MOTORSPORT: A history of Toyota’s heartbreaks at Le Mans, Part 01

This week we learned that Toyota’s Le Mans curse remains firmly in tact, having robbed the team of what seemed like a sure-fire victory. The loss, due to a comically unfortunate mistake perpetrated by another team, prompted President Akio Toyoda to issue a heart-felt apology to fans, his crew, and even his drivers for not building a car that let them “drive all out.”

Even race fans that wouldn’t be caught dead in a Camry couldn’t help but root for them, but alas, it was not in the cards for Toyota this year. They’re the Chicago Cubs of Le Mans, except worse, because the Cubs have actually won. Here’s a brief history of Toyota’s tragic attempts at conquering the world’s most grueling race.  Continue reading


VIDEO: Ode to an AW11 Toyota MR2

If you haven’t watched Mr Regular yet, you’ve been missing out on some truly entertaining car reviews. Punctuated with literary references and dick jokes of the highest caliber, they are the exact opposite of the typical driving impression videos. There’s no powersliding of exotics across abandoned airstrips, just countless test drives of cars anyone can afford. So, what does a guy who has driven everything under the sun buy for himself? An AW11, of course.  Continue reading


MOTORSPORT: Drifting is now an FIA-sanctioned motorsport

If you are a fan of both professional motorsports and drifting, your day has come. FIA, the federation that sanctions the likes of Formula One, World Rally Championship, and World Endurance Championship — of which 24 Hours of Le Mans is a part — announced on June 21 its first Intercontinental Drifting Cup to take place this fall in Tokyo, Japan. Continue reading


MINICARS: Hot Wheels Skyline Japan and City Turbo prototypes

At the rate its going, Hot Wheels will soon have a model of every Nissan Skyline generation. The latest to come is the Skyline Japan, or C210 if you’re fluent in chassis codes. Unveiled at the Tokyo Toy Show, it appears ripe for customization, on widened fenders and small-scale wheels. Also revealing is the chassis, which does not exactly seem to be petroleum-based. A premium model, perhaps?  Continue reading


Happy 620 Day from JNC

Do you need a little pick-up on this Tuesday? Just think of the Datsun 620 and you’ll feel better. Happy 620 Day from JNC.


MOTORSPORT: Toyota 86 sets world record for the most drifting

Lest you forget what Toyota’s neo-hachiroku is about, the 86 just set a new alleged world record for longest non-stop drift. This is not the first time this has happened; the previous Guinness-certified world record was set in 2014, also by a Toyota 86. The record now stands at 168.502 kilometers (over 104 miles), besting the previous by 24.376 kilometers. Continue reading


QotW: What JNC memory do you have with your dad?

Happy Father’s Day everyone (well, yesterday, but you get what I mean). This week I want to ask you all about a fond memory with your father (or father figure) and how it relates to JNC. Maybe you were given a hand replacing the points on a 1968 Toyopet, or learned how to take an oil filter off without breaking out the kitty litter. Tell us,

What JNC memory do you have with your dad?

Briefly, mine involves an RX-4 wagon (in silver), a snowy day and floor mats. My family received an RX-4 hand-me-down from my grandfather when I was just old enough to really remember. We lived outside the city and would have to make a trek up a steep hill with plenty of twists and turns until it plateaued towards downtown. I never thought much of that hill. In fact, in my later years I drove an AE82, in 3rd gear, up it without a second thought. Most sane people drove the hill in second, and barely at that.

During the winter months, we found a large land yacht parked on the side, extremely close to a drop off. The driver had lost traction on a sharp corner and slid to the edge from the icy slush on the road. My dad stopped to give a hand. He was a volunteer firefighter so he had been to the same hill for emergency calls and knew how serious the situation was. Those days guard rails were sparingly used.

We tried to gather some nearby tree branches and rocks to cram under the tires but it didn’t help much. Then, we pulled the rubber floor mats out of the RX-4 and tried to give traction to the big car, with some success. Finally, I ended up sitting in the trunk with my dad pushing from behind for the big American beast to get enough traction to pull itself out of the slushy rut and back onto the road.

My dad may not have rocked a sweet Mazda jacket without a shirt like in the lead pic, but he was just as cool by saving the day in a raspy rotary wagon with grippy floor mats.

Let us know your memory. The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Take the JNC Challenge, Part 06Continue reading


Happy Father’s Day from JNC

To all the dads who helped get us hooked on cars, happy Father’s Day from JNC!


REMINDER: Nissan Jam is this Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!

Assuming you haven’t been up all night watching Toyota try break their Le Mans curse, or even if you have, come down to Nissan Jam at La Palma Park in Anaheim, California from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

This year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Datsun 510, but all Nissan, Datsun and Infiniti models are welcome.

Vendors like Powertrix and others have offered special deals on parts that will only be available at the show.

Nissan North America will have an official representatives there as well, and will be giving a special award to the car they feel best captures the spirit of Nissan Jam.

Depending how that race in France goes (we’ll know by 6:00 am Sunday) either you will be celebrating with your fellow J-tin enthusiasts or commiserating with them. See you there!

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MOTORSPORT: Why Toyota needs to win Le Mans this weekend

One of the world’s great motoring contests, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, takes place this weekend. Toyota was already a strong favorite to win, but now even more so after Kamui Kobayashi pulverized the track record during his qualifying lap. If he wins, it could send massive reverberations through Japan’s car culture.  Continue reading


VIDEO: The best car show is this Mazda Cosmo Sport restoration from Germany [UPDATE: 3rd episode released]

Are you tired of purported car shows that promise wrenching but end up being a collection of character tropes manufacturing drama while standing next to muscle cars? The answer is yes, we all are. That’s why this web series from Mazda Deutschland could be the most interesting car show on air right now. The format is instantly recognizable to anyone with a cable subscription — hosts pull a rusty heap out of a barn and restore it — except the car is a Mazda Cosmo Sport and everyone’s speaking German.  Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? Beautifully mint Mitsubishi Lancer Celeste

Today’s Kidney Car post is unique because we’re not really trying to draw anyone’s attention to an actual ad. In fact, we think it’s probably a scam. But what’s not a scam is how unbelievably beautiful this Mitsubishi Lancer Celeste is. Continue reading


MOTORSPORT: A giant cutout commemorating the Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo is up for grabs [UPDATE: It’s been claimed]

For years a giant, 15-foot-wide image of Nissan’s championship GTP ZX-Turbo prototype racer has been displayed at the automaker’s marketing agency’s offices in Los Angeles. That piece of history is now up for grabs, completely free, but the catch is you have to remove it from the property by the end of the week.  Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? Is Jim Fitzgerald’s 1979 Datsun 280ZX the most expensive S130?

The S130 Z-car is perennially known as the most affordable Z car around, often being priced in the same range as a mid-90s Honda Civic. However, this particular example is already fetching some decent numbers. It has a price of $52,000 with a day left in the auction. As you can see in the pictures that this isn’t just any old 280ZX but, rather, is Jim “Fitzy” Fitzgerald’s ex-racer. Fitzy is famous for being the most winning driver in SCCA history along with being Paul Newman’s teammate.  Continue reading


QotW: Take the JNC Challenge, Part 06

We have $3800 for a new JNC purchase. The sky’s the limit.

What should we buy next? Still need it to be a daily driver and be able to survive the summer heat (and some winter chills!).

What JNC should we buy for $3800 as a daily driver?

To find out why we have $3800, hit the jump!

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Take the JNC Challenge, Part 05”

Continue reading


BACKROADS: Mazda’s Great Little Car

As we gear up for the next annual Touge California in the hills of Southern California, we are reminded of the cars that came with us last year. We had a truly eclectic mix ranging from built track beasts to pristine grand tourers — and one yellow subcompact hatchback. The Mazda GLC, or Great Little Car, was perhaps the rally’s underdog, cheered upon by all and putting a smile on everyone’s face. Its cute mug, however, belies its importance to Mazda history.  Continue reading


MINICARS: M2 Machines reveals new line of diecast Japanese classics

As Japanese classics gain recognition in the real world, so too do they increase in popularity in the diecast realm. For most of its existence, diecast brand M2 Machines (not to be confused with Mazda’s M2) has focused on detailed miniatures of American muscle cars, hot rods, and the occasional Volkswagen. Later this year, however, they will debut a new line of vintage icons from Japan.  Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? The Subaru Impreza WRC test car that you can’t have

Above is a press photo from 1997 of the then-newly debuted Subaru Impreza WRC, built to the new World Rally Car specification that replaced Group A rules. Though similar in livery as Subaru’s older works Impreza and Legacy, this model would go on to become one of the most iconic cars in racing history. The very car in this photo — chassis “PRO/WRC/97001” — was recently offered for sale at an auction. Sadly, you can’t have it. Continue reading


QotW Update: This is the car my fiancée got

A couple of months ago, I enlisted the help of JNC readers to pick a chariot for my soon-to-be wife. She got one, and though it isn’t a Japanese nostalgic car yet, we think one day it might be. This was one of our most popular Questions of the Week and some have asked for an update, so here’s what’s sitting in our garage now. Continue reading


VIDEO: FJ40 Land Cruiser stars in Hankook ad

We all know the FJ40 is legendary in its off-road capabilities. It’s also one of the hottest SUVs in the very hot segment of classic SUVs that are skyrocketing in value. It’s no wonder then that a beautiful Coronado Beige example stars in a Hankook Tires spot called “Chasing Daylight,” in which a landscape photographer tackles mud, rocks, and steep mountainsides to get the perfect shot before the sun goes down. The ad has been out for a while, but we just saw it recently. Kinda makes you want to go out and conquer the world with an FJ of your own, doesn’t it?  Continue reading