EVENTS: Houston Morningstar Meet

You might have heard there was a football game in Houston over the weekend. We were in town for the epic clash — something about classic Fords versus Jeep crossovers — but before the big game the local JNC community welcomed us to a Sunday morning meet.  Continue reading


Happy TE27 Day from JNC

When you think of Toyota performance, the color palette that pops into your head may largely depend on the cars you love. Yellow, orange and red for 80s IMSA racing, red and green Castrol for WRC, white and red for TRD’s various exploits and so on. If you’re into TE27s, though, you’re probably a fan of dark green and orange. As you may already know, the names Levin and Trueno mean “thunder” and “lightning” in old English and Spanish, respectively. But a quick Google search seems to reveal that this iconic palette has never been translated to English, so today, on this day of 2/7 2017, we shall.

The official color names for the Corolla Levin were Indianapolis Olive and Monte Rosa Orange. For the Sprinter Trueno, they were Daytona Olive, Haight-Ashbury Orange. The greens were clearly named after famed American raceways but the oranges, as far as we can tell, were named after a mountain in the Alps and the famed San Francisco intersection that was ground zero for 1960s counterculture. We don’t know why they got these names, but we offer you this completely useless bit of trivia anyway. Happy TE27 Day!

For mango madness, revisit our coverage of the TE27 Club Meeting.


QotW: What JNC would best represent the New England Patriots?

Greetings fellow JNCers! As I drafted this QotW, I was sitting in my Tokyo office feverishly refreshing my browser to follow Super Bowl LI. As the game progressed, turned on a dime, and presented the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history; I wondered:

What JNC would best represent the New England Patriots?

The question is abstract, just as abstract as the team mascots that represent the physical players. So I would ask that you run with the spirit of the question. Does the JNC represent the team as a whole? MVP player? Coach? Gatorade caddy?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize.  Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW: Which JNC took on grassroots rally racing the best? Continue reading


Perhaps the most thoroughly restored 1977 Celica ever


Inspired by TA22 Day yesterday, we stumbled across what is quite possibly the most thorough restoration of a 1977 Celica ever performed. Technically this isn’t a TA22, but it’s still a first-gen Celica and it’s an amazing story of an original owner’s love for his first car.  Continue reading


Happy TA22 Day from JNC

Okay, it’s a stretch, but today is 2/2. In other words, Happy TA22 Day from JNC!


VIDEO: Let’s not forget how awesome the Legacy RS was

Before the WRX, STI or any of Subaru’s three-letter suffixes for the Impreza became synonymous with rallying, there was the Legacy RS. Here’s a thrilling video of Colin McRae tearing through the 1993 Tour de Corse. Turbocharged first-gen Subaru Legacys are awesome.  Continue reading


VIDEO: How the Honda S-Series made its debut to the world

The Honda S-Series sports car — a lineage that consists of the S660, S2000, S800, S600 and S500 — is legendary today, but how did it make its first appearance to the world? After all, Honda is one of the few automakers whose first passenger model was an actual sports car and its launch was of historic import. Luckily, an old Honda-produced short film shows us that exact moment, and the road leading up to it.  Continue reading


NEWS: Tokyo Motor Show may be a reunion of Japanese sports car icons

If the multitude of rumors are true, this fall’s Tokyo Motor Show could be one for the history books. Nissan, Toyota, and Honda are all said to be reviving sports car icons. A modern Z, Supra and S2000 could be in the works.  Continue reading


RIP Namco founder Masaya Nakamura, 1925-2017

Video game pioneer Masaya Nakamura passed away on January 22 at the age of 91. News just broke in Japan, leading to an outpouring of love for the man whose company gave the world Pac-Man. However, before the round yellow ghost-hunter became a global phenomenon, Nakamura created several coin-operated ways of bringing kids and cars together.  Continue reading


Happy 97th Birthday, Mazda!

Ninety-seven years ago today, the Toyo Kogyo Cork Company was founded in Hiroshima. The cork business wasn’t exactly brimming in a rapidly industrializing Japan, so they soon shifted to heavy equipment, including the Mazdago 3-wheeled truck. Then they made some weird cars without pistons and stuff. Happy 97th birthday, Mazda!


QotW: Which JNC took on grassroots rally racing the best?

This week, we’re taking a little break from the JNC challenge, which you can still contribute to here. During the break, I wanted to consider a simple, but possibly controversial question:

“Which JNC took on grassroots rally racing the best?

This isn’t a focus on WRC pro rally, we want to know a good story of local rally racing and the JNC that helped get people into the sport. I know there are some crazy races in Central America and even Africa so bring out your best! If you have a pic, attach or link it! We wanna see J-tin duking it out!

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 2. Continue reading


Happy Year of the Rooster from JNC

Okay, so the logo of the Toyota Century is technically a fushichou, or phoenix derived from Chinese mythology. But, if you trace it back far enough, the fenghuang is also called the August Rooster and according to Wikipedia, sometimes replaces the rooster on the Chinese zodiac. We’ve never seen it happen, but hey, it was either this or an AW11 logo. Here’s a closeup so you can see the detail in all its golden glory.  Continue reading


VIDEO: Roadkill‘s $1,500 Japanese car challenge

The last time we saw the Roadkill guys, they were busy being confounded by an AE86 with historic plates. Perhaps seeking to delve deeper into the world of J-tin, they recently filmed an episode in which they each spent $1,500 on a non-Big Three jalopy. What happens when they trade barely running muscle cars for a barely running first-gen Mazda RX-7 and Honda Civic? An entertaining as hell episode, that’s what. Continue reading


Honda T880, an adorable retro kei truck concept

One of the coolest and most unexpected concepts to emerge from the Tokyo Auto Salon this year was the Honda T880. Based on the Honda Acty, it takes the unmistakable look of Japan’s ubiquitous kei trucks and creates a design that is at once charming, nostalgic, and somewhat sporty.  Continue reading


MINICARS: A brief update on upcoming Hot Wheels

Yesterday we stopped by El Segundo to catch up with our friends at the Hot Wheels Design Center. We can’t report on everything that happened — though JNCers will have to hold on to their butts in 2018 — but here are a couple of sneak peaks we can share.  Continue reading


NEWS: Mitsubishi may bring back Eclipse, but in name only

There is a rumor swirling around, reported by a reputable source, that Mitsubishi may revive the Eclipse name. The report comes from Autoblog, who says that Eclipse could be the name for a vehicle Mitsubishi will unveil at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, one that the company has released a teaser image of. Take a look at that image below and you’ll see there’s a catch, and it’s a big one.  Continue reading


MARKETWATCH: 1977 Honda Civic sells for $15,400

The annual Scottsdale, Arizona car auctions have slowly been introducing Japanese classics to the larger collector market. There have been the expected Toyota 2000GT, Hakosuka GT-R, and Cosmo Sport, but also workhorse FJ40 Land Cruisers and tuner favorites like the R32 Skyline GT-R. Now, a new piece of Japanese automotive history has joined the ranks, a 1977 Honda Civic.  Continue reading


MINICARS: New Japanese classics in Tomica line, sort of

Japanese diecast manufacturer Tomica is about to release its first Japanese classics into their main line since, well, since most similar classics were still new cars. The cars in question are an Isuzu 117 and Bellett, but there’s a catch. Both are actually going to be plastic accessories attached to a modern Isuzu Elf flatbed.  Continue reading


QotW: Take the JNC Challenge, Part 02

Last week, we introduced a new challenge segment for QotW. In fine fashion, JNC readers came up with some amazing answers with links and fact checking to prove it! The staff here were blown away by the amount of creativity and dedication for the challenge. Some felt it was difficult to be locked in with a budget of $2,000. Others found out clever ways to save money by selling parts off their purchased chariot or get help from friends and family, all in the name of meeting the second half of the challenge; a running and driving JNC.

This week, we continue the challenge by taking the winning vehicle from last week and asking:

“What enthusiast scene do you enter your JNC into?

Do you enjoy taking it to a track for some hot laps? Join a local club for midnight cruising? Destruction derby? Whatever the choice, remember that this is still your daily driver. Whatever happens, it still needs to be available 5-days a week to take you to your 9-5 job. Anything beyond that, and we mean anything, is up to you. Keep it fun and creative as always to see where this story goes next!

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize.  Scroll down to see the winner and vehicle of last week’s QotW: What JNC would you buy as a daily driver with a budget of $2000 USD? Continue reading


VIDEO: Toyota puts the Drift King behind the wheel of his first true love, a 4AG-powered AE86

Keiichi Tsuchiya’s love for the Toyota AE86 is well documented. Though he got his start with the Hachiroku, he’s since driven everything under the sun as co-host of Best Motoring and even scored a class win with an NSX at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Last night, Toyota uploaded a video to their YouTube channel on the occasion of the Corolla’s 50th anniversary (it was technically last year, but whatever) in which one of Japan’s most famous drivers is reunited with the most famous Corolla.  Continue reading

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