going to want to drive a certain type of car.

What’s your dream touge build?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the ultimate Toyota-Mazda combo?”  Continue reading

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EVENTS: Showa Car Preservation Meeting

KL1163_PrinceSkylineS54

The Old Car Club of Tokyo recently held it’s 3rd annual Showa no Kurma wo Mamoru Tsudoi or “Preserving cars made in the Showa Era” meeting. This is a gathering for cars made during the Showa Era, which ended in 1989 according to the Japanese calendar and encompassed the Post-War, Golden and most of the Bubble Eras of Nihon automaking. In other words, all the best Japanese nostalgic cars. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Mazda launches “Driving Matters” campaign

Mazda Driving Matters - A Driver's Life

Many automakers claim to sell cars that are fun-to-drive, but is there anyone walks that walk more than Mazda right now? Communicating that message to the unwashed masses, on the other hand, hasn’t always been easy. Thus, the Hiroshima company’s long-standing “Zoom-Zoom” catchphrase — practically nostalgic itself after 15 years in use — will now take a back seat to a new one: Driving Matters. To the enthusiast who is sick of committee-built cars it’s as much a tagline as it is a plea to the broader public. Continue reading

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NIHON LIFE: Commuting above-ground

SkW28-660_Nissan Skyline C10 Hakosuka

Living in Tokyo’s 23-ku has many benefits, and detractions too I suppose. However, one of my great pleasures is the early morning commute across town. Many years ago I decided to ditch the usual meek-gray-mouse-crammed-onto-the-Ginza Line experience for a motorcycle.  Continue reading

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