So despite earning $15 million last year for his Game of Thrones series, author George R.R. Martin drives an FB Mazda RX-7, which Yahoo cyberstalked and found parked outside his Santa Fe, New Mexico house. His personalized license plate has his initials, “GRRM.”
No, you haven’t traveled into the future. The Toyota Alphard isn’t nostalgic yet, but to ignore them would mean turning a blind eye to a huge part of Japan’s car culture. Custom minivans are serious business in Japan and the Toyota Alphard (along with its twin, the Vellfire) is the king daddy of them all. Continue reading
Over the weekend Nissan did something very unusual. They took their priceless, one-of-a-kind concept cars all over SoCal to meet the public face to face. This would’ve been a ballsy move for any concept, but for the Nissan IDx siblings, the most talked-about show cars of the year? This was unheard of. Continue reading
A new Initial D movie is in the works, and the release date has just been announced. It will hit movie theaters in Japan on August 23, 2014. According to Initial D World, the film will be the first of a trilogy. Initial D Legend 1: Awaken, will be a retelling of the 1998 anime’s first stage in which Takumi Fujiwara goes from bored tofu delivery driver to touge racer in his Toyota AE86. Continue reading
Now that the SuperBowl is over, it might be time to ask what was the greatest ever contest of wills involving at least one classic Japanese marque. There have been many throughout the ages. Datsun vs Alfa Romeo in SCCA Trans-Am 2.5. Subaru vs Mitsubishi in rallying. AE86 vs Silvia in drifting. Toyota vs Nissan in sales.
What’s the greatest JNC rivalry?
As usual, we’ll go for the easy pickings, that of the Mazda RX-3 and Nissan Skyline GT-R. In the early 70s the hakosuka GT-R was absolutely dominant in Japanese touring car racing and had a fan following that would make the Seattle Seahawks jealous. Nissan was so confident that it would win a 50th victory in December 1971 that it preemptively took out ads in Japan’s major newspapers telling race fans to watch them clinch the deal at the upcoming Fuji Tourist Trophy. Then along came Mazda with a fleet of RX-2s and the newly developed RX-3 and, after a nail-biting battle, denied Nissan their much hyped win. Of course, Nissan did go on to claim that 50th win and more, but it was a surprising upset for fans and a stark reminder not to count your chickens before they’re hatched.
What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a toy. Click through to see the winner of the last QotW, “What’s the coolest factory decal package?“ Continue reading
In Part 01, we headed up to Gifu to visit a shop called Standards, which had a mind-blowing amount of Showa goodies hidden in every nook and cranny. After going into Showa overload, Yokoyama-san, the owner, asked if we wanted to see his backup lot. Yes, please! So we hopped in his car and set off. Continue reading
1976′s Boso Panic: The Big Crash was your typical action movie from the era. All the gritty ingredients were there: bank robber anti-heroes, a femme fatale, gunfights, and loads upon loads of car chases. What sets it apart is the fact that it was filmed in Japan, and thus the car-nage consisted of the exact cars JNCers know and love today.
200 cars were used in the filming. Of those, 20 were incinerated and an additional 30 were crashed. Likely filmed with sponsorship from Toyota (many Japanese films of the period got cooperation from a major automaker if cars were involved in any way), meaning the rides that met their bitter ends included a Hilux, Stout, a parade of S40 Crown police cruisers, and the hero car, a gold MS51 Crown Hardtop. Continue reading
In the 27 years Chris Hoffman has owned his 1987 Honda CRX Si he’s seen his model of choice transform from econobox to tuner king to Japanese classic. Now his well-preserved car is also the subject of Petrolicious‘ latest video, titled “Original Fanboy.” As it happens, Chris is a friend of JNC and Honda owner in triplicate, who goes by “The Black CRX” around these parts. Watch his inspiring video below. Continue reading
So you have the most badass — and expensive — Japanese classic ever built. Why not take it to the track and mash on the pedals like they’ve got spiders pouring out of them? It’s exactly what one Japanese driver did with his then-not-quite-million-dollar Thunder Silver super-nostalgic, executing a couple of really nice slides in the process. This should slake the rabid cries from the “It’s meant to be driven!!!11!” crowd for about six minutes. Continue reading
Throughout 70s and 80s decal packages were a fact of life. Some were awesome, some were awesomely bad, but they were emblematic of the era.
What’s the coolest factory decal package?
We don’t know if it’s the greatest, but Mazda‘s 1977 RX-3 SP stripe kit was added to give the aging sport coupe a bit of zing before it was to be replaced by the game-changing RX-7. The decals and concomitant spoilers added nothing to the bottom line performance of the rotary housed within, but it is a sought after edition today and something unique to the North American market.
What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a toy. Click through to see the winner of the last QotW, “What would you do with a Nissan IDx?“ Continue reading