PROFILES: Driving Toyota’s Great Race 1970 Corolla

072-IMG_1963_Toyota Corolla KE10

“It’s a bit snug,” says Jamie Bestwick in typical British understatement as he slides his racing seat into position. He bashes into the knees of his navigator, Laurence Foster, who is hunched in the back seat. Bestwick, a 13-time X-Games gold medalist in the BMX category and an Englishman, is dressed like a 1970s pimp with gold chain, bright red scarf, and a hat whose brim radius is larger than a bus tire’s. In the passenger seat, co-driver BJ Baldwin, a Baja 1000 winner, has on bell-bottoms, Lennon sunglasses, and a floral pattern shirt that would make James May seethe with envy.

The three of them are packed a 1970 Toyota Corolla about to embark on a 10-day, 2,500-mile cross-country rally. Bestwick calls it “The Man Can.”  Continue reading

4 Comments

NEWS: Nissan IDx to appear in Fast 8?

Nissan IDx Fast 8 The Rock

The Nissan IDx might be dead but it might ride again in the next installment of the Fast & Furious franchise. Continue reading

9 Comments

MINICARS: 2016 Hot Wheels X JNC Datsun 620 Car Culture series

1492_Hot Wheels Car Culture Trucks Datsun 620

Today is 6/20. And as it happens we received the latest pre-production Hot Wheels samples at the doorstep of JNC HQ, and it’s is none other than the Datsun 620.  Continue reading

8 Comments

QotW: What’s your most heartbreaking tale of JNC loss?

02_2016_LeMans_ToyotaTS050

It’s sure to be a quiet day at the office in Aichi today. After the exact opposite of a fairy tale ending to Toyota’s Le Mans race over the weekend, the tears of Toyotaku are flowing like the waters of the River Sarthe. In what will surely go down as one of the greatest upset finishes in Le Mans history, Toyota led for almost the entire 24 hours only to suffer a breakdown five minutes from the end, handing the victory to Porsche. It’s an ending known RX-7 owner George RR Martin couldn’t have written better himself.

What’s your most heartbreaking tale of JNC loss?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the greatest Japanese nostalgic grand tourer?”  Continue reading

7 Comments

MOTORSPORT: Toyota wins the 23 Hours, 55 Minutes of Le Mans

Rumor has it that Mazda, as the only Japanese automaker to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall, has a pre-written letter ready to congratulate Toyota should it ever become the second. Despite what seemed like a sure victory, that letter will remain in a Hiroshima drawer for now, after Toyota lost its lead with five minutes left in this year’s race.  Continue reading

7 Comments

25 YEAR CLUB: Celebrating the Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B, Part 03

787b_p3_1

In the previous installments of our 25th anniversary commemoration of  Mazda 787B’s historic Le Mans win, we looked at the race car’s genealogy as well as the origin of its team. With the rules change imminent, it was the last year a non-piston engine would be permitted. It was Mazda’s final rotary assault at Le Mans.  Continue reading

6 Comments

25 YEAR CLUB: Celebrating The Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B, Part 02

787b_p2_1

The 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans is now underway — a perfect occasion to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the historic victory of the Mazda 787B. If you’re listening to or watching the race live, join us on a break for a glimpse into Mazda’s Le Mans odyssey.  Continue reading

1 Comment

25 YEAR CLUB: Celebrating the Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B, Part 01

787b_p1_1

The 24 Hours of Le Mans begins tomorrow. This year marks the 84th running of the iconic endurance race. For racing fans and JNCers in particular, 2016 is especially significant as it is the 25th anniversary of the first and, so far, only Le Mans victory taken by an Asian marque and powered by anything other than a reciprocating piston engine. Yes, the 787B is now officially a Japanese nostalgic race car. To celebrate, we’ve got a few things in store, starting with a look at the origin and heritage of the 787B.  Continue reading

5 Comments

EVENTS: Sagamiko Forest Skyline & Kyusha Meeting, Part 01

045-1-39_Nissan Skyline C10 hakosuka

Recently the Skyline & Kyusha Meeting was held at Sagamiko Forest Resort, put on by the Skyline Yushi-kai, or Skyline Warriors Club. While Skylines accounted for many of the cars that attended, non-Skylines were welcome too, as long as they were of the same kaido racer and bosozoku style. Continue reading

4 Comments

VIDEO: More drives from the Honda Collection Hall

1972 Civic Honda Collection Hall

Honda has uploaded yet another set of videos of vehicles from the Honda Collection Hall at Twin Ring Motegi taking spins in the museum’s backyard. Enjoy the sights and sounds of old motors motoring, just as Soichiro intended.  Continue reading

1 Comment

VIDEO: Jerry Seinfeld will drive the hubcap off a Mazda Cosmo Sport

Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Mazda Cosmo Sport

In the trailer for the upcoming season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld drives the hubcap off a Mazda Cosmo Sport. This marks the first Japanese car to appear in the series, if you don’t count the completely pointless Acura plug cars that Seinfeld would point at saying, “Here’s the plug car,” before swiftly moving on. The season’s guests are Judd Apatow, Margaret Cho, Jim Gaffigan, Lorne Michaels, John Oliver, and J. B. Smoove. Can anyone guess who gets the ride in the Cosmo Sport?  Continue reading

2 Comments

DESIGN: Subaru’s global design chief owns a Toyota Sports 800

H0831_Toyota Sports 800

Even before he stepped into his current position as head of global design of Subaru, Mamoru Ishii was already working on revamping the design language of his firm’s cars. The next evolution of Subaru styling will soon ripple across the lineup.  Continue reading

14 Comments

QotW What’s the greatest Japanese nostalgic grand tourer?

176-SM0378_ToyotaSoarerZ20

Half sports car, half luxury sedan, the grand tourer is built for carrying driver and one passenger in utmost comfort, kids and third wheels be damned. Though just as large, or sometimes even bigger, than their 4-door counterparts, fewer doors and less seating capacity is an absolute requirement. Grand tourers are more expensive too, giving them an extra-special IDGAF-ness.

What’s the greatest JNGT?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the most American JNC?”  Continue reading

24 Comments

EVENTS: Okutama Sunday Meeting

Okutama_B-day-00b_Prince Skyline GTB S54

A short time ago, we were invited to attend the monthly Okutama-ko Sunday kyusha meeting. Loosely organized by the well-known Isuzu shop Eagle Sports, it always attracts a wide range of cars. This weekend was special though, as GT-B driving friends said they would be using the Okutama-ko parking area as their meeting place for a touge run into the mountains of the area.  Continue reading

13 Comments

VIDEO: Live tour of the American Honda Collection

005-3968_AmericanHondaCollection

On Thursday Ben and I were in Torrance at the American Honda Collection working on an upcoming story. Before we left, though, we experimented with the newfangled Facebook Live feature and did a walkthrough of the private museum. Here’s the video, with apologies in advance for our unrefined filming/presenting skills. Continue reading

1 Comment

Happy 610 Day from JNC

047bh4152_Datsun610

This year the Datsun 610 turns 45 years old. To celebrate, here are a couple of our favorite 610 stories from over the years. Continue reading

1 Comment

VIDEO: Legendary Skyline drivers drive legendary Skylines

Gan-san Kurosawa Hakosuka Skyline GTR KPGC10

If you read our interview with Yoshikazu Sunako and found yourself itching for more of Japan’s racing heroes slinging Skylines around racetracks, you’re in luck. Back in 2001 Best Motoring produced a Skyline special reuniting three drivers with their respective cars, among the most famous racing Skylines in Japan’s motorsport history. Continue reading

2 Comments

VIDEO: The original Back to the Future Toyota Pickup

Back to the Future 1985 Toyota Pickup

We’ve seen many replicas of the iconic Toyota 4×4 from Back to the Future, most recently at Toyotafest, but also at shows like the JCCS. Hell, we’ve even seen Lego versions, and Toyota even made their own last year. However, there’s only one actual truck used in filming that is known to have survived, and it’s owned by Patrick Shea of Hubbardston, Massachusetts.  Continue reading

4 Comments

EVENTS: AE86 Nights 9th Anniversary

053-IMG_9720_Toyota AE86 Corolla

What started as a small gathering of enthusiasts of the last RWD Corolla eight years ago has grown into a gathering that attracts hundreds of cars from all over southern California. It all started with the beloved Hachiroku, and the types of cars that AE86 Nights has attracted over the years has changed dramatically, but it’s still a very specific type of car. It’s a bit hard to explain, but you’ll see what we mean when you see the gallery of images.  Continue reading

10 Comments

VIDEO: Man removes engine of first US-market Honda

Tim Mings Honda Serial One N600

“I’ve never had one kick my ass like that before,” says Tim Mings of the Serial One Honda N600. It’s the latest installment of Honda’s video series documenting the restoration of the first Honda built for the US market.  Continue reading

6 Comments