KIDNEY, ANYONE? Orange Mazda Cosmo Sport goes to auction

1968 Mazda 110S orange 11

Joining the Nissan Fairlady Z432 going across the block this year at Amelia Island is a 1968 Mazda 110S, which is the name for a Mazda Cosmo made for export. This car, as you may have noticed, is a rather unique shade of custom orange. Originally sold in the standard Swan White, it was repainted within the last year to its current hue for reasons unknown. The jury is still out on what the Bonhams “Give me originality or give me death!” crowd will think about the color, but the rotary engine-pioneering car itself is nothing to scoff at.  Continue reading

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Chicago Auto Show: 1967 Toyota 2000GT

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For those of you in the midwest dying to see an honest-to-god 1967 Toyota 2000GT in real life, get thee down to the Chicago Auto Show, going on until February 22. Toyota is taking three of its classics on tour, displaying its supercar alongside a 1961 FJ25 Land Cruiser and an IMSA GTP racer. These are the same cars we covered at the Los Angeles Auto Show so there’s no need to go into detail again, but it’s a rare opportunity to see a rare JNC if you’re in the midwest. And, with a value north of $1 million, it’s one of the most expensive cars in the entire show too.

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QotW: What’s the one modern feature you wish JNCs had?

Lexus LX bluetooth

As pilots of decades-old Japanese warhorses, we all pride ourselves on driving the simplest, everything-you-need-nothing-you-don’t motoring experiences. Blind spot monitors? Ha! Backup cameras? Ha! Airbags? Double ha! We are hard core. Sometimes though, as hard as it is to admit, isn’t just the sliiiightest bit difficult to go from a modern car to your old school steed?

What’s the one modern feature you wish JNCs had?

I once thought it was fine with a tape adapter. Take a couple seconds to plug my phone into the $10 accessory and suddenly I have all the music, podcasts, and streaming audio in the world playing through a 30-year-old piece of technology. But then I step into a new car equipped with the Tooth of Blue and all of that seems hopelessly clunky — the cables, the two-second plug-in time, the instant start/stop, and the lack of ability to take phone calls. It’s almost enough to make me consider buying a car built in the last decade and a half, as even the cheapest of cheapo subcompacts now come with Bluetooth. Or I could just get another adapter, I guess.

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, “Which Japanese automaker has stayed truest to its roots?Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 53k-mile 1981 Toyota Starlet

1981-toyota-starlet-copper-metallic10

Often clad in faded paint, plenty of rust, and maybe an oil-caked zombie of an engine, those KP61 Toyota Starlets which that aren’t being abused by a teenager with dreams of being Daigo Saito are usually on Craigslist halfway through a restomod. However, this car has never been restored and has few enough miles to be within the requirements of Toyota’s warranty policy if it wasn’t 34 years old.  Continue reading

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MINICARS: Happy Valentine’s Day from JNC

Tomica Valentine's Day
It’s become a tradition for Tomica to release a series of chocolate cars every year, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

In years past we’ve seen chocolate classics like the Toyota 2000GT, S30 Nissan Fairlady Z, hakosuka GT-R, TE72 Corolla Levin, and Honda S800. Last year they added a Subaru 360.

For 2015 they’re going with modern cars, including the N360-inspired Honda N-One, Subaru WRX STI, Z34 Nissan Fairlady Z, and Toyota Prius. For Bus maniacs there’s a London double-decker and a Mitsubishi Fuso Hybrid. Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2015 New Year Meeting, Part 04 — Shakotan Sleds

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The previous installment of our New Year Meeting coverage focused on originality. In Part 04, we travel to the opposite end of the spectrum. But among all of Japan’s customization styles, shakotan is perhaps the most appealing to JNCers. Translated as simply “low,” shakotan cars are indeed slammed, but it’s also a catch-all term that implies an aggressive stance, a vague racing-inspired look, and a disregard for societal norms. Above all, however, a shakotan sled should exude menacing cool. Continue reading

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JNC THEATER: NHK to air three-part Mazda Documentary

Mazda 47 Rotary Ronin Samurai

This August will mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To keep alive memories and legacies of the survivors, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) will broadcast a series of television specials. Three shows are of particular interest to JNCers, especially Mazdafarians.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: A look back at the Chicago Auto Show

1986 Chicago Auto Show Nissan

The Chicago Auto Show kicks off today. The nation’s oldest car show, it has faded from prominence in recent years, but here’s a look back at what Japan was up to during its 80s heyday. Helpfully, the Chicago Auto Show has uploaded a bunch of old footage onto its Youtube channel. Here are the highlights below. Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Nissan Fairlady Z432 up for auction

1970 Nissan Fairlady Z432 RM 01

A 1970 Nissan Fairlady Z432 is going up for bidding at the RM Amelia Island auctions next month. JNCers know the drill: its namesake 4 valves per cylinder, 3 carbs, and 2 cams stems from the S20 straight six sourced from the Skyline GT-R of the same era. It cost double the amount of a standard Fairlady Z when new, is exceedingly rare, and was never exported for sale.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2015 New Year Meeting, Part 03 — Bone Stock Beauties

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Japan has been the source of some truly extreme car cultures. Sadly, a “custom car” was the type of vehicle deemed most unseemly by Japanese women in a recent survey. No matter. Despite a western eye that cherry picks the only the most severe modification trends, many Japanese owners do in fact choose to keep their cars stock.  Continue reading

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