NEWS: Will the next Z really be a crossover?

Nissan Gripz concept 01

Next Tuesday Nissan will unveil a new concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Many are calling it the next Z. Nissan is calling it the Gripz, and a video released today shows that it was inspired by the Datsun 240Z rally cars. Here’s the kicker, though. The Gripz is, um — well, there’s no kind way to put it so I’ll just say it — a crossoverContinue reading


EVENTS: Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2015

136_Datsun 240Z IMSA GTU & Toyota Celica T165 IMSA GTO

The Rolex Motorsports Reunion is typically a high point of Monterey Historic Car Week, but this year a black cloud hung over the festivities. The volunteers that have run Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca since it opened in 1957 is being forced out by the county’s board of supervisors, who are facilitating a takeover by a NASCAR-owned company. Naturally, fans of the track are worried that political pressure and a profit mandate will ruin one of the world’s best road courses. So here, as a reminder to why vintage road racing is so great, is a gallery of the competition J-tin that was there.  Continue reading


ART CORNER: Khyzyl Saleem’s bosozoku future

Khyzyl Saleem Toyota Celica Phantom

The cars Khyzyl Saleem draws seem to ask the question, “What if Mad Max took place in the dystopian future of Blade Runner?” Neon-lit cityscapes, heavily modified cars, and a substantial dose of Japan-influenced tuning styles combine to form an incredible imagined world.  Continue reading


MOTORSPORT: Dome recreates Honda S-based Macransa and Karasu to celebrate 50th anniversary

Dome Zero, Karasu

You might know Dome from its wild 1978 Zero concept car, but the firm dates back to 1965. Recently, Dome celebrated its 50th anniversary by recreating two of its very first cars. Based off of 1960s Honda S-Series roadsters, the Karasu and Macransa laid the groundwork for what would become one of Japan’s premier race car constructors.  Continue reading


The nine generations of Honda Accord

A photo posted by Honda (@honda) on

Honda has devised a clever new Instagram campaign highlighting nine generations of the Honda Accord. Simply click on the image and detailed shots of each part will appear. If these cars look familiar, you may be remembering them from our tour of the American Honda Collection. Not shown: how freakin’ enormous the Accord has gotten over the years. What used to be an econobox is now a luxobarge. How times have changed.


MINICARS: 2016 Hot Wheels Nissan Fairlady Z, Datsun 620 in white

2016 Hot Wheels Nissan Fairlady Z

Turns out that maroon and pink Hot Wheels Fairlady Z was a “factory custom” (a car purposefully painted incorrectly at the plant) after all. Here’s the actual 2016 Hot Wheels Nissan Fairlady Z in the correct blue that we approved on the e-sheet and patterned after designer Jun Imai’s real-life 260Z.  Continue reading


QotW: What’s the next blue chip JNC?

28-Sk597s_Nissan SilviaCSP311

Cars like the hakosuka and kenmeri Skyline GT-Rs, the Fairlady Z432, Cosmo Sport and Toyota 2000GT have already hit prices that we bitter, long-time JNCers can no longer afford. What’s the next ship we should jump on before it leaves port?

What’s the next blue chip JNC?

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 greatest nostalgic Nissan?
Continue reading


GRAND TOURING: The Onsens of Yamagata Prefecture

Yamagata Onsen 54 Toyota AE86 Corolla Levin

Having toured Aomori and Iwate Prefectures previously and discovered many interesting sights along the way, we decided to again return to the northern coasts, this time to explore the Prefecture of Yamagata and the Sea of Japan Coast Road.  Continue reading


MINICARS: New Hot Wheels Fairlady Z, recolored Kenmeri and RX-7 coming

2016 Hot Wheels Nissan Fairlady Z

An image of a new Hot Wheels S30 Z have surfaced, but there is a bit of mystery surrounding it. Since the JNC inkan appears on the door, we are privy to some extra information that was was leaked. First, it will show up as a 2016 basic model, and it is patterned after Hot Wheels designer Jun Imai‘s own 260Z, complete with massive flares and G-nose done up in true kaido racer fashion. However, like Jun’s real car, the model was supposed to be blue.  Continue reading

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Kidney, Anyone? 1980 Toyota Celica Sunchaser


Go grab your Gerry Rafferty cassette and your turtle neck because this week’s Kidney Car is the closest thing to a yacht rock poster car Toyota ever made: the 1980 Toyota Celica Sunchaser. From 1979 to 1981 Toyota commissioned the Griffith Company to create 500 convertible Celicas for the American market. Griffith took it one step further creating a car that was both a full convertible and a targa top.  Continue reading


PRODUCT GUIDE: RS Watanabe Toyota Works replicas

RS Watanabe Toyota Works TOM's Igeta 05

RS Watanabe has revealed their latest wheel design, and it’s a gorgeous revival of the famed Toyota Works racing wheels of the 1960s and 1970s. The classic four-spoke crosshairs pattern is back, and is now available in a 15-inch size.  Continue reading


NIHON LIFE: Bidding Sayonara to the Hotel Okura

Hotel Okura 01 Prince Skyline GT-B

It has no engine, no wheels, and never won any races, but the Hotel Okura is an icon of the Showa Era. Since opening its doors in May 1962, it has hosted every US president since Richard Nixon. In 1976, JVC unveiled the world’s first VHS videocassette there. Royalty, rock stars, and even a particular fictional spy arriving in a Toyota 2000GT convertible can be counted among its guests. And as of yesterday, its lights were turned off for the last time.  Continue reading


QotW: What’s the greatest nostalgic Nissan?

209-DL0587_Nissan Bluebird 510 Safari Rally

Last week we learned that an R35 GT-R is not the only Nissan that knows how to steal a supercar’s thunder. It’s hard to believe, but we haven’t yet asked what the greatest nostalgic Nissan is. We’ve inquired about the greatest Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, and even Suzuki (your winning answers here, here, here, here and here), so let’s rectify that right now.

What’s the greatest nostalgic Nissan?

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 car of the Nineties will be the next sought-after classic?”  Continue reading


NIHON LIFE: Summer Evening on the Wangan

GR1-863s_Honda NSX & S800

The O-Bon is an annual festival that honors the souls of one’s ancestors. Many Tokyoites head to their hometowns to visit the graves of their forebearers, leaving the city strangely free of its dreaded logjam traffic. In other words, it’s the perfect time to go for a drive. With the start of O-bon, I took a recent Thursday off with the intention of squeezing in a few errands and a little bit of kyuusha time.  Continue reading


MINICARS: Scale-Master’s “Zero Celica” Hot Wheels custom

Zero Celica Hot Wheels custom by Scale-Master 02

One of the great things about customizing Hot Wheels or building model kits is that you are free to create cars that you can’t build in real life. In the modern automotive universe, drifting is probably as close to the epic World War II dogfights that took place in the skies. That why I wanted to imagine a Zero Celica drift car.   Continue reading


GRAND TOURING: Driving Monterey in a couple of old Datsuns

Nissan Heritage Collection Datsun 510 06

You might have heard that Monterey Historic Car Week is great, and it’s true. You can’t swing a monocle without hitting a million-dollar supercar or legendary racer. Then there was us, tooling around behind the wheel of a Datsun that cost less than $2,000 when new. Continue reading


A Brief History of the Toyota AE86 Corolla

In the second of a series, JNC is teaming up with our friends at Petrolicious to launch simultaneously a video and an article about historically significant Japanese cars. Be sure to check out the excellent Petrolicious and their beautiful short films about vintage cars.

For the uninitiated it’s a “just a Corolla,” but the AE86 goes by many names. Anime star. O.G. drifter. Hachiroku. Overhyped. AE86 itself is perhaps the nerdiest of them all, named after Toyota’s internal chassis code for the model. Even as recently as a couple of tears ago, one could still make the claim that the 1985-97 Toyota Corolla GT-S was unappreciated or underground for most of its life. Now, as it turns 30 years old, that’s no longer true. As if you needed another reminder that you’re getting old, the AE86 has spent more than half its existence hoarded, hooned and fanboy’ed as one of the most important cars Toyota’s ever built. Continue reading


VIDEO: Jay Leno goes bananas for a Savanna


Jay Leno was is probably the most famous Mazda Cosmo Sport owner out there, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still get his socks knocked off by a bridgeported 13B turbo RX-3. In the latest Jay Leno’s Garage video, the host meets Savant Young and his LA street racer-style restomod. Watch the video below. Continue reading


QotW: What car of the Nineties will be the next sought-after classic?

11_Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 Spyder

With cars like the R32 Skyline GT-R increasing in price, other Bubble Era sleds are sure to follow suit. Though the Nineties are not quite nostalgic, we can already predict what might be the next sought-after rarities (a 320hp, AWD, 6-speed folding hardtop convertible that cost $65,000 in 1995, perhaps?). There’s even an upcoming show specializing in such machines,

What car of the Nineties will be the next sought-after classic?

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 JNC design has aged better with time?”  Continue reading



JNC Hot Wheels by San Mamiya

We are proud to welcome Japan-based artist San Mamiya as a regular contributor to JNC. After we featured his brilliant artwork in March, some of the JNC staff commissioned him to draw their own cars. That project snowballed into a deeper collaboration, and we hope readers will enjoy the first San Mamiya X JNC illustrations.  Continue reading