VIDEO: Honda Serial One’s engine is alive!

Honda Serial One paint

When it’s done, this might just be the best restored Honda N600 on planet Earth. But then again, it’s a special car, the first Honda ever built for US import. Our friend Tim Mings — who we believe is planning a full transition into the character that gave him his nickname Merciless Mings, fu manchu and all — is in charge of the restoration, and in the latest installment the humble Honda undergoes a down-to-bare-metal stripping usually reserved for Pebble Beach show cars.  Continue reading

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TUNE UP: Mazda Cosmo Sport on Unicorn album cover

Mazda Cosmo Sport Unicorn 13-14 Limited Edition

Last week the Japanese rock band Unicorn released their thirteenth album, and lo and behold, there’s a Mazda Cosmo Sport on the cover. It’s not clear why the band has taken a liking to the classic rotary sports car, but it features very prominently on their artwork and marketing. Continue reading

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NEWS: Mazda announces 1,000 Launch Edition MX-5 RF Miatas

01-8593_MazdaMX5MiataRF

There have been many limited edition Miatas. Here’s one more. Mazda has announced that the first 1,000 examples of the 2017 MX-5 RF will be exclusive Launch Edition models. As with the soft-top ND Miata Launch Edition, the RF will feature a few bits that you can only get on the Launch Edition too.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Subaru 360 recognized as part of Japan’s cultural legacy

147-SM0125_Subaru 360

The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers has certified the Subaru 360 as part of the the nation’s “Mechanical Engineering Heritage.” It is only the second car in the organization’s 119-year history that an automobile has received this honor. So what does it mean, exactly?  Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: The hakosuka Skyline GT-R at its absolute peak

1971 Fuji Masters 250km

By the end of 1971 racing season, the Skyline GT-R was barreling towards its highly anticipated 50th victory in Japan’s hotly contested touring car races. The GT-R had enjoyed three years of domination but, as history knows, the planning for that much publicized 50th win would all come tumbling down in Nissan’s face at the hands of a Mazda Savanna RX-3. Before that happened. though, on October 10, 1971, at a race that would be Nissan’s 49th checkered flag, the Hakosuka was at its absolute motorsports peak.  Continue reading

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QotW: Which JNC was the one that got away?

Usui_Touge49-Toyota_Corolla AE86

Life with cars is cruel as it is in dating. Sometimes, you just don’t know you how good you have it until it’s gone. Or, maybe those are the lucky ones, because they actually had some time with their soul mate, no matter how brief. Others never met them to begin with, or were a minute to late to make that call asking them to prom before they were picked up by someone else.

Which JNC was the one that got away?

What say you, dear reader? 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 best Japanese taxi story?”  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Behind the scenes at Toyota’s Calty design studio

Toyota Calty Tour

We all know that cars are designed, but what is “design,” exactly? A new video released by Toyota aims to answer that question via a history and tour of their Calty design studio. Toyota was the first Japanese automaker to open a US design studio back in 1973. From there sprang everything from the 1978 Celica to the first Lexus SC to what could be the next SupraContinue reading

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COLLECTIONS: Mazda restores historic 767B Le Mans racer

767B 1

Mazda has something good in store at this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. In what’s becoming a bit of a tradition for Mazda North American Operations, it’s adding a restored race car to its Heritage Collection: the #202 767B that raced at the 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans. Continue reading

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Happy Mountain Day from JNC

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Happy Mountain Day from JNC! If you’ve never heard of Mountain Day, a national holiday in Japan, don’t feel bad. Over a third of actual Japanese people have no idea it exists either. To be fair, it’s a new holiday — so new, in fact, that this year is its first passing. As many JNCers know, Japan is 70 percent mountainous, which creates an abundance of incredible touge roads. We’ve visited a few, and these are some of our favorites.  Continue reading

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Happy 810 Day from JNC!

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Happy 810 Day from JNC! Here’s Jorge Ramirez’s old goon for your viewing pleasure.

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PIXELATED: A Datsun Cherry stars in the most realistic car simulator ever created

My Summer Car Datsun Cherry

Forget Sega GT. Forget Forza. Forget Gran Turismo. Though we haven’t even played it yet, we’re beyond certain that the most realistic car simulator ever created is My Summer Car, a Finnish game where you restore an E10 Datsun Cherry one frustrating part at a time.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Corolla Matsuri 2016 goes all-out 80s on VHS tape

Corolla Matsuri 2016

By now you’re all familiar with the typical drift video — dramatic hi-def footage of heat waves coming off of the tarmac, wheels being mounted, zipties being zipped, and cars sliding in slow-mo to the beat of electronica. This is not that.  Continue reading

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NIHON LIFE: Get free tea when you climb into a Suntory taxi

Suntory Tea Taxi 2016

Today is National Taxi Day in Japan, a date chosen to commemorate the start of the country’s first cab service in 1912. As it happens, this month Suntory is making Japan’s notoriously hospitable taxis even more so, by giving passengers a complementary bottle of iced tea.  Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your best Japanese taxi story?

3865_Toyota Mark II X80 taxi

Today, August 8, is National Taxi Day in Japan. It marks the start of operations for Japan’s very first taxi, which occurred on August 8, 1912. As those who have visited the motherland may know, Japan’s taxis are some of the best — and more importantly, cleanest — in the world. With lace doily seat covers, white-gloved drivers that can somehow navigate an entire city without street names, and doors that you don’t even have to open yourself, the experience is unmatched by any other in the world.

What’s your best Japanese taxi story?

What say you, dear reader? 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 the best JNC camper conversion?”  Continue reading

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Happy 86 Day from JNC

15-2354_Mooneyes Toyota AE86 Corolla Levin

Today is 86 Day, and in honor of the momentous occasion, we at JNC are sharing some of the favorite examples of Toyota’s game-changing drift machine that we’ve seen over the last decade, starting with the most recent one spotted at Mooneyes Area 1 in Yokohama in June. Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2016 Nissan Jam, Part 03 — Editors’ Choice

006-1346_Nissan Skyline Hakosuka sedan GC10

We’ve saved the best for last in our 2016 Nissan Jam coverage. It wasn’t easy choosing our favorites, but the cars in this post, for one reason or another, caught the eyes of the JNC staff that attended the show.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2016 Nissan Jam, Part 02 — All Odds

121-1408_Datsun 210 wagon B310

In the first installment of our 2016 Nissan Jam coverage, we focused on the most popular of the Nissan family tree. The “cool kids” club included Skylines, Zs, 510s, 620s, and Fairlady roadsters, but Nissan has a deep history of other models that don’t get quite as much love. Now it’s their turn to shine.  Continue reading

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COLLECTIONS: Autech restores classic Nissan Caravan built for disabled passengers

1978 Nissan Caravan Chair Cab restoration 10

Every August since 1978, Japan’s NTV network has put on a 24-hour telethon called 24HTV Love Saves the Earth to raise money for charity. It will soon be held again, and to mark the occasion Autech has restored a 1978 Nissan Caravan used in the very first airing of the show.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: Sung Kang’s Fugu Z is now a Hot Wheels

Sung Kang Fugu Z Hot Wheels

We’ve known it was coming for quite some time, but now it’s official. Over Instagram, Fast & Furious actor Sung Kang revealed that his Fugu Z is now immortalized in Hot Wheels form.  Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the best JNC camper conversion?

1976 toyota chinook

It’s summer, and thus camping season for much of North America. And as we all know, JNCs have had their share of camper conversions. What’s the best one for hitting the highways and heading to the great outdoors?

What’s the best JNC camper conversion?

What say you, dear reader? 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 the best Japanese getaway car?”  Continue reading

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