GRAND TOURING: Tohoku, Part 01

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the twin disasters — a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and devastating tsunami — that struck Japan off the coast of Tohoku in 2011. In remembrance, we are re-running a series of stories that relate to the event’s aftermath. This article was originally published on October 17, 2012.

For the last year or more, most of our visits to Tohoku have been single minded – helping with the recovery efforts. This trip was a chance to relax, tour the glorious countryside, meet people and, of course, capture some glimpses of nostalgic cars in the wild. For this we traveled northward from Tokyo as far as possible, all the way to the Aomori coast on the northernmost tip of Honshu. Continue reading


VIDEO: Check out this Honda Head’s massive collection

Honda Kokoro Collection Lance

In a video titled Honda Kokoro (Honda Heart), a collector welcomes viewers into his incredible collection of Honda memorabilia. If the wall of valve covers didn’t clue you in already, it is a collection of epic proportions, from bikes to Hot Wheels, generators to Honda-branded gym socks. Lance isn’t just an otaku, though. He works for the company as well.  Continue reading


Consider the Following: The third-generation Honda Accord is a great buy


With the prices of the most popular models entering unattainable status for a lot of younger JNCers, we felt it necessary to highlight some painfully overlooked — often for no good reason at all — yet still affordable (for now) nostalgics. Consider the following: The CA Honda Accord.  Continue reading


VIDEO: A key part of Japanese industry now lost

Japan family-owned factory

Here’s a video, perhaps in the same grade-school documentary series as the one about Japanese industry in the 1970s. It has no cars, but you can still learn a thing or two. In particular, there’s a scene showing a family-owned sewing business (6:19 in the video below the fold). In the small home, a family might live in one room, while a “factory” occupied another. It is difficult to describe the scale of such an operation without visuals.  Continue reading


EVENTS: Marikina Old Schoolers East meet

01-WP71906_Mitsubishi Lancer-2GBoxType

Perhaps unbeknownst to most Americans, the Philippines has an incredibly strong tradition of classic car enthusiasm, especially with Nihon steel. Due to the nation’s proximity to Japan, it was one of the early export markets and received many models that would be popular with JNCers today. The Old Schoolers East are a club composed of owners from the eastern side of Metro Manila who are into vintage cars, mostly ones that were common in the capital city during the 70s and 80s.  Continue reading


EVENTS: 2016 New Year Meeting, Part 03 — This is Japan


A life-size Gundam robot towers above the trees. Giant windowless shopping centers operate like small cities. In this snapshot of a hyper-futuristic metropolis floating on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay, tradition comes in the form of a parking lot teeming with zokusha. This is Japan.  Continue reading


Happy International Women’s Day from JNC


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VIDEO: Watch loads of JNC goodness in this documentary about Japan in the 1970s

Japan in the 70s overpass

The video you’re about to watch is what American schoolchildren were taught about Japan in the 1970s. Throughout it all, there are brilliant scenes of Showa Era Japanese streets and the cars that populate them.  Continue reading


QotW: What’s your best tale of JNC indestructibility?

Top Gear Toyota Hilux 01

One of the greatest things about owning a JNCs is its reliability. Think that’s boring? Well, while macchine nostalgico Italiano owners are leaking vital fluids, Deutsch nostalgischen auto owners are trying to figure out why you need to remove the transmission to change a bulb, and British reminiscing motorcar owners are studying for Master’s degrees in electrical engineering, JNC owners are out there driving their cars. We’re so cocky, we sometimes even willfully abuse our cars, knowing they’ll just roll with the punches.

What’s your best tale of JNC indestructibility?

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 once-common car has suddenly disappeared?”  Continue reading


GRAND TOURING: Driving across Japan in a JNC, Day 02

Hakuto white rabbit shrine 07

In Part 01 of our once-in-a-lifetime road trip, we set out from Nagoya and headed to Maizuru City via Lake Biwa. Our car was an Isuzu fresh off of a head gasket change, and while Day Two was yet another day of pure rain, a quick look at the weather radar showed it’d be the last foreseeable shower for a while. Regardless, we weren’t going to let our spirits be dampened by dampness! So we hopped back in the 117 and hit the road again, out of Maizuru, sticking to Japan’s northern coastline. Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? Mazda RX-7 rally car with Group B power


It’s been said a thousand times: Group B race cars are among the most iconic, exciting, and outrageous in motorsport history, tearing through dirt or tarmac in outlandish style and manner. However, fans of Japanese sports cars may feel a bit shortchanged by this legendary era, as few Group B racers were homologated from the land of rising sun. The most famous example may be the Nissan 240RS, based on the S110 Silvia. Keen JNCers might also point out that there existed a Group B Mazda RX-7. And now, you can have one such example (sort of) in metaphorical exchange for your kidney. Continue reading


EVENTS: 2016 New Year Meeting, Part 02 — The Parking Area


In Part 02 of our New Year Meeting coverage, we delve into the parking area to unearth gems as good as anything inside the show. Some of them aren’t able to make it simply because of the age cutoff, others perhaps have owners who don’t necessarily care about showing off their cars. In any case, being greeted by a row of gorgeous Bubble Era Soarers is reason enough to go exploring.  Continue reading


EVENTS: The Mazda Ice Academy explains why Mazdas are so darn fun to drive


The Mazda Ice Academy’s main reason for existence was to show off the Hiroshima automaker’s newfangled all-wheel-drive system. That was good, as we’d marveled before at how they managed to give a mid-size crossover better handling than many actual cars. We wanted to learn the secret, but by the end of day two the academy had turned into a session of drifting Miatas on a snow-covered mountaintop. With the top down. In below-freezing temperatures. As it turns out, the two are more closely related than you think.  Continue reading


EVENTS: 2016 New Year Meeting, Part 01


The New Year Meeting is Tokyo’s premiere classic car show and it takes place at the end of January. You’ll likely never see a gathering of J-tin so diverse anywhere else, and the magic begins with a line of cars at the show’s gates. Right off the bat there’s a 1960s H31 Nissan Cedric, Sunny, Subaru Leone wagon, and a daruma Celica all queued up. Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? The finest replica of a Mugen CRX SCCA GT4 race car is in France

1984 Honda CRX Mugen SCCA GT4 replica France 03

In the early 1980s, Honda wanted to show the appeal of its high-performance vehicles to American enthusiasts. It set about building a racing car with the help of its tuning and racing division, Mugen, to compete in the SCCA GT-4 class. The weapon of choice? The Honda CRX. It debuted in 1985 at Road Atlanta, was campaigned all the way through 1990, kicking butt and taking names for the entire 6 years it ran. Honda had America’s attention. But they also caught the attention of an enthusiast from France.  Continue reading


DESIGN: Nissan VP reveals challenges of designing with DNA

22_Nissan Sentra 2016 Taro Ueda

We recently had the chance to glimpse into the the mind of someone who spends every day thinking and making decisions about the cars we buy, drive, and love. Taro Ueda is Vice-President of Design at Nissan Design America, the automaker’s studio in southern California, and he and his team were actually able to make the 2016 Sentra look good. Continue reading


VIDEO: Watch the R32 Skyline GT-R lap the Nürburgring

Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 Nurburgring Best Motoring

Nowadays, for any performance car worth their salt, a Nürburgring lap is a spec sheet staple, right there under horsepower, torque, and 0-60 time. But the Nissan Skyline GT-R was doing it before it was cool. Way before. Back in 1989, to be precise, when Best Motoring took an R32 GT-R to the Green Hell and clocked an 8:22. That’s nothing compared to the 7:08:69 of the R35 NISMO GT-R, but it was absolutely mind-blowing 27 years ago.  Continue reading


PIXELLATED: Forza Motorsport 6

Kenmeri Hakosuka Front

Welcome to a new series about JNCs in video games. Perhaps you can’t have the garage of your dreams in real life, but you can have it in pixels.

One of the best series of all time for JNCs, Forza has seen the release of its newest sequel since we ranked the Top 5 video games featuring Japanese Nostalgic Cars. Forza Motorsports 6 launched in September 2015 with a slew of Nihon steel that included not only perennial favorites like the Toyota 2000GT and hakosuka Skyline GT-R, but less common virtual racers like the 1986 Civic Si and 1974 Celica GT. Since then, The team at Forza developer Turn 10 Studios has been hitting it out of the park with DLCs, or Downloadable Content.  Continue reading


Does your classic Subaru belong in a museum?

005_Subaru of America HQ_Subaru BRAT

Do you have a classic Subaru? Do you want to display it in the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum’s upcoming exhibit of all-wheel-drive Japanese cars? Our friends at Subaru of America recently alerted us to the fact that they were loaning several of their own cars from their not-so-secret headquarters “attic” to the museum, but the Simeone Foundation still needs more.  Continue reading


NEWS: Mazda is the title sponsor of JNC Touge California

046_Touge California Mazda RX7 FB

We at JNC are very proud to announce that Mazda will be the title sponsor of the 2016 JNC Touge California. Mazda will bring out select heritage cars to drive along with us during the 200-mile event, and give participants a rare tour of vehicles from their vast heritage collection, which is not typically open to the public.  Continue reading