JNC PROJECT HAKO: look, Ma… I’m on TV!

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There are lots of TV commercials which try to appeal to true enthusiasts, but if you were given the keys to a TV production company, what sort of commercial would you make? If you answered that you’d gather a whole bunch of cool cars at a racetrack, unlock the pit lane gates and then turn on the cameras, well that is in fact what the Aussie motor oil brand Nulon recently did. And we were invited. Continue reading

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VIDEO: It’s still fun to drive a stock R32 Skyline GT-R

Matt Farah Nissan Skyline GT-R R32

Matt Farah is a guy who drives highly tuned cars on a regular basis, but one of his favorites is a car that is very nearly bone stock and over 25 years old. In fact, he liked it so much he bought one for himself.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Mazda finishes exquisite restoration of Cosmo Sport

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We recently updated you on the progress of Mazda’s amazing restoration of a 1967 L10A Cosmo Sport with the help of some Hiroshima high school students. Here’s the latest: it’s finished! Continue reading

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VIDEO: Gems from the Honda Collection Hall in action

Honda Collection Hall 1300 Coupe 9

Do you have several hours to waste? If not, don’t click any further. Since the beginning of the year, Honda has been uploading videos of cars from the Honda Collection Hall at Twin Ring Motegi and taking them for spirited spins in the museum’s backyard. The videos aren’t long, but there’s a lot of them. There’s no voiceovers or music either, just the sweet, sweet sound of Soichiro’s spirit every time the docent turns the key.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Owner of Toyota 2000GT crushed by tree files lawsuit

Toyota 2000GT crushed

Remember that story of the Toyota 2000GT that was ruthlessly crushed by a tree and an uncaring universe? Well, it’s back in the Japanese news again, as the owner prepares to file a lawsuit against the province in which the accident occurred.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Toyota’s new concept was designed to be passed down from one generation to the next

Toyota Setsuna Concept 11

Toyota has created a car that lasts 100 years so it can be passed down within the family from one generation to the next. “But they already make the Camry!” you might say. That is true, but the Toyota Setsuna concept isn’t just an insanely reliable machine that defies even the most careless teenager’s attempts to kill it with neglect. It’s designed specifically to fade as time goes by, absorbing a household’s memories as it changes.  Continue reading

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Happy 4/11 Day from JNC

Nissan Heritage Collection Datsun 411 02

In honor of today, here’s a photo from the time we drove a Datsun 411 through a sea of supercars during Monterey Historic Car Week. Happy 4/11!

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QotW: What nostalgic-new body kit will be next?

Nissan Skyline C10 Hakotora & Silvia S14 Rocket Bunny Boss 01

The new Rocket Bunny Boss kit that turns unsuspecting FDs into some kind of Mazda centaur with an RX-3 head on an RX-7 body was, um, polarizing. It’s not the first new cars have been faceswapped with older fronts — as you can see from the above pair from last year’s SEMA show — and it probably won’t be the last. What’s next, an AE86 nose for your Toyota 86? A Civic CVCC mask for your NSX? A Debonair clip for your Evo? The possibilities are endless.

What nostalgic-new body kit will be next?

Bonus points if you Photoshop it! 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 interesting JNC throwback design cue?”  Continue reading

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A note about last weekend’s outage

 
The JNC server experienced a disk failure Friday night. It took almost the entire weekend for our webhost to diagnose and rectify the problem. We had to restore to the most recent backup, which was taken at 9:00am Friday. The weekend articles have been subsequently reposted but some comments were lost. Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

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GRAND TOURING: Driving across Japan in a JNC, Day 07

2586_Sakurajima Eruption

In the last installment of our cross-Japan trip, a life-long personal goal was achieved. I had driven from the northern Hokkaido on one end of Japan to southern Kyushu on the other. However, the journey was far from over. We and our trusty 1978 Isuzu 117 Coupé had to make it back home to Nagoya. Aside from a couple of kilometers on the only bridge onto Kyushu, we had kept to back roads, avoiding Japan’s efficient but expensive expressways. We weren’t about to start now.  Continue reading

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RIP Yoshimi Katayama, 1940 — 2016

Yoshimi Katayama Mazda 787

It was announced in Japanese media yesterday that Yoshimi Katayama (片山義美) — the legendary race car driver often associated with Mazda — had passed away on March 26. He was 75. His prolific career was marked by some of Japan’s most iconic race cars, including the Mazda Savanna RX-3, RX-7, and many of Mazda’s Le Mans prototype racers such as the 717C, Lola T616, 767B, and 787.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Custom Toyota Hilux Dually with fifth wheel and camper

1981 Toyota Hilux Dually camper 02

Okay, time to pack it up. It’s done, people. This is the last car you’ll ever need to buy. Sell your house, quit your job, and leave the grid in the comfort of this custom Toyota Hilux and its matching camper. Continue reading

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TRA Kyoto’s new Boss kit turns FDs into RX-3s

TRA Kyoto Boss Mazda FD3S RX3 kit

One of the most photographed things at last year’s SEMA Show was the TRA Kyoto Boss kit that grafted a Datsun Sunny-esque nose onto an S14 Silvia. Now, its makers have applied the same principle to a Mazda, namely, melding a stylized Savanna RX-3 nose onto the body of an FD3S RX-7. The Mazda Boss kit is just a rendering for now, but given the company’s prolific ability to create outrageous kits, you know the real deal is coming any day now. What do JNC readers think, is it rotary radness or time to hide your FDs?

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How the Toyota Corolla Changed American Motoring

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Fifty years is a very long time. If you think about America 50 years ago, the synthesizer had just begun to find its way into mainstream music, a ’32 T-Bucket was as commonly street raced as a EF/EG/EK Civic in the 90s, and Japanese cars were about as popular in America as a Chinese-made car is today. A car enthusiast in 1968 would have to defend their choice of a Japanese car much like how a car enthusiast today has to defend not having a Japanese car. 50 years ago this year the Toyota Corolla was also introduced to the world. Although it would not reach US shores for another two years, we are going to look at how it revolutionized the American motoring experience.  Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: When NHRA opened the doors to Japanese funny cars

Datsun 280ZX NHRA Funny Car Jeff Dykes

When I was a kid in the 70s, a Japanese manufacturer being represented in the pro ranks of NHRA drag racing was a laughable idea. Sure, Datsuns were competitive in road racing with production-based cars, but sanctioning bodies such as the National Hot Rod Association were strictly all-American for their top classes. But now, Toyota Camry bodies are seemingly everywhere. So how did that change?  Continue reading

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NEWS: Mazda is working on a new, possibly turbo, rotary engine

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Last fall at the Tokyo Motor Show Mazda revealed a stunning vision for the future. Appropriately, it was called the RX-Vision, and as the name implies, it was a rotary-powered sports car in the tradition of the Mazda RX-7 and Cosmo Sport. While it was loved by enthusiasts, most have been burned one too many times by the “Here’s an incredible concept for you to drool over but we won’t build it” switcharoo. Not this time.  Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the most interesting JNC throwback design cue?

Automakers often incorporate classic design cues into the modern cars. Sometimes they’re obvious, like the quad taillights of the Nissan GT-R. Sometimes they’re obscure, like the C-pillar of the second-generation Scion tC. There are probably some that only the most die-hard otaku will notice.

What’s the most interesting JNC throwback design cue?

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 your most brutal tale of JNC price inflation?”  Continue reading

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GRAND TOURING: Driving across Japan in a JNC, Day 06

2567_Isuzu 117 Road Station

As our compatriots in California enjoy themselves on the Touge California this weekend, we do a little driving of our own, in the sixth installment of our cross-Japan tour. On Day 05, we stowed our 1978 Isuzu 117 Coupé to explore Nagasaki on foot. It was both wondrous and moving, but after a full day on our feet through the hilly city, we were happy to be back in the driver’s seat again. Continue reading

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GRAND TOURING: Godzilla invades New York — Behind the scenes of the NY Auto Show with a Hakosuka GT-R

69_1971 Nissan Skyline GTR Hakosuka KPGC10 in NYC

There is no US city more hostile to the automobile than New York. Most of its 8.5 million residents don’t own cars. Here, they are nothing more than 3,000-pound accumulators of parking tickets and dents. Some of the city’s roads aren’t even paved. Then we go ahead take a genuine hakosuka Skyline GT-R worth at least a quarter-million dollars through this concrete jungle of jutting construction equipment, suicidal jaywalkers, and potholes so large they’re sometimes mistaken for subway entrances. Continue reading

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VIDEO: One man’s obsession with his Dekotora

Dekotora MEL Films

Takuya Sosogi’s work is ostensibly the shipping of fresh fruit and vegetables. In reality, though, it’s modifying his Mitsubishi Fuso dekotora. Like many dekotora drivers, he became obsessed with “decoration trucks” after watching the 1975 film Torakku Yarō and hasn’t looked back.  Continue reading

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