KIDNEY, ANYONE? One of the finest Toyota 2000GT restorations you’ll ever see

Toyota 2000GT  Javier Quiros

Sometimes life throws you lemons. Or, perhaps, an entire lemon tree aimed squarely at your Toyota 2000GT. Other times, the car nut friend you meet in college turns out to be Akio Toyoda.

To be clear, Javier Quirós‘s family was already knee-deep in Toyotas before the two met. Quirós’ father imported two FJ25 Land Cruisers for his Costa Rica banana plantation and before you know it, had become the world’s fourth-oldest Toyota importer, in charge of all the ToMoCo products sold in the region. Family fortunes grew and Javier eventually acquired his dream car, a 1967 Toyota 2000GT. Now he’s restoring it to what he believes is “the most original 2000GT in the world.”  Continue reading


2014 Japanese Classic Car Show registration opens today

10th JCCS 2014
The 2014 Japanese Classic Car Show opens for registration today, July 1. This will be a landmark year because it will be the 10th annual JCCS.

That’s right. It’s hard to believe, but the show that paved the way for nostalgic car gatherings of all sorts has been going strong for an entire decade now. The organizers, Koji and Terry Yamaguchi, tell us they have something special planned in honor of this special occasion.

In addition to the cars and motorcycles that have been eligible in previous years, the first-gen Mazda Miata is now a classic and thus welcome at the show.

Special guests will include designer and BRE founder Peter Brock, as well as race car driver John Morton. JNC will also be there with a very special car never before seen at JCCS, so stop by our booth and take a peek.

This year, Toyotafest registration filled up in a record four days. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to display your car or bike on the lawn at Queen Mary Park in a banner year for Japanese nostalgics. You can register at the JCCS website.


QotW: What would you tell automakers to do?

1985 Honda Accord Aerodeck dash

Last week Dave wrote about M2, the Mazda specialty shop designed to hear feedback delivered directly from the customer’s mouth. If only more companies would do that.

What would you tell automakers to do?

Japanese automakers once made the most perfectly ergonomic dashboards known to man. Some still do, but the one automaker that’s fallen farthest from its heyday tree is Honda. Look upon in wonder at this Honda dashboard from the days when Old Man Soichiro still had a hand in his company: the thin-spoked steering wheel, the trio of logical gauges, the well-bolstered and gorgeously upholstered seats. Compared to modern-day Honda’s Romulan warbird consoles it is a thing of utter beauty, so minimalist and functional, and even has a small tray formed by negative space. All this in an Accord, no less! And if you ask us, there’s a tragic dearth of blue interiors these days. So yeah, we’d tell Honda to make more of these, less of those.

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 the last QotW, “What’s your favorite period-correct license plate for your JNC?”  Continue reading


BUBBLE ERA EXCESS: The story of Mazda’s M2 brand, Part 01

02 Mazda Miata M2 1001

As enthusiasts, many of us feel the urge to voice opinions about our favorite marques. “Honda should do this,” or “Toyota should build that.” If only the they would listen the (automotive) world would be a better place, no?

In fact, automakers do listen. Back in the glory days of the Bubble Economy, Mazda, in particular, even created a whole entity for this purpose. It was called M2, Inc.  Continue reading


LOST CARS: 1962 Toyopet Stout world honeymoon truck

Toyopet Stout World Honeymoon by Ivan Shkriev

Ivan Shkirev knew that the 1962 Toyopet Stout he had purchased was unique, but not how unique. Upon receiving delivery to his home in New Mexico, Shkirev found the faded declaration “Tokyo, Japan to Chicago, Illinois” painted across the Stout’s tailgate, along with the names of various countries that it had apparently visited decorating its flanks.  Continue reading


NO MODS, PLZ: 1989 Nissan 240SX two-tone coupe

1989 Nissan 240SX 01

Not too long ago a low-mileage pignose S13 that had somehow not been drifted to death came up for sale in Pennsylvania. The sleek, red hatchback caught was a real eye-catcher, but if it were our money to spend on a Nissan sports coupe that revolutionized the drifting world, we’d snap up a 1989 240SX coupe, in two-tone.  Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport, Toyota 2000GT to be auctioned at Monterey Historics

1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport Monterey Historics auction

In addition to the hakosuka GT-R at RM Auctions, there will also be a 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport at Gooding & Co.’s Monterey Historics auction this year. The Cosmo Sport has been restored by noted restoration shop The Finishing Touch of Fountain Hills, Arizona, the same shop that restored the one in Mazda USA’s collection.  Continue reading


QotW: What’s your favorite period-correct license plate for your JNC?

Skyline License Plate

Thanks to California’s Legacy License Plate program we’ve been talking a lot about the proper period-correct license plates for your JNC recently. We’ve been Cali-centric, but we’d like to open the question up to our readers worldwide.

What’s your favorite period-correct license plate for your JNC?

A visit to Nissan resto-mod specialist Rocky Auto last year revealed a hakosuka GT-R with a a very unique plate. To quote David, “In Japan, whenever a car changes owners or is de-registered its plates are sent in to the rikuunkyoku, or vehicle registration center, and subsequently destroyed, whereupon new plates are made and re-issued. This plate, however, was the original plate, with only one digit on top rather than three, from when the car was brand new. That means that this KPGC10 GT-R is a one owner car!”

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 the last QotW, “Just the tip of the iceberg, or last of a dying breed?  Continue reading


JNC GEAR: The IDx shirt, by the actual car’s designer at Nissan

JNC IDx Shirt

The hottest concept of the 2013-14 auto show season was the Nissan IDx. A lightweight, rear-wheel-drive car with heritage styling cues from the Golden Age of nostalgics? Take our money, please! Now one of the designers of the actual concept car has created this shirt in collaboration with JNC, which we will be debuting at Nissan Jam. UPDATE: The IDx shirt is now available in the JNC shop Continue reading


OTAKU OBSESSION: The true history of period-correct California license plates


California’s unique blend of arid weather, car culture, and state law forcing license plates to stay with the car, even when it changes hands, have created a perfect storm for a unique otaku obsession. For sale ads in all corners of the US use the term “California car” as shorthand for salt-, moisture- and thus rust-free sheetmetal.

Buyer beware, of course, as cars registered in the Golden State weren’t necessarily California cars to begin with, but here’s the thing — cars coming into the state don’t get the original plates, making the period-correct ones a telltale indicator of exactly how California the car really is. Thing is, California doesn’t even know its own license plate history. Continue reading