VIDEO: Nissan restores 1987 Paris-Dakar Patrol

In 1987, Nissan won the diesel class of the Paris-Dakar Rally with a turbodiesel Patrol. It was promptly retired and languished in a museum for almost three decades. Then, a group of Nissan engineers saw some photos of it in a forum, brought it back to their headquarters, and restored it.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels designer Ryu Asada talks about his cars, career, and his love for Hondas

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“Honda for Life” is the motto of Ryu Asada, star designer at Hot Wheels. Born in Osaka, Japan and a lover of cars since infancy, he’s the man responsible for the Hot Wheels CRX, S2000, EF Civic, 1990 NSX, Integra and Monkey, but also a Non-Honda castings ranging from the 1972 Chevy LUV (aka Isuzu Faster) to the Tesla Model S. How did a car-loving kid from Osaka become an influential designer for the most popular toy car brand in the world? Continue reading

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QotW: What was your most eventful winter holiday trip?

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The temps are dropping, we are nearly halfway into December and it’s time to start making treks or planning them. Do you take a plane, train, or automobile? Well, depending on your luck with venturing out into the cold and slippery, you might just call it a year!

My own experience years ago had me driving my 1988 Mazda 323 GTX over Snoqualmie Pass as I moved from my home in Redmond to my University in Ellensburg, Washington. The 323 was loaded to the hatch with everything I needed for college life. The weather was a white wall of snow at 10:00 PM and the 4 lanes of traffic kinda sauntered into two as all cars danced with every manner of bad drivers, deserted cars on the sides of the road and 18-wheelers plowing through with taillights as the only guide. It was unnerving even with 4WD. The car made it, barely, but even at slow speeds I was exhausted as I pulled into my new city limits. How about you? Tell us:

What was your most eventful winter holiday trip?

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 can you live without hearing about again? Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2016 Classic Japan show in Australia

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One of our favourite nostalgic car shows in any country is Classic Japan, which is held in Melbourne, Australia in December every year. Melbourne is 1000 km away from JNC‘s Australian HQ in Sydney, so it’s also an opportunity to gather some friends for a weekend away of good food and great cars. Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2016 Kiryu Classic Car Festival, Part 01

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The Kiryu Classic Car Festival holds a special place in the history of JNC. Back in 2006, long before any other English-language sites were interested in kyusha, it was the first show we covered in Japan. That also happened to be the first time the show was ever held, and it’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since. Continue reading

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TUNE UP: The Weeknd drives an FC3S RX-7

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We thought 1980s Toyotas had a lock on the music video game. Apparently not, as alternative R&B singer The Weeknd has posted to his Instagram feed photos of a flared FC3S Mazda RX-7 with “⚡️” (lightning bolt emoji) as the only comment. The car itself is a built owned by SoCal’s Buddha Concept Designs and will likely appear in The Weeknd’s next video. And if you look closely you can see that it’s even RHD. Perhaps he’ll collab with Rich Chigga next.

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Honda marks 30th anniversary of Canada manufacturing with its own Monopoly game

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In 1986, Honda became the first Japanese automaker to build cars in Canada. The Alliston, Ontario plant churned out Accords first, then Civics, and in 1998 a second plant was constructed to make Odysseys and CR-Vs. To mark the 30th anniversary of Honda Manufacturing Canada’s opening, a Honda-themed Monopoly game has been created.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2016 Meiji Jingu Classic Car Festival, Part 02

In Part 01 of our coverage of Tokyo’s Classic Car Festival at Meiji Jingu Gaien Park, I had just finished rolling up my tongue back into my mouth from which it had dropped, Tex Avery style, due to the cars brought out by the Toyota Automobile Museum. After their short parade tour of the city ended, the pack filed back to the grounds of the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery, and we were there to watch their triumphant return. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Nissan Stanza Wagon Retro Review

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The job of an automobile review is often an arduous and thankless task. Sometimes you’re thrown a curve ball like the Nissan Stanza Wagon. While fitting perfectly into the category of minivan, a category which is credited to the 1984 Dodge Caravan, it would be known during it’s tenure as an awkward little people mover.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: A proper Japanese vintage barrel for Hot Wheels

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Hot Wheels designer Jun Imai posted a photo of two newer Z castings recently, and hidden in the image was a surprise that bodes well for fans of proper Japanese barrels. If you look closely, you’ll notice that it’s a small size 4-spoke real rider. It’s a premium wheel perfectly proportioned for shakotan rides, which can only mean there’s some good J-tin on the way.

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EVENTS: 2016 Meiji Jingu Classic Car Festival, Part 01

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During the end of November, Tokyo was gray, hammered by a never-ending barrage of snow. Two weeks earlier there had a bone-shaking earthquake. Luckily, last Saturday welcomed us with a clear blue sky and a crisp, dry late-November day. The 26th marked the 10th anniversary of the Classic Car Festival hosted by the Toyota Automobile Museum (TAM) in Meiji Jingu Gaien Park, Tokyo.  Continue reading

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TUNE UP: Two sexy classics in Justice’s “Fire” video

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French band Justice’s latest video stars a pair of classics that are beautiful and seemingly ageless: an A60 Celica convertible and actor Susan Sarandon, who is according to Wikipedia apparently 70 years old (!). It’s no secret that 80s Toyotas have become the darlings of electronic musicians (and as a result, I will never stop talking about my love for my own ’86 Cressida Wagon), and this one is even shown being lovingly washed.  Continue reading

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QotW: Which JNC can you live without hearing about again?

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When you get a new car, you tend to notice the same model more and more. It’s natural and can be a cool feeling as you pass another owner and have the half-second “yea” connection. We could do that all day and is a cherry on top for your day (or that one and only bright moment if you’re having a crummy day — 笑).

On the flip side, sometimes you cannot get away from hearing about this or that car (Some would say we are guilty of always going on and on about the, ahem… our editor-in-chief’s Toyota Cressida Wagon) It could be the news or culture that is ablaze on a particular nameplate. We want to know (though like Ben and his wagon it’s not going to stop us from talking about them):

What’s JNC can you live without hearing about again?

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 JNC has stuck with you through thick and thin?Continue reading

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Behold, the new JNC wagon

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Behold, the new JNC Wagon. You’re looking at a 1987 Toyota Van in all its two-tone glory, complete with dual sunroof, ice maker, and a big ol’ pock mark smack dab in the middle of its prodigious face. Now for the drive back to LA. More photos to follow soon!

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A new JNC Wagon is on the horizon

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We are headed to San Francisco today to pick up what could be the next JNC Wagon. After nine years of service, our current one, a Cressida, is being taken off the road for some proper care. It has taken us all over the west coast, to nearly every show you’ve seen on this site, but it’s getting small and just a little bit worn out from SoCal’s harsh roads and sun. It needs some TLC. We’re scheduled to see the new car when we arrive tonight. If things go as planned we’ll be posting photos if the new ride tonight or tomorrow morning. Any guesses as to what it might be?

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Plaid-tastic 1980 Dodge Challenger, aka Mitsubishi Galant Λ

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A 1980 Mitsubishi-built captive import Dodge Challenger has appeared on Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s Craigslist. Advertised as a one-owner, garage kept, car, it might be one of the finest examples left in the country.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: AE86 with historic plates confounds Roadkill host

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In a recent episode of Roadkill Extras, host David Freiburger is at Westech Performance in Mira Loma, California when he’s rendered utterly dumbfounded at the presence of an AE86 wearing California Historic Vehicle license plates. Turns out, it’s a car we featured back 2009 and is owned by our friend Dennis David.  Continue reading

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TUNE UP: Rich Chigga is back with another zokusha Skyline

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Indonesian rapper Rich Chigga is back with another video and more zokusha sleds. Though his previous video featured a white Kenmeri, his new track titled “Who That Be” features none other than a C210 Skyline Japan. If the car looks familiar to you, that’s because it also appeared in the Red Bull F1 video. Continue reading

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NEWS: Honda marks 50th anniversary of N360 with N-One appearance package

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50 years ago this month, Honda debuted the N360 at the 1966 Tokyo Motor Show. To celebrate, Honda has issued a special appearance package for the retro-styled N-One available in Japan. Continue reading

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NEWS: The world’s first mass-produced compact 4WD car, restored

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Known as the world’s first mass-produced compact 4WD car, the Kurogane Type 95 began production in 1936. Only six are known to have survived, but three years ago a seventh one was discovered in a Kyoto auto repair shop, where it had sat for 60 years. This fall, it was finally restored.  Continue reading

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