Living in Tokyo’s 23-ku has many benefits, and detractions too I suppose. However, one of my great pleasures is the early morning commute across town. Many years ago I decided to ditch the usual meek-gray-mouse-crammed-onto-the-Ginza Line experience for a motorcycle. Continue reading
This past Saturday a group of select cars and their drivers gathered in Thousand Oaks, California for the inaugural running of JNC‘s Touge California. Named for the hallowed Japanese roads where racing heroes honed their skills and where drifting was born, the event was a 120-mile touring rally through some of the nation’s most scenic and renowned driving roads, through the Santa Monica mountains and along the Pacific Coast. Continue reading
Last week we learned that Toyota and Mazda have become bedfellows. We don’t yet know what will come of the union, but let’s imagine for a second that anything goes and that a time machine is involved. A V8-powered Luce? A three-rotor 2000GT? An AE86 with a tiny 1.8L V6?
What’s the ultimate Toyota-Mazda combo?
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 dream Datsun 510 build?” Continue reading
In the final installment of our 2015 Toyotafest coverage, we take a look at two types of vehicles Toyota is known for — its compact, rear-wheel-drive sport coupes and its famously indestructible workhorse trucks. The former once dominated the company’s lineup and the latter still lives on, and both are fast becoming classics.
Toyota and Mazda have signed a deal to enter a technology-sharing partnership. Besides bringing together two of Japan’s most renowned companies, the agreement also unites the world’s largest automaker with one of the world’s smallest independent automakers. So what does this mean for Toyotaku and Mazdafarians? Continue reading
If you’re going to be in Austin, Texas next week, don’t miss the NISMO Fiesta, a three-day celebration of all things Nissan. Cars from all over the Lone Star State and beyond will attend, and JNC will be making the trek in a Datsun 620 King Cab. Continue reading
So this is rather insane. UK-based FRP Automotive has developed an entire Datsun 240Z body made of, you guessed it, FRP (fiber reinforced polymer). The company offers the entire body, or individual panels including doors, hood, trunk and fenders. Now you can build the Frankenstein hybrid or circuit weapon Z of your choice without dealing with the dreaded iron oxide cancer. Continue reading
Please take note of a couple of new announcements for 2015. First, the show is moving to West Covina Nissan, which has a much bigger space for both show cars and spectators. And this year, Nissan Jam welcomes Infiniti branded cars for the first time!
Registration is about 80 percent full already, so hurry if you want to guarantee a spot for your Nissan, Datsun, or Infiniti. You can sign up here.
Take a dollop American car kulture, filter it through the distance of 5,500 miles and 12 time zones, sprinkle in a dash of home grown Japanese cars, and you get the Mooneyes Street Car Nationals. Continue reading
For years there have been special edition American pace cars and replicas seen crossing the block at Mecum and other auctions. However, what we have here is not a sales pitch for why you should invest in some frumpy mid 90s Oldsmobile but rather a 1972 Datsun 240Z pace car limited edition promotional model. This car is based off the car that was used at Ontario Motor Speedway in Ontario, California during the opening races at the track in 1972. This is one of the, if not THE first Japanese pace car used at an American race track. There were only 50 of these cars given to local California Datsun dealers for promotional purposes. Continue reading
Yesterday was May 10, or as those of us in countries that still use “inches” and “Fahrenheits” to measure things, 510 Day. The Datsun 510 is one of the most iconic Japanese classics, comes in a variety of body styles, and is one of the most easily modifiable platforms around with a host of engine, suspension and styling options. The possibilities are endless.
What’s your dream Datsun 510 build?
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 JNC is so ugly it’s cute?” Continue reading
Registration for over 400 Toyotafest spaces sold out in under 24 hours this year, a new record. Perhaps it was the fact that it was the show’s 20th anniversary, or that in Japan it was already May 3, Akio Toyoda‘s birthday, or maybe there are just a lot of loyal Toyotaku out there, including those of the extended Scion and Lexus families. All we know is that the pent-up demand for incredible Toyotas made for a fantastic show. Continue reading
Winning: The Racing life of Paul Newman will be opening in select cities this weekend ahead of its official debut. By now you know the story of the man, the actor, and his prolific racing career, much of it behind the wheel of Nissans and Datsuns. We have seen the documentary and can assure you it’s required viewing for any self-respecting enthusiast. If you don’t want to take our word for it, the car collection of the man who conceived it, Adam Carolla, speaks for itself. Continue reading
At a recent Cars & Coffee event in Tokyo, the usual proceedings were disrupted when a formation of Lexus supercars arrived on the scene. Emerging from the fleet was the most famous man in Japan’s auto industry: Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corp, followed by the chief designers of the LFA, RC, and RC F sports coupes. Continue reading
Twenty years. That’s how long the annual Toyotafest has been taking place, making it one of the longest running import-only car shows in SoCal. It’s easy to see why. Toyota is the world’s largest automaker and has accrued many loyal fans along the way in its 57 years in America. Continue reading
We’ve heard songs about JNCs, or music videos starring JNCs, but here’s the first ever track by a JNC. Behold this humdinger with lyrics courtesy of the voice box of a 1985 Nissan Maxima. Turn down for what! Continue reading
This question came up because of an encounter with a Nissan Juke. Sure, it might have the kind of face only a blind mother could love but Nissan still has no problems moving a couple thousand a month. That’s better than the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S combined. Japan has a history of building quirky — some would say ugly — cars, like the Datsun Cherry that writer Mickey Kaus once accused of hailing from the “atomic cockroach school of design.” But like the freckled girl you sat next to in science class, over time their quirks become endearing, because at least it stands out from the bars of soap that line suburban cul-de-sacs.
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 JNC stat would surprise non-JNC people?” Continue reading
Toyota USA is moving to Plano, Texas. The museum is likely going along with it. The Toyota Owners and Restorers Club, or TORC (the same guys that put on Toyotafest), have started a petition to keep the 150-car collection of classic, modern and race cars within the state of California. If you are interested in keeping this vital part of California’s car culture alive, please click here to sign.
With the return of the S-Series in the S660, a reborn NSX launching later this year, and new one-make race series based on the funky retro N-One, Honda is looking once again like a automaker with some soul. Their latest Japanese ad campaign, called “I Like Sports,” is the best since “The Impossible Dream.” Watch it below. Continue reading