NEWS: Mazda restores a BD Familia hatchback

In 2015 Mazda launched an in-house restoration program of a 1967 Cosmo Sport. With a key goal of providing its younger employees with a connection to the company’s heritage, it resulted in the world’s most definitive restoration of an L10A Cosmo. Furthermore, it launched a series of restorations in the lead-up to Mazda’s 100th anniversary next year. March marked the official completion and unveiling of the penultimate restoration job, that of a fifth-generation Familia. Continue reading

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QotW: What questions do you have for the A90 Supra?

We’re about to get behind the wheel of the long-awaited fifth-gen Toyota Supra. Depending on who you talk to the expectations could not be higher, or lower. Toyota says we’ll have the chance to talk to engineers, designers, and other people who worked on the car. We might even get to take it on a track. We’ll finally be able to satisfy our own curiosities, like is the car substantially different from a BMW, will it live up to its predecessor, and what’s really behind the choice of the Supra badge? Let us know what burning questions you have for the A90.

What questions do you have for the A90 Supra?

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 car of the Heisei Era?” Continue reading

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NEWS: Japan’s new emperor takes first ride in a Toyota Century Royal

On May 1, Japan’s newest Emperor, Naruhito, took his first ride as the head of the royal family to a ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Of course, the media was very interested in his inheritance of the swords and crown jewels that are passed down from one generation to the next, but what was truly interesting was the Emperor’s new whip, a Toyota Century Royal. Continue reading

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Get ready for the 15th Japanese Classic Car Show


It’s hard to believe, but the Japanese Classic Car Show will be celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Not only that, 2019 marks “year zero” of the Reiwa Era, and is thus an opportunity for a fresh new start.

The stunning official poster by Mame Ozizo was announced today, featuring a S30 Fairlady Z, SA22C Mazda RX-7, FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser, and Honda NSX.

Registration officially opens July 1, and the show will be held on September 21, so mark your calendars for those two days.

Once again, the show will be held at its new location in Marina Green Park in Long Beach, California, right at thee start/finish line of the Long Beach Grand Prix.  See you there!C

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NEWS: It’s the end of the road for the Nissan Z Roadster

The end of the Heisei Era has taken another model along with it. Nissan has confirmed that droptop versions of the Nissan Z will no longer be sold starting with the 2020 model year. While this doesn’t affect the Z itself, this does make the fate of the Z seem slightly more tenuous when variants are getting culled without a clear successor in place. Continue reading

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VIDEO: RE Amemiya’s rotary-powered Mazda kei car

One of our favorite tuner specials in recent Tokyo Auto Salon memory was RE Amemiya’s rotary-powered Mazda Chantez. As Ricky Silverio explained back when the car debuted in 2016, the car hearkens back to the legendary rotary tuning house’s roots, when founder and rotary mad scientist Isami Amemiya built a drag car out of the rear-wheel-drive kei hatchback. The new car is more of a circuit monster, and because Ama-san doesn’t just build anything for show, in this Option video you can watch it roar around Tsukuba Circuit. Continue reading

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Happy TE51 Day from JNC

The Heisei Era is over, and the Reiwa Era has begun. However, we’re going to Showa ourselves out with a third-generation Toyota Corolla Sport Coupe, or TE51. It may not be the most celebrated holiday on the JNC calendar, but it’s a good reminder that there are still good cars undiscovered by speculators. Happy TE51 Day from JNC!

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MOTORSPORT: Record-holding Dakar racer Yoshimasa Sugawara retires at age 77

After a record 36 back-to-back runs in the Dakar Rally, Yoshimasa Sugawara has decided to hang up his racing hat for good. The Hokkaido native holds dual Guinness records for most consecutive starts, having participated in his first Dakar Rally in 1983, as well as most consecutive completions in a race where only one in five make it to the finish line, a 20-event streak from 1989-2009. In recent years, Sugawara has also been the oldest driver in the backbreaking race, and at 77 years old, it’s no wonder he’s retiring. Continue reading

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Happy 430 Day from JNC

This Nissan Cedric may look plain, but nearly every aspect of it has been customized. As is the case with many forms of art, subtlety is the key. Happy 430 Day from JNC.

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QotW: What’s the greatest car of the Heisei Era?

This Tuesday, April 30, Emperor Akihito will become the first Japanese royal in 200 years to abdicate his throne, citing his age and declining health and bringing the Heisei Era to a close. Though Japan’s royal family is largely symbolic these days, their reigns are still important markers of time. Akihito took the throne on January 7, 1989, ending the Showa Era that is often referenced with nostalgia for its post-war economic boom, bringing things like color television, transistor radios, and a Cambrian explosion of the cars that we know and love today to the forefront of Japanese culture.

Akihito’s era, then, will have spanned just over the last 30 years. It was probably just as significant, car-wise, ushering in the days of peak Japan with cars like the Skyline GT-R and Z32, Toyota Supra twin-turbo and SW20 MR2, Mazda FD RX-7 and MX-5 Miata, Mitsubishi 3000GT and Lancer Evolution, Honda NSX and Integra Type R, Subaru SVX and WRX STI, and so on. With the recent death of beloved models like the Mitsubishi Pajero and Toyota Mark X, it almost seems like another golden automotive age is ending.

What’s the greatest car of the Heisei Era?

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 favorite Z?Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Mazda still carries the IMSA torch

Mazda has been a dominant force in IMSA since the original 1979 RX-7 won its class at the 24 Hours of Daytona in its debut year. As our resident vintage racer Glenn Chiou mentioned in his recent piece, much of IMSA’s formative and most-watched years were dominated by Japanese marques, especially Datsun and Mazda, joined later by Toyota. Today, though, only one of these companies remain active in IMSA with a factory effort, and that’s Mazda. Continue reading

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NEWS: It’s the end of the road for the Toyota Mark X

All good things must come to an end, and today we must bid farewell to yet another steadfast nameplate of Japan’s automotive landscape. On the very same day that Mitsubishi announced the end of the Pajero, Toyota announced, after 11 generations and 51 years of continuous production, the end of the Mark X line. Continue reading

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NY Auto Show: There’s a Suzuki Jimny in New York, you guys

One of the biggest surprises at the New York Auto Show was the presence of a Suzuki Jimny. We were stoked to see what was likely the first new Suzuki car on US soil, in all its highlighter yellow glory, since the company left the market in 2012. It was even a left-hand-drive model. What was it doing here? Continue reading

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NEWS: It’s the end of the road for the Mitsubishi Pajero

It’s always sad when a storied and accomplished lineage comes to an end with no successor in sight. Today, that fate belongs to the Mitsubishi Pajero. On Wednesday Mitsubishi Motors announced that the illustrious off-roader will cease sales in Japan this August, and that the company will not develop the nameplate any further. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Nissan celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Tomei Expressway

You are probably sick of hearing about Nissan’s many anniversaries this year, but the company is celebrating one more 50-year milestone — that of the Tomei Expressway. The 215-mile highway traces Japan’s southern coast between Tokyo and Nagoya, following a trunk road dating back to feudal times. In 1969, that route opened to motor vehicles and became one of the most heavily traveled roads in Japan. Continue reading

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EARTH DAY: The 1985 Toyota AXV got 80 mpg thanks to clever design

Toyota is known leading sales of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and pioneering hybrid tech (even as early as 1977), but back in 1985 they didn’t reinvent the wheel with a new powertrain. They simply tried to build the most efficient internal-combustion automobile imaginable. That car was the Toyota AXV. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your favorite Z?

Nissan celebrated dual 50th anniversaries last week for two of its most revered models. We’ve inquired about the GT-R already; now it’s the Z’s turn. The beloved Z has gone through countless variations over the years, from the race-ready Fairlady Z432 of the disco age to the twin-turbocharged Z32 of the Bubble Era to the the long-lived 370Z of modern times. From the moment of its debut, the way the world looked at sports cars was changed forever. There are many to choose from, but if you could have any one, what would it be, and why?

What’s your favorite Z?

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 favorite GT-R?Continue reading

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NY Auto Show: A gallery of classic Z-cars

The GT-R’s incredible 50th anniversary display may have taken center stage at the New York Auto Show, but the Z’s half-century birthday did not go uncelebrated. Nissan also brought out several historic Z models from its US collection, and also welcomed several owners from local Z-car clubs to show their rides. Continue reading

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NY Auto Show: Nissan built a one-night shrine to the GT-R and Z

It’s been a big week for Nissan here in New York, celebrating the 50th anniversaries of its two most revered nameplates, the Z and GT-R. Nissan hosted a reception to honor the two models, bringing art, artists, and actual cars to commemorate the occasion for one night. The shindig took place at an event space near Union Square, and for one night, the it was the closest thing you could get in the US to a GT-R and Z museum. Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Datsun 240Z was Nissan’s ambassador to the world

While the original Skyline GT-R dominated at home and was largely unknown outside of Japan until the R33 had existed for several years, the S30 Z was Nissan’s halo car, torchbearer, and image-maker around the world. It was the 240Z that transformed Americans’ ideas of what a sports car could be, achieved countless victories at road racing events across the US, and wowed Europe with rallying wins. A new video from Nissan celebrates that legacy. Continue reading

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