MINICARS: Amazing miniature kaido racer models at the Tokyo Auto Salon

One of the coolest and most popular displays at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon wasn’t from an automaker, tuning house, or aftermarket parts company. In fact, it didn’t feature real cars at all. Instead, it was a lineup of miniature kaido racers, customized from 1:64 scale diecast cars from the likes of Tomica, Tomica Limited Vintage and Aoshima.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Mazda reviving rotary engine, but it may not be what you’re expecting

For decades the abbreviation “RE” in Mazda parlance stood for “Rotary Engine.” However, if the Mazda patents for a new rotary that appeared last week have anything to say about it, “RE” might take on a whole new meaning.   Continue reading

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CLASSIC CM: Nissan’s “Major Motion” commercials overflowed with 80s imagery

For your viewing pleasure, we at Japanese Nostalgic Car have uncovered quite possibly the most 1980s ad campaign ever implemented by an automaker. We give you, the Nissan “Major Motion” commercials from 1984. These aired in certain markets around the United States as Datsun/Nissan dealership promos, and they were doing everything they could to make Nissan look like the brand of the future.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Toyota recreates Tamiya RC Hilux ad

Back in 1981 Japanese radio control vehicle company Tamiya released its RA1028 Toyota Hilux kit. With low gear and 4WD, they were able to string 14 of them together and pull a real Toyota Hilux pickup. To promote the newest Toyota Hilux in the UK, Toyota has recreated that ad, along with a few others, with the RC trucks.   Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC do you recommend for a car enthusiast?

We have danced around these types of questions before, but always with a stipulation that a JNC recommended to others needs to be dependable and safe. This week, the gloves are off! This time, we’re suggesting a JNC to someone who’s handy with a socket set (metric and standard). Since it may be hard to answer this question, please think of someone you personally know and go from there. Include him or her in your response. Maybe it’s someone who has dealt with JNCs in the past; maybe someone who has a domestic only mantra or diehard German engineering fan.

What JNC do you recommend for a car enthusiast?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “JNC Challenge, Part 4“.

Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon, Part 03 — The Classics

The Tokyo Auto Salon has a reputation for churning out some truly bizarre automotive works, but these day some seriously classy classics can be found amidst the VIP vans and drift missiles. You’ve seen the examples modified for speed and show; here are the cars built for nostalgia. Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels X JNC Nissan Fairlady Z Super Treasure Hunt

Every so often, a Hot Wheels comes along that melts the Internet. Collectors’ heads explode like they’ve just looked into the Ark of the Covenant. The next Nissan Fairlady Z is just such a car. Look, we’re not bragging just because the JNC inkan is on it. We’ve seen it in person, and it is an amazing piece of craftsmanship for a $1 toy car.  Continue reading

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day from JNC

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from JNC! Here’s some midori cars for you’re viewing pleasure. Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon, Part 02 — Restomods

Since its inception in 1983, the Tokyo Auto Salon has been Japan’s showcase premier exhibition of automotive trends. Back then, it went by the very literal name of Tokyo Exciting Car Show, but the idea was the same — showcasing what Japanese tuners and tuning houses could do. The name has changed, but the goals have not.   Continue reading

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QotW: Take the JNC Challenge, Part 04 (UPDATED)

Update: Hi folks, sorry for not updating Monday’s QotW earlier, I was on assignment at Mt. Fuji for an interesting project that  I cannot disclose yet. In the rush to get out the snow-capped icon, we left the actual QotW on the workbench. Never-the-less, the QotW challenge part 4 is below:

After juggling offers from your two admirers of the Shuttle, you decide to keep your chariot and instead give gymkhana a go. Knowing that we still have that $350 in our pocket, how would you prepare the Shuttle for its maiden voyage on the tarmac? The gymkhana event is going to be in a conned off parking lot on a Sunday, and you will need to make sure you can leave the in one piece. The tire are worn, but not bald. The suspension is functional, but soft. The engine runs, but let’s face it, it’s no rocket. So tell us:

How do you prepare the Shuttle for a gymkhana event with $350 in your pocket?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “QotW Challenge, Part 3“.

Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Inaugural Mazda Miata Heritage Cup inducts MX-5 into vintage racing world

Vintage racing offers a glimpse into the past — a fantasy world in which all the most interesting and beloved cars don competition equipment and make music on race tracks. It’s like Downton Abbey for car enthusiasts. Needless to say, we at JNC are fans. But we’re not merely satisfied with the occasional appearance of a Hakosuka or R100 at the Motorsports Reunion; we want to see widespread involvement of Nihon machines in vintage racing across the US. Luckily, we’re one step closer to that vision with the inaugural SVRA Mazda Miata Heritage Cup. Continue reading

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Happy Pi Day from JNC

Happy Pi Day, the day in which we celebrate the mathematical constant π, or 3.14, the ratio of a circle’s diameter to its circumference. According to people who know math, it’s very useful in all sorts of equations involving circles. It’s also one of those weird numbers whose digits simply stretch into infinity with no repeating pattern, which seems cosmically significant somehow. Why is there a picture of a bus, though? Because it’s an Isuzu P-LV 314, duh. Ironically, its model name is the Isuzu Cubic. Sometimes the universe is just too perfect.

Photo credit: Wakkubox

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RIP John Surtees, 1934 – 2017


The world of motorsport lost one of its true legends last week. John Surtees, the only person to win World Championships in both motorcycles and automobiles, and an important player in the emergence of Honda as a racing power, died Friday at the age of 83.

Surtees’ competition resume is so extensive and successful that it beggars belief. Starting out in motorcycle racing at age fifteen, he would claim four world championships between 1956 and 1960 for the MV Agusta factory team, during which time he won the fearsome Isle of Man TT three consecutive years. Switching to cars in 1960 as a driver for the Lotus Formula One team, Surtees would earn his first pole position in only his third race. His first win would follow in 1963 after joining Ferrari, and in 1964 he would lead the Italian team to both the Driver’s and Constructor’s World Championships.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: How to get your Hot Wheels mail-in Toyota 4×4 Pickup

Following on the heels of the Kmart-Datsun 510 promotion is another mail-in offer from Hot Wheels. This time, the free car (except for shipping) is an exclusive 1987 Toyota Pickup, complete with metal base and knobby, rubbery off-road tires.  Continue reading

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QotW: Take the JNC Challenge, Part 04 (UPDATED)

Update: Hi folks, sorry for not updating the QotW earlier, I was on assignment at Mt. Fuji for an interesting project that  I cannot disclose yet. In the rush to get out the snow-capped icon, we left the actual QotW on the workbench. Never-the-less, the QotW challenge part 4 is below:

After juggling offers from your two admirers of the Shuttle, you decide to keep your chariot and instead give gymkhana a go. Knowing that we still have that $350 in our pocket, how would you prepare the Shuttle for its maiden voyage on the tarmac? The gymkhana event is going to be in a conned off parking lot on a Sunday, and you will need to make sure you can leave the in one piece. The tire are worn, but not bald. The suspension is functional, but soft. The engine runs, but let’s face it, it’s no rocket. So tell us:

How do you prepare the Shuttle for a gymkhana event with $350 in your pocket?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “QotW Challenge, Part 3“.

Continue reading

6 Comments

EVENTS: New Year Meeting 2017, Part 08 — Leaving in Style

The New Year Meeting is an magical festival of vehicular awesomeness, but what happens when the party’s over? Most owners drive their cars home, but sometimes you want to ship your precious cargo. With many areas of Japan more crowded than the middle seat on a Spirit Airlines flight, you need some pretty ingenious ways of loading and unloading cars. There’s a reason why Transformers were invented in Japan.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: New Year Meeting 2017, Part 07 — Motorbikes

The New Year Meeting is an amazing show, but there is one element missing, one that’s just as much a part of Japanese classic culture as the cars we love: motorbikes. Unlike in the US, where two-wheelers are mostly a weekend toy, in Japan bikes have been used as transportation both personal and commercial for decades. As such, the diversity in type, modification style and aftermarket support run just as rich and deep as that of cars.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Toyota Yaris GRMN revealed at Geneva

With its debut at the Geneva Motor Show this week, we finally have news about the hopped-up Toyota Yaris GRMN. And great news — It’s going to be the full package that everyone was hoping for and potentially the most exciting hot hatch to wear the Toyota name since the Starlet. If you thought the car was going to fight a Fiesta ST, you’d be wrong. Apparently, it is going to be more even radical than that.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels X JNC Datsun 510 Bluebird Wagon “JNC Surf Patrol”

We at JNC recently received a very special surprise from our friends at Hot Wheels — a JNC surf patrol wagon! These photos, taken from one of the conference rooms at the Mattel design center in El Segundo, California, show the 2017 mainline release of the ’71 Datsun Bluebird 510 Wagon casting in its latest colorway. We had no idea the design team was planning something like this, so forgive our inner 5-year-old as we embark on a complete freak out. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Celicas, Civics, RX-7s and Sunnys, racing together, in modern times

Last month in Australia was the Bathurst 12 Hour, an enduro packed with Nissan GT-Rs, BMW M6s, Vipers, Porsches, and Lamborghinis duking it out for supremacy. Nobody cares, though, because the supporting races, filled with JNCs, were about a million times more exciting.  Continue reading

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