SHOWA SNAP: Kujira Crown taxis await you at Ginza Tokyu Hotel

Described as “a quiet oasis in the throbbing heart of the world’s biggest and busiest city,” the Ginza Tokyu Hotel was opened in 1960. It was the first hotel of Tokyu Hotels, one of Japan’s most prominent chains that still operates today. The Ginza Tokyu was advertised as being fully air conditioned and with color TVs in every room. It was, of course, located near the high-end Ginza shopping district. As such, there is a line of kujira Toyota Crown taxis — in Nihon Kotsu and Checker livery, both of which still exist today — waiting to whisk their fares through the city in this early 1970s postcard. The hotel closed in 2001, and was taken over by Kyodo News.

2 Comments

A photo album of cars as part of the Japanese family

Most tourists are probably familiar with Orix as one of the major rental car companies in Japan, but the firm conducts many other auto-related businesses. One of them is EverDrive, an app that helps you track your elderly parents’ movements in cars and alerts you if it detects erratic driving patterns. To promote the app, last month Orix held a photo contest in which they asked customers to submit photos of themselves with their parents. Many took the driving theme to heart and sent in photos that included the family car. The winners were announced this morning. Continue reading

11 Comments

VIDEO: Why the Mazda RX-2 is the next collectible Mazda

The Mazda RX-2 was the first truly accessible mainstream rotary-powered car. The Mazda Cosmo Sport and Luce R130 were too rare and expensive and the R100 too small, but the Capella (which eventually became the 626), was the perfect mid-size car to showcase Hiroshima’s jewel of an engine. As such, RX-2s, especially in stock or close-to-stock condition, have become sought-after classics. Nowhere is this more true than in Australia. Continue reading

6 Comments

VIDEO: Watch classic Mazdas rally across Europe

Earlier this year Mazda Germany found three classic cars, fixed them up, and sent three celebrities on a 3,100-kilometer rally across Europe. The cars, an SA22 RX-7, NA MX-5 Miata, and a rare European market 929 wagon, endure a lot of abuse, and not entirely related to driving. The series eventually begins to include goofy, non-car “challenges” to make for reality show-style footage. Still, there’s plenty of video of classic Mazdas traversing some of the most beautiful roads on the old continent. Continue reading

3 Comments

VIDEO: Watch a MotoGP champ ride through the history of Japanese motoring

Over the weekend MotoGP rider Marc Marquez was in Japan winning his fifth world championship. Before that, the star 25-year-old motorcycle racer made a promotional video for Redbull Racing that takes viewers through the history of Japanese motoring. Continue reading

4 Comments

QotW: What JNC do you spot the most on the road today?

The natural course of a model’s life is one of attrition. During and immediately after its initial four or five years of sales, they are most prevalent on the streets. Then, as accidents, mechanical issues, and rust take hold, the population grows smaller. Nowadays, however, more and more wonderful people like you JNCers are saving cars once destined for extinction. And with the onslaught of used JNCs being exported from Japan to new homes all over the world, spying a JNC, either imported or domestically-raised, is becoming more and more common. The answer isn’t the same for every region. Canada, for example, has a 10-year lead on importation compared to the US. How about in your area?

What JNC do you spot the most on the road today?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC did you once hate but now love?Continue reading

18 Comments

SHOWA SNAP: Los Angeles in the early 1980s

Welcome to the first Showa Snap from the US. Taken in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, it contains a glorious sampling of Nihon steel. Right in the foreground there’s three sporty coupes from three major manufacturers, all lined up like they’re in some kind of Car & Driver comparison test. — a Toyota Supra, Mazda RX-7, and Honda Prelude, all first generations. Then in the background there’s a Datsun Z, what appears to be a 610 wagon hiding behind the Cadillac, second-generations of Celica and Civic, perhaps a Mazda 626 coupe on the farthest line with a TE51 Corolla behind it, and even an elusive S10 Nissan 200SX!

22 Comments

Celebrate Advan’s 40th anniversary with tread-pattern erasers

To commemorate Advan’s 40th anniversary, Yokohama has released a set of erasers shaped in the tread patterns of their most famous tires. Does anyone even use pencils anymore? It doesn’t matter. These don’t look like they were meant to be used for removing graphite-based mistakes. Continue reading

4 Comments

VIDEO: How many Land Cruisers is too many Land Cruisers?

In the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, the car collector hosts Brian Corsetti, owner of twelve FJ60 and FJ62 Toyota Land Cruisers. Of course, next to Leno’s triple-digit vehicle collection that sounds positively sane, but at least Jay has a variety of makes and models. So, how many Land Cruisers is too many? Continue reading

10 Comments

NEWS: The Nissan GT-R 50 anniversary watch costs more than a real GT-R NISMO

With the 50th anniversary of the Nissan GT-R coming next year, expect a deluge of commemorative items marking the occasion. Nissan already made a special car earlier this year expected to cost $1 million. Now, they’ve partnered with Seiko to make a special watch, and it will cost as much as a real GT-R NISMO. Continue reading

4 Comments

SHOWA SNAP: Fukuyama Station, 1975

Fukuyama Station in Hiroshima Prefecture is located right by the 399-year-old Fukuyama Castle. Bullet trains whiz in and out of the station on a daily basis, and over 20,000 people pass though it every day. Back in 1975, parking at Fukuyama station consisted of nothing more than a ticket booth and stanchions in a ring. The outer ring formed the limits of the lot, and additional cars were parked inside the ring. Continue reading

8 Comments

QotW: What JNC did you once hate but now love?

If you were alive in the late 1980s, you’ll recall that the V20 Camry was everywhere. Few at the time thought they were particularly attractive, and they seemed to carry the stigma that Camrys today still hold — reliable as death but not particularly stirring. But then you remember that this Camry was available with a 5-speed and a V6 and all-wheel-drive. And the mere fact that it has an actual steering column physically connected to the wheels and an actual throttle cable connected to a butterfly valve probably makes it better to drive than many of the “by wire” cars that would be in its class today. Now, I wouldn’t mind having one.

What JNC did you once hate but now love?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Which S13 would you get, Silvia or 180SX?Continue reading

14 Comments

JCCS Spotlight: And the JNC Award goes to Kevin Truong’s NA Mazda MX-5 Miata

Our final installment of JCCS coverage spotlights the car to which we gave the JNC Award: Kevin Truong’s first-generation Montego Blue Mazda MX-5 Miata. Our pick coincided well with JCCS’s expanded eligibility of cars up to model year 1995. The Miata not only arrived at the dawn of the Bubble Era, but also welcomes a new era of JCCS. At the same time, it’s something attainable, relatable, and iconic. And most importantly, Kevin’s car is an exemplary specimen of the genre. Continue reading

3 Comments

JCCS Spotlight: Best in Show Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE

We’ve completed eleven installments of the biggest JCCS ever. It was a landmark year, one that saw approximately 500 cars and over 10,000 spectators, both new records. The competition was tougher than ever, but when the dust settled there was only one Best in Show, and this year it went to Jerry Rosenblum’s 1985 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE. Continue reading

10 Comments

NEWS: Mitsuoka turns your Miata into a Corvette Sting Ray

Mitsuoka is famous for giving Japan’s domestic cars weird, retro automotive costumes. For decades, its most popular offerings were the Viewt, which transformed a Nissan March into a British saloon, and the Le Seyde, Japan’s own Excalibur or Zimmer built on a Silvia chassis. Now, the company has set its sights on an American icon, the Corvette Sting Ray, based on the current-generation Mazda Roadster (aka MX-5 Miata). Continue reading

16 Comments

EVENTS: 2018 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 11 — Bikes

Two-wheeled conveyances are an integral part of Japan’s motoring culture, much more so than they are in America. Go to any city in the land of the rising sun and you’ll see hundreds of motorcycles buzzing around — as transportation, as sporting machines, as workhorses. Therefore, it is only fitting that JCCS devote a section to historic examples of these important machines. Continue reading

3 Comments

Debut! Hayashi Racing tires for all your Kaido Racer needs

Mention the Hayashi Racing name to any J-tin enthusiast, and they’ll think of wheels. Hayashi Racing was the first to cast aftermarket wheels in Japan, but the true heritage of the marque, is as a racing car manufacturer. In 1967 Hayashi-san made the decision to cast his own wheels, when he couldn’t find suitable ones for his Carman Apache race car.  And 51 years later, the lack of suitable tires for the more extreme Hayashi wheel sizes, has led Hayashi-san to branch out into his own tires.

What you see here is the new Interspeed 00R by Hayashi Racing.

Continue reading

11 Comments

EVENTS: 2018 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 10 — Bubble Era

For 2018, the Japanese Classic Car Show expanded eligibility to cars up to 1995. That means for the first time, a flood of Bubble Era greats were able to attend. Welcome to a JCCS full of pop-up headlights, T-tops, and factory turbochargers. Continue reading

9 Comments

KIDNEY, ANYONE? Rare T120 2-door Corona

The seventh generation Toyota Corona isn’t as exciting as a classic Skyline or Celica, but there’s at least one version that bears mention. That version is the very rare 2-door sedan, which is so uncommon that it doesn’t even appear on many lists of Toyota models. A clean specimen has just surfaced for sale in Fresno, California.  Continue reading

8 Comments

EVENTS: 2018 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 09 — Fairladies

There is perhaps no other model more beloved at JCCS than the Nissan Fairlady and Fairlady Z. The revolutionary sports car changed perceptions of what a proper driving machine could be, and earned legions of loyal fans for nearly five decades. With a record 10,000-plus spectator at this year’s show, it was impossible to capture every car, but here are some of the fairest ladies of JCCS. Continue reading

12 Comments