KIDNEY, ANYONE? 1989 Mitsubishi Delica Star Wagon Turbo-D Chamonix


Hey ladies, do any of you want a ride in my diesel Mitsubishi van? That might not sound like the best pick up line ever used, but once you see today’s Kidney Car, you might change your mind. Browsing through my Facebook wall of endless “my Honda got stolen” and “look at this pho I’m eating” posts when a link to this 1989 Mitsubishi Delica Star Wagon Turbo-D Chamonix hit me in the face.  Continue reading


EVENTS: Old School Love, New School Flavor, Part 03: Mazda, Honda and Mitsubishi

Mazda RX3 Roll in  Team_Nostalgic Chicago

In the Part 01 and Part 02 of the coverage from Team_Nostalgic’s Old School Love, New School Flavor show, we featured exclusively the cars of Toyota and Datsun, respectively. In our final upload we arrive at Mazda and include two less well-represented marques but ones that are no less important. Until then, lets bask in the glory of these angry triangles.  Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? 1989 Isuzu Bighorn Irmscher R

Isuzu Bighorn Irmscher R 001

Are grown men allowed to cry about cars? It was a normal Thursday evening just like any other. I sat down at my PC after work to check a couple of eBay auctions, and something caught my eye on eBay’s tailored (to me) homepage feed. What I saw was probably just a stock photo, I thought. But after a click, my palms started to sweat. How is this possible? Is it a scam?  Continue reading


QotW: What JNC race replica would you buy?


Last week Ricky wrote about a British builder’s 1968 Honda RA302 replica. That gave us fever dreams of apexing an old JNC racer full tilt through a chicane, preservation of history be damned. Oh, how we wish we could buy a vintage body-in-white to pound on harder than Justin Bieber’s face.

What JNC race replica would you buy?

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, “Which JNC had the coolest taillights?”  Continue reading


MINICARS: 2015 Japanese Model Kit Roundup

Tamiya Honda City Turbo model kit

It’s summertime, time to go outside and play! Or, whip out those Tamiya paint cans and spray the plastic bodies of your favorite JNC model kits. Do it outside when it’s sunny and dry to avoid accidentally painting your furniture or carpet or, you know, getting poisoned by the fumes. Here’s a sampling of recent and upcoming plastic model kits that may be of interest to you.  Continue reading


How the Mazda RX-3 and RX-7 came to be called “Savanna”

Mazda Savanna RX-7 Turbo

Fuji, 1971. The mighty Hakosuka was slated to reach its record 50th win in Japanese touring car racing, only to have that taken away by a plucky upstart from Hiroshima known as the Mazda Savanna (aka. RX-3). Years later, its spirit would be succeeded by the sleek RX-7, the first two generations of which also bore the Savanna name in Japan. Why did Mazda choose that name for such iconic cars?  Continue reading


SHOP LIFE: LAX Wheel Refinishing

LAX Wheel Refinishing 03

In a nondescript warehouse on the edge of Boyle Heights is one of the best kept secrets for a crucial part of Los Angeles life: the rim. The aftermarket wheel is an inalienable part of SoCal culture, more important than the wristwatch or necktie to the official LA wardrobe, and yet the region’s cratered roads are a hellscape for alloy circles. For years, LAX Wheel Refinishing has quietly kept the wheels of LA turning, so to speak, to the tune of 2,000 a day. We recently got a rare peek behind the scenes of this impressive operation. Continue reading


MINICARS: 2016 Hot Wheels Chevy LUV

2016 Hot Wheels Chevy LUV 1

We’ve been told 2016 is going to be a great year for JNC fans that are diecast collectors, and here’s the first evidence of that. Photos of a Hot Wheels 1977 Chevy LUV have been leaked. Of course, JNCers know this car as the Isuzu Faster, a mini pickup built to go head to head against the likes of the Toyota Hilux and Datsun 620Continue reading


ANNOUNCEMENT: An 80s & 90s JCCS is coming

Street Neo Classics 2015
The folks at JCCS have an announcement to make — a new show just for 80s and 90s Japanese cars. Street Neo Classics will give a owners of Bubble Era machines a chance to show off their rides.

Details have not been announced yet, but save the date: October 18 from 10am to 3pm at Toyota USA Headquarters in Torrance, California.


QotW: Which JNC had the coolest taillights?

31-955_Nissan Laurel C130 Butaketsu

Now that we’ve determined which JNC had the coolest pop-up headlights let’s focus, like Sir Mix-A-Lot, on rears. Back in the day automakers were largely confined to sealed beam headlights, but out back designers had free reign to design insect, jet or spacecraft-inspired shapes. Some even tried to hide them altogether.

Which JNC had the coolest taillights?

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, “Which JNC had the coolest pop-up headlights?”  Continue reading


MINICARS: “Barn Find” Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels patina 09

For almost as long as there’s been Hot Wheels, there have been customizers. Lately the trend in modified Hot Wheels, especially with the new generation of collectors, has been the use of patina to emulate worn out, barn find, or rat rodded cars. Some have been really outstanding, while others suffer from “Titanic syndrome” where the idea seems to be the more rust the better. With that in mind, we once again we turn to our friend Mark Jones (aka Scale-Master), for his take on weathering and adding patina to Hot Wheels cars.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: 2015 Hot Wheels Datsun 510 Bluebird Wagon coming soon in black

2015 Hot Wheels Datsun 510 Bluebird Wagon - black

An image for the a recolor of the Hot Wheels Datsun 510 wagon was revealed online today. The second issue of the 2015 graphic scheme (the first one having been released earlier this year in yellow) is a sinister black with beige and green racing stripes. We are proud to report that the JNC inkan is featured on the rear doors. This is, of course, a diecast version of designer Jun Imai’s actual carContinue reading


MOTORSPORT: 1968 Honda RA302 replica


Honda RA-302 replica

Do you wish you could have a 1960s Honda F1 car of your very own? A British outfit called Stuart-Taylor Motorsport is building a life-size replica of the 1968 Honda RA302, an interesting choice considering the original’s morbid history.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: Toyota UK’s 50th Anniversary

Toyota UK 50th Anniversary 10

In 1965, a motorcycle distributor named Pride and Clark became the first company to officially sell Toyotas in the UK. Toyota recently celebrated 50 years in the United Kingdom with a gathering of classics, many of which had their own local flavor and were models never sold in the US.  Continue reading


QotW: Which JNC had the coolest pop-up headlights?


The pop-up headlight: automotive eyes personified, endearing relic, or just two additional unnecessary points-of-failure? Whatever you think of them, they defined an automotive era. I happen to reap a weird, endless joy from that delay between when you flick the switch and when they actually pop-up or retract.

Which JNC had the coolest pop-up headlights?

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 greatest Japanese nostalgic hatchback?”  Continue reading


MINICARS: Should Lego make an official Land Cruiser kit?

Lego Toyota Land Cruiser 01

Do you want to see a Lego Land Cruiser set? There’s a 40-series up for evaluation right now, and if it gets enough votes it could become an official Lego kit. Continue reading


MINICARS: How J-tin will save Matchbox

2016 Matchbox ND Mazda MX-5 Miata front

The news came down this morning, dropping like a bombshell in the diecast world. For 2016, Matchbox will add two Japanese icons to its lineup. The first is a no-brainer: the ND Miata is Mazda’s latest sportster and the most exciting new car to come down the pike in a long time. The second surprised the hell out of everyone: the Hakosuka Skyline.  Continue reading


MOTORSPORT: The Mazda RX-7 that won the 24 Hours of Spa

085-8458_Mazda RX7 FB Tom Walkinshaw

With a small but passionate maker of sporty cars and oddball engines taking center stage at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, all manner of Hiroshima steel could be found on the show grounds. A seemingly mundane Mazda RX-7 looked like any number of cars you might see at a weekend SCCA race, but this little rotary actually has huge, huge provenance. This very car, back in 1981, outright won the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, Europe’s other backbreaking endurance race.  Continue reading


A Brief History of the Nissan 510 Bluebird Coupe

In the first of a series, JNC is teaming up with our friends at Petrolicious to launch simultaneously a video and an article about historically significant Japanese cars. Be sure to check out the excellent Petrolicious and their beautifully shot short films about vintage cars.

Nowadays there are few cars from Japan’s Miracle Years that escape the collector’s eye, but long before every grandma’s Toyota Corona or obscure Isuzu was sought for by street tuner and speculator alike, the Datsun 510 stood alone at the forefront of the classic J-tin vanguard.  Continue reading


QotW: What’s the greatest Japanese nostalgic hatchback?


The hatchback. Loved everywhere in the world but the US. Rather than embrace its practicality, we Americans refuse to date anyone driving one and insist on adding a smaller, shallower cargo area that extends over the rear wheels like a portable bathtub. Luckily, Japan has no such hangups about the hatch, and has created some cracking ones.

What’s the greatest Japanese nostalgic hatchback?

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 best shade of JNC yellow?”  Continue reading