VIDEO: These dekotora drivers use their modded trucks for acts of charity

The image of a dekotora driver in Japan typically isn’t a wholly positive one. Much like hard core truckers in the US, they are seen as rough around the edges, people you wouldn’t want to confront alone at a remote highway rest stop. However, at least one dekotora owner wanted to change that image, and has enlisted his fellow drivers into using their trucks to do good. Continue reading

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MINICARS: Tomica is coming to Walmart

There’s some great news for fans of Japanese diecast. Tomica cars will soon be available in the United States, at Walmart stores. “Having sold more than a half a billion units around the world, Tomica is known for luxury premium design, stylized details and more moveable parts than other diecast collectibles,” Tomy International’s PR team’s Scott Goldberg said in an email. It’s true Tomicas often have opening doors and great detail, but the for the current generation of collectors, unlike in the 80s, the real draw is the subject matter — Japanese cars. Continue reading

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MINICARS: The Hot Wheels Street Tuners set is absolutely stunning

The latest batch of cars from the Hot Wheels’ premium Car Culture pays homage to the paradigm-shifting Gran Turismo generation. It’s almost amazing that it took this long to get a collectors’ series dedicated to icons of the Japanese tuner scene, but it was worth the wait, and here’s why. Continue reading

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Happy 86 Day from JNC

As far as we know, 86 Day was the first of the chassis code-based holidays in the JNC community. Toyota even started an official 86 Festival in Japan at Fuji Speedway on August 6. Can you think of any earlier ones? All hail the Hachiroku on this sacred day, the day of 86es.

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QotW: What’s your dealbreaker when buying a used JNC?

Buying the JNC of your dreams can be a harrowing task. We all know the heart flutter we get when the proper model, trim level, condition, color, and optional equipment shows up in an ad. We also know the gut-wrenching disappointment that can ensue when the we discover that the car has been repainted, had a “little fender bender,” or a cascade of rust under the wheel well. No matter how great a car is, there are some things that make you walk away.

What’s your dealbreaker when buying a used 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 was the moment you fell in love with JNCs?Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Geo Tracker should be your next overlanding rig

When you think Geo Tracker, your brain typically conjures the image of a convertible top, two-door, cute-ute, maybe in some jaunty color, maybe hanging out at the beach. But the Tracker, and the Suzuki Sidekick it was based on, had actual off-roading chops that should have made it a real competitor in the SUV wars of the mid-90s. With Land Cruiser prices skyrocketing, there’s no reason why the Tracker can’t be your off-grid apocalypse survival machine. Continue reading

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NEWS: Toyota’s next supercar could cost $1.8 to $2.7 million

Another reason Toyota might have farmed out the production of the A90 Supra is that it might be coming out with another supercar that will blow the Supra, 2000GT, and Lexus LFA out of the water. Reportedly, Toyota is planning to put the Gazoo Racing Super Sport Concept into limited production, and the price tag could be anywhere from $1.80 to $2.75 million USD. Continue reading

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MARKETWATCH: Honda RS1000 sells for nearly $90,000

We recently wrote about Japan’s first-ever high-end motorcycle auction taking place in conjunction with the 42nd running of the Suzuka 8 Hours race. Well, the auction took place July 27, and the results are in. The most expensive bike sold, by a long shot, was  the 1982 Honda RS1000 racer for nearly $90,000. Continue reading

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BACK ROADS: Mitsubishi Debonair

If asked to conjure the most opulent Japanese cars ever built, the first that come to mind is probably the Toyota Century. A Nissan President may come in a close second, or maybe even a Gloria Turbo Brougham VIP Super Selection Ⅱ, but rarely do we think of Mitsubishi Motors’ offering, the Debonair. It’s time to rectify that. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Why Nissan celebrated the 50th anniversary of the GT-R and Z at a rest stop

This year marks momentous anniversaries for several Japanese institutions. The Nissan Skyline GT-R turned 50 in February, and the Nissan Fairlady Z will celebrate its 50th this fall. To commemorate these events, Nissan held a 50th anniversary celebration not at its Yokohama headquarters, its Ginza gallery, or its Zama warehouse, but at an expressway rest stop containing a Starbucks, McDonalds, and udon shop. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s was the moment you fell in love with JNCs?

There were several moments for me, but the first was a photo of a Toyota 2000GT found in the magazine rack of a Skaggs Alpha Beta in Texas circa 1989. Young me had thought Corvettes and Countaches were the be-all and end-all of performance cars, and if a mainstream carmaker like Toyota had built anything similar, surely I would’ve known about it, I naively believed. And yet, here was this absolutely fantastic machine that had been hidden in plain sight. I had to know more. That chance encounter started me down a long path of digging up every morsel of information I could about Japanese cars, and here we are today.

What’s was the moment you fell in love with JNCs?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What modern car will be a collectible JNC 25 years from now?Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Original-owner 1988 Nissan Van

Here’s your chance to own perhaps one of the rarest JNCs ever sold in the US. You’ll probably see more Hakosuka Skylines on the road than the second-generation Nissan Vanette, known simply as the Nissan Van in the States, as it was one of the few models in automotive history whose entire production run was recalled by the manufacturer. Continue reading

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NEWS: Mazda still testing rotary engine in RX-8 mule

Last year we reported that Mazda appeared to be running an RX-8 test mule in Europe. The RX-8, as you know, has been out of production since 2012, and a rotary engine successor has gone through more cycles of rumor and denial than Half-Life 3. We are happy to report, however, that this test vehicle is still at it. In fact, it has since shown up with a companion at the famed Nürburgring. Continue reading

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Japan unleashes retro mobile post office based on the Toyota HiLux

On July 19 Japan’s postal service kicked off a national campaign featuring a retro truck that will serve as a mobile mail drop. Based on the sixth-generation Toyota HiLux, the roving post office will travel to tourist destinations and appear at various festivals across the country, giving people the chance to send their postcards and letters on the spot. Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Plymouth Colt showed what Mitsubishi was capable of at its peak

It’s no secret that Mitsubishi hasn’t been at its best in recent years. Back when it was firing on all cylinders and spinning all its silent shafts, its lineup was actually described as “terrific” and full of “show stoppers,” according to Motorweek. The crew from Owings Mills aren’t known as the harshest critics, but I think we can all agree that when adjectives like “stylish,” “slicked-up,” and “handsome” are used to describe even Mitsubishi’s lowliest entry-level offerings like the Plymouth Colt, the company must have been doing something right.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels Nissan Hardbody D21 minitruck

Hot Wheels has definitely been on a roll these days, with lots of Skylines, Hondas, and assorted Japanese-market goodness. The latest release, however, covers a styling trend in which Japanese vehicles were extremely popular, but had uniquely American origins: the minitruck. Specifically, it’s a 1993 Nissan Hardbody. Continue reading

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QotW: What modern car will be a collectible JNC 25 years from now?

Owners of classics love to complain about new cars. Not enough soul, too much tech, not enough value, too much weight, and so on. But, there are perhaps a few offerings that you would like to own, maybe even deem worthy of keeping for posterity. For the purposes of this question, we’ll define “modern” as being made in the last five years.

What modern car will be a collectible JNC 25 years from now?

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 longest road trip you’ve taken with your JNC?Continue reading

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JNC THEATER: Tom Cruise uncovers his old Kawasaki Ninja in Top Gun: Maverick trailer

The surprise dropping of the trailer for the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick has given fans of Japanese nostalgic motorcycles a cool throwback to the 80s. In one scene, Tom Cruise’s character whips the cover off his old bike, a Kawasaki GPZ900R, otherwise known as the original Ninja. It was a fitting steed for Cruise’s Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, because at the time it was the fastest production ever made. Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels X JNC Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R

We at JNC are proud to announce the next Hot Wheels car to bear our logo, the legendary R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R. This is the first casting beyond the chrome-bumper era to wear the mark, and we couldn’t think of a better car to represent the 80s and 90s era of JNCs. Continue reading

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BIKES: Japan kicks off high-end collector motorcycle auctions

We at JNC certainly love our classic Japanese cars, but Japan’s true technological tour de force came on two wheels. The design, engineering, and performance of Japanese bikes had an even bigger impact on the motorcycling world than that of Japanese cars on the automotive world. It was only a matter of time that collectible classic and racing bikes would get their turn on the auction block. Continue reading

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