QotW: Take the JNC Challenge, Part 03

Welcome back gang to the third installment to the QotW Challenge. If you need a refresher, we took suggestions on what JNC daily driver would you buy with a budget of $2000. The result was a Civic Shuttle.

Afterwards, we needed to select how it would be used. The majority felt a show and shine car would best fit the Shuttle. Having a roof rack and other small details kept the clean appearance while still maintaining the daily driver theme.

Now, onto the challenge. We have a Honda with a relatively clean appearance and in running condition. Monthly income is tight but you have about $350 a month of spending cash to do as you will (gas, food, bills, etc. are already covered).

You run into two Shuttle fans at the local car club meet that just have to have the shuttle. Both offer a trade on the table.

Option 1: Trade for a 1st gen RX-7 that runs but “uses a little oil”, Manual, 120,000 miles on the clock in a faded yellow. Steering needs an alignment.

Option 2: An Isuzu Impulse 2.0L Turbo, 4-AT with 150,000 on the clock but engine was refreshed at 85k. silver color with much of the interior rotting away. Tires are as bald as Uncle Les.

Option 3: Keep the Shuttle with ideas to auto-x it in a month’s time using the $350.

You have $350 in-pocket so it can be used for diagnosing and/or fixing the options above as well. Choose wisely! Must back up your choice for consideration! The condition that you must daily drive it still applies.

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What car should my fiancée get?Continue reading


EVENTS: New Year Meeting 2017, Part 05 — Nissan & Mitsubishi

This year was a special milestone for the New Year Meeting, as it was the show’s 40th year. It was quite a milestone for the event, which started in 1977 at the Tokyo Prince Hotel, a much smaller venue. Back then, no one would have guessed that one day Nissan and Mitsubishi would be in cahoots. A lot can happen in 40 years.  Continue reading


EVENTS: New Year Meeting 2017, Part 04 — Aichi Steel

After visiting the New Year Meeting’s swap meet and club display we ventured into the main car show area, where Isuzu and Hino were the featured marques this year. While that may have satisfied the approximately four Isuzu and Hino fans out there, here’s something for the Toyotaku. Continue reading


REMINDER: 2017 Toyotafest registration opens

Just a quick reminder that Toyotafest registration has opened. Actually, it opened yesterday but the site experienced some downtime, so if you tried to register but couldn’t, you should be able to now.

The show takes place on Saturday, May 6. Please note that there’s a new location this year, Marina Green Park in Long Beach, California. It’s very close to the old location.

The show takes place from 9am to 3pm and admission is free. It’s open to all Toyota, Lexus, and Scion vehicles. Registration is $50 and can be completed online here.


VIDEO: Gerard’s Subaru GS-R Coupe and Subaru Ranch

There are people who collect classic Ferraris or Volkswagens. Some people are named Jay Leno and collect everything. Then there’s Gerard Kleyn, who collects classic Subarus. Specifically, he collects cars that utilized the 4×140 lug pattern, predating Legacys and Imprezas. Grass Roots Garage, an outfit from Australia that documents the local car community, paid a visit to Gerard’s Subaru Ranch recently and made a video of their trip.  Continue reading


EVENTS: New Year Meeting 2017, Part 03 — Isuzu and Hino take center stage

Each year the Japanese Classic Car Association celebrates a different featured marque at the New Year Meeting. Cars belonging to the featured marque are gathered for a concours d’elegance competition with awards voted on by judges from various Japanese automotive publications. However, for 2017 the spotlight was shared by two automakers, Isuzu and Hino. Perhaps the JCCA felt that the rarity of these two nameplates required dual spotlights, but that fear was unwarranted.  Continue reading


NEWS: Here’s the new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross in all its glory

Before the advent of science, some cultures thought that an eclipse meant demons were eating the sun. Well, here comes another Eclipse. We warned you it would happen. Behold the all-new Eclipse Cross. DSM fanboys may want to skip this one. Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE?: 1979 Subaru DL “50 Shades of Brown”

After a series of seriously expensive kidney candidates ranging from a Fairlady Z432 to the entire Toyota campus, it’s high time we offer something for the proletariat. Seen on Craigslist Milwaukee is a 1979 Subaru DL Wagon, a perfect candidate at just $7,500. It’s a wonder that this auto journalist’s wet dream hasn’t been blown up by every car website on the internet. After all, it’s brown, manual, a wagon, has an unconventional engine, and 4WD.  Continue reading


NEWS: A Toyota hot hatch revival is in the works

Great news everyone! Toyota has confirmed all of your hot hatch dreams. Officially named the Yaris GRMN, which is a cumbersome name chosen personally by Chewbacca, it is now under development. The car takes aim at other hot hatches such as the Fiesta ST, Volkswagen Polo GTI, Fiat 500 Abarth and the Nissan Micra Nismo, two of which are available in the United States.  Continue reading


QotW: What car should my fiancée get?

My fiancée is buying her first car. Having lived in New York City for 17 years, where cars are nothing more than two-ton magnets for parking tickets and dents, she’s had no reason to own one. Now in LA, without wheels, she can’t even grab a bagel. Here are the requirements:

  • It must be automatic. I know, I’ve failed all of you because I’ve haven’t been able to get her completely comfortable with a manual transmission and I don’t deserve to be your editor. I will try, but for now she refuses to change gears herself.
  • It must have Bluetooth. She’s a VP of marketing at a major cable network so her phone almost never stops ringing. She must be able to take calls, make deals, and put out fires while immobile in LA traffic.
  • It must not have been offered in a manual. I just can’t bear to have an automatic-equipped car when I know full well that the same model with manual gearboxes are running around out there. This is a clause of the previous stipulation but it’s mine, so it’s also the only one not written in stone.
  • It must be impressive. She can’t go to a client lunch and step out of a Cressida. She knows it’s a cool car. We know it’s a cool car. But sadly, not all Hollywood execs are as enlightened as JNC readers. Her chariot has to be striking, memorable, and sharp-looking.
  • It must be Japanese. Hey, she’s marrying the cofounder of JNC.
  • It must cost less than $20,000.

What car should my fiancée get?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What sacred model name should never be revived for a crossover?”  Continue reading


EVENTS: New Year Meeting 2017, Part 02 — Club Scene

In Part 01 of our 2017 New Year Meeting we spent the morning wandering around the swap meet, browsing everything from old car parts to old posters to model cars. After filling up with an early lunch, it was time to look at the cars themselves.  Continue reading


NEWS: The legacy of Carlos Ghosn as the Nissan CEO resigns

For sixteen years Carlos Ghosn was Nissan’s CEO, bringing the company back from the brink of bankruptcy with his brand of extreme budget-slashing. Today, Ghosn announced that he will resign his post effective April 1.  Continue reading


VIDEO: Gaze upon the sheer dorkiness of this 1989 Toyota Cressida promo

Do you remember a time when the MX83 Toyota Cressida wasn’t known for being a cheap four door Supra, when it was a means of transportation for whiny yuppies who pretended to like opera instead of always listening to Huey Lewis and the News? This campy Toyota promotional video about the Cressida is a time capsule to when Toyota was trying their hardest to break into the luxury car market.  Continue reading


EVENTS: New Year Meeting 2017, Part 01 — The Swap Meet

The end of January celebrated yet another fantastic gathering known as the JCCA New Year Meeting. Many guests made the trek to Odaiba, a literal island made of trash; to see the wondrous classic J-tin that come out but once a year from their heated garages (or blue-tarped trappings as the case may be).  Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE?: Nissan Fairlady Z432 at Amelia Island

2017 auction season is upon us and that means we have the chance to watch the prices of blue chip JNCs soar ever further from the value of your parent’s house. Crossing the RM Sotheby’s auction at Amelia Island the same weekend as the Mazda 767B is a 1970 Nissan Fairlady Z432. Continue reading


VIDEO: Nissan R381 “Monster Bird” at Fuji Speedway

Nissan built the R381 race car, affectionately known as the Monster Bird, specifically to prevent the equally monstrous Toyota 7 from winning the Japan Grand Prix. At last year’s NISMO Festival Nissan took the car out for a spin around Fuji Speedway, mixing it up with modern SuperGT R35s and even a tour bus filled with lucky fans. It was all captured with on-board cameras in a video Nissan released today.  Continue reading


Happy President’s Day from JNC

Here’s a screen shot from 80s Japanese cop show Abunai Deka, in an episode in which a Nissan President is involved in a chase and ends up on its roof. Video of the chase may be long gone, but fortunately our screenshot is here to stay. Happy President’s Day from JNC!


QotW: What sacred model name should never be revived for a crossover?

JNC readers were pretty much in universal that the Mitsubishi Eclipse name would have been better laid to rest than revived for a crossover, even though the once great sport coupe had morphed into a bloated cruiser with little semblance of performance by the end of its run. But it’s not the only venerated name that has befallen that fate. For example, did you know that the Infiniti EX was called the Skyline Crossover in Japan? Clearly, the blasphemy must stop.

What sacred model name should never be revived for a crossover?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Tell us your tip for battling the winter weather with a JNC.”  Continue reading


MINICARS: The Wild Cards Hakosuka Skyline is now a Hot Wheels

The next Japanese nostalgic Hot Wheels for 2017 is going to be a very special one, as it is the first classic J-sled to be modeled after someone’s personal car. That person would be our friend Roy De Guzman of the Wild Cards, and his white Skyline with a kaido racer-inspired graphic of his own design.  Continue reading


PIXELATED: Toyota C-HR ad stars cast of Street Fighter game

The car may not be nostalgic, but the game certainly is. Toyota has enlisted the help of the Street Fighter II cast to promote the new C-HR. In the new ad, Ryu drives the car around the world through some familiar settings, but it sure does look like he just cold ran over M. Bison in cold blood.  Continue reading