Hachimaru Hero ranks the top 80s Japanese cars

KDR30 Nissan Skyline Super Silhouette

Hachimaru Hero (80s Hero) is the Bubble Decade’s counterpart to Nostalgic Hero. Both come from the same publisher but nowadays interest in 80s Japanese cars is picking up speed. Recently the magazine put out a reader survey asking for the top twenty domestic cars from the 80s. Here’s what they found.  Continue reading

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NEWS: This is the ND Mazda MX-5 Miata

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At 6:00pm Pacific Time, Mazda unveiled the fourth-gen Mazda MX-5 Miata globally and simultaneously in Tokyo, Monterey, and Barcelona. After arriving at Cannery Row in Monterey, we were shuffled into a black, tinted-windows bus headed to an undisclosed location. We thought the unveil may take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but the bus blew right past that. It was all rather ominous. Also, sadly, the bus was not a Mazda Parkway 26.  Continue reading

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INTERVIEW: Bob Hall talks Japanese nostalgics, the Miata, and how the Lotus Elan fits in

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In light of the 25th anniversary of the Mazda Miata and the fact that the fourth-gen is just hours away from unveiling, here is an interview with Bob Hall.

It was probably appropriate that we met with Bob Hall at the Fair Oaks Pharmacy in Pasadena, California. A sign in the window of the 1950s soda fountain-turned-cafe advertises “Nostalgic Toys,” and we were sitting down with a man who conceived the most nostalgic toy in the automotive kingdom, the Mazda Miata. Not only that, he may have very well been the first American to do the whole JDM thing. Here’s what he had to say about the Miata, why the Lotus Elan is not as influential as everyone thinks, and his favorite JNCs. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the coolest “chick’s car”?

Mazda MX5 Miata NYAutoShow01

Fairly or not, many JNCs are labeled “chick’s cars” because they are compact, sport inoffensive designs, and embody performance in ways more civilized than spewing a boatload of HP. Besides, what’s so bad about being a “chick’s car” anyway?

What’s the coolest “chick’s car”?

We are just a couple days from the unveiling of the fourth-generation Miata, a car that by all indications seems to be a throwback to the original MX-5. Mazda’s little roadster has become the best-selling sports car of all time, but perhaps more importantly, in recent years it has reclaimed its image as a serious sports car and shed its early reputation as a chick-mobile. If the Miata is a chick’s car, then chicks have great taste.

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 the last QotW, “What Japanese car did we get the better version of?Continue reading

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Happy Labor Day from JNC

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It’s not work if you love it, right? Happy Labor Day from JNC.

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MEDIA: JNC on the Petersen Museum’s CarStories Podcast

Petersen Museum Toyota 2000GT

Last week our intrepid editor Ben Hsu was invited to the Petersen Museum‘s CarStories podcast. The topic was classic Japanese cars in general. The producers thought it would be a good followup to the landmark auctions at the Monterey Historics.

Recent guests have included Wayne Carini, Bruce Canepa, Adam Carolla, the founder of Singer Porsches, Indy driver Ed Carpenter and Sir Jackie effing Stewart, but please listen to his episode anyway despite a significant downturn in guest quality. You can subscribe to CarStories on iTunes as well.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 1980 Plymouth Arrow Sport Truck with less than 19k miles

1980 Plymouth Arrow Sport Truck 02

It’s a miracle! A 1980 Plymouth Arrow Sport Truck has appeared on Craiglist in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This rare captive import version of a Mitsubishi Forte pickup has color-matched wheels, the most 1970s stripe package you can imagine, and just 18,854 miles on the clock.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: Japan Post celebrates the Mazda MX-5′s 25th anniversary with commemorative stamps

Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Stamps

On Monday, the Japan Post released a series of commemorative stamps and a 1:64 diecast car to honor the 25th anniversary of the Mazda Miata and the upcoming debut of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 on September 3. We’ll be on hand at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the unveil so watch this space, but until then, stamps! Continue reading

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EVENTS: Land Cruiser Motor Show in Tokyo celebrates Japanese re-release of 70-Series

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On Monday, Japan Time, Toyota held a Land Cruiser Motor Show at their MegaWeb car mall in Odaiba, Tokyo. The occasion was the 30th anniversary of the 70-Series Land Cruiser, a truck that has just been re-released for sale in Japan.  Continue reading

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QotW: What Japanese car did we get the better version of?

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Type Rs, GT-Rs, S20s, SR20s, and so on. So often we hear about how Japan kept the best stuff for themselves, while we cackling execs foisted detuned sissy versions on our shores. But that’s wasn’t always the case, and we’d like to know:

What Japanese car did we get the better version of?

Right from the start, our based versions of the S30 Z had no fewer than 2.4 liters, while Japan got 2.0. The second-gen Acura Legend was never sold with a 6-speed Japan. Our 2002 Infiniti M45 had a V8, while its equivalent Cedric in Japan had just a six. The list goes on and on. Perhaps the earliest example, however, came in the form of the Datsun 411 SSS. In America we got the “sleeper” version that wasn’t labled as such, but had the Datsun 1600 roadster’s 1.6L motor stuffed in a base model 411 without the chrome.

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 the last QotW, “What’s the next Japanese collectible?”  Continue reading

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