MOTORSPORT: Why Calsonic Blue is a legendary livery in Japanese racing

Outside of Japan, most enthusiasts’ first encounter with the legendary Calsonic Blue livery of Nissan’s touring cars was likely in Gran Turismo. Specifically, it graced the R32 Skyline GT-R of the Japan Touring Car Championships, and while Godzilla notably won every single JTCC race it competed in from 1990-93, the Calsonic liveried cars were the winningest, taking the championship in both the first and the final seasons. The JTCC R32s were what made the livery famous, but this wasn’t the first use of Calsonic Blue.  Continue reading

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ICON: Honda City Turbo, the quintessential Japanese hot hatch

High performance machines are no stranger to Honda. The Japanese carmaker may have spent recent years perfecting mass-market consumer runabouts, but its legacy in high-revving precision-handling vehicles is well cemented in the hearts of car enthusiasts. With the new-age NSX and Civic Type R and the likes of S660, Honda seems to be getting back in touch with its passionate side. All these Honda performance cars now sport turbochargers, and while Hondas have traditionally been associated with incredible power-to-displacement ratios from naturally aspirated engines, forced induction is not new to the marque. As such, it seems appropriate now to revisit this forbear of modern Honda performance, the Honda City Turbo, one of the most iconic hot hatches of the 1980s. Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC emblem/logo needs to come back?

Recently, we saw a great example of an AE82 with 10k on the odometer. It reminded me of the car in which I learned how to drive: our family’s 1985 AE82 in the same color, same interior, but with a manual and I believe it was a DX grade. The grille was different but the emblem was the same. “TOYOTA”. Simple, clean and undeniable.

Now, I’m a fan of emblems. I have a box of emblems that I’ve gathered over the years from junk yards and late-night eBay purchases. There are some excellent badges that I won’t say to keep the discussion free-flowing. The TOYOTA badge is not the best one out there, it’s just something from my early driving years. I do wish we got back to some of the “classic” badging… I’ll allow models that may not be in production now (but maybe could be coming back!) What do you think?

What JNC emblem/logo needs to come back?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC would make a great mobile office?Continue reading

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Have a relaxing Labor Day from JNC

It’s Labor Day in the United States so the JNC staff is taking a break from our regularly scheduled program until tomorrow. Fifty years ago, though, the Mazda factory was hard at work churning out three-wheeled trucks. The K360 kei car was built alongside the T1500 and T2000 with not a robot in sight. Industry!

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 10,000-mile 1984 Toyota Corolla LE

Do you want a supremely mint example of a hugely influential mid-80s Corolla that helped spread the Toyota gospel far and wide around the world? Behold, a 10,500-mile Toyota Corolla LE sedan. What, you were expecting an AE86? The argument could be made that the front-drive AE82, the first to be co-built in the United States with General Motors, became the foundation on which the modern Toyota empire was built.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 34k-mile 1991 Toyota MR2 Turbo

At this year’s Toyotafest we were saw an increase in stock (or stock appearing) and period correct examples of the second-generation MR2. Gone were the Invader body kits and intake snorkels from the Tuner Era heyday. Clearly, the unmolested SW20 is something collectable, especially when it has only 34,270 miles on the clock.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Restored Mazda Cosmo Sport runs the Hamburg-Berlin Rally

After a truly heroic restoration of a rusted out Cosmo Sport, Mazda Germany did what anyone would do with a newly restored classic rotary — take it on a three-day road rally.  Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Team Highball IMSA RX-7, the most successful endurance racer of all time

It is often said that rotary engines are unreliable. And yet, some of the greatest long-distance racers have been pistonless Mazdas, including what has been called the most successful endurance racer of all time: the Team Highball 1985 IMSA GTU RX-7. Continue reading

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EVENTS: Automobile Council 2017, Part 01

Japanese automakers seem to have a newfound passion for their heritage. In the past six months, Nissan, Mazda and Honda have all announced programs aimed at restoring iconic models. We’re not sure if the Automobile Council show has anything to do with it, but the unique event focuses on marque history and model lineage, and more importantly, has managed to gain support from major automakers both foreign and domestic.  Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: IMSA Mazda RX-3 at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Mazda continued to flex its racing heritage muscle at this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. In addition to its usual usual cadre of booming (and zooming) rotary racers, four new participants ripped around the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the 2017 run of North America’s premier vintage racing event. The first is a car that caught our attention weeks ahead of the race: a 1978 Mazda RX-3 IMSA racer. Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC would make a great mobile office?

[Author’s note: Sorry Ben, the above JNC company van is excluded from this QotW. I, too, think it is wonderful, but not in the summer with the exhaust heat coming through the floor ;)]

The way we conduct business is changing each and every day. Sitting at a desk with a comfy chair and bathrooms around the corner are being replaced with adequate A/C blowing while stopped in traffic or sitting at a parking area trying to send emails and munch on the latest drive-thru value set.

Sometimes work involves hauling gear, or having the ability to go the long distance worry-free. With so many jobs that take us out of the office, I want to ask:

What JNC would make a great mobile office?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC would represent the music of today?Continue reading

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VIDEO: Ichikawa Parking Area in the Bubble Era

At the height of the Bubble Era, meets stretched deep into the pre-dawn hours. Even at 4 am, parking areas like Ichikawa PA were filled with Savannas, Soarers, and Skylines. Tuning legend Isami Amemiya even shows up with an FC3S and his original rotary ChantezContinue reading

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CLASSIC CM: Behold, a solid half hour of Suzuki commercials

Do you have some time to kill? Well, then perhaps you can watch a solid half hour of Japanese Suzuki TV spots, ranging from 1978 to 2000, ranging from sincere to zany and selling everything from scooters to off-roaders. Michael Jackson even makes an appearance in some of them. These commercials make me regret losing Suzuki in our market even more. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Mazda Germany’s Cosmo Sport restoration is done

Mazda Germany’s Cosmo Sport saga is finally complete. In the last batch of episodes, the car has gone from rust-holed barn occupant to show-worthy classic. If you’re new to the series, see parts 01 and 02, then watch the rest below. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Jay Leno gifts Magnus Walker a Toyota Corolla Liftback

In a recent episode of Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC, the Denim Prince gives a car to clothing designer Magnus Walker. Magnus melted the internet a few years ago when he began quietly posting his huge Porsche collection on an internet forum. Since then, he’s become on of the stars in the new school Porsche modding movement. He started his carefully curated collection with the early 911, specifically limiting it to one from every year between its introduction in 1964 to 1973. But as his renown grew, so did his tastes. He then expanded to other Porsches like the 930 Turbo, 964, 914, and 924, helping reignite the fervor in the collector’s world each time. Now, he’s into Toyota Corollas. Continue reading

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Happy Eclipse Day from JNC

Today is the first time a total solar eclipse will be visible in America in nearly a century, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most. So of course we’re going to make an Eclipse joke, but Mitsubishi actually beat us to it — they referenced this day back in 1990 when the Mitsubishi Eclipse debuted.  Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC would represent the music of today?

Ben recently dropped some knowledge on us with the news about Biz Markie and his love of the Mazda MPV. I remember watching his videos and later as a guest on Yo! MTV Raps in the day. I think I even have some trading cards from the show somewhere…

Seeing the post got me wondering what JNC would represent the music of today. In all honesty, I don’t know what is huge these days and I just tap into what friends recommend, interesting tunes found on YouTube and stuff I grew up with. So, I tune to our readers to cherry pick a JNC and music sample of today. Remember, post a link to the music your JNC represents to be considered for the following:

What JNC would represent the music of today?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC needs a line of restoration parts support?Continue reading

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MINICARS: A Hot Wheels Nissan Laurel is coming [UPDATE: Another pic]

When we posted about the new Hot Wheels Fairlady Z casting we said there was more news we were excited to share when the time was right. That time is now. Two reveals in as many days, Hot Wheels has unveiled the latest JNC in the lineup, the C130 Nissan Laurel SGX. Finished in metallic green, and it’s a true beauty. And as always, we at JNC are honored to debut a new logo on the rear quarter panel with our friends at GReddy. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Infiniti Prototype 9

Reactions to the Infiniti Prototype 9 have been polarized. Perhaps photos don’t do the one-off design exercise justice. Luckily for you, Infiniti has released a series of videos showcasing its retro EV racer concept. Sometimes seeing the car in motion helps. Continue reading

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MINICARS: A metal base Hot Wheels Fairlady Z

Hot Wheels has revealed an updated Nissan Fairlady Z which has a new, metal base. The front air dam is much more pronounced, as metal-chassis cars are typically for collectors and not orange tracks, where such a chin spoiler might interfere with the movement.

Continue reading

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