MINICARS: Igniton Models 1:18 kenmeri Nissan Skyline GT-R

Ignition Models kenmeri Nissan Skyline GT-R KPGC110 rear

What you are looking at here is not a kenmeri Skyline. It’s an insanely detailed scale model of a kenmeri Skyline made by a new outfit out of Shizuoka called Ignition Models. They make a variety of 1:43, 1:18 and 1:12 scale cars, but the most interesting one to us is this stunning 1:18 Skyline GT-R, and it has just landed stateside. Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? 24k-mile Mitsubishi Twin-Stick

1983 Dodge Colt Twin-Stick Mitsubishi Mirage 01

The Mitsubishi Mirage (aka Dodge Colt (aka Plymouth Champ)) has one of the most interesting transmissions ever built, with as many gear ratios as your first big kid and two shift levers poking out of the cabin floor like a split hair. And while this particular example offered for sale in Raleigh, North Carolina, is just a middle-of-the-road trim level that wasn’t particularly interesting back in the day (or arguably, even now), it is incredibly rare, and at 24,000 miles and change, quite mint. There’s gotta be someone out there that wants it, right? Continue reading


QotW: What’s the most anticipated “Class of 1990″ JNC?

Mazda JC Eunos Cosmo

Today is Coming of Age Day in Japan, a holiday in which adolescents become adults. Local city halls in towns across the country invite the newly minted adults for a small ceremony, a tradition that dates back to 714 AD. Of course we at JNC plan to welcome another round of cars into the 25 Year Club, a bit older than adulthood, but you get the idea.

What’s the most anticipated “Class of 1990″ JNC?

1990 marks What we have here is a cornucopia of choice, from tuner favorites like the ST185 Celica, DA Acura Integra, and original Mitsubishi Eclipse to sensible sedans like the CB7 Honda Accord. Weird JDM cars such as the Toyota Sera enter the fold, as do supercars like the JC Mazda Cosmo and Acura NSX.

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 question should we ask next year?”  Continue reading


DESIGN: An interview with Nissan designer Ken Lee


It’s not often that you find yourself hurtling down narrow two-lane roads with the guy that designed the very car you’re sitting in. We recently had the rare opportunity to take a ride with Ken Lee, a senior creative manager at Nissan Design America. The car of choice was the 2015 Nissan Murano, a project he birthed, from idea to 2D drawing, clay to sheetmetal, at the company’s La Jolla, California studio. The futuristic-looking crossover is a far cry from 25-year-and-older J-tin, but during our chat Lee revealed a surprise: he grew up with and loves Japanese nostalgic cars. Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? 59k-mile Subaru Loyale Wagon

1994 Subaru Loyale 01

The EA82 Loyale was Fuji Heavy Industries’ flagship model until it was dethroned by the Subaru Legacy. The particular example offered for sale in Cadillac, Michigan is without a doubt the best example of an EA82 we’ve seen stateside, and it isn’t just a base model DL either. With only 59,000 miles on the clock, it would take copious amounts of trail hooning to arrive at the condition most EA82s are found in, but who could do that with such a pristine example of the biggest unsung hero of the Pleiades badge? Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? Hot Wheels Datsun Z prototype for $4,295

Hot Wheels Z-Whiz prototype 01

This is could be the earliest Hot Wheels Japanese car ever made. The Hot Wheels Datsun “Z-Whiz” 240Z of 1977 is certainly the first Japanese casting, but this is a pre-production prototype of that casting, making it one of the earliest Z-Whizes known to exist, and it’s currently on eBay with a BuyItNow price of $4,295. Yes, that is a dollar figure that is utterly ridiculous and exceeds some actual Zs, but there is probably some crazy collector out there that will shell out for it because it is an extremely rare piece.  Continue reading


EVENTS: SevenStock 17 Spotlight — Cherry Capellas


As the name implies, SevenStock is heavy on the Sevens. At SevenStock 17, however, Mazda RX-2s made a tremendous showing. We presented some of them already, along with R100s, RX-3s, REPUs and, yes, RX-7s galore. But there were three examples of what would be called Capellas if they were in Japan, that deserved to stand out, and here they are.  Continue reading


QotW: Which JNC should be a Transformer and what should its name be?

Transformers Masterpiece Bluestreak Datsun 280ZX 01

Happy 2015! We asked for a Question of the Week in last Monday’s Question of the Week, and you delivered. So to kick off a new year of QotWs, here’s (one of) the winning questions.

Which JNC should be a Transformer and what should its name be?

Well, let’s imagine we are talking about pre-Michael Bay Transformers, which was a cartoon, a toy line, and not shitty. It also debuted squarely in the mid-1980s. That makes many of the original characters JNCs. We have robots that disguise themselves as Datsun 280ZXes, Honda Citys, Toyota Hiluxes and Nissan Vanettes, so let’s just eliminate all of the existing ones from the running and come up with completely new characters. What will be their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and favorite quotes?

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 question should we ask next year?”  Continue reading


EVENTS: 2014 Meiji Jingu Classic Car Festival, Part 02


The annual Meiji Jingu Classic Car Festival offers something few other shows can claim: the chance to see its cars driving through public streets. It’s not simply witnessing them in motion, though It’s the fact that those public streets are in Tokyo, in some of the capital city’s most famous historic districts, many of which look largely unchanged since these cars were new.  Continue reading


The Subaru Legacy is officially a Japanese nostalgic car, Part 02

Subaru Legacy RS Type RA 02

Let’s get right back into the groove this new year by continuing the induction of the original Subaru Legacy into the 25 Year Club. In Part 01, we studied its origins, but despite its humble family sedan appearance, Fuji Heavy Industries intended for the Legacy to go racing right from inception. This is a fitting place to discuss the origins of Subaru Technica International (STi) and how it relates to the Legacy.  Continue reading