KIDNEY, ANYONE? Nissan Fairlady 240Z-G

Monterey Car Week takes place next week, and we’re seeing more Japan-market classics trickling their way over to US shores. Perhaps the most desirable among this year’s crop is a genuine 1972 Nissan Fairlady 240ZG, a homologation special with factory G-nose.  Continue reading

3 Comments

Yurt it up with a Datsun 620 King Cab camper

We just learned about a new Japanese magazine that we are now obsessed with. Outdoor Aso-Kuru, which roughly translates to “vehicles for playing outdoors” is all about cars and trucks that have been modified for camping, and the photo that brought us to it was this Datsun 620 with a custom wooden home on the back.  Continue reading

5 Comments

MINICARS: A beginner’s guide to JNC Legos, Part 03

In the final installment of our beginner’s guide to Lego JNCs, we are going to focus on the prevailing style of builds in Japan. In Part 01 we admired highly complex creations comprised of hundreds of pieces where the sky’s the limit. In Part 02 we explored the popular 6-stud builds inspired by official Lego kits. Japan, as usual, prefers to take things to a new level with extremely difficult 4-stud builds.  Continue reading

4 Comments

SHOWA SNAP: The Shuto, circa 1969

The Shuto is the beltway system that circles downtown Tokyo, home to many a traffic jam during the day, and fleets of street racers at night. Construction began in 1962, and in this postcard from 1969 or 1970, you can see it when it was still shiny and new. Unlike today, there’s barely any cars on it. On the lower level there’s a white first-generation Toyota HiLux, what appears to be a green 411 Bluebird cab, and maybe an orange Crown taxi behind it. On the upper level, what might be a red Corolla wagon heads off into the distance. Rising up in the background are Tokyo Tower and the Kasumigaseki building, Tokyo’s first skyscraper and which just celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.

Image: 昭和スポット巡り

10 Comments

ICONS: Driving a 200-mile EM1 Honda Civic Si

Although I wasn’t an avid watcher, I believe people when they say The Wonder Years was one of the best American television programs ever written. Each season of the coming of age story took place exactly 20 years before it aired, so when it debuted in 1988 the show was set in 1968. If you want to feel old, that means if it were rebooted today it’d take place in 1998. And when Kevin Arnold got his driver’s license, his dream car would be a Honda Civic Si.  Continue reading

11 Comments

VIDEO: No matter what “it” is, the Land Cruiser gets it done

Toyota has released a short film about the Land Cruiser, and it is pretty epic. The two-minute movie features clips of 70-Series Land Cruisers around the world, simply going about their daily duties of ferrying people and cargo. But as a result, they connect even the remotest corners of Earth to civilization. We challenge you to watch the video below and prevent yourself from searching for Land Cruisers for sale. Continue reading

4 Comments

QotW: What car would Japanese Knight Rider drive?


The arrival last week of the Seibu Keisatsu cars at Nissan’s Zama warehouse got us thinking about cheesy 80s TV shows and their vehicular stars. Perhaps the most famous of these was Knight Rider, a “shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man… who does not exist.

Long-time JNC readers may know that instead of a Pontiac Firebird, the original Knight Industries Two Thousand was supposed to be a Datsun 280ZX. According to the book Hollywood and TV Movie Cars by G. William Krause, “[Producer Harker Wade] said he was working with Glen Larson (The Fall Guy) on a new action- adventure show that starred a computerized talking car. A Datsun Z was written into the original script…” That’s right, folks, KITT was a JNC.

Alas, it was not meant to be. But at least now we get to have the fun of decided what car from 1982, which is when Knight Rider debuted, that KITT could’ve been.

What car would Japanese Knight Rider drive?

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 most important info on the instrument cluster?”  Continue reading

9 Comments

We went off-roading with a cadre of Japanese nostalgic trucks

The mountains to the north of Los Angeles are home to some of the best driving roads in America. I had covered Angeles Crest, Glendora Mountain Road, and Mulholland Drive many times. But it was always in a light, rear-wheel-drive car of some sort, an AE86, Miata, or my 5-speed swapped Cressida wagon. Last weekend, some friends convinced me to go up there and test the limits of a completely different type of vehicle, and I came away with a deep, newfound appreciation for Japanese nostalgic trucks.  Continue reading

6 Comments

VIDEO: Listen to the revs of this unmolested EG Civic SiR

We periodically like to check in with the Honda Collection Hall to see what the company’s museum is up to. If you’ve visited the facility at Twin Ring Motegi in Tochigi Prefecture, you’ll know that they take great pride in making sure every single car, bike and generator in the collection runs, and they have the videos to prove it. In the latest batch of clips, they take out their 1993 Honda Civic SiR and have a go around the museum grounds.  Continue reading

2 Comments

JNC THEATER: The Nissans of Seibu Keisatsu visit the Zama garage

Long-time readers of JNC need no introduction to the cars of Seibu Keisatsu. Japan’s most popular cop show, which aired form 1979-1984, was sponsored by Nissan and starred several customized law enforcement vehicles that are as instantly recognizable to Japanese people as the Knight Rider Firebird or the A-Team GMC van is to Americans. Recently, several well-preserved examples of these cars returned temporarily to Nissan’s care for a photo shoot at the Zama warehouse.  Continue reading

5 Comments

VIDEO: Five generations of Supra together for the first time

Recently, a small gathering of Toyota Supra owners in the UK got to see the new Supra up close and personal. It was the first time all five generations of the Supra had been together under one roof.  Continue reading

6 Comments

MINICARS: A beginner’s guide to JNC Legos, Part 02

With the popularity of Legos showing no signs of slowing, it’s a good time to get into building custom JNCs out of these little Danish bricks. In Part 01 of our beginner’s guide, we took a look at some highly detailed, large-scale cars, some using hundreds of individual pieces. However, there’s an entire subculture that intentionally restricts the size of the cars, giving themselves an altogether different challenge.  Continue reading

2 Comments

KIDNEY, ANYONE? 7k-mile FD3S Mazda RX-7

An amazing specimen of a third-gen Mazda RX-7 is currently being offered for sale on Craigslist. According to the ad, its interior still emanates that new car leather smell, because it has just 6,593 original miles on the clock.  Continue reading

1 Comment

VIDEO: Jay Leno drives the Autozam AZ-1

In the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, the car collector gets behind the wheel of another Japanese great, the Autozam AZ-1. The gull-winged, mid-engined, kei-classed sports car seems to charm the host, who actually says he might consider buying one to add to his Mazda collection that already includes an RX-8 and 12A-swapped Cosmo Sport.  Continue reading

4 Comments

Happy 86 Day from JNC

Today is the day we honor the last of the rear-wheel-drive Corollas. Many perished in the touge battles of the 1990s, but those sacrifices early on gave us the freedom to not drive in a straight line, countless works of art made in tribute to their cause, and also cartoons. Happy 8/6 Day from JNC!

3 Comments

QotW: What’s the most important info on the instrument cluster?

In a perfect world, the instrument cluster (or multi-information display for some) would consist of a tachometer and a constantly illuminated thumbs up. But, for older vehicles and JNCs in particular, we need all the information we can get to make sure we continue to hum down the road.

What cluster needle, lamp or digital display do you keep one eye on whenever you take your pride and joy out on the street? Why?

What’s the most important info on the instrument cluster?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Dive, Sell, or Garage: Unobtainium EditionContinue reading

24 Comments

NEWS: Nissan to exhibit racing legends, R390 GT1 road car at Monterey

Nissan has announced some details about its plans for the upcoming Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The event will be a significant milestone, since it is the first time a Japanese marque has headlined the RMMR since its inception in 1974. As such, Nissan is bringing out several cars of historic significance, including the first ever appearance on US soil of the R390 GT1 road car.  Continue reading

10 Comments

MINICARS: A beginner’s guide to JNC Legos, Part 01

The popularity of Legos had exploded in recent years, leading to many fans going beyond off-the-shelf kits and building their own custom creations. We’ve posted about Legos before, starting from back in 2013, and while the Lego renaissance was already underway then, it’s gone positively supernova in the half-decade since. Many of our favorite custom builds are JNCs, naturally, so let’s take a look at some of our recent favorites.  Continue reading

10 Comments

EVENTS: Petersen Museum Cruise-in, Part 02

The Petersen Museum in Los Angeles puts on many events throughout the year, each with a theme ranging from hot rods to Porsches. Recently, they hosted their annual cruise-in for Japanese cars, inviting Nihon Steel both old and new to fill out their parking garage. Here are our favorite photos of the day. Continue reading

6 Comments

MINICARS: Rio Red will be the first color of Hot Wheels’ EF Honda CRX

We’ve been pretty excited at the prospect of a second-generation Honda CRX ever since Hot Wheels released a teaser pic. That photo was in black and white, though, but now we can reveal the first color that will adorn the CRX — Rio Red. Continue reading

9 Comments