MOTORSPORT: Mazda’s 787B Le Mans livery rides again

Mazda IMSA Protoype 55 Le Mans livery

It may not be 24 hours and it may not be Le Mans, but the Six Hours of Watkins Glen is no walk in the park. In honor of the 25th anniversary of its Le Mans win, Mazda wrapped one of its IMSA prototypes — number 55, as it happens — in the orange and green livery of the legendary 787B when it ran last weekend. “It’s kind of emotional… to be in the firesuit just like they wore and [with] the livery on the car,” said co-driver Jonathan Bomarito, “The fan reaction was absolutely incredible.”  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Two F1 drivers in a Honda S800

Mobil 1 Endless Road Trip

In a series of new ads by Mobil 1, McLaren-Honda Formula One drivers Jensen Button and Fernando Alonso take a road trip across the world. Though the banter is groan-inducing, the good thing is that the pair takes the trip in a Honda S800.  Continue reading

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QotW: What does your family think of your JNC?

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Our love for old Japanese cars may seem like the most rational thing in the world to friends and fellow JNCers, but often it leaves the rest of the unenlightened scratching their heads (ie “Why are you spending so much money and time on an old Corolla?” or “Is that thing safe?” or “What’s that smell?”).

What does your family think of your JNC?

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 was your second car?”   Continue reading

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Happy 4th of July from JNC

Muto Z

For the 4th of July, here’s the most patriotic looking zokusha we could find, the Muto Z. Happy Independence Day from JNC.

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REMINDER: JCCS 2016 Registration opens today

JCCS2016
Registration for the 2016 Japanese Classic Car Show has opened. Be sure to sign up for the US’s premier gathering of historic automobiles from Japan.

The show takes place September 25, 2016 at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California and open to both cars and motorcycles.

This year, the show is celebrating racing heritage, with special appearances by the BRE Datsun 510, Mazda’s 24 Hours of Daytona RX-7, Toyota’s SCCA Corolla TE27, and a Honda Civic Group A replica.

Toyotafest registration sold out in less than 24 hours. Don’t miss out. You can register at the official JCCS website here.

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NEWS: Toyota creates Initial D-inspired 86

Toyota GT86 Initial D 05

Often, things that are blindingly obvious to enthusiasts sail high over the heads of the automakers themselves. Sometimes, though, they nail it. Take, for example, Toyota UK’s creation of a Toyota GT86 (aka FR-S) inspired by Takumi Fujiwara’s fictional hachiroku from the classic manga Initial DContinue reading

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Honda celebrates 40 years of the Accord

004-Sk563_Honda Accord

The ubiquitous Honda Accord turns 40 today, launched in June of 1976 as America was still reeling from the oil crisis. It was small (with a wheelbase less than a modern Fit’s) and light enough (at 2,083 pounds) that it could easily surpass 40 mpg in highway driving, and immediately endeared itself to long-suffering drivers of gas guzzlers.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? The Cleanest Celica Liftback in Minnesota

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Minnesota, perennially known for salt-caked streets, Prince, and Steve Buscemi getting fed into a woodchipper, is also known for being in the top five places to not live if you intend on keeping a classic Japanese car rust free and not stolen. However, despite the odds this owner has managed to keep his 1977 RA29 Celica Liftback completely perfect.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Restored kenmeri Datsun 240K race car

kenmeri Datsun 240K race car

The kenmeri Skyline famously was debuted in race regalia at the 1972 Tokyo Motor Show, only to have Nissan pull the plug on the motorsports program it would have competed in due to the Oil Shock of 1973. It may never have seen trackside glory in Japan, but there was never a car the Aussies didn’t try to throw at a racetrack.  Continue reading

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QotW: What was your second car?

05_Mazda Basement GLC & 323 GTX_MakeModel

Over biru and yakitori dinner Monday night in Ikebukuro, the JNC Japan team discussed cars we’ve owned. Brandon had the bright idea of going around the table to with what their second car was — simply because the first is often a hand-me-down or but the second car is something you actually choose, sometimes even smartly, after learning a thing or two about cars in general.

Also, probably because he owned the coolest one of all, a Mazda 323 GTX. Skorj had a Karmann Ghia, Ken had a Honda Civic Si, San Mamiya has yet to own his first, and I had a Lexus SC 300 5-speed. We the thought to put the question to you, dear readers:

What was your second car?

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 most heartbreaking tale of JNC loss?”  Continue reading

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EVENTS: Old School Love, New School Flavor Part 01

Corolla Generations Team_Nostalgic 2016

After featuring their Old School Love, New School Flavor show last year (Part 01, Part 02, Part 03) at Schiller Park in the Chicagoland area, organizers Team Nostalgic invited us to come out again so we could see what Chicago’s Japanese nostalgic car community looks like when it is not being rained out. This years show was easily twice as big as last year’s and was so jam-packed with Toyotas and Mazdas that they easily outnumbered every other brand ten to one.  Continue reading

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JNC Theater: Comedians in Cosmo Getting Coffee ‘n More

Mazda Cosmo Sport - Jerry Seinfeld Margaret Cho Comedians Cars Coffee

The latest episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee just aired, featuring a 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport and Margaret Cho. Is there rhyme or reason to the pairing? Well, both are very unique, bold, and challenge established conventions. Watch the episode to find out more about why the Cosmo — the beautiful example from the Malamut Automotive Museum — is the perfect car for Margaret. Continue reading

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25 YEAR CLUB: Celebrating the Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B, Part 04

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Twenty-five years ago today, the Mazda 787B started on a 24-hour journey that would change Japan’s motorsport history. As you know, Mazda won the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans, and in parts 01, 02, and 03 of our tribute to this car, we provided you the historical facts of the journey that led to this victory. Now, let us put that journey into perspective and take a look at the implication and influence it has on some of our favorite JNCs. Continue reading

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PROFILES: Driving Toyota’s Great Race 1970 Corolla

072-IMG_1963_Toyota Corolla KE10

“It’s a bit snug,” says Jamie Bestwick in typical British understatement as he slides his racing seat into position. He bashes into the knees of his navigator, Laurence Foster, who is hunched in the back seat. Bestwick, a 13-time X-Games gold medalist in the BMX category and an Englishman, is dressed like a 1970s pimp with gold chain, bright red scarf, and a hat whose brim radius is larger than a bus tire’s. In the passenger seat, co-driver BJ Baldwin, a Baja 1000 winner, has on bell-bottoms, Lennon sunglasses, and a floral pattern shirt that would make James May seethe with envy.

The three of them are packed a 1970 Toyota Corolla about to embark on a 10-day, 2,500-mile cross-country rally. Bestwick calls it “The Man Can.”  Continue reading

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NEWS: Nissan IDx to appear in Fast 8?

Nissan IDx Fast 8 The Rock

The Nissan IDx might be dead but it might ride again in the next installment of the Fast & Furious franchise. Continue reading

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MINICARS: 2016 Hot Wheels X JNC Datsun 620 Car Culture series

1492_Hot Wheels Car Culture Trucks Datsun 620

Today is 6/20. And as it happens we received the latest pre-production Hot Wheels samples at the doorstep of JNC HQ, and it’s is none other than the Datsun 620.  Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your most heartbreaking tale of JNC loss?

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It’s sure to be a quiet day at the office in Aichi today. After the exact opposite of a fairy tale ending to Toyota’s Le Mans race over the weekend, the tears of Toyotaku are flowing like the waters of the River Sarthe. In what will surely go down as one of the greatest upset finishes in Le Mans history, Toyota led for almost the entire 24 hours only to suffer a breakdown five minutes from the end, handing the victory to Porsche. It’s an ending known RX-7 owner George RR Martin couldn’t have written better himself.

What’s your most heartbreaking tale of JNC loss?

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 Japanese nostalgic grand tourer?”  Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Toyota wins the 23 Hours, 55 Minutes of Le Mans

Rumor has it that Mazda, as the only Japanese automaker to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall, has a pre-written letter ready to congratulate Toyota should it ever become the second. Despite what seemed like a sure victory, that letter will remain in a Hiroshima drawer for now, after Toyota lost its lead with five minutes left in this year’s race.  Continue reading

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25 YEAR CLUB: Celebrating the Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B, Part 03

787b_p3_1

In the previous installments of our 25th anniversary commemoration of  Mazda 787B’s historic Le Mans win, we looked at the race car’s genealogy as well as the origin of its team. With the rules change imminent, it was the last year a non-piston engine would be permitted. It was Mazda’s final rotary assault at Le Mans.  Continue reading

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25 YEAR CLUB: Celebrating The Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B, Part 02

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The 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans is now underway — a perfect occasion to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the historic victory of the Mazda 787B. If you’re listening to or watching the race live, join us on a break for a glimpse into Mazda’s Le Mans odyssey.  Continue reading

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