QotW: What’s the best shade of JNC yellow?

0412-BH3195_Datsun 240Z S30 112 Yellow

If July could be a color, it would be yellow. With the golden light of our sun shining brightly as ever, beating down on us, and giving Superman his powers, it is perhaps time to ponder a hue not so common on cars as they once were. One of the most distinctive shades of yellow ever created was simply called 112  Yellow in Nissan’s palette. Like a highlighter on wheels, it set Datsun 240Zs aglow, but you don’t have to take our word for it.

What’s the best shade of JNC yellow?

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, “Which nostalgic feature should be brought back?”  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 11k-mile AE86 Corolla Levin

Toyota Corolla Levin GT Apex 18km 07

Take a gander at what is likely the lowest-mileage AE86 hatch for sale in the world. Listed for sale in Osaka, Japan, this true JDM Toyota Corolla Levin GT Apex reads only 18,260 km on the odometer, or 11,346 miles.  Continue reading

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How Subaru became masters of AWD wagons

1968 Subaru 1000 2Door Van Deluxe

The story of how Subaru became masters of AWD is one of pure chance. In 1970 Tohoku Electric Power Co., northeast Japan’s power company, was looking for vehicles to replace their fleet of Land Cruisers. Employees often had to venture into rugged or snowy terrain to repair power lines, but in regular conditions the Toyotas were deemed too trucky, uncomfortable and inefficient.  Continue reading

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JNC THEATER: Maido! Urayasu Tekkin Family

Maido! Uruyasu Tekkin Kazoku S54 Prince Skyline anime

There’s a relatively new anime called Maido! Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku (毎度!浦安鉄筋家族). Featuring extremely short episodes — like under two minutes short — and story lines that are monkey tits insane, but the main characters are from Urayasu, Chiba and drive an S54 Skyline taxi. Though not all the episodes have cars in them, when they do you can often spot things like a Honda S800 or a Tekamen R30 in the background. The YouTube clips aren’t great quality, but you can spot the cars pretty easily. Apparently it’s hilarious if you understand Japanese. Watch some of the videos below.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: One of the nicest Mazda RX-3s you’ll ever see

Shannons Mazda RX3

Last week we showed you Australian insurance company Shannons’ video about the collectability of the first-gen Toyota Celica. Here’s an earlier one they’ve done about the seminal Mazda RX-3, and it features one of the most stunningly original examples you’ll ever see. There’s also quite a bit of Mazda’s Australian racing history detailed in the video, showing just exactly why Aussies are so crazy about the rotary. Watch the video below.  Continue reading

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QotW: Which nostalgic feature should be brought back?

032-3646_HondaPrelude-1g

The reasons for our love of JNCs are plentiful. Almost as plentiful as questions about why we’d drive a 30 year old Toyota/Honda/Mazda/Daihatsu rather than a comfortable new car. Many of those reasons, however, are actually good: simplicity in design and engineering, greater outward visibility than a pillbox, endearing pop-up headlights, and oddball stereo controls, just to name a few. It got us thinking…

Which nostalgic feature on should be brought back?

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, “Which JNC is impossible to find stock?”  Continue reading

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EVENTS: Old School Love, New School Flavor, Part 01: Toyotas

Honda CRX Lineup

Rarely do we feature events from the great Northern Midwest but being invited to Team_Nostalgic’s Old School Love, New School Flavor show in Chicago meant leaving my humble Minneapolis abode at 3:30 am on the day of the event. It was 400 miles to Chicago, we had a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it was dark… and we were wearing sunglasses. Though we got out of town in record time, almost immediately after entering the state of Wisconsin a monsoon began. The rain was falling faster than the wipers on my CRX could keep up, and it continued through the whole state, probably a foreign concept for our California readers. I don’t believe that JNC owners are afraid of rain, but it was looking like this would become the Old School Love, New School Flavor Boat Show.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Aussie history of the Toyota Celica

Shannon's Toyota Celica video

Shannons, and Australian classic car insurance company has a great series of videos about collectors cars you should consider. While most feature Holdens and cars you’d see in Mad Max, one recent video is all about the Toyota Celica and its emergence as a sought-after classic. Down Under, its fame was helped greatly by a star performance at Bathurst, a bit of history North Americans may not be aware of. Watch the video below.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: The Great Race 2015

27_150336_Nissan Datsun Fairlady 2000 Roadster Great Race

If you’re looking for confirmation that Japanese classic car culture has truly arrived in the United States, the following statement may or may not provide it: on June 22nd, somewhere between Springfield, Missouri and Oklahoma City, a Nissan Fairlady Z432 was rear-ended by a farm vehicle. We’ll give you a moment to regain your composure before we explain how this calamity could possibly occur.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: Toyota Sports 800 50th Anniversary, Day 02

031-0145_Toyota Sports 800 50th Anniversary

When we last met, dear reader, I told you of my adventures traveling to Nagoya for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Toyota Sports 800, an adorable little car known to many of us as the Yotahachi. That day included a car show at the Toyota Automobuile Museum in Aichi Prefecture where I met many fellow enthusiasts and owners and men responsible for the development of the car. We capped it off with a road trip in a Yotahachi through central Japan’s scenic mountains to Tokyo, where day two of celebration would begin at Toyota’s MegaWeb showroom. Continue reading

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QotW: Which JNC is impossible to find stock?

Nissan-Silvia-Qs

Some cars, such as the two Kidney candidates we saw last week, are so welcoming to modifications that for it to survive decades untouched, especially at the affordable end of the blue book listings, is as unlikely as like a baby outlasting the zombie apocalypse.

Which JNC is impossible to find stock?

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 JNC steering wheel?”  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? The perfect EF Honda Civic

1991 Honda Civic Si Tahitian Green 01

Leave it to the Canadians to preserve the holy grail of EF Civics. Not only is this pristine example a final-year, top-spec Si performance model, it’s finished in Tahitian Green Pearl, an achingly proper shade of period correct teal considered highly — if not the most — desirable amongst Hondaheads. It even has power windows, a rare option for Civic Si models.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Badass women on badass bikes

Bosozoku Women

The style of this video is precisely what was parodied so well by the recent Car Bros’ Secrets of Japan Revealed sketch, but once you get past the over-dramatized Sheriff John Bunnell narration, there’s still some good footage of badass women on badass bikes.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Mazda MX-5 Miata, NA vs ND

Mazda MX-5 Miata NA vs ND 01

You know what’s up with the 2016 Mazda Miata already. It’s smaller, lighter, and quicker than the outgoing model. No, it still does not have any more horsepower than the outgoing NC. It has fewer, in fact. However, if you think that makes it any less pure of a sports car then I’m sorry, you are not an it-getter. The ND is a throwback to the original Miata, in the truest sense of the word. If you don’t believe us, here are the stats. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Toyota USA’s new Texas headquarters

Toyota USA Plano Texas headquarters

Toyota USA’s new Plano, Texas headquarters haven’t been built yet but the company has released a rendering of the new campus. It’s massive. It’s comprised of at least six buildings, each with a sleek glass lobby designed to display a wealth of cars. Still think the museum is going to stay in CaliforniaContinue reading

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COLLECTIONS: Inside Mazda North America’s Basement

04_Mazda Basement_MakeModel

Talk to Mazda employees about their cars, past and present, and it immediately becomes clear that the company is comprised of people passionate about what they’ve built. This is no small feat, and we have peeked behind the walls of enough automakers to know that many house a bunch of employees for whom it’s just another job. But, if you don’t believe us just look to their collection of “toys” as evidence. The basement of Mazda’s research and development center in Irvine, California is where some of them reside, a collection of street, track and historically significant Mazdas. After our recent drive of the Eunos Cosmo, we were treated to a tour of this collection. Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 1986 Toyota Corolla GT-S liftback

1986 AE86 Corolla GT-S liftback 89k mile 04

A few months ago I made the claim — publicly and on video — that there were fewer stock AE86s left than Enzo Ferraris. So naturally the gods are going to make me eat my words by bringing every known example out of the woodwork. Be that as it may, about 800 of you sent in today’s Kidney Car, one of the cleanest Corolla GT-S hatchbacks we’ve seen, ever.  Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the greatest JNC steering wheel?

1984 Nissan Gloria Turbo Brougham VIP Super Selection Ⅱ interior

The steering wheel. It’s probably the thing you interact with the most when driving a car, so let’s give it some consideration.

What’s the greatest JNC steering wheel?

Allow us to make a case for the Nissan Gloria Turbo Brougham VIP Super Selection Ⅱ‘s floating wheel. Not only does the hub stay centered as the wheel rotates around it, it’s filled with buttons — cruise control on the right and auxiliary controls for the stereo on the left, including a volume dial. It is the most Japanese thing we can imagine next to Godzilla fighting Gundam on the back of a bullet train.

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 your best car story with dad?”  Continue reading

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Touge California posters now available in the JNC shop

TougeCalifornia2015poster

The official Touge California poster is available in the JNC shop. Printed in full color, the artwork features a Toyota Celica and Datsun 240Z in classic art deco style and measures 26 x 18 inches (approx. 66 x 46 cm).

Those who’ve delved into the JNC Shop may have noticed already, but it’s time we make it official.

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VIDEO: Happy Father’s Day!

Loving Eyes Toyota Safety Sense Celica XX

Toyota of Japan is cold killing it right now with complex, perspective-shifting videos that would make even Christopher Nolan throw his hands up in surrender. First there was the girlfriend-less AE86 driver story that perfectly synced productions from three different countries. Now comes this heart-rending journey of father and daughter as they go through a lifetime of fast cuts. Try to hold back your tears as the dad watches his baby girl grow up — and is forced to trade in his Celica XX for a minivan (though he gets an Estima, which is kind of cool, and I think there’s a transitional Mark II in there briefly). Continue reading

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