Happy 25th Birthday, Z32 Nissan 300ZX

Nissan Z32 shadow

On July 10, 1989 the Z32 Nissan 300ZX went on sale in Japan. We commemorated the occasion by driving the most original twin turbo in the USA, if not on planet Earth. Photos and story to come shortly.

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EVENTS: Nissan Jam, Part 02

223IP6086-Nissan_Datsun_Fairlady_Roadster_1600

One of the great things about an event like Nissan Jam is the sheer diversity of cars it brings out. Sure, there are Z and Roadster gatherings in SoCal, and 510s are bound to show up wherever you go, but there aren’t many places where you can see a B210, Sentra SE-R and a Patrol, along with the usual fleet of 240Zs and 510s, all in one place.  Continue reading

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Bubble Era Toyota classics meet their successors

Toyota AW11 MR2 & TF300

The British sure know how to appreciate the classics. In fact, Toyota UK is quietly amassing a proper heritage collection of the company’s best and brightest. Back in April they found what they describe as “quite possibly the best original MR2 in existence” in the classifieds, but by the time they went to buy it, the AW11 had already been sold.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2014 Nissan Jam, Part 01

004IP6205-Nissan_Jam

Now in its second year, Nissan Jam is quickly becoming SoCal’s go-to event for Nissan and Datsun fans of all stripes. Take one look around and you’ll see everything from ever-popular 510s and 240Zs to B210s and 240SXes. But forget the alphanumeric soup, let’s look at some of Nissan Motor Co.’s greatest hits.  Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC would you live in?

Nissan Vanette

One day you’re sitting on the most expensive real estate in the world, the next day the Asset Price Bubble pops. You’ve been forced out of your swanky Aoyama penthouse apartment and the banks have repo’ed your collection of late-80s Wangan monsters.

What JNC would you live in?

Sweating out the Lost Decade might be more bearable in one of Japan’s one-box vans, but in hindsight it might have been wiser to invest in a Toyota 2000GT. In 1999 I saw a Belatrix Yellow flagship on eBay. With nothing by my first full-time job to my name, I asked the seller his reserve. Surprisingly, he wrote back with an answer: $150,000. 15 years and one curved spine later, I’d be rolling in — pinky to mouth — one million dollars.

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 the last QotW, “What would you tell automakers to do?Continue reading

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Happy 4th of July from JNC

us1987_ski

Every four years citizens of the world gather around their TV screens to cheer their countrymen on as they compete in sports contests Americans otherwise don’t give two petrified turds about. Of course, we’re talking about the Olympics. For over a decade starting in 1976, Subaru sponsored the US Ski Team, decking out a fleet of all-wheel-drive wagons in a patriotic red-white-blue livery. Some years, they even had the tagline “Subaru. An American Company.”

At the time, Subaru was the only import automaker publicly traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange. That changed in 1990, but it was true when this 1987 GL shuttled American skiers to mountaintops across North America. Some of these wagons were apparently sold to the public, but no one knows how many. Needless to say, they are very, very rare.  If you’re lucky enough to have one feel free to shout, “USA, USA, USA!” while driving it around this weekend.

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NEWS: ND Miata will be revealed on September 3

Oh boyohboyohboyohboy. And in case you were wondering, here’s what you can expect from the next Miata’s chassis.

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BUBBLE ERA EXCESS: The story of Mazda’s M2 brand, Part 02

Mazda M2 1028 MX-5 Miata

In Part 01 of our story about M2, we delved into how Mazda set up flashy building in Tokyo’s posh Setagaya neighborhood and invited customers to give them feedback. What resulted was the 1001, a clubman-themed Miata modded straight from the factory. In Part 02, we see how the grand experiment concluded.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? One of the finest Toyota 2000GT restorations you’ll ever see

Toyota 2000GT  Javier Quiros

Sometimes life throws you lemons. Or, perhaps, an entire lemon tree aimed squarely at your Toyota 2000GT. Other times, the car nut friend you meet in college turns out to be Akio Toyoda.

To be clear, Javier Quirós‘s family was already knee-deep in Toyotas before the two met. Quirós’ father imported two FJ25 Land Cruisers for his Costa Rica banana plantation and before you know it, had become the world’s fourth-oldest Toyota importer, in charge of all the ToMoCo products sold in the region. Family fortunes grew and Javier eventually acquired his dream car, a 1967 Toyota 2000GT. Now he’s restoring it to what he believes is “the most original 2000GT in the world.”  Continue reading

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2014 Japanese Classic Car Show registration opens today

10th JCCS 2014
The 2014 Japanese Classic Car Show opens for registration today, July 1. This will be a landmark year because it will be the 10th annual JCCS.

That’s right. It’s hard to believe, but the show that paved the way for nostalgic car gatherings of all sorts has been going strong for an entire decade now. The organizers, Koji and Terry Yamaguchi, tell us they have something special planned in honor of this special occasion.

In addition to the cars and motorcycles that have been eligible in previous years, the first-gen Mazda Miata is now a classic and thus welcome at the show.

Special guests will include designer and BRE founder Peter Brock, as well as race car driver John Morton. JNC will also be there with a very special car never before seen at JCCS, so stop by our booth and take a peek.

This year, Toyotafest registration filled up in a record four days. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to display your car or bike on the lawn at Queen Mary Park in a banner year for Japanese nostalgics. You can register at the JCCS website.

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