MINICARS: Hot Wheels X JNC Datsun 510 Bluebird Wagon “JNC Surf Patrol”

We at JNC recently received a very special surprise from our friends at Hot Wheels — a JNC surf patrol wagon! These photos, taken from one of the conference rooms at the Mattel design center in El Segundo, California, show the 2017 mainline release of the ’71 Datsun Bluebird 510 Wagon casting in its latest colorway. We had no idea the design team was planning something like this, so forgive our inner 5-year-old as we embark on a complete freak out. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Celicas, Civics, RX-7s and Sunnys, racing together, in modern times

Last month in Australia was the Bathurst 12 Hour, an enduro packed with Nissan GT-Rs, BMW M6s, Vipers, Porsches, and Lamborghinis duking it out for supremacy. Nobody cares, though, because the supporting races, filled with JNCs, were about a million times more exciting.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: See the Prince R380 on US soil for the first time at the Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance

As far as we know, the 1966 Prince R380 has never been shown on US soil. That’s about to change this weekend when this pivotal Japanese race car makes its North American debut at the Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance.  Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Tomiko Yoshikawa, pioneer in Japan’s racing world


In honor of International Women’s Day, this is the story of Tomiko Yoshikawa, a race car driver and pioneer in the Japanese racing world. Born in 1954 in an Aichi Prefecture, Yoshikawa was a self-described furyou shoujo, a “bad girl” who dreamed of being a softball pitcher. When she realized this dream would not be achievable, she rebelled. She dropped out of high school, began wearing her hair in a hard perm emblematic of disaffected youth of the time, and spent her days “raging with no goal.” Then she got into cars.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon, Part 01 — Legends of Rally

The Tokyo Auto Salon this year was its usual bacchanal of outrageous VIP luxury sleds, retina burning drift machines, and European exotics dripping money and diamonds out of their exhaust pipes. But in the midst of the madness, some companies actually brought out honest-to-god works of automotive art in the form of rally cars.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Coming to America, the Honda Civic Type R

Honda is finally bringing the Civic Type R stateside. The production version was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this morning, promising what Honda does best — blistering performance in a front-wheel-drive package. With the decades-long clamoring fanboys now answered, here’s all the parts you used slave away for at minimum wage to bolt onto your souped up DX that are now standard. Continue reading

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EVENTS: New Year Meeting 2017, Part 06 — Trucks, Wagons, Vans, and Kei Jidosha

One of the great things about the New Year Meeting is that in addition to all the brilliant classics and street machines, commercial vehicles are welcomed as well. There aren’t many places on the planet where you’ll see such a gathering of classic Japanese work trucks, vans and wagons.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Australia, a RWD Toyota paradise

Imagine a world just like ours, except that RWD Toyotas are everywhere, people still refer to their cars as “good ol’ girl,” and the “Oh What a Feeling!” jump at the end of Toyota ads never went away. The dream of the 80s is alive in Australia.  Continue reading

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QotW: Take the JNC Challenge, Part 03

Welcome back gang to the third installment to the QotW Challenge. If you need a refresher, we took suggestions on what JNC daily driver would you buy with a budget of $2000. The result was a Civic Shuttle.

Afterwards, we needed to select how it would be used. The majority felt a show and shine car would best fit the Shuttle. Having a roof rack and other small details kept the clean appearance while still maintaining the daily driver theme.

Now, onto the challenge. We have a Honda with a relatively clean appearance and in running condition. Monthly income is tight but you have about $350 a month of spending cash to do as you will (gas, food, bills, etc. are already covered).

You run into two Shuttle fans at the local car club meet that just have to have the shuttle. Both offer a trade on the table.

Option 1: Trade for a 1st gen RX-7 that runs but “uses a little oil”, Manual, 120,000 miles on the clock in a faded yellow. Steering needs an alignment.

Option 2: An Isuzu Impulse 2.0L Turbo, 4-AT with 150,000 on the clock but engine was refreshed at 85k. silver color with much of the interior rotting away. Tires are as bald as Uncle Les.

Option 3: Keep the Shuttle with ideas to auto-x it in a month’s time using the $350.

You have $350 in-pocket so it can be used for diagnosing and/or fixing the options above as well. Choose wisely! Must back up your choice for consideration! The condition that you must daily drive it still applies.

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What car should my fiancée get?Continue reading

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EVENTS: New Year Meeting 2017, Part 05 — Nissan & Mitsubishi

This year was a special milestone for the New Year Meeting, as it was the show’s 40th year. It was quite a milestone for the event, which started in 1977 at the Tokyo Prince Hotel, a much smaller venue. Back then, no one would have guessed that one day Nissan and Mitsubishi would be in cahoots. A lot can happen in 40 years.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: New Year Meeting 2017, Part 04 — Aichi Steel

After visiting the New Year Meeting’s swap meet and club display we ventured into the main car show area, where Isuzu and Hino were the featured marques this year. While that may have satisfied the approximately four Isuzu and Hino fans out there, here’s something for the Toyotaku. Continue reading

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REMINDER: 2017 Toyotafest registration opens


Just a quick reminder that Toyotafest registration has opened. Actually, it opened yesterday but the site experienced some downtime, so if you tried to register but couldn’t, you should be able to now.

The show takes place on Saturday, May 6. Please note that there’s a new location this year, Marina Green Park in Long Beach, California. It’s very close to the old location.

The show takes place from 9am to 3pm and admission is free. It’s open to all Toyota, Lexus, and Scion vehicles. Registration is $50 and can be completed online here.

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VIDEO: Gerard’s Subaru GS-R Coupe and Subaru Ranch

There are people who collect classic Ferraris or Volkswagens. Some people are named Jay Leno and collect everything. Then there’s Gerard Kleyn, who collects classic Subarus. Specifically, he collects cars that utilized the 4×140 lug pattern, predating Legacys and Imprezas. Grass Roots Garage, an outfit from Australia that documents the local car community, paid a visit to Gerard’s Subaru Ranch recently and made a video of their trip.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: New Year Meeting 2017, Part 03 — Isuzu and Hino take center stage

Each year the Japanese Classic Car Association celebrates a different featured marque at the New Year Meeting. Cars belonging to the featured marque are gathered for a concours d’elegance competition with awards voted on by judges from various Japanese automotive publications. However, for 2017 the spotlight was shared by two automakers, Isuzu and Hino. Perhaps the JCCA felt that the rarity of these two nameplates required dual spotlights, but that fear was unwarranted.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Here’s the new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross in all its glory

Before the advent of science, some cultures thought that an eclipse meant demons were eating the sun. Well, here comes another Eclipse. We warned you it would happen. Behold the all-new Eclipse Cross. DSM fanboys may want to skip this one. Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE?: 1979 Subaru DL “50 Shades of Brown”

After a series of seriously expensive kidney candidates ranging from a Fairlady Z432 to the entire Toyota campus, it’s high time we offer something for the proletariat. Seen on Craigslist Milwaukee is a 1979 Subaru DL Wagon, a perfect candidate at just $7,500. It’s a wonder that this auto journalist’s wet dream hasn’t been blown up by every car website on the internet. After all, it’s brown, manual, a wagon, has an unconventional engine, and 4WD.  Continue reading

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NEWS: A Toyota hot hatch revival is in the works

Great news everyone! Toyota has confirmed all of your hot hatch dreams. Officially named the Yaris GRMN, which is a cumbersome name chosen personally by Chewbacca, it is now under development. The car takes aim at other hot hatches such as the Fiesta ST, Volkswagen Polo GTI, Fiat 500 Abarth and the Nissan Micra Nismo, two of which are available in the United States.  Continue reading

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QotW: What car should my fiancée get?

My fiancée is buying her first car. Having lived in New York City for 17 years, where cars are nothing more than two-ton magnets for parking tickets and dents, she’s had no reason to own one. Now in LA, without wheels, she can’t even grab a bagel. Here are the requirements:

  • It must be automatic. I know, I’ve failed all of you because I’ve haven’t been able to get her completely comfortable with a manual transmission and I don’t deserve to be your editor. I will try, but for now she refuses to change gears herself.
  • It must have Bluetooth. She’s a VP of marketing at a major cable network so her phone almost never stops ringing. She must be able to take calls, make deals, and put out fires while immobile in LA traffic.
  • It must not have been offered in a manual. I just can’t bear to have an automatic-equipped car when I know full well that the same model with manual gearboxes are running around out there. This is a clause of the previous stipulation but it’s mine, so it’s also the only one not written in stone.
  • It must be impressive. She can’t go to a client lunch and step out of a Cressida. She knows it’s a cool car. We know it’s a cool car. But sadly, not all Hollywood execs are as enlightened as JNC readers. Her chariot has to be striking, memorable, and sharp-looking.
  • It must be Japanese. Hey, she’s marrying the cofounder of JNC.
  • It must cost less than $20,000.

What car should my fiancée get?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What sacred model name should never be revived for a crossover?”  Continue reading

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EVENTS: New Year Meeting 2017, Part 02 — Club Scene

In Part 01 of our 2017 New Year Meeting we spent the morning wandering around the swap meet, browsing everything from old car parts to old posters to model cars. After filling up with an early lunch, it was time to look at the cars themselves.  Continue reading

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NEWS: The legacy of Carlos Ghosn as the Nissan CEO resigns

For sixteen years Carlos Ghosn was Nissan’s CEO, bringing the company back from the brink of bankruptcy with his brand of extreme budget-slashing. Today, Ghosn announced that he will resign his post effective April 1.  Continue reading

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