Toyota shows one-off Heritage Edition Supra Sport Roof

Officially revealed this morning, Toyota has brought back a feature of the legendary A80 Supra: the Sport Roof. The removable roof panel was a Supra trademark, having been a feature of both A70 and A80 generations (so in Japan, where the first two generations were called Celica XX, all Supras had this feature). Toyota calls this the GR Supra Heritage Edition, but it’s only a one-off. Continue reading

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QotW: What are you asking Japanese Santa Claus for this year?

After a grueling year, the year-end holidays are hopefully a time when we can all wind down and relax. It’s also a time for hope, and a time when we traditionally ask what you’d request from a magical man who can conjure up any present your heart desires. After all, Japanese Santa Claus rides around on a sleigh that looks like a flying Honda S800 but has a Tardis-like trunk that’s bigger on the inside than the outside. Contained within are any JDM car part you can think of, the rarest diecasts, entire classic automobiles, and even abstract concepts such as world peace.

What are you asking Japanese Santa Claus for this year?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Which car should receive the factory restoration treatment next?Continue reading

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Dedicated enthusiasts have restored an 1966 Isuzu city bus

According to a recent post on the official Isuzu blog, one of the company’s 1966 BXD30 city buses has been restored to its original glory. The bus had served various organizations for over 50 years, and was only decommissioned in June 2019 due to a collision. Thankfully, some Isuzu enthusiasts took it upon themselves to keep the bus from getting scrapped. Continue reading

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Mazda launches heritage parts program for FC and FD RX-7

Mazdafarians, rejoice! Mazda announced today that it will begin remanufacturing parts for both the second- and third-generation RX-7. Ever since Mazda launched the Roadster Restore program in 2017 for the first-generation Miata, enthusiasts have been clamoring for Mazda to add its rotary flagships to the mix. It seems Mazda has been listening to its fans. Continue reading

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Subaru’s Online Museum offers odd concept cars, coloring sheets, and papercraft

Car companies have helped keep us occupied while at home during the pandemic by releasing a number of online activities. The latest is Subaru, which opened the Subaru Online Museum. It’s filled with photos and specs of rare and classic cars, like the 1962 Subaru A-5 concept that was never produced. It also includes fun activities for kids and young-at-heart adults alike, such as coloring pages and papercraft, as well. Continue reading

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MINICARS: The Hot Wheels FC Mazda RX-7 will be recolored in white

The Hot Wheels Mazda RX-7 FC3S was already one of our favorite new castings of the year, but the next recolor really cements it in our list of all-time greats. As revealed by the Hot Wheels Dream Team of Mattel’s designers, Pure white will be the color of choice, unencumbered by graphics and matched with white split-spoke wheels. It really looks era correct, and is the perfect toy for living out your fantasies of being as cool as Ryosuke Takahashi. Continue reading

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The MX-5 Miata’s new 2021 color scheme evokes one of the most exclusive Mazdas ever

Mazda just announced the specs for the 2021 model year Miata, with updated colors being the key change. In particular, the new Deep Crystal Blue exterior and white leather interior are nice nostalgic callbacks to the heritage of the iconic roadster. In fact, they evoke one of the most exclusive Miata variants in Mazda history. Continue reading

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QotW: Which car should receive the factory restoration treatment next?

We recently learned that Nissan is offering an unparalleled nut-and-bolt restoration program for the Skyline GT-R. The ¥45 million ($433,000 USD) restoration ain’t cheap, but it’s far more thorough than the 240Z restoration program from the 1990s, and everything is handled by NISMO technicians at NISMO facilities. The treatment leaves you with a car that is like new or better, and makes a statement that Nissan believes that the Skyline GT-R is worthy of such effort. But, not all cars are.

Which car should receive the factory restoration treatment next?

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 playlist for the year your car was made?Continue reading

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VIDEO: A bunch of kaido racers accidentally caught on video circa 1987

The Tomei Expressway stretches from Nagoya to Tokyo, and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. It’s a beautiful stretch of road, and when heading east you can see the flat outskirts give way to the tall buildings of the capital city. However, in this footage of a drive from the Kohoku Parking Area outside of Yokohama to the Shibuya line of the Shuto in 1987, a crew of kaido racers is spotted in the wild. Continue reading

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TUNE UP: J Cole’s “Fire Squad” video features the sweet sound of AE86s revving and drifting

Rapper J Cole’s triple-platinum album 2014 Forest Hills Drive came out six years ago, but a previously unseen music video for the track “Fire Squad” was just released. It prominently features a pair of drifting Toyota AE86 coupes sending up roostertails, and their high-revving 4A-GE motors can be heard throughout the video. Cole himself rides in one of them, caged and stripped of most of its interior trim. Continue reading

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The legendary Toyota plant that built the AE86, Mark II, and Century is now closed

On December 7 Toyota held a closing ceremony for its Higashi Fuji plant. Today, all production lines will be shut down and the factory closed for good. The 53-year-old facility has produced some of Toyota’s most iconic models, including the Sports 800, Mark II, AE86, and Century. On the site next February, construction begins on an experimental city of tomorrow to test and develop technologies such as autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes and artificial intelligence. Continue reading

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The Nissan Skyline wins Japan Naming Award despite controversy about name origins

Naming a car can be difficult. Just ask the folks who came up with the Mitsubishi Pajero or the Buick Lacrosse (both of which turned out to mean wanker in other languages). There are also the unintentionally funny ones given by English dictionary-adverse marketers like Suzuki Every Joy Pop Turbo or the Hino Dolphin Dump. Thankfully, when Prince Motor named its premium Skyline sedan, it chose a word that had lasting resonance and helped the car gain international acclaim even though it was never intended to be sold overseas. It has now won an award for naming excellence, but the origins of the name have always been controversial. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Was the Camry really that boring?

The Toyota Camry often gets a bad rap for being boring, but it’s really not a bad car. That is especially true when talking about the XV10 chassis, sold in the US from 1991-96, and we’re not even talking about its stone cold reliability. The steering isn’t sharp, but it actually holds the road surprisingly well for something that passes over every bump in the road like a puffy cloud. That goes doubly so for the sporty SE trim. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your playlist for the year your car was made?

One of the many charms of an old car is its ability to transport us back in time, whether it’s in the way they drive, sound, or smell. To truly immerse yourself in the motoring experience that your classic offers, though, we’d argue that you should include a soundtrack befitting of your car’s age. Imagine if you had bought your JNC new. What would you be listening to on its factory deck? I’ll share my playlist in the comments below, but for the purposes of this QotW anything from your car’s model year or older is eligible.

What’s your playlist for the year your car was made?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “How would you build your $10,000 JNC garage?Continue reading

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NISMO launches bare-metal, balanced-chassis, nut-and-bolt restoration program for Nissan Skyline GT-R

NISMO has announced an unprecedented restoration program for the renowned Nissan Skyline GT-R. It will soon be possible to take a car down to bare metal, balance the chassis, and rebuild its mechanical and electrical components and come back with a completely fresh car. The goal, NISMO says, is to use the motorsports and tuning division’s expertise and resources to “[leave] Japanese cars including the Skyline GT-R, which has started to obtain new value globally, to future generations in better condition.” Continue reading

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VIDEO: Fun facts about classic Mazdas, depending on your definition of fun

Mazda UK has released a series of videos issuing “fun facts” about classic Mazdas. To be honest, it’s a bit of a stretch to call these facts “fun” unless you find scintillating tidbits such as “Mazda first used the 929 name in 1972” entertaining. But, it’s still a good opportunity to see some old Mazdas in action. Where else are you going to see an R130 Luce Rotary Coupé moving under its own power? Continue reading

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Here are some heroes who won a free 100th Anniversary Miata from Mazda

Here’s some positive news we could all use in these difficult times. Earlier this year, Mazda asked people to nominate individuals in their communities who have gone above and beyond for the sake of others. Mazda would then select fifty deserving samaritans to each win a brand new 100th Anniversary Edition Mazda MX-5 Miata. Here’s the first few picks. Continue reading

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VIDEO: The hand-built 117 Coupé was easier for the Isuzu Museum to restore than a lowly pickup

The most heralded passenger car from Isuzu’s portfolio of classics is the 117 Coupé.Marketed as a flagship luxury GT, it was very much an image car intended to put Isuzu on the map against the Toyotas and Princes of 1960s Japan. Obviously, Isuzu has one in its collection, but it’s a great case of how a technically more exclusive model, especially compared to Isuzu’s more pedestrian cars and trucks, is, decades later, much easier to restore.  Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: The Raybrig livery finished its final race before retirement in a jaw-dropping blaze of glory

For nearly 25 years, the Raybrig NSX has been a fixture in the Japan Grand Touring Championships. In the JGTC heyday, the striking blue racing machine was one of the most recognizable on the track. Over the weekend, however, the Raybrig livery ran its final race. Though the colors won’t appear on another car again, it earned a fairy tale ending by clinching the checkered flag — and thus the championship for the 2020 SuperGT season — in the most jaw-dropping way imaginable. Continue reading

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MINICARS: How to turn a Hot Wheels Nissan Skyline into a kaido racer

There’s a whole subculture of customized Hot Wheels and, as it happens, an ever-growing list of Japanese castings. That gives ample opportunity to create something cool from Japan’s rich car culture, like this Kenmeri Skyline kaido racer. It’s hard to believe, but this custom started life as a standard $1 Hot Wheels. Continue reading

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