SHOWA SNAP: Nagoya, 1972

The Nagoya TV Tower was completed in June of 1954 is one of the key landmarks of the central Japanese city. In this photo from 1972, a lineup of taxis before it have the typical Toyota Crowns and Nissan Cedrics, but also a rare Isuzu Florian (in yellow and white). For its 65th year, the current was closed for renovations and will reopen in July 2020.

Image: eBay

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QotW: What is the Best Japanese Automotive Trilogy?

The new Supra is finally here, and Toyota has been parading a lineup of previous-generation Supras whenever possible in order to remind us that the new one is definitely a Toyota-and-not-a-BMW Supra. But for all the flack Toyota’s been getting about its partnership with BMW, at least they’re trying. Trilogy here is defined as three consecutive generations of a particular model. Year gaps are allowed (A80 -> A90 Supra) as well as name changes (Integra, RSX).

What is the best Japanese automotive trilogy?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What should we do with the Subaru X-100?Continue reading

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Happy 610 Day from JNC!

To celebrate 610 Day, here are two of our favorites from last year’s JCCS. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for this year’s event, which is on Saturday, September 21st! Continue reading

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VIDEO: Dirt track oval racing in Japan

Dirt track racing is stupid fun, doing with real cars essentially what every kid does with Hot Wheels. That, apparently, is true no matter what country you’re from. Back in the day, with plenty of big, rear-wheel-drive cars available for peanuts on the used car market, Japan even had a Dirt Track Stock Car series. Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2019 All-Toyotafest, Part 03 — Classics that Started It All

It’s hard to believe, but this year’s Toyotafest was the 24th of annual shows held by the Toyota Owners and Restorers Club. It’s been almost a quarter century since the first one took place, and at that first one all the Supra Turbos, MR2s, and Lexuses that populate the field today were still brand new. The heart of Toyotafest has always been the cars of the Showa Era. Continue reading

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EVENTS: All-Toyotafest 2019, Part 02 — Fun Fours

This year’s Toyotafest was headlined by the many generations of Supra in support of the A90’s debut. With all the focus on the new six-cylinder sports car, let’s not forget that Toyota has built plenty of fun fours. More and more of these specimen from the 80s and 90s are appearing at Toyotafest — Celicas, MR2s, Corollas, and more MR2s. Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Three Paris-Dakar drivers are reunited with the Mitsubishis they raced to victory

The sun is setting on the Mitsubishi Pajero, but before the legendary nameplate enters twilight, the company is honoring its many successes in the Paris-Dakar Rally. A new video released by Mitsubishi Motors titled “The Spirit of Pajero” highlights the model’s 26 years of competition in one of the world’s toughest off-road races. Continue reading

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EVENTS: All-Toyotafest 2019, Part 01 — Real Supras

The theme of this year’s All-Toyotafest was, unavoidably, Supra. The 24th gathering of the Toyota Owners and Restorers Club featured generations of this one model on the offiical merchandise and promotional materals this year. Toyota gave many of the attendees the first in-person look at the new A90. And the owners of 100 percent Toyota-built Supras came out in great numbers. Continue reading

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VIDEO: 60 years of Honda at the Isle of Man TT

The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy is perhaps the world’s most famous motorcycle race. Honda won its first constructors’ championship there in 1959, thanks to their RC141 and RC142 race bikes. It’s been 60 years since, and today the marque with the most victories at the TT — 183 in all — has been Honda.  Continue reading

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QotW: What should we do with the Subaru X-100

Recently, we wrote about the Subaru X-100 concept currently in the care of the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. Subaru has decided to loan Fuji Heavy Industries’ record-setting 100 mpg experimental car for a whopping five years. The museum director would like to display it at concours events. As the guy who keeps the cars running at the museum, I can tell you we’re planning on going through the car mechanically so that it’s safe to drive in a closed setting — at least by the standards of experimental three-wheeled cars, a genre in which we have more than our fair share of experience. Personally, I would like to do something with the X-100 and another of our Tremulis-designed cars, the 1967 Gyro-X.

What should we do with the Subaru X-100?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Has anyone tried to buy your JNC?Continue reading

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The real reason why Toyota didn’t build its own Supra from the ground up

The fifth-gen Supra is an incredibly capable sports car, but it isn’t a full-on Toyota. The previous-generation A80 was a legend in its own time. The instant it left the market, demands for its return were universal among enthusiasts. When their prayers were answered, no one could have been prepared for what, to the Toyota faithful, seemed like the ultimate betrayal — a flagship built almost entirely by another automaker. Why would Toyota, perhaps the world’s most successful automaker, do such a thing? We spoke to the Supra’s Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada to find out. Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Ginza, Tokyo, 1971

The clock tower of the Wako department store has seen countless cars pass beneath its face. Standing over one of the busiest intersections of Tokyo, the 4-chome crossing in Ginza, since 1932, it even predates times when cars were common in Japan. In 1971, these cars included plenty of Toyota Crown taxis, a Honda N360, and a then-new Nissan Bluebird 510. At the end of the corner from where this photo was taken stands the Nissan Crossing showroom, a landmark since 1963. For many, Ginza is a must-visit area thanks to its plentiful retails stores. Just know that it’s also an excellent place to car watch while the rest of your traveling companions shop.

Image: tansaisuketti

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Happy S30 Day from JNC

2019 is a very special year for the Nissan Fairlady Z. The iconic sports car turns 50 this year, a huge milestone for the iconic sports car that changed the very notion of what a sports car could be. Along the way, it also changed the idea of what a Nissan — or a Japanese car in general — could be. We may like other marques and other cars, but none of us would be here if it weren’t for the S30. Happy S30 Day from JNC!

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The 2020 Supra raises the question, what is a car?

There probably hasn’t been a single car in Japanese automotive history more controversial than the fifth-generation Toyota Supra. What had come before had been so good, so genre-breaking, that it put Toyota in a difficult, maybe impossible spot. Like Game of Thrones‘ final season, it was always going to be a tough act to follow, and with a long hiatus building expectations to fever pitch, the result was probably destined to disappoint in some way. Is the Supra a good car, though? How you look at it probably depends a lot on what a car means to you. Continue reading

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NEWS: Acura might bring back the Legend

A beloved Acura nameplate might be making a comeback. Honda has filed a trademark application for the word “Legend” in the category of vehicles with the Europe’s intellectual property office. The speculation, of course, is that it would be applied to an upcoming flagship sedan, possibly one that would replace the current RLX or come in even higher on the ladder. Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels celebrates Nissan’s 50th anniversary of Z and GT-R

Hot Wheels is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Z and GT-R nameplates this year. There’s an entire Nissan-only series in the main line, a first for a Japanese marque. On the official Hot Wheels YouTube channel, each series gets its own stop-motion video for kids, and the Nissan one was just released, titled “Nissan Horsepower Legends.” Continue reading

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QotW: Has anyone tried to buy your JNC?

My AE86 sits across the ocean from me, tucked under a cover on the side of my folk’s house. From time to time, they tell me they’ve turned away wishful buyers, and it’s understandable. A few times the rejected try again after a few months, likely spotting the rust on the calipers grow. One gentleman comes by every month with new pitches, new ways to “help take the vehicle off their hands.” I admire his perseverance, but that car will be with me to the end. Who’s tried to buy your JNC? I mean really buy it. Any interesting stories, newfound friendships? Especially with prices climbing, surely this kind of thing is becoming more common.

Has anyone tried to buy your JNC?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “How would you spend $1 million on your JNCs?Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels is making an EG Honda Civic

In what is certain to be one of the most earth-shattering bits of diecast news this year, Hot Wheels has revealed that it will be making an EG Honda Civic. Hondas have been the logical go-to for attainable classics as of late, and there has been a strong resurgence in its popularity. We’ve been very pleased with the presence of the EF Civic in the lineup since 2014, but while it was popular in its day, the in terms of tuner culture the EG was ground zero. Continue reading

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JNC THEATER: Sarah Connor saves the day with an 80-Series Land Cruiser in the new Terminator: Dark Fate trailer

If you’re going to spend your life fighting unstoppable robots from a post-apocalyptic hellscape, there’s probably no better vehicle to drive than a Toyota Land Cruiser. It’s tough as nails, can go anywhere and, most importantly, is dead reliable. There’s nothing worse than suffering some terrible electrical malady as you’re trying to escape a mindless killing machine. And of all the Land Cruisers, the 80-Series might just be the ideal generation. Continue reading

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JNC THEATER: Hot Version is coming to Amazon Prime with English subtitles, floodly!

Hot Version, the Best Motoring spinoff about Japan’s top tuner cars, is headed to Amazon Prime with English subtitles. They might not be good subtitles per se, if the promo video in which they promise “Episodes will be added floodly on Amazon Prime” is any indication, but we could all use a few new words in our vocabularies. Continue reading

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