PRODUCT GUIDE: From the creators of Rocket Bunny, a new widebody kit for the Datsun 620

In the race to find the next hot kyusha to widebody, TRA Kyoto has unveiled its latest creation, the Pandem kit for the Datsun 620.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: No big deal, just a couple of 2JZ Toyota 2000GTs driving around

You know Rocky Auto, the famous Japanese tuner known for his radical takes on classic Nihon steel. When it came time to build his ultimate creation, a 2JZ-powered Toyota 2000GT, however, the originals were too rare and valuable to modify. So founder Yoshiya “Rocky-san” Watanabe hand built some 2000GTs from scratchContinue reading

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QotW: What JNC nameplate needs a decor set?

Yesterday, news dropped of a 60th anniversary decor set celebrating the Nissan Skyline. Items ranged from small dishes with taillight designs to 1/6 scale engines and piston-shaped tumblers.

We all surely have a little something on display in our homes. For some, it’s a few historic j-tin hot wheels on a desk; and for others its a 1968 Toyota Corona grille on the wall.. no? Just me?? Hmmm..

Either way, we could all benefit from hitting up the local home store, drifting the shopping cart (trolley) in the home decor section and filling the cart up with some J-spec offerings. Maybe a toaster oven that burns a RX-7 Wankel rotor on each piece of toast, or some iconic Civic mini hubcaps to rest our beverage of choice on. So, I simply ask:

What JNC nameplate needs a decor set?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What 1970s JNC had the best race livery

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Decorate your home with this Nissan Skyline 60th anniversary merch

Although the Skyline’s official birthday was back in April, the 60th birthday party for Nissan’s most famous model is still in full swing. The company has developed an entire catalog of goods that are all themed around the Skyline. While most automaker apparel is cringeworthy, some of these items are actually neat enough that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to have them around the house. Continue reading

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VIDEO: It’s hard finding Cosmo Sport parts in Japan

If you haven’t been keeping up with Mazda Germany’s web series about the restoration of a very rusty Cosmo Sport race car, you’re missing one of the best car restoration shows out right now. Since we last checked in, there have been several more episodes, two of which take place in Japan.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE?: Never-titled Suzuki RE5 rotary motorcycle

Given the strengths of the rotary engine, you would imagine that they would be a natural fit for motorcycles. Small displacement, high power and high revving, these are all prerequisites for a motorcycle engine. Surprisingly only a handful of motorcycle manufacturers brought one to market. Sure, in the mid-1970s all of the major Japanese brands had prototypes for a rotary motorcycle but of those brands, it was only Suzuki who pulled the trigger in 1975 when they made the Suzuki RE5 that you see before you.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: M2’s first Auto Japan release revealed

Here is the first look at the castings of M2 Machines’ new Auto-Japan series. If you aren’t familiar with M2, they are highly detailed 1:64 scale cars that have traditionally been American muscle cars and hot rods. This is their first foray into the world of Japanese classics, and there are three models in the initial release. Each one of those in turn has three variations — stock, custom and a chase car similar to a Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Listen to the engine roar of three seminal GT-Rs

We’ve snapped a lot of photos and spilled a lot of digital ink writing about the Skyline GT-R, but one thing that images and words can’t convey is the amazing aural power of its incredible engines. Luckily, Motor Trend provides that soundtrack in an Ignition episode video about three landmark generations of the legendary GT-R, from the raw snarl of the Hakosuka’s S20 to the turbocharged boom of Godzilla’s RB26DETT to the high-tech woosh of the R35’s VR38DETT.  Continue reading

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QotW: What 1970s JNC had the best race livery?

Welcome to another week of QotW!

We’ve seen a bevy of summer fun thanks to all the events that have been covered right here on JNC. I noticed several vehicles that appear at these shows are decked out in new and old-school liveries. Frankly, I like this trend (as long as they race them on the track!) as they show off the curves and accents of the exterior styling. Most prominently, the tarmac battlers of the 70’s have been getting a lot of love. This got me to wonder:

What 1970s JNC had the best livery?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “JNC Challenge, Part 08

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EVENTS: 2017 Nissan Jam, Part 04 — Nissan Forever

Why do people love Nissans so much? Our final installment of our Nissan Jam coverage, offers an explanation. Perhaps it’s the sheer diversity of not just the cars from the factory, but that of the custom styles they inspired.

Speaking of inspiration, the official JNC booth car was none other than Roy De Guzman’s world famous Hakosuka. We spent the day before the show driving it through LA, where Angelenos young and old threw countless thumbs ups our way.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2017 Nissan Jam, Part 03 — All Together Now

Nissan owners are a passionate bunch, with owners who are fanatical about Z-Cars, 510s, and Skylines. While it’s great to be enthusiastic about your favorite model, the fervency expressed by owners of the most popular models often overshadows the amazing diversity of the Nissan family tree. Shows like Nissan Jam, however, do a pretty good job of showcasing all members of the clan.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Do any of these Toyotas remind you of the new Camry?

Toyota is launching the 2018 Camry in Japan, and pulling out their greatest hits to do so. The newest Camry commercial begins with images of the MR2, Soarer, Altezza, Celica and Supra, a stick-shift X70, and many more — all set to 80s synth evocative of Japan’s best Bubble Era spots. The only problem, do these cars remind you of the new Camry in any way? Continue reading

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Touge California: Honoring 50 years of the rotary engine

Our commemorative poster for this year’s Touge California commemorates the calling card of our title sponsor, Mazda. It has been 50 years since the world’s first production dual-rotor engine debuted on the 1967 Cosmo Sport. Our poster honors the historic achievement with the L10A as the hero car, followed by Mazda’s second rotary-powered car, the Familia Rotary Coupe. Normally, our posters take on a rectangular shape, which we will return to next year, but this year is an exception. Those who have been to Mazda’s home prefecture of Hiroshima may recognize some other easter eggs in the illustration. These will be available in the JNC Shop after the event this weekend.

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VIDEO: Mazda’s History of Red

Even though I own a red car, in most cases I don’t like the color. It’s loud, hides the taillight design, and generally makes it seem as if the car is trying to compensate for something, whether it’s speed or exoticness. Also, as a BASF chemical engineer once told me, there the pigment itself is particularly sensitive to ultraviolet light, which is why most older red cars end up fading into pink. There are exceptions of course, and on the proper car red can look stunning. Mazda has adopted Soul Red as its trademark color and despite everything I wrote above, I kind of dig it.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE?: 48k-mile 1989 Mazda RX-7 Turbo II

As JNCs become bona fide as collector vehicles we’re beginning to see more well-preserved examples come out of hiding and onto the market. 15 years ago, a well-preserved JNC was usually owned by some little old lady who drove it to the grocery store and back once a week. Today, the well-preserved cars hitting the market were owned by people who have been storing and caring for them for years, waiting for the right time to sell them to their next caretaker. This RX-7 Turbo II for sale in the San Francisco suburb of San Carlos falls into the latter category. Continue reading

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QotW: Take the JNC Challenge, Part 08

During the JNC Challenge Part 07, we were given the “tough” challenge of spending money on the newly-purchased AW11 (pictured above). In fact, we had a whopping $1500 to spend! Stuart Kayrooz gave several cosmetic suggestions as our winner. Here are the results below.

At first, we thought to get a widebody kit to help hide the rusty bits in the rear fenders and allow us to get some meatier tires. The engine is a stock “redtop” but we can pull quite a bit of power from the 4A engines (Formula Atlantic proved that..) The problem is, body kits are hard to come by, let along a widebody. Also, the ones floating around are pricey and frankly, ugly. They round all the edges and mute everything that makes the AW11 a wedge spacewhip… (yea, you read that right).

So, after looking around a bit, we settled on getting some generic “Japanese” overfenders, most likely re-purposed from a 240z that have been slapped on just about any J-tin you can think of. They were just a few hundred bucks for some thicker examples, which helps if we are a little rough with them. We can get a couple of fellow JNC’ers to help us trim the bananas to fit. Since the fenders are toasty, we don’t mind sinking some rivets in it. We dropped nearly $1000 on a set of T3 performance lower control arms and tension rods along with camber plates on all 4 corners. This beast is getting setup for a long overdue upgrades in “nimble”. Oh, and don’t worry, we replaced the fluids, pads and rotors.

So, here’s this weeks challenge. We are prepping the AW11 to have some serious agility and need to address the rims and tires. The overfenders will give around an inch of extra width to play with. What size rims do we go with? Offset? Vintage? “New vintage”? New School? What say you? Post up with links to pics for extra points. We have $800 to spend!

What wheels should we put on our overfendered-AW11?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What are your JNC plans this 4th of July?

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Happy 710 Day from JNC

A JNC public service announcement: On this and very 710 Day, please make sure you fill up whatever’s under your 710 cap.

Image: NICO Club

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TOUGE CALIFORNIA: Roundels not round this year

Touge California has a tradition of using large magnetic roundels to identify cars participating in the rally. They are not for sale and only available to participants of the event. For this year’s event, which will take place July 15, the roundel is not quite round. That’s because we are proud to be partnering with Mazda for the 50th year of the rotary engineContinue reading

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RIP John Knepp, 1942 – 2017

It is with sadness that we report the passing of John Knepp, a pivotal figure in Nissan’s growth into a motorsports powerhouse in the United States. A founding partner in legendary engineering firm Electramotive, Knepp was an unsung hero of the turbocharging revolution that would propel Electramotive’s famous red-white-and-blue Nissan 280ZXs and GTP-ZXs to victory at racing’s highest levels.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R revealed

Hot Wheels is well on their way to completing every generation of Nissan Skyline, and the latest is a beauty. For the 2018 model year, the R33 GT-R joins the lineup, beautifully proportioned and in the traditional dark blue metallic of the Hot Wheels race team. Some say the R33 is the least attractive of the modern Godzillas, but at least in Hot Wheels form, it’s gorgeous.

Image: Hot Wheels Dream Team

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