VIDEO: Toyota puts the Drift King behind the wheel of his first true love, a 4AG-powered AE86

Keiichi Tsuchiya’s love for the Toyota AE86 is well documented. Though he got his start with the Hachiroku, he’s since driven everything under the sun as co-host of Best Motoring and even scored a class win with an NSX at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Last night, Toyota uploaded a video to their YouTube channel on the occasion of the Corolla’s 50th anniversary (it was technically last year, but whatever) in which one of Japan’s most famous drivers is reunited with the most famous Corolla.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Honda Collection Hall takes a Prelude, F1 racers, and a ton of bikes out for a spin

It’s been a while since we checked in with the Honda Collection Hall and its regular exercising of vehicles in its massive collection. The museum much pride in the fact that, unlike many automotive galleries out there, everything in its care actually runs. To prove it, they take cars and bikes out for a spin around the Collection Hall’s backyard (race cars stretch their legs on a larger track). The videos that result are entertaining, in kind of a James May-putting-together-a-Monkey way, each laden with trivia facts equally academic. Continue reading

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NEWS: Work Wheels releases Equip 40 to celebrate 40th anniversary

Work Wheels has unveiled a new wheel for Japanese nostalgic cars, the Equip 40, at the Tokyo Auto Salon. Named in honor of Team Equip, the company’s race department founded in 1982 as well as Work Wheels’ 40th anniversary, it’s a modern take on the classic 4-spoke. Continue reading

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TUNE UP: Keith Ape’s “Diamonds” Nissan 300ZX

If you liked the appearance of the FC Mazda RX-7 in The Weeknd’s “Party Monster” video that debuted last week, here’s another one just like it featuring a Z31 Nissan 300ZX. As was pointed out to us by reader Byron, rapper Keith Ape’s video for “Diamonds” includes shots of a zenki barreling through the streets of Los Angeles at night.  Continue reading

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Happy 117 Day from JNC

Today is January 17, so go out there and drive your Isuzu 117! What, don’t have one? Well, you can live vicariously by retracing this epic 10-day road trip across Japan in a 117 (links: Day 01Day 02, Day 03, Day 04, Day 05, Day 06Day 07, Day 08, Day 09, and Day 10), revisiting Japan’s premier vintage Isuzu restorer, returning to driving meetings sponsored that shop (links: here and here), or reviewing Isuzu’s 100 year history.

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QotW: Take the JNC Challenge, Part 01

Welcome to a new segment, “JNC Challenge,” that will be sprinkled in throughout the year. After stellar responses in previous QotW, we decided to put your creativity to the test.

The premise is simple, we will ask a situational question with parameters such as money, goals, repairs, etc. Based on the question and details, we will ask you to give your best response. Based on the best response, we will continue the story line until it plays out.

So, the first question is this: What JNC would you buy as a daily driver with a budget of $2,000 USD? Do you buy something that runs and drives fine with the full budget? Or, do you buy a cheaper project and fix it up with the left over money? Whatever you decide, it just has to run and drive. Must be rooted in reality, though. No father’s giving out old Toyota’s with Formula Atlantic engines installed…

The best answer is the one with the most thoughtful response. Remember, we will continue with the challenge based on this week’s response so choose wisely.

What JNC would you buy as a daily driver with a budget of $2000 USD?

As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize.  Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW: What JNC should be in the Blade Runner universe? Continue reading

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VIDEO: Watch James May put together a Honda Monkey

James May of former Top Gear and current Grand Tour fame is mostly known for doing loud things with powerful cars. However, Captain Slow, as he’s often called by his more basic colleagues, also has a well documented love for Honda motorcycles, tinkering, and pedantry. All of this comes to life in The Reassembler, a show that trades in exotic locales for a dim shed and whose motorized vehicles are not tearing across a race track but betting slowly put back together from its component pieces. In this case, that vehicle is a Honda Z50 Monkey, and the process is oddly satisfying. Continue reading

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TUNE UP: The Weeknd’s “Party Monster” Mazda RX-7

About a month ago, alternative R&B singer The Weeknd posted a photo of himself standing in the desert with an FC Mazda RX-7 in the background. Yesterday, that video, called “Party Monster,” dropped.  Continue reading

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Driving Japan’s Car of the Year, the Subaru Impreza, and its great-great-grandfather

“Twenty years ago, no one was at our booth,” recalls Kazuhiro Abe, chief engineer of the 2017 Impreza. He was reminiscing about the launch of the third-generation Legacy at the Chicago Auto Show with a wry smile. He had joined the company in 1990, when business wasn’t going so well. The company didn’t even have the clout to get prime real estate in the convention center. Stuck in a remote corner of McCormick Place, the booth was a ghost town. Finally, a woman approached with her toddler, poised to ask a question. The mood at the booth immediately lifted and Abe got ready to tell her how great the car was.

“Can I change a diaper in your car?” she asked.

Naturally, Abe obliged. But he still talked to her about the Legacy’s features. A spacious cargo area, for example.  Continue reading

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JNC PROJECT HAKO: Big in Australia

A little over a year ago, JNC‘s very own Kevin San was selected by Nulon, an Australian oil and lubricant company, to participate in a video series titled “Born This Way,” which follows hard core car enthusiasts and explores what makes them tick. Today Nulon debuted the full video, so now you can see Kev’s Project Hako in action as you’re serenaded by the dulcet tones of his sexy Australian accent.  Continue reading

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ART CORNER: San Mamiya’s “Bad Face” Mazda RX-3

Our friend and contributor San Mamiya has revealed his latest illustration, titled Bad Face. It depicts the angry visage of an S124 Mazda Savanna RX-3, headlights glaring, pulled up next to a Suzuki GT380 motorcycle.  Continue reading

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Consider the Following: Nissan Stanza Wagon

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With the prices of the most popular models entering unattainable status for a lot of younger JNCers, we felt it necessary to highlight some painfully overlooked — often for no good reason at all — yet still affordable (for now) nostalgics. Welcome to another Consider the Following installment, in which we ponder the Nissan Stanza Wagon.  Continue reading

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NEWS: This new Nissan concept has an easter egg from the Bluebird SSS

Yesterday at the Detroit Auto Show, Nissan unveiled a boldly styled concept sedan. The Vmotion 2.0’s styling is decidedly brand-spanking-new school, as it heralds the design language of all future Nissan sedans, but designers stuck one easter egg from the 910 Bluebird SSS in there for the old schoolers.  Continue reading

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NEWS: The last of the V8 Lexus sedans

That was unexpected. At the Detroit Auto Show today, Lexus unveiled its newest flagship sedan, the 2018 LS 500. However, general manager Jeff Bracken dropped a bombshell soon after — namely, that the tip-top-of-the-line Lexus would no longer have a V8 under the hood, breaking a tradition that traces back as far a Lexus has existed.  Continue reading

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PIXELATED: Tokyo Xtreme Racer is coming back

Video game publisher Genki recently tweeted an picture of a Nissan GT-R idling at a Tokyo expressway pull-off zone at night, ready for action. For JNCers of a certain age, then image should instantly evoke the thrill of Tokyo Xtreme Racer, perhaps the only game in the world that had a button reserved exclusively for flashing your headlights at other drivers. It looks like late-night Shuto battles are back.  Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC should be in the Blade Runner universe?

New Year’s in Japan is a time to take things slow. Many people leave the big city lights for the quiet hum of kerosene heaters at their grandparent’s homes in the flat countryside. I too, went outwards to Gunma prefecture and relaxed with family. A funny thing happened though. While browsing auctions I came across an old Blade Runner record and found a second-gen Mazda RX-7 Turbo in white happily resting on the corner. In fact, you can see the RX-7 and theme in action here!

Since the Ridley Scott classic hit in 1982 but Mazda didn’t release the car until 1985, we know it wasn’t cast as an extra for the streets of 2019 Los Angeles. But, I also feel that it may not be that out of place if it had. During this same New Year’s holiday, the new Blade Runner 2049 movie trailer was released and it got us thinking:

What JNC should be in the Blade Runner universe?

As always, 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 JNC New Year resolution? Continue reading

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VIDEO: Hot Wheels designer Jun Imai details the Datsun Fairlady 2000

The Nissan Fairlady 2000 is one of the most anticipated cars of the 2017 Hot Wheels lineup, and it’s easy to see why. Dedicated collectors will easily spot the signature touches of designer Jun Imai, who has transformed it into a bumperless, hard-topped race-ready version that would look right at home tearing through Fuji Speedway circa 1967. Watch Jun explain his inspiration in a Hot Wheels official video.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: The world’s first race cars to broadcast live from the cockpit were Toyota Celicas

Toyota Australia has just released an interview with Aussie racing great Peter Williamson. As you may recall, Williamson passed away in 2016, but his legacy as the world’s first in-car camera broadcaster lives on. The interview was conducted at the 2016 Toyota Nationals shortly before he passed. Williamson had brought and displayed one of his Group C Celica “camera cars” — which pioneered the technology of sending live video and sound feeds from the car, in this case to a helicopter pacing the vehicle above the track. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Japan’s best drivers compete in Japan’s slowest car

The brilliant thing about Best Motoring is that one day you get an epic AE86 track battle, and the next day you get antics rivaling 2002-era Top Gear in silliness. Take this 1996 episode, for example. Daihatsu had just resurrected the Midget II delivery truck, a bug-eyed, 31-horsepower kei pickup offered mostly in green. Still, it was quite a technological leap from the Midget I, which had only three wheels. Best Motoring then raided the local Daihatsu dealer and put Japan’s top drivers in a flock of them. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Racing Beat at the 24 Hours of Daytona

The passing of Racing Beat cofounder Jim Mederer dealt a blow to the community of rotary and Mazda enthusiasts. In remembering the accomplishments of Jim and his shop over the years, we were reminded of the magnitude of their contribution to the racing legacy of the RX-7, Mazda, and Japanese cars in North America. How cool would it be to witness a piece of that legacy in action? Continue reading

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