MINICARS: Hot Wheels X JNC Mitsubishi Starion/Chrysler Conquest

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StarQuest fans rejoice, as we at JNC are proud to announce the newest Hot Wheels to don our trademark inkan — the Chrysler Conquest! Our lips have been sealed shut for months, however with its imminent release to the pegs, we felt that it is time to break our silence. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the most insane luxury feature on a JNC?

Toyota Century Pass-Through Seat

Japan’s culture had always put a high priority on service, but along with new technologies came novel ways for automakers to provide some truly crazy luxury experiences for their customers. Therefore we ask:

What’s the most insane luxury feature?

Heaps of things come to mind, like the flip-down portal in the front passenger seatback of a Toyota Century (so you can extend your legs and rest your feet up there), the Mitsubishi Debonair’s height adjustable suspension, or Honda’s 1981 navigation system. DR30 Skylines had some sort of lane guidance thing, the Mark II/Cressida had an entire auxiliary stereo control module located about 8 inches closer to the driver than the actual stereo, and the Nissan President had anti-lock brakes in 1971. And that’s not even counting the cars with build-in fridges.

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a toy. Click through to see the winner of the last QotW, “Which JNC has the greatest grille?“  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2014 Nostalgic2Days, Part 03

260-BK4902_Nissan Skyline C10 hakosuka

Part 03 of our 2014 Nos2Days coverage comes from a new contributor, Brandon Kelley, a resident of Tokyo. He met up with David, who supplied Parts 01 and 02, after a 45-minute train ride to Yokohama. The two of them toured the event to bring you these photos and report.  — Ben

Walking into the main hall, there is a blast of metallic lead paint and a strong smell of yesteryear. Yes, once again, the Yokohama’s Pacifico Convention Center has been stuffed with classic J-tin, many of which see the day of light once, and only once, a year. There’s a mix of cars ranging from garage queens restored with nothing but the best new old stock to humble badges long forgotten by their makers.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2014 Nostalgic2Days, Part 02

232-DL0603_Nissan Fairlady Roadster

Welcome to Part 02 of our Nostalgic2Days coverage, as we make our way across the Pacifico Convention Center on Yokohama’s historic waterfront. In this installment we’ll see the displays kyuusha tuning houses, some of the famous cars that have graced Nostalgic Hero magazine, and classic Nissans from the automaker’s own collection. Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2014 Nostalgic2Days, Part 01

110-BK4755_Toyota Celica A20 Liftback

Every year Nostalgic Hero magazine holds one of the very best classic car shows in all the lands, Nostalgic2Days. This is the sixth time they’ve held the event and for the past 4 years I’ve made the pilgrimage to Yokohama what classics Japan has to offer.  Continue reading

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BACK ROADS: Remembering the Suzuki Fronte Coupe

Suzuki Fronte Coupe 01

Can you name a rear-engined Japanese sports GT with Italian styling and specific output of over 100PS/L? Such a car was real, and it came from Suzuki.

Suzuki is a marque with rather divergent reputations in the US versus Japan. Ask an average American their perception of a Suzuki car, you’d likely get a blank or even negative response (motorcycles are a different story). In Japan, Suzuki is a prolific automaker, purveyor of clever and high-quality vehicles like the Swift, Wagon R, and Jimny. All of these are marked by compact or diminutive size, making Suzuki an expert at producing mini cars. Fittingly, Suzuki is one of the originators of the kei sports car, its storied Cappuccino and Cara/AZ-1 among the most distinctive examples ever made. The subject of this post is an ancestor to these sportsters: the Fronte CoupeContinue reading

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QotW: Which JNC has the greatest grille?

nos2days30-5970_PrinceClipper

Grilles. They provide airflow, set one model apart from another, and can even form become the corporate identity of a brand. Japan has produced some truly outrageous grilles in its time, so therefore we ask:

QotW: Which JNC has the greatest grille?

Instead of a large rectangle like most trucks, the Prince Clipper’s designers bestowed it with two ovals, the same size and shape as the headlight bezels, and fitted asymmetrical crosshairs in each one. The result is a bizarre Iron Giant visage that’s instantly recognizable.

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a toy. Click through to see the winner of the last QotW, “What’s the best shade of JNC green?”  Continue reading

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BOOK CLUB: Datsun 280ZX, by Nissan Motor Corp

Datsun 280ZX book cover

I purchase books fairly infrequently thanks to libraries. Automotive books are the exception. Information in high-quality books on cars tend to be less immortal than, say, the words of Shakespeare. Sales and circulation tend to be limited, and photos and schematics make digitizing more difficult. Thus, automotive enthusiasts who are so inclined may feel the need to collect such books. In these occasional book reviews, my hope is to share interesting and valuable books that you might enjoy reading and perhaps owning.

A category of automotive literature that I particularly love is the development story. Many car books have sections on or at least elements of this, but there are certain Japanese models that have had entire titles dedicated to chronicling their behind-the-scene creation stories to painstaking detail. The subject of this post, Datsun 280ZX, focuses on the iconic S130.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: Custom 1:18 Models by Yordy Kolner

Yordy Kolner 1-18 Nissan Fairlady 240ZG 02

Today’s guest writer is Yordy Kolner, who hails from the Netherlands and, like Luis Aguilar, builds custom scale models of his favorite Japanese cars. However, Yordy starts with 1:18 scale cars made of diecast metal. Here’s his story in his own words. —Ricky

I got into Japanese cars because I always had a thing for Japan, and when I saw a video of AE86s drifting with mismatched wheels I fell in love with these cars, and I thought the drivers also looked so cool.  Continue reading

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AUTO SHOWS: JNCs at the Chicago Auto Show, 1959-1989

1986 Chicago Auto Show Nissan

The Chicago Auto Show first began in 1901 and calls itself the largest auto show in North America. They have an incredible photo archive spanning the decades, many of which include JNCs. Until someone invents a time machine, this is the closest many of us will get to experiencing what it was like to encounter these cars when they were still new.  Continue reading

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