QotW: What’s the rarest JNC?

1997 Lexus SC 300 Pikes Peak

We all know there were 351 Toyota 2000GTs made, but that does not make them rare. To see one, just walk into any car museum in Japan. There’s plenty of well preserved ones at US car shows too. How about a modernized 2000GT? Did you know that Lexus made only 120 facelifted 5-speed SC 300s? That facelift occurred in 1997, the last year a manual transmission was offered in the US. On top of that, the vast majority of them have been turned into “gentleman’s Supras” or drift missiles with mods of questionable taste. That’s just one example, but we’re sure there are even more obscure cars out there.

What’s the rarest JNC?

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 heroic repair story?”  Continue reading

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GRAND TOURING: Driving across Japan in a JNC, Day 09

3166_Nishi-Seto Expressway

With just two more days to go, our trip was winding to a close. We had just crossed from the southern island of Kyushu to Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands. Now were were headed back onto the main landmass of Honshu, but to do so we’d have to take our 1978 Isuzu 117 over a string of small islands in the Seto Inland SeaContinue reading

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EARTH DAY: The Mazda EX-005 was a rotary hybrid built in 1970

1970 Mazda EX-005 Concept

In celebratin of Earth Day, here’s a rotary-powered Japanese nostalgic hybrid. The Mazda EX-005 debuted at the 1970 Tokyo Motor Show and was a bubble approximately the size of an office chairContinue reading

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EARTH DAY: Nissan built a hybrid-electric pickup back in 1973

Nissan EV4 truck

Long before the Leaf — back in 1973 to be precise — Nissan had already been messing around with electric cars for decades. However, while the prevailing idea of an electric car was an office chair-sized bubble on wheels, Nissan built a space-tastic electric pickup truck. In fact, it built two.  Continue reading

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Prince’s Purple Rain Honda motorcycle was awesome

The artist known as Prince passed away today at the age of 57. His musical achievements are well documented, but if you were a young motorhead in 1984 when Purple Rain came out, his custom Honda was the coolest bike around.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: So Hot Wheels went and made a dekotora…

Hot Wheels Mad Manga Galactic Express 03

Normally even the most hard core Hot Wheels collectors are happy to pass the tractor trailer sets onto their kids, but fans of Japanese steel are going to want to keep their eyes peeled for the latest rig. Because Hot Wheels has gone and done the unthinkable — it has made a dekotoraContinue reading

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THE SPOT: Behold the bonkers trippiness of these Yellow Hat commercials

Yellow Hat Mitsubishi Debonair ad

Yellow Hat is a nationwide Japanese chain of auto service stores whose ad agency has clearly huffed one exhaust molecule too many. The completely Mr Sparkle-ized ads exist ostensibly to notify you of Yellow Hat’s tire and battery services, but the execution is a seizure-inducing, brain-melting onslaught of hyperkinetic cuts, dancing girls, pop music so sugary it’ll give you cavities, and the occasional nostalgic car.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Mitsubishi admits to falsifying fuel economy data

Mitsubishi Motors Tokyo HQ

Mitsubishi Motors admitted publicly this morning that its employees falsified fuel economy test data for over 600,000 vehicles. Production of these vehicles has halted and an independent investigation will be conducted.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Abandoned Hakosuka in Cyprus

abandoned Hakosuka Skyline Cyprus

The story of a Toyota dealership abandoned in Cyprus in the 1970s is well known to long time readers. Apparently, though, old Celicas and Corollas aren’t the only J-tin left to gather dust on the island republic. Here’s a very complete 1969 hakosuka sedan too. To be clear, it’s not within the Green Zone, the demilitarized buffer whose residents were forced to flee in 1974 (and where the Toyota dealership resides). Instead, the Skyline is just sitting in an apartment complex, seemingly abandoned, but some members of the Hakosuka Owners Club on Facebook did some investigations.   Continue reading

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VIDEO: Jay Kho’s Wild Card DR30 Skyline

Jay Kho DR30 Nissan Skyline.jpg

A DR30 Skyline in signature red and black colors should be either a.) fighting crime on the mean streets of urban Japan or b.) in Hasemi livery tearing down the Fuji straight. So what’s it doing gliding down The Strip with the lights of old school Vegas bouncing off its angular body lines? The star of Petrolicious‘s latest video is friend of JNC and Sin City resident Jay Kho. With his Newman Skyline, Jay is a member of the Wild Cards, and you may have even gotten a close-up look at his car at our JCCS booth last year. If you missed it though, now you can watch it in motion.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Excellent clips from the Shakotan Boogie anime

Shakotan Boogie anime

Here are some clips from the anime adaptation of Shakotan Boogie, which came out in the early 90s. Animation-wise, it falls somewhere between Speed Racer and the original Initial D, but I think that we can all agree, that this is the pinnacle of all that humanity has achieved in art and culture as we know it. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your most heroic repair story?

GR1-824s_Honda S800 Tenken-kun

The theme of this week at JNC was Things Breaking Down. Our webhosting company has installed some new software that will hopefully make things more stable from here on out but it just goes to show, not everything can be as clockwork reliable as a Toyota Camry. In fact, some of your cars have probably needed a repair or two, despite not being British. Tell us about the time you saved your family from becoming vulture food by MacGuyvering a busted timing chain with nothing but a pair of vice grips, roll of duct tape and a McDonald’s ketchup packet. We know you’re dying to tell someone.

What’s your most heroic repair story?

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 nostalgic-new body kit will be next?”  Continue reading

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GRAND TOURING: Driving across Japan in a JNC, Day 08

2724_Isuzu117_SecondBeat

In the previous installment of our cross-Japan trip, we began the northeasterly journey back home, but on a different route that would hug the southern coast of Japan. As such, we’d voyage from Kyushu to Shikoku, two of the four islands that comprise Japan’s main landmass. Distancewise, the goal was modest compared to previous days’ legs, meaning we’d have plenty of time to take it easy and give our 1978 Isuzu 117 Coupé a rest from the breakneck paces we’d be putting it through.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: Subaru holds first official Fan Meeting in Japan

SubaruFan2016_1

Subaru recently held its inaugural Fan Meeting at the Subaru Kenkyu Center in Tochigi. SKC fort short, the Research & Testing Center is the proving ground where many of Subaru’s signature high performance cars, such as the Alcyone SVX and WRX STi, developed. For Subaru aficionados, there is no better place to celebrate their favorite machines than this hallowed ground that’s usually off limits to civilians. Continue reading

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

EDGE_Nurlon_ScottLowe_2854

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

Cosmo1

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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