EVENTS: 2015 Nostalgic2Days, Part 03

18-1003_Nissan Silvia CSP311

Closing out our coverage of the 2015 Nos2Days show, we begin with some cars being honored on the red carpet. Just like at a movie premiere, the event reserves a special crimson rug for those that have graced the cover of a magazine. In this case that magazine is Nostalgic Hero, and the carpet is a permanent fixture encircling the show floor.  Continue reading

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QotW: When is it okay to stance?

USDMJam2011-47-6479_NissanSilviaS13_240SX

Stance. It’s what all the youngin’s are into these days. Sometimes it looks cool; sometimes it’s downright painful to witness.

When is it okay to stance?

Yes, we know it’s popular. We also know it’s even more popular to hate on it. It’s been a style in Japan for ages, but it’s different there where roads are glass smooth. Here it’s a slow death sentence for your oil pan/fenders/spine/the entire car. Perhaps it’s time to issue the Three Laws of Stance, which decrees that if you must stance, stance something that is 1.) not rare, 2.) was not mint to begin with, and 3.) has no performance value whatsoever. Got a second-gen Mazda 6? Go nuts! Any Toyota/Honda/Infiniti made in the last 10 years? Here, I’ll grab a bat and help you roll. An RX-3, little-old-lady-owned Cressida, or Honda S2000? Sorry, get off my lawn.

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 most under-appreciated JNC?”  Continue reading

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MARKETWATCH: Nissan Fairlady Z432 sold for $253,000

1970 Nissan Fairlady Z432 RM 01

Moments ago, a 1970 Nissan Fairlady Z432 that crossed the block at the Amelia Island auctions sold for $253,000, making it the most expensive publicly exchanged S30 Z in the world. Continue reading

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NEWS: FR Nissan 2-door sedan rendered by Best Car

Best Car Nissan IDx render

With the disclaimer that this is pure speculation, we present an image a new rear-wheel-drive Nissan 2-door sedan expected to debut at the Tokyo Motor Show this fall. The cars you see here will appear on the cover of the April 10 issue of Japan’s Best Car magazine and are claimed, audaciously, to be renderings of a production model.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: Complete 3D-printed Toyota 22RE engine and W56 transmission

A crazily talented engineer by the name of Eric Harrell of Santa Cruz, California has gone and cold printed out a 22RE engine and W56 transmission. Yes, it’s just like the one you’d find in a Toyota Hilux or 4Runner, and yes, this working scale model of one of the most famous Toyota drivetrain combinations of all time was spit out from a 3D printer and assembled.  Continue reading

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PROJECT B: Owning a classic car in Japan, Part 03 — The Streets

Prince Skyline GT-B in Tokyo - GR21-875

In Part 01 of this series I went in search of my first classic car, a Prince Skyline GT-B. In Part 02 I proved to the city of Tokyo, where I live, that I had space to park it and went through Japan’s infamous Shaken safety inspection to get it street legal. Now comes the fun part — driving it through the streets of Tokyo. But first, I needed a license plate. Continue reading

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MINICARS: Mysterious “?” Datsun 240Z appears on Hot Wheels official site

Datsun 240Z Hot Wheels RLC
A mysterious “?” appeared on the official Hot Wheels Collectors site today with no explanation but a countdown timer to March 31, 2015. Below it are the words “HWC Special Edition Datsun 240Z” and “Spring Race Week.”

No images or further details were provided. Could this be the long-postponed Red Line Club BRE 240Z companion to the BRE 510? We have no further information at this time and that’s just speculation. In any case, it’s something to watch out for.

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ART CORNER: Bosozoku Cats and Kyuusha by San Mamiya

Toyota Celica A20 & Datsun 620

San Mamiya is a brilliant artist from Japan that operates mainly on Instagram. With an apparent fondness for old cars, bosozoku cats and the superdeformed style that populates manga, his illustrations exhibit a unique Nihon style that can probably be loosely described as Japanese Ed Roth.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2015 Nostalgic2Days, Part 02

055-DL054_Isuzu Piazza Asso di Fiori

One of the featured marques at this year’s Nostalgic2Days was Isuzu. It’s a brand that usually doesn’t get much love, here or in Japan, so it was a rare opportunity to see some machines from the company’s own collection.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Let’s Make a Deal on some Datsuns

Let's Make a Deal Datsuns

Here are a bunch of costumed contestants going apeshit over some Datsuns on Let’s Make a Deal. Everything from Li’l Hustler 620 pickups to 260Z sports cars to 710 wagons are dazzlingly revealed as prizes in one of the most popular game shows of the 1970s.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Mint unicorn Datsun F10 Wagon

Perhaps you’ve always wanted a Datsun, but find that 240Zs and 510s are annoyingly rear-wheel-drive. Or maybe you find even Skylines and B210s too common. Speaking of under-appreciated JNCs, here’s a 1978 Datsun F10 Wagon on craigslist.  Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the most under-appreciated JNC?

1984 Toyota Camry

One could argue that all JNCs are under-appreciated, but even among the outcasts there’s a hierarchy. Not all of us can drive 2000GTs and Hakosukas, or even 510s.

What’s the most under-appreciated JNC?

Allow us to proffer the 1984 Toyota Camry. Sure, it was the bland brown box that launched an army of spaced out drivers that would rather be doing anything else, including performing a self root canal. It was the patient zero that spawned generations of mindless zombies shuffling from A-to-B. It was Beige Genesis.

But it was also the first car for a nation of pre-Facebook teens hopped up on hormones. It provided countless souls with depressingly thin wallets their first taste of worry-free mobility and freedom. And it was indestructable, an amazing feat of engineering durability that forced everyone else to stop foisting shitboxes on an unsuspecting populace. Not to mention it filled ToMoCo’s coffers with the money to spend on Lexuses, Supras and MR2s.

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 biggest JNC regret?”  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2015 Nostalgic2Days, Part 01

13-999_Toyota Crown S40 Mooneyes

Nostalgic 2 Days, the annual two-day event held by Nostalgic Hero, is as much a car show as it is a trade show. It’s as if the magazine springs to life, particularly the pages in which Japan’s classic car businesses — shops, dealers and restorers — advertise their services. Because many of these outfits’ livelihoods depend on attracting as much business in an already niche market, there’s sometimes the need to outdo one another with the most extreme resto-mods or the finest restorations.  Continue reading

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PROJECT B: Owning a classic car in Japan, Part 02 — The Shaken

Prince Skyline GT-B - Shaken

In Part 01 of this series, I went through the process of searching for the appropriate classic car. Even though I live in Tokyo, it turns out the best way to get the car I wanted, a Prince Skyline GT-B, was to buy an export model from Australia. In this installment, I document what you need to get it past Japan’s dreaded Shaken roadworthiness inspection.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2015 New Year Meeting, Part 08 — Parking Area Finds

167-P1150197_NissanFairladyZ-S30

Closing out our coverage of the 2015 New Year Meeting, we make a quick run through the show’s parking area. Thanks to the Japanese protocol of backing into their parking spaces, we were able to get full views of spectators’ rides to the show unobstructed by vans and kei cars. As is typical of Japan, even many areas of the parking lot were beautifully paved with a concrete lattice over manicured grass.

Early comers were able to secure adjacent spaces for similar rides, as was the case for these Fairladies. Here, twin G-noses were joined by what appears to be a fuel-injected 1975 example equipped with an SCCN air dam. Continue reading

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NEWS: Can you spot all the nostalgic styling cues of the Suzuki iM-4 Concept?

Suzuki iM4 Geneva Motor Show 07

Suzuki may be gone from the US market, but it’s alive and well in the rest of the world. The 85th Geneva Motor Show is going on right now, and its automotive branch unveiled this morning the Suzuki iM-4 Concept, a compact 4WD laden with styling cues from Suzuki’s past models. Can you spot them all?  Continue reading

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EVENTS: Sunday morning at Daikoku Futo

355s_Honda S800 & Toyota Sports 800

Located right off the famed Wangan Bayshore Route in Yokohama, Daikoku Futo PA is a congress for car fiends. As die-hard fans of JDM-land know, representatives of any and every type of Japanese tuning subculture come together to appreciate the many facets of  the customized automobile. It’s like Cars & Coffee without the coffee, unless you toss a few yen into the ubiquitous vending machines. On a recent Sunday morning, the lot was full by 9:00 am. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your biggest JNC regret?

ArtCenterCarClassic2010_008_Toyota_2000GT

You hear these stories all the time: “I should’ve never sold that car.” “One day it was gone and the owner said he sold it for scrap.” “I bought a Chrysler Sebring.” Life is full of regrets, and cars are a major source for them.

What’s your biggest JNC regret?

In 1999 I was working my first real job, and by real job I mean one with a desk where I could secretly browse eBay. One day, I came across a Belatrix Yellow Toyota 2000GT. Back then, it was pretty rare to see one for sale at all, so I contacted the seller to ask what reserve was. To my surprise, he actually took the time to write back, even though both he knew and I knew that I could never afford it. “It’s kind of expensive,” he said, “$150,000.” If you factored in the cost of commuting, I was almost making negative wages, but I’m still kicking myself for not taking out a massive loan and living in it. I would’ve been a millionaire today.

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 Mr K story?Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Another KPGC10 Hakosuka GT-R up for US auction

1971 Nissan Skyline GT-R 02

Located in Fletcher, North Carolina, this Hakosuka is the third C10 Nissan Skyline GT-R to be offered at auction in seven months. Rare in its absence of what has become known as the “hako wing,” it has been offered, notably, on eBay and in online classified ads rather than high-end auction house, by the very same seller who set a record in Monterey last year with the $242,000 Hako.  Continue reading

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PROJECT B: Owning a classic car in Japan, Part 01 — The Search

Prince Skyline GT-B in Tokyo - GR21-870

Welcome to a new multi-part series on JNC, in which we document what it’s like to buy, register, and own a classic car in Japan. The car in question is a Prince Skyline GT-B, the car that started the Skyline Legend, owned by our friend Ken Lee, but not that Ken Lee, who lives in Tokyo. — Ben

My interest for classic cars began while hanging out with some friends and going out together on haikyo excursions across Japan. During these trips, I noticed that one particular friend, in addition to taking photographs of haikyo, had a thing for shooting the many old cars – noticeably classic cars of style — that we often came across. On our drives he would give me the lowdown on these cars and my interest was piqued.  Continue reading

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