We talk a lot about cars here, but really, the most Japanese form of transportation is the motorcycle. From pimped scooters to crotch rockets the variety and performance spectrum of Nihon’s bikes is just as great as that of their cars. Therefore, we ask you:
What is the greatest Japanese nostalgic motorcycle?
With 55 years of continuous manufacture and over 60 million units sold, we agree with James May that the Honda Super Cub is perhaps the greatest machine ever built by human hands. And, as the primary mode of transport in third world countries across the globe, the Super Cub, it’s probably granted more humans the gift of mobility than any invention since the wheel itself.
From 1965, if you wanted the very pimpest and plushest the Nissan empire had to offer, then you’d go to your friendly neighbourhood dealer and plunk down a not-trivial six million yen for a President. The Royal Family may have rolled in a Prince Royal, but the Prime Minister was wafted around in a Nissan President. Rather inexplicably, the H250 series President remained in production from 1972 until 1990, whereupon it was replaced by the first Infiniti Q45 (which was called Nissan President in Japan). Continue reading →
Ever since we started JNC, the sub-culture of the bosozoku biker gangs of Japan has always been a fascinating subject. The bosozoku were always a feeder-class as thugs for the mafia, but as we reported many moons ago, their outlaw traditions have been hammered into submission by constant police attention in recent years. But they’re also being left behind by an increasingly corporatized Yakuza.
Tokyo-based Figure 8 Productions has an hour-long documentary which has started screening in Tokyo this month, but you can buy the DVD of the movie at their site. As the trailer says: Sayonara Speed Tribes chronicles Hazuki — an aging Japanese bike gangster and the crop of halfhearted youngsters he mentors. As bike gang culture in Japan succumbs to police pressure he confronts his tough guy past and dwindling options for the future.”
Today is Earth Day, and JNCs have always been at the forefront of environmentally friendly motoring. If it wasn’t for the Oil Crisis of 1973, JNCs may not have even entered the mainstream automotive world. From kei cars to hybrids there have been many economical cars from Japan.
What’s the most environmentally friendly JNC?
Our pick is an obvious one — the Honda CRX HF. In 1985 the HF, which stood for “High Fuel economy,” was highway rated at a whopping 57 miles per gallon. What’s more, it had all the handling prowess and fun-to-drive quotient of its more powerful brethren. Eat your hybrid heart out, Prius!
Mazda often boasts that on any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on racetracks than any other marque. As such, it was already the de facto car of the SCCA, but now it’s officially official. Mazda is the car of the Sports Car Club of America. Continue reading →
What’s faster, a home-brew Datsun 240Z or a professionally built Nissan 370Z? Last year, Nissan Performance (ie, NISMO USA) reached out to the tuner community and asked them to modify a Z34 by voting for their favorite mods on Facebook. The result was the kind of money-no-object dream build most of us can only wish for, made from the best parts the aftermarket had to offer, from a GReddy turbo kit to Volk TE37-SL wheels to Yokohama Advan Neovas.
Gordon MacSwain, on the other hand, is someone we can all relate to. He built his S30 Z with his own hands in his Columbus, Ohio garage over a period of three and a half years. Along the way, Gordon updated all its mechanicals, including the engine, which is now an RB26DETT. Fans then chose to pit his baby against the crowdsourced Z. So, how does a sub-2300lb, 360hp nostalgic fare against a more powerful but heavier modern machine? Watch the video below. Continue reading →
In Part 01 of our coverage from last weekend’s SoCal car scene we watched the opening round of the 2013 Formula D season. After the smoke settled in Long Beach everyone booked it across the southland to El Monte for some grassroots Toyota love at AE86 Nights. Continue reading →
We’ve asked you before what’s the coolest Japanese nostalgic truck, and the comments were as diverse as they were plentiful thanks to Nihon having pioneered the mini-truck segment altogether. However, Japan was also building SUVs before the term SUV even existed, back when they were still called four-wheel-drives. Nevertheless, we ask:
What’s the coolest Japanese nostalgic SUV?
From Suzuki Jimny rock crawlers to Mitsubishi Pajero Dakar dominators, there have been plenty of great off roaders. However, if there was one that has moved humanity to the farthest reaches of planet Earth, it would be the Toyota Land Cruiser. It comes in second only to the 2000GT in terms of collectible Toyotas, but it was the first Japanese car to have, like the Mustang or Camaro, its own retro-styled tribute.
Having not been away in a few weeks, we decided to take a Monday off and spend three days exploring Nagano Prefecture and some of the less traveled valleys near the Northern Alps. Using our usual form of taking the main expressway as far as possible on the first day, dropping off, and taking a few days to traverse the slow roads home, we found ourselves near Nakano City off the Joshin-Etsu Expressway. Continue reading →