EVENTS: 2017 Nissan Jam, Part 03 — All Together Now

Nissan owners are a passionate bunch, with owners who are fanatical about Z-Cars, 510s, and Skylines. While it’s great to be enthusiastic about your favorite model, the fervency expressed by owners of the most popular models often overshadows the amazing diversity of the Nissan family tree. Shows like Nissan Jam, however, do a pretty good job of showcasing all members of the clan.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Do any of these Toyotas remind you of the new Camry?

Toyota is launching the 2018 Camry in Japan, and pulling out their greatest hits to do so. The newest Camry commercial begins with images of the MR2, Soarer, Altezza, Celica and Supra, a stick-shift X70, and many more — all set to 80s synth evocative of Japan’s best Bubble Era spots. The only problem, do these cars remind you of the new Camry in any way? Continue reading

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Touge California: Honoring 50 years of the rotary engine

Our commemorative poster for this year’s Touge California commemorates the calling card of our title sponsor, Mazda. It has been 50 years since the world’s first production dual-rotor engine debuted on the 1967 Cosmo Sport. Our poster honors the historic achievement with the L10A as the hero car, followed by Mazda’s second rotary-powered car, the Familia Rotary Coupe. Normally, our posters take on a rectangular shape, which we will return to next year, but this year is an exception. Those who have been to Mazda’s home prefecture of Hiroshima may recognize some other easter eggs in the illustration. These will be available in the JNC Shop after the event this weekend.

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VIDEO: Mazda’s History of Red

Even though I own a red car, in most cases I don’t like the color. It’s loud, hides the taillight design, and generally makes it seem as if the car is trying to compensate for something, whether it’s speed or exoticness. Also, as a BASF chemical engineer once told me, there the pigment itself is particularly sensitive to ultraviolet light, which is why most older red cars end up fading into pink. There are exceptions of course, and on the proper car red can look stunning. Mazda has adopted Soul Red as its trademark color and despite everything I wrote above, I kind of dig it.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE?: 48k-mile 1989 Mazda RX-7 Turbo II

As JNCs become bona fide as collector vehicles we’re beginning to see more well-preserved examples come out of hiding and onto the market. 15 years ago, a well-preserved JNC was usually owned by some little old lady who drove it to the grocery store and back once a week. Today, the well-preserved cars hitting the market were owned by people who have been storing and caring for them for years, waiting for the right time to sell them to their next caretaker. This RX-7 Turbo II for sale in the San Francisco suburb of San Carlos falls into the latter category. Continue reading

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QotW: Take the JNC Challenge, Part 08

During the JNC Challenge Part 07, we were given the “tough” challenge of spending money on the newly-purchased AW11 (pictured above). In fact, we had a whopping $1500 to spend! Stuart Kayrooz gave several cosmetic suggestions as our winner. Here are the results below.

At first, we thought to get a widebody kit to help hide the rusty bits in the rear fenders and allow us to get some meatier tires. The engine is a stock “redtop” but we can pull quite a bit of power from the 4A engines (Formula Atlantic proved that..) The problem is, body kits are hard to come by, let along a widebody. Also, the ones floating around are pricey and frankly, ugly. They round all the edges and mute everything that makes the AW11 a wedge spacewhip… (yea, you read that right).

So, after looking around a bit, we settled on getting some generic “Japanese” overfenders, most likely re-purposed from a 240z that have been slapped on just about any J-tin you can think of. They were just a few hundred bucks for some thicker examples, which helps if we are a little rough with them. We can get a couple of fellow JNC’ers to help us trim the bananas to fit. Since the fenders are toasty, we don’t mind sinking some rivets in it. We dropped nearly $1000 on a set of T3 performance lower control arms and tension rods along with camber plates on all 4 corners. This beast is getting setup for a long overdue upgrades in “nimble”. Oh, and don’t worry, we replaced the fluids, pads and rotors.

So, here’s this weeks challenge. We are prepping the AW11 to have some serious agility and need to address the rims and tires. The overfenders will give around an inch of extra width to play with. What size rims do we go with? Offset? Vintage? “New vintage”? New School? What say you? Post up with links to pics for extra points. We have $800 to spend!

What wheels should we put on our overfendered-AW11?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What are your JNC plans this 4th of July?

Continue reading

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Happy 710 Day from JNC

A JNC public service announcement: On this and very 710 Day, please make sure you fill up whatever’s under your 710 cap.

Image: NICO Club

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TOUGE CALIFORNIA: Roundels not round this year

Touge California has a tradition of using large magnetic roundels to identify cars participating in the rally. They are not for sale and only available to participants of the event. For this year’s event, which will take place July 15, the roundel is not quite round. That’s because we are proud to be partnering with Mazda for the 50th year of the rotary engineContinue reading

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RIP John Knepp, 1942 – 2017

It is with sadness that we report the passing of John Knepp, a pivotal figure in Nissan’s growth into a motorsports powerhouse in the United States. A founding partner in legendary engineering firm Electramotive, Knepp was an unsung hero of the turbocharging revolution that would propel Electramotive’s famous red-white-and-blue Nissan 280ZXs and GTP-ZXs to victory at racing’s highest levels.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R revealed

Hot Wheels is well on their way to completing every generation of Nissan Skyline, and the latest is a beauty. For the 2018 model year, the R33 GT-R joins the lineup, beautifully proportioned and in the traditional dark blue metallic of the Hot Wheels race team. Some say the R33 is the least attractive of the modern Godzillas, but at least in Hot Wheels form, it’s gorgeous.

Image: Hot Wheels Dream Team

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EVENTS: 2017 Nissan Jam, Part 02 — Celebrating 50 years of the Datsun 510

This year’s Nissan Jam celebrated the 50th anniversary of a very special model, the Datsun 510. Released in 1967 in Japan and arriving in the US for the 1968 model year, it is the car that did the most to change people’s minds about Japanese cars. It’s hard to believe it’s half a century old. Continue reading

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VIDEO: The traffic to Tokyo Disneyland in 1985 was JNC heaven

Were you lucky enough to have a four-day Independence Day weekend? In Japan, one of the biggest tourism holidays is Golden Week, which takes place in the spring. So here, for your viewing pleasure, is a home video of what seems like all of Tokyo trying to go to Disneyland on the same day during Golden Week 1985. Tokyo Disneyland was only two years old back then, and the traffic jams were an asphalt sea of JNCs.  Continue reading

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Happy 4th of July from JNC

Here’s some red, white and blue on the most American 240SX ever — an IMSA race car, not a drift missile — in honor Independence Day. Happy 4th of July from JNC.

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Happy MX73 Day from JNC!

Not particularly beloved when new, The Cressida has gained a second life as a drift missile, zokusha sled, and bona fide classic. Happy MX73 Day from JNC!

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QotW: What are your JNC plans this 4th of July?

If you couldn’t tell, this is possibly the most extreme photo of a Datsun Z overfender that also incorporates the United States flag. Why you may ask? Because July 4th is just around the corner. Even though the United States’ Independence Day lands on a Tuesday, more than likely many Americans are kicking off the festivities by taking Monday off as well. For myself in Japan, I will go to the office as usual but later I will find time to grab a burger and a beverage. Heck, I can even grab some fireworks at the local convenience store. Sadly, I will need to wait for the coming weekend to get my JNC fix. Baby steps to Saturday…

Since I must wait a bit for my plans, I want to ask about your plans. Do you have any JNC plans for the 4th of July? I can even open the question up to encompass this week for those outside the 50 states.

What are your JNC plans this 4th of July (week)?

Plans to take the JNC camping? A car show? weekly detailing? Parts install? The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “JNC Challenge, Part 07”  Continue reading

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JCCS 2017 registration now open


Registration for the 13th annual Japanese Classic Car Show is now open.

North America’s largest gathering of historic Japanese vehicles will be taking place at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California on September 23, 2017.

You can register at the JCCS website. starting today.

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EVENTS: 2017 Nissan Jam, Part 01 — Starting with Z

Now in its fifth year, Nissan Jam has grown beyond its humble origins as a dealership show. While there’s still a ways to go before it catches up with events like Toyotafest in both caliber and scope, the Nissan, Datsun and Infiniti show looks to be on its way there. Of course, when one thinks Nissan, the Z is the image that is conjured first and foremost, and the Jam attracted a diverse gathering of Nissan’s most famous marque.  Continue reading

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The Datsun 620 looks pretty good as a wagon, it turns out

Your eyes do not deceive you. This is a wagon with a 620 front, and it’s not a one-off custom. It’s an actual car produced in an actual factory, and any Google searches conducted for it seem to only return this particular yellow example. Suffice it to say, it’s pretty darn rare. Continue reading

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MOTORBIKES: This 50th Anniversary Special will be last Honda Monkey ever made

As we reported back in April, the Honda Monkey will be discontinued at the end of August after 50 years of production. To mark the occasion, Honda has created one final special edition of the famed mini-bike. The Honda Monkey 50th Special will be limited to just 500 units.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? You’ll never guess how much this TE27 SR5 sold for

The rise of JNC prices continues, with this 1974 Toyota Corolla SR5 having recently sold for a truly impressive sum. While we have seen Datsuns and rotaries sell for around $20,000, it’s not that common to see Toyotas in the sporty RWD coupe class pull similar amounts. Why is this car special?  Continue reading

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