MINICARS: Charge your phone with a Fairlady Z

There are few phone accessories a boring as a portable charger battery, usually no more than a rectangular box with an LED light and a USB port. In Japan, however, you can now charge your phone with something a little more stylish — a Nissan Fairlady Z.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: A cartoon history of the Suzuki Alto and motorcycle business

After a brief hiatus, Suzuki is back with two new cartoon videos explaining how the company got where it is today. The first outlines the genesis of the Alto, a revered name in kei cars, and the second explains how a Hamamatsu loom company became one of the world’s top motorcycle companies. Both follow the odd minimalist animation style we’ve seen from other Suzuki history videos in the series. So, if you like your car history in a format suggesting a Saturday morning cartoon with Soviet propaganda-style overtones, these are the videos for you. Continue reading

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This Kenmeri Skyline does not look o-kei

Japan is a place where space to park for your car is at a premium. Compared to most driving populations, Japan is full of visible feats of Jedi parking, where cars are squeezed with millimetric precision into the smallest parking spaces. So people usually know how to park their cars. But, there are exceptions, as this Kenmeri found out to its cost. Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Mitsubishi rally cars showcased at Megaweb

Though owned by Toyota, the Megaweb showcase in Odaiba, Tokyo and the adjacent History Garage offer much more than Aichi steel. Since last year, there has been a rotating exhibit of famous rally cars, often on loan from other automakers. Currently, it is Mitsubishi’s turn, and Tokyoites can see three of its legendary dirt throwers in person.  Continue reading

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OPEN THREAD: What did you think of JDM Legends episode 01?

The premiere episode of JDM Legends is airing on Velocity Channel on the west coast right now and has aired in most of the country. What did you think? Leave your comments in the open thread below.

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VIDEO: Subaru releases dueling heritage spots

This year is Subaru’s 60th anniversary as a carmaker, its 50th anniversary in the US, and also the 30th anniversary of STI, so it makes sense that the company is going HAM on the heritage spots. In a span of a few days, Subaru Japan has released two completely different videos celebrating their history, but one is a bit more entertaining than the other. Continue reading

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Kidney, Anyone?: Hardtop convertible Suzuki Sidekick

The Suzuki Sidekick hails from the waning days of the SUV golden age, before they all devolved into the rolling unibody mayonnaise jars we call crossovers. As a more civilized version of the Samurai, it was a truck admired by both off-road enthusiasts and mini-truckers alike. To the four-wheeling enthusiast, it was a cheap, small-bodied 4×4 that could punch far above it’s weight on a trail, and mini-truckers admired it for its simple, crisp lines and top-down aesthetic.  Continue reading

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JNC THEATER: Behind the scenes with JDM Legends on the eve of their Velocity Channel premiere

Until now, the world of automotive-themed television shows has been pretty lackluster when it comes to Japanese cars. That’s all about to change with the Velocity Channel’s JDM Legends, titled after the Utah shop of the same name and premiering tomorrow, April 17. We interviewed shop co-founder Eric Bizek to get his insights on classic Japanese cars, what it takes to make a TV program, and what to expect on the show.  Continue reading

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QotW: What part on your JNC just refuses to stay fixed?

We all love our cars, but sometimes they fight tooth and nail against being a good li’l JNC by refusing to stay fixed. Brakes just not wanting to seat correctly, electrical gremlins in the taillamp circuit, even trim that breaks if you looking at it the wrong way. No matter what you do, those issues just don’t stay away for very long. Tell us,

What part of your JNC just refuses to stay fixed?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Does the current state of a marque affect how you feel about its classics?”  Continue reading

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Original-bodied Mazda RX-2 wrecked on Netflix’s Fastest Car

As interest in Japanese cars grow, more and more automotive TV producers are trying to cash in. Top Gear did an episode in Japan, and Fast N’ Loud broke away from their muscle car staples to build a Datsun 280Z. Netflix’s Fastest Car, a show self-described as “Drivers of exotic supercars put their street cred on the line against deceptively fast sleeper cars built and modified by true gearheads,” is the latest, but the results would make any enthusiast cringe.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: Datsun 240Z wins the Hot Wheels RedLine Club Selections bracket

Each year Hot Wheels allows collectors to choose one casting that will be made into a premium collectible. Eight cars are nominated, and then voted on by the Hot Wheel Collectors community in a March Madness-style bracket elimination. This year, the Datsun 240Z won the championship against a Shelby Cobra 427 S/C, making it the first Japanese car to do so.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Let’s see what’s running around behind the Honda Collection Hall

Honda prides itself on being an engineering company, and one of the ways it demonstrates that is through its official museum. Unlike many historic collections, everything at the Honda Collection Hall at Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Tochigi Prefecture runs. To prove it, Honda has been releasing videos of vehicles driving on museum grounds.  Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Historic racing Datsuns are headed to The Mitty

It is a landmark year for Nissan. Its classic models are growing in value, and its long history of racing achievements are finally being recognized. Not only is Nissan the first Japanese marque to be featured at the Rolex Motorsports Reunion during Monterey Car week this year, but will also be the featured marque at The Mitty in Atlanta, Georgia later this month. This ensures that Nissan owners on both coasts will have a chance to participate during this noteworthy year, but a select few are crazy enough to do both.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Toyota launches bare-bones Land Cruiser

As lovers of nostalgic cars, a common gripe is that modern machines have too many bells and whistles, too many electronic nannies that stand between you and the driving experience. As it turns out, Toyota has heard your sad cries and just released a vehicle that has plenty of heritage, no-frills, is purpose-built, has two doors, and comes in a six-speed manual. No, it’s not a new sports car; it’s the Land Cruiser Utility Commercial.  Continue reading

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Happy 411 Day from JNC

Even in Japan, the Nissan Bluebird 411 is a rare sight. Make it a wagon and it’s doubly rare. This example was positively mint, though, seemingly brought to modern Tokyo via time machine. Happy 411 Day from JNC!

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NEWS: Leaked Mazda document reveals 181 horsepower for 2019 MX-5

A document disclosing mid-generational changes to the Mazda MX-5 has leaked. The paper reveals a fairly significant bump to 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque, up from the current 155 horses and 148 lb-ft. Here’s the details on how they squeezed more juice from an already highly efficient engine. Continue reading

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VIDEO: A Loyale Wagon gets plenty of screen time in this new Subaru ad

Subaru has been putting a lot of old wagons in their recent commercials. And by a lot, we mean two, but it’s still more than what you’d expect to see. In the latest spot, called “Forever Young,” a grandpa and grandson meet on the beach in their respective Subaru wagons.  Continue reading

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QotW: Does the current state of a marque affect how you feel about its classics?

It’s not easy being a fan of Japanese cars these days. Most no longer offer a smorgasbord of performance cars like they did in their heydays. Some seem to have abandoned the enthusiast-worthy models that made them great altogether. It’s kind of hard to bleed, say, Mitsubishi red when the company is hell bent on making nothing but hybrid crossovers. Or, for example, does Mazda’s recent renaissance make you even prouder of your 1987 626?

Does the current state of a marque affect how you feel about its classics?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Do you have a special spot in your heart for JNC mini-trucks?”  Continue reading

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Happy MA46 Day from JNC

With all the recent scuttlebutt about Supras both new and newly classic, we didn’t want to let April 6 pass by without mention of the Supra that started it all, the MA46. There’s a couple things to note about this spread from the 1978 Japanese brochure. First, the Celica XX, as it was called there, looks great in red. Second, we don’t know what Toyota was implying with the pair of heels by the driver’s door, but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t wholesome. What could it mean? May your MA46 Day be as happy as the owner of this Supra’s.

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? “Absurd condition” 5k-mile FJ40 Land Cruiser will surpass $100,000

The FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser is no stranger to high dollar bids, but a recently listed example might just set a new record. That’s because while we have seen immaculately restored examples break (barely) the $100,000 mark, this one is a bone stock, completely unrestored example with only 5,265 miles on the odometer.  Continue reading

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