There was a time, not too long ago, when the US truly cared about road racing. On Saturdays and Sundays, Americans would tune into the International Motor Sports Association’s contests of speed, broadcast not on some obscure cable channel catering to gearheads, but on network TV. Car companies would proudly use these race cars in advertising. The best drivers became household names, and the cars weren’t just identical shells running different stickers to denote the brand. These were the golden days of IMSA, and marques like Datsun and Mazda dominated the scene. Continue reading
In the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, the car collector and former talk show host gets behind the wheel of a Toyota Land Cruiser fire truck. It’s no secret that the prices of 60-series Land Cruisers are rapidly rising, and thanks to their reputation for indestructibility even examples with well above 200,000 miles on the clock are asking $15,000 to $30,000. One whose odometer hasn’t turned over yet? That’s Lexus money. This civil servant, on the other hand, has done all but 18,000 km (11,184 miles) in its lifetime, and just might be a clever way to get into a Land Cruiser on the cheap. Continue reading
The Honda Formula One channel has made a dynamic ad showcasing the company’s wide range of machines. The video is animated in a nifty, high-contrast style, and depicts F1 cars racing and transforming into vehicles as wide-ranging as the Super Cub motorcycle to the 1965 RA272 race car to the HondaJet. The lineup is probably more diverse than any other automaker out there. If it weren’t for the retirement of ASIMO last year, there could’ve been a robot sprinting down the track. Continue reading
As we’ve mentioned before, there are some new babies joining the JNC family. While there are many great girls’ names in the JNC world, there aren’t many choices for boys. Brandon Kelly and his wife got there first last week, with the birth of their baby boy Maximus. I happen to think Cedric Hsu has a great ring to it but sadly my other half has vetoed it. Surprisingly, she’s totally on board with it being a car name, but believes that Cedrics are too obscure in the US and that everyone will think of Cedric the Entertainer instead (an assumption that has proven correct thus far). I guess I’ll have to insist on my second choice, AE86. Is it even a good idea to borrow a name from the JNC world?
Which JNC would you name your kid after?
The honest but sad truth is that Hondas are thief magnets. Shout the name of any 90s model from Civic to Prelude in a room of car enthusiasts and you will hear back a dozen stories of how someone’s friend, relative, or co-worker had one, got it stolen, and recovered it in a field months later stripped down to its shell. So what do you do if you have one of the most desirable Hondas of the era, the Integra Type R, whose 195-horsepower engine and lightweight body parts are catnip for criminals? Seal it in a barn, of course, behind a false wall. Continue reading
April Fool’s Day, the day where people actually question everything they see on the internet. Here at Japanese Nostalgic Car we have traditionally made joke posts about some outlandish stories such as the Tetsuya Tada getting arrested, or Nissan new releasing a new Stanza Wagon. or Honda reverting to their 1991 lineup. Automakers themselves try to get in on the fun, too, but sometimes it backfires. While some were totally outlandish and hilarious, these are three “jokes” that hit a little close to home with car enthusiasts. Continue reading
The Million Card Cup was a Honda Civic-only race that took place in Japan from 1991-95. It was a fantastic snapshot of a (relatively) inexpensive series when the Civic was at the height of its tuning popularity. A round, held at Suzuki Circuit showed the prodigious number of EG6 hatchbacks intermingling with a few older EFs, all with high-revving naturally aspirated VTEC engines wailing away. Continue reading
With last month’s passing of Junichi Tanaka, founder of JUN Auto Mechanic, our minds have been on some of his company’s greatest achievements. The tuning house accomplished so much, in such a wide variety of automotive pursuits, that it’s hard to limit them to just one type of racing. But, one of the most memorable was their assaults on the land speed records a the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats. Continue reading
Multiple news outlets in Japan are reporting that Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer of the 2020 Toyota Supra, was arrested by the Tokyo prosecutor’s office at 8:07 pm last night while leaving a Tokyo karaoke bar. The office is the same one that arrested Carlos Ghosn, the former CEO of Nissan, last fall. The office charges Tada with misdeeds that have irreparably harmed Toyota Motor Corporation. Continue reading
As enthusiasts, we can be pretty particular when it comes to our cars. It can be annoying to passengers, sure, but they just don’t understand the love we have for our JNCs. My personal rule is never, ever, put your stank-ass shoes on the easily crack-able dashboards. Those are probably the single most valuable and irreplaceable parts on our entire cars.
What are the rules of the road for your JNC?
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 one car you’d get from the year you were born?” Continue reading
NISMO has announced a significant expansion to its Skyline GT-R reproduction parts program. While the parts offered since the program’s launch in 2017 largely consisted of rubber and plastic bits that deteriorate with age, the latest batch of items are starting to make true ground-up restorations a real possibility, thanks to new cylinder blocks and heads for the powerful RB26DETT engine, and steel body panels for the R32. Continue reading
Recently, Toyota subsidiaries on both sides of the pond put out a call to enthusiasts and owners, assembled them at a race track, and filmed the experience. In the US, it was to promote the new Supra at Auto Club Speedway in California. In the UK, it was an autocross session at Silverstone Circuit in Northhamptionshire. Both videos were released at the same time, but Toyota is so big that it’s unlikely this was a coordinated effort. Who did it better? Continue reading
Do you want to see a bunch of classic Subarus crash into walls? Just a warning, they are doubly horrifying, because it’s always sad to see some now-rare cars get destroyed, but also because of the primitive safety standards of the era. Continue reading
Nissan has released a teaser for the New York Auto Show next month. Titled “Ultimate Dream Garage,” the image shows several iconic Nissans, including an S30 Z, the Calsonic R32 Group A race car, the Tokyo Motor Show Kenmeri GT-R, an R34, and several shadowy silhouettes of what appear to be a 370Z and a trio of R35s. Continue reading
Parts for older Japanese cars are pretty hard to come by, but there’s at least one brake company that has made a point to produce as many parts for vintage cars as they can. At the recent 17th International Auto Aftermarket Expo, the company showcased a fairly comprehensive catalog of parts, for everything from kei cars to Land Cruisers. Continue reading
Many Japanese motorcycle makers are coming out with retro-styled bikes these days. Kawasaki and Honda have made modern versions of the Z1 and CBX respectively, and now Suzuki has joined the fray. However, whereas Kawasaki and Honda referenced bikes of the 1970s, Suzuki has taken inspiration from the aggressively styled Katana of the 1980s. Continue reading
We had assumed that the Toyota 86 would continue ever since Subaru shot down the rumors that a second generation BRZ was canceled. At the time, only Subaru had confirmed that a next-gen was in development, but now a spokesperson at Toyota Europe has made it official. The 86 will live on as well. Continue reading
JNC is proud to have readers of all ages, from teenagers just getting into vintage Nihon steel, to retired folks who remember these cars when new. Some of us were fortunate enough to have been born during golden years of carmaking; others came into this world when external forces like the OPEC oil crisis had dramatic effects on the automotive landscape. I was born in 1976, not exactly a year known for peak performance. Since I’d rather have Skylines and Celicas from headier days, I guess I’ll choose from the Malaise Era a Mitsubishi Lancer 1600GSR. It won the Safari Rally that year, and launched a legacy of rally successes for decades to come.
What’s the one car you’d get from the year you were born?
The first Japanese car to win a Group A WRC race wasn’t a Subaru. It wasn’t a Mitsubishi, either, or a Toyota. It was a Mazda. On Valentine’s Day 1987, the humble Mazda 323 4WD (known as the Mazda 323 GTX in the US), won Rally Sweden, ahead of cars like the Lancia Delta HF and Audi Quattro. The winning car was driven by Timo Salonen with Seppo Harjanne navigating, but a second Mazda 323 4WD also finished in fourth place. Just remember that next time you see a small Mazda hatchback.
These days Daihatsu is doing brisk business manufacturing an endless variety of kei cars as a Toyota subsidiary. It doesn’t have any presence to speak of in the world of motorsports today, but in the wild west of 1960s Japan, the company built and ran a full-on race car. The 1967 Daihatsu P-5 has been making the rounds at shows like the Tokyo Auto Salon and Osaka Auto Messe, having recently emerged from a restoration that spanned over ten years. Continue reading