NEWS: KPGC10 Nissan Skyline GT-R sells for $242,000

We will have more detailed coverage early next week, but we just wanted to tell you that the first KPGC10 Skyline GT-R to sell at auction broke expectations with a $220,000 sale in Monterey. RM Auctions expected it to go for $125,000-175,000, but it blew right through that ceiling. With the 10 percent commission, it was $242,000 out the door. This changes everything.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: Monterey Historics, Part 01

So after we dropped off the hakosuka GT-R at Nissan’s garage, we set out to see what the rest of the Monterey Historics had to offer. It is the most mind-detonatingly expensive automotive festival in this hemisphere, a world we plebes normally never get to experience. We’d heard there was J-tin in them thar hills, and we were off in search of it. Continue reading

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EVENTS: KPGC10 Skyline GT-R at the Monterey Historics

We just brought a genuine KPGC10 Skyline GT-R to the Monterey Historics. It was a bit surreal to say the least, watching it enter the paddocks of the legendary Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Though it never raced here, the circuit is the GT-R’s natural environment, and it dominated every one that it went to throughout the late 1960s and early 70s. From the banks of Fuji Speedway to perhaps the most famous track in the US, the GT-R had come home to roost. Continue reading

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PROFILES: The lost Datsun 240Z Sport Wagon

At this year’s Z Car Club of America’s annual convention, a unique 240Z was unveiled. The Datsun 240Z “Sport Wagon” was borne from the mind of Yoshihiko Matsuo, the original stylist of the Datsun 240Z. Though it was never put into production, this one-off custom has made his vision a reality nearly 50 years since he first put pen to paper. Continue reading

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GALLERIES: Shinjuku Subaru Building closes for good

One of the great things about Tokyo is that just about every Japanese automaker has a large office building there. Such buildings usually have a showroom on the ground floor, and you can spend an entire day gallery-hopping, picking up brochures, collecting whatever swag they have lying around, or dropping some serious yen on minicars, posters, and apparel.

Among the easiest to get to was the Subaru Building in Shinjuku, just across the street from the massive west exit of Shinjuku Station, Tokyo’s largest train depot. Sadly, it closed for good last week.  Continue reading

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QotW: JNC prices are on the rise. Good or bad?

We are headed to the Monterey Historics this week. Among the festivities are the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance in which million-dollar cars you’ve never heard of compete to see who has the bone-stockiest restoration, the Motorsports Reunion in which priceless pieces of racing history are driven around Laguna Seca, and a myriad of auctions among which a Ferrari owned by Steve McQueen is expected to sell for over $60 million.

In the middle of all that madness are several important milestones involving Japanese nostalgic cars, including the auctioning of a pair of Toyota 2000GTs, a Mazda Cosmo Sport, and for the first time ever at Monterey, a genuine S20-powered hakosuka Skyline GT-R. It appears that Japanese cars are finally getting the recognition they deserve, but you know what that means.

JNC prices are on the rise. Good or bad?

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 the greatest Z-Car?Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2014 SpoCom

Google “SpoCom” and you’ll find more photos of bikinied booth babes than actual cars, but occasionally this “automotive lifestyle” show for the dubstep crowd does turn up some JNC gems. To show you, we dodged legions of rehearsing dance crews, suffered loud electronic distortion masquerading as music, and endured a convention hall packed with candy colored Scions and stanced Audis.  Continue reading

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Happy 8/6 Day from JNC

jp1983Levin_brochure01
It’s that time of year again, August 6 or 8/6, the day on which we celebrate the hachiroku. It’s the drift king, the touge master, the car both Keiichi Tsuchiya and Takumi Fujiwara cut their teeth on, or to paraphrase Mad Max — last of the rear-drive Corollas.

To commemorate this day, take a gander at the original Japanese brochure and its Bubble Era naming excesses. It’s not just a 4A-GE, it’s a Lasre α. And did you know, that as you sling your AE86 around your canyon roads, you’re riding on a Pegasus? No, not the winged horse, Toyota’s Precision Engineered Geometrically Advanced SUSpension!

There’s even a female-oriented SOHC version with floral upholstery called the Corolla Levin Lime. With all the focus on the top-spec twin-cams, are there even any Levin Limes left in the world? Ponder these eternal questions and many more on this day, our day of 86es. Happy 8/6 Day! Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 125-mile 1985 Honda Civic

These may be the worst photos ever taken by someone trying to sell what is claimed to be a historic vehicle. Despite the potato-cam, however, the seller of this 1985 Honda Civic hatchback claims that it was a special car commemorating the 500,000th Civic ever built. As such, it has been driven only 200km (124 miles) in its lifetime. UPDATE below. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the greatest Z-Car?

Datsun 240Z East African Safari Rally

As we prepare for the 2014 ZCon this week, we can’t help but reflect on how influential the Z-Car has been to the JNC scene. We don’t usually devote a QotW to a single model but the Z has earned it over six generations and 45 years.

What’s the greatest Z-Car?

In 1971 the No.11 Datsun 240Z finished a five-day, 3,977-mile trek across the punishing landscape of East Africa and won the 1971 Safari Rally. That very car is still kept in Nissan’s Zama warehouse, battle scars and all, as a reminder of that fantastic feat. Incidentally, the designers of the 240Z, 300ZX TT and 370Z will all be in San Diego this week. at ZCon.

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 the coolest JNC stereo deck?”  Continue reading

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