Happy Mother’s Day from JNC!

Mazda Carol Mother's Day

Show how much you love your mom by singing her a Carol today. Happy Mother’s Day from JNC!

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NEWS: Toyota builds an 86 shooting brake

The shooting brake has long been the holy grail of a certain type of car guy. Half sports car, half station wagon, it’s a body style long extinct from the automotive kingdom but not from the hearts of enthusiasts. Google “shooting brake” and see any number of photoshopped renders of modern GTs with extended roofs. Then there’s Toyota, who went and actually built one.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: Nostalgic2Days 2016, Part 01

Nos2Days-Sk32_Toyota 2000GT

At this year’s Nostalgic 2 Days show, we were on assignment to meet a very specific person, a towering figure from the golden age of Japan’s automotive history. Before our appointment — which will be covered in the next installment — however, we treated ourselves to a convention hall packed with kyuusha. We had made our way to Pacifico Yokohama early to assist some friends with their load-in, and took advantage of the early morning displays, pre-crowd. Continue reading

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An interview with NeoClassic Japan’s editor-in-chief

Kousoku Yuen Neoclassic Magazine P1780884

Japan’s Kousoku Yuen magazine recently celebrated their 50th volume. Written for fans of all the lesser loved, non-Skyline, non-2000GT specimens of the Japanese automotive kingdom, it is perhaps the most otaku title of the JDM magazine world. To mark this momentous occasion, as well as 10 years in publication, we interviewed Kousoku Yuen‘s intrepid editor-in-chief, Satoshi Furuuchi, a guy who can tell you from memory almost any obscure detail about any Japanese car ever made.   Continue reading

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RIP Peter Williamson, Aussie Toyota racing legend, 1938-2016

Peter Williamson Toyota Celica A20 TA23

Australia, Toyota, and the world of motorsport has collectively lost a great ambassador with the passing of Peter “Willo” Williamson. For those of us who grew up in southwestern Sydney in the 1970s and 1980s, Willo was a legend and a hero. Peter did not drive the big capacity V8s of the day and choose technology ahead of brute force.  Continue reading

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THE SPOT: Acura 30 Years Strong

Acura NSX 30 Years Young

Thirty years ago, Atari was a relevant name in video games. No one had yet heard the beauty that is the song “Another Day In Paradise” by Phil Collins. And Acura was just bringing their first cars to America. Honda’s luxury marque is celebrating their 30th Anniversary this year, and have created a new commercial entitled “30 Years Strong.”  Continue reading

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NEWS: Mazda’s new Australian HQ proudly displays Heritage Collection

MazdaAUHQ1

Mazda Australia recently celebrated the opening of its new headquarters in Mulgrave, a suburb of Melbourne. While this type of news usually excites business journals more than enthusiasts, the new state-of-the-art building does have something that catches our attention: a prominent collection of classic Mazdas. Continue reading

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60 YEAR CLUB: Happy birthday to Akio Toyoda

Akio Toyoda E30 Toyota Corolla

Today is the 60th birthday of Toyota Motor Corp’s head honcho Akio Toyoda. Even at six decades old, the great-grandson of Toyota founder Sakichi Toyoda shows no signs of slowing down. Over the weekend, he was seen donning a racing suit and getting behind the wheel of a Toyota 86 rally car in Kyoto. Yesterday, he was in Kumamoto Prefecture visiting Toyota offices affected by the recent earthquake.  Continue reading

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REMINDER: Toyotafest 2016 is this Saturday

Toyotafest2016
Just a friendly reminder. The 21st annual Toyotafest is this Saturday, May 7.

The celebration of Toyota, Lexus and Scion cars returns to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Gates open at 9 am and close at 3 pm, and admission is free!

Registration sold out in 24 hours this year, so it should be an exciting event. It will also be the last time Scion is officially a sponsor, as the brand comes to a close.

JNC will be there, so be sure to stop by the booth!

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NEWS: Warehouse fire at importer destroys dozens of cars

International Vehicle Importers fire

Yesterday evening a fire destroyed one of the warehouses of International Vehicle Importers. The Ontario, California-based company was well known in southern California and beyond for importing unique cars from Europe and Japan, with a specialty in Skyline GT-Rs, mostly R32s. Fortunately, no one was hurt, although manager Sean Morris posted the above image to Facebook with the accompanying message: “2 dogs missing. Max and Gigi. Lost 24 cars, 3 motorbikes, about 5 motorcycles. Lots of personal items.” [UPDATE BELOW] Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC should Ryan buy for $8,000?

Honda CRX DX Side Team_Nostalgic Chicago

This week’s QotW is a bit of a personal one, but I, the Midwest Correspondent for JNC, really do need the collective advice of the readership on what I should buy as my next car. With the pending sale of my 300,000-mile CRX Si summer driver, I have a budget of $8,000 with which to buy a vehicle that is Japanese, was launched at least 25 years ago, and that will be a fairly good investment (or at a minimum not depreciate like a haunted murder house).

Naturally, my Synthwave-addled brain has target-locked onto a zenki Z31 300ZX Turbo or a MA61 Celica Supra. My recent obsession with the Coalition of OG Minitruckin’ group on Facebook has me wondering if a Mazda B2200 or Chevy LUV could end up being an oddball collector car, or at least one that can take me to purify myself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka. The question has me performing countless thought experiments, but I just can’t decide.

What JNC should Ryan buy for $8,000?

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 rarest JNC?”  Continue reading

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GRAND TOURING: Driving across Japan in a JNC, Day 10

05 Isuzu 117 Coupe

On the final day of our cross-Japan trip, we woke up in Okayama with a decision to make. If we stuck to the back roads, we’d end up having to travel straight through the heart of Kobe and Osaka. On any normal day that would’ve been insane enough on its own, but today was a national holiday so things would be exponentially worse. We were already exhausted after nine days on the road, and so after over 2,000 kilometers of surface roads, we hit the highway for the last part of our journey.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: 2016 Cannonball Festival

Cannonball Festival Mazda RX3

Though billed as a music festival for greasers and rockabilly types, the Cannonball Festival includes an impressive car and motorcycle show as well. The show is held on opposite ends of the country, Hiroshima and Chiba, and draws a wide array of bosozoku bikes and sleds — including one of our favorites the “Charlie Brown” Mazdas inspired by the touring Savanna RX-3s of Yoshimi KatayamaContinue reading

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MILESTONES: Neoclassic Magazine celebrates 50 volumes

Kousoku Yuen Neoclassic Magazine P1780967

Our friends at Kousoku Yuen magazine in Japan recently published their 50th volume. The bimonthly publication, whom some of you may know as NeoClassic, specializes in Japanese cars, but you’ll rarely see a 2000GT or Hakosuka GT-R on the cover. Instead, you’re more likely to find, say, a Toyota Mark II or a well-preserved Cedric taxi gracing the front. Continue reading

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TOUGE CALIFORNIA: The Cars and Teams of 2016

Touge_California_CH0101

The Touge California is done. We’ve covered how the epic, 8-hour, 200-mile rally went, but we also wanted to recognize all the fearless drivers, stalwart navigators, and gorgeous machines that participated. Here are the cars and teams of the 2016 JNC Touge California. Continue reading

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Registration for the 2016 Nissan Jam is open

NissanJam2016
Registration for the fourth annual Nissan Jam is open. The annual Datsun, Nissan, and Infiniti car show will be held on June 12. The event moves to a new venue this year, La Palma Park in Anaheim, California.

Thanks to the new location, the show will take place on grass rather than a dealership parking lot.

Registration is $35 for any Datsun, Nissan, or Infiniti vehicle. You can register by clicking this link.

If you’re just there to spectate, admission is free. Mark your calendars.

 

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MARKETWATCH: The rise of Japanese collector cars is duly noted

Honda S360

We realize that here at JNC we sometimes get a bit too otaku for the casual Japanese car enthusiast, with liberal use of chassis codes, Japanese nicknames, and, well, words like otaku. For those of you just joining us, Hagerty Insurance, which specializes in classic and specialty cars, has recently published a primer of sorts about what’s in hot and what’s not. You might even recognize the photography and unique writing style. Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Watch the fire-breathing Skyline Super Silhouette decimate Group 5

Nissan Skyline Super Silhouette Group 5 KDR30

The Group 5 Skyline Turbo is one of the most legendary race cars in Japanese motorsport history. By now you know that its extreme Super Silhouette aero inspired a whole genre of tuning, but why was it so epic?  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2nd JNC Touge California, 2016

Touge_California_215-9250_Mazda RX4

Touge driving is not meant to be easy. This is doubly true when the car you’re driving ranges anywhere from 30 to 50 years old. Earlier this month, 28 Japanese nostalgic cars queued up at the start of the 2016 Touge California. By the end of the grueling 8-hour, 200-mile tour, we had lost four of them.  Continue reading

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NEWS: One million Miatas and Counting

MillionMiata_2

The Mazda MX-5 Miata (or Roadster if you’re in JDM-land), that modern symbol of the lightweight sports car, has just reached an impressive milestone: one million units produced. Continue reading

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