EVENTS: The Great Race 2015

27_150336_Nissan Datsun Fairlady 2000 Roadster Great Race

If you’re looking for confirmation that Japanese classic car culture has truly arrived in the United States, the following statement may or may not provide it: on June 22nd, somewhere between Springfield, Missouri and Oklahoma City, a Nissan Fairlady Z432 was rear-ended by a farm vehicle. We’ll give you a moment to regain your composure before we explain how this calamity could possibly occur.  Continue reading


EVENTS: Toyota Sports 800 50th Anniversary, Day 02

031-0145_Toyota Sports 800 50th Anniversary

When we last met, dear reader, I told you of my adventures traveling to Nagoya for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Toyota Sports 800, an adorable little car known to many of us as the Yotahachi. That day included a car show at the Toyota Automobuile Museum in Aichi Prefecture where I met many fellow enthusiasts and owners and men responsible for the development of the car. We capped it off with a road trip in a Yotahachi through central Japan’s scenic mountains to Tokyo, where day two of celebration would begin at Toyota’s MegaWeb showroom. Continue reading


QotW: Which JNC is impossible to find stock?


Some cars, such as the two Kidney candidates we saw last week, are so welcoming to modifications that for it to survive decades untouched, especially at the affordable end of the blue book listings, is as unlikely as like a baby outlasting the zombie apocalypse.

Which JNC is impossible to find stock?

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 the greatest JNC steering wheel?”  Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? The perfect EF Honda Civic

1991 Honda Civic Si Tahitian Green 01

Leave it to the Canadians to preserve the holy grail of EF Civics. Not only is this pristine example a final-year, top-spec Si performance model, it’s finished in Tahitian Green Pearl, an achingly proper shade of period correct teal considered highly — if not the most — desirable amongst Hondaheads. It even has power windows, a rare option for Civic Si models.  Continue reading


VIDEO: Badass women on badass bikes

Bosozoku Women

The style of this video is precisely what was parodied so well by the recent Car Bros’ Secrets of Japan Revealed sketch, but once you get past the over-dramatized Sheriff John Bunnell narration, there’s still some good footage of badass women on badass bikes.  Continue reading


VIDEO: Mazda MX-5 Miata, NA vs ND

Mazda MX-5 Miata NA vs ND 01

You know what’s up with the 2016 Mazda Miata already. It’s smaller, lighter, and quicker than the outgoing model. No, it still does not have any more horsepower than the outgoing NC. It has fewer, in fact. However, if you think that makes it any less pure of a sports car then I’m sorry, you are not an it-getter. The ND is a throwback to the original Miata, in the truest sense of the word. If you don’t believe us, here are the stats. Continue reading


VIDEO: Toyota USA’s new Texas headquarters

Toyota USA Plano Texas headquarters

Toyota USA’s new Plano, Texas headquarters haven’t been built yet but the company has released a rendering of the new campus. It’s massive. It’s comprised of at least six buildings, each with a sleek glass lobby designed to display a wealth of cars. Still think the museum is going to stay in CaliforniaContinue reading


COLLECTIONS: Inside Mazda North America’s Basement

04_Mazda Basement_MakeModel

Talk to Mazda employees about their cars, past and present, and it immediately becomes clear that the company is comprised of people passionate about what they’ve built. This is no small feat, and we have peeked behind the walls of enough automakers to know that many house a bunch of employees for whom it’s just another job. But, if you don’t believe us just look to their collection of “toys” as evidence. The basement of Mazda’s research and development center in Irvine, California is where some of them reside, a collection of street, track and historically significant Mazdas. After our recent drive of the Eunos Cosmo, we were treated to a tour of this collection. Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? 1986 Toyota Corolla GT-S liftback

1986 AE86 Corolla GT-S liftback 89k mile 04

A few months ago I made the claim — publicly and on video — that there were fewer stock AE86s left than Enzo Ferraris. So naturally the gods are going to make me eat my words by bringing every known example out of the woodwork. Be that as it may, about 800 of you sent in today’s Kidney Car, one of the cleanest Corolla GT-S hatchbacks we’ve seen, ever.  Continue reading


QotW: What’s the greatest JNC steering wheel?

1984 Nissan Gloria Turbo Brougham VIP Super Selection Ⅱ interior

The steering wheel. It’s probably the thing you interact with the most when driving a car, so let’s give it some consideration.

What’s the greatest JNC steering wheel?

Allow us to make a case for the Nissan Gloria Turbo Brougham VIP Super Selection Ⅱ‘s floating wheel. Not only does the hub stay centered as the wheel rotates around it, it’s filled with buttons — cruise control on the right and auxiliary controls for the stereo on the left, including a volume dial. It is the most Japanese thing we can imagine next to Godzilla fighting Gundam on the back of a bullet train.

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 best car story with dad?”  Continue reading


Touge California posters now available in the JNC shop


The official Touge California poster is available in the JNC shop. Printed in full color, the artwork features a Toyota Celica and Datsun 240Z in classic art deco style and measures 26 x 18 inches (approx. 66 x 46 cm).

Those who’ve delved into the JNC Shop may have noticed already, but it’s time we make it official.

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VIDEO: Happy Father’s Day!

Loving Eyes Toyota Safety Sense Celica XX

Toyota of Japan is cold killing it right now with complex, perspective-shifting videos that would make even Christopher Nolan throw his hands up in surrender. First there was the girlfriend-less AE86 driver story that perfectly synced productions from three different countries. Now comes this heart-rending journey of father and daughter as they go through a lifetime of fast cuts. Try to hold back your tears as the dad watches his baby girl grow up — and is forced to trade in his Celica XX for a minivan (though he gets an Estima, which is kind of cool, and I think there’s a transitional Mark II in there briefly). Continue reading


MINICARS: A brief history of subscription scale models

DiAgostini Toyota 2000GT subscription model 03

We recently showed you the ultimate Hakosuka Skyline model, a 1:8 scale wonder with 400-plus pieces that will require $1500 and two years to complete. Available only by subscription, the model is fed to you week by week, piece by piece, like body parts from a sadistic kidnapper counting down to a ransom. The Hako might be the latest, but it’s not the first of these kits. This is the history of the subscription model.  Continue reading


NEWS: Toyota Camatte Hajime to debut at Tokyo Toy Show

Toyota Camatte Hajime 01

Given just how many JNC owners are also obsessed with scale model cars, it seems only fitting that Toyota chose to debut their latest retro concept at the upcoming Tokyo Toy Show. The Toyota Camatte Hajime looks like an FJ55 Land Cruiser hot rod, with a 1+2 seating layout á la McLaren F1. Best of all? It’s made for kids.  Continue reading


VIDEO: Honda animated ad reminds us of all the great cars they no longer make

Honda Great Thinking Inside commercial

A clever new Honda ad hit the airwaves recently, opening with an animated CRX chugging merrily along. Soon pixels morph it into a host of Hondas from the company’s past. “Look at all the great cars we used to make!” it reminds us, before spitting out the new HR-V crossover. Hard core Honda heads might be wondering where the even earlier models are but as it turns out, there’s a bit more to the story.  Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? Kenmeri GT-R, 2000GT up for auction at Monterey

1973 Nissan Skyline GT-R Monterey RM Auction 01

Last year’s Monterey auctions introduced the Nissan Skyline to guys who, until that very moment, thought a Hakosuka was an octopus-based snack. Similar head scratching occurred moments later when two decades-old Toyotas and a Mazda followed and sold for big bucks. After that, every automotive journalist, blogger and guy with an AOL account was shouting from the rooftops about the “arrival” of the classic Japanese car. This year, RM Auctions hopes to capture the magic again with the the Hakosuka’s successor, a genuine one-of-197 built Kenmeri GT-Rs.  Continue reading


QotW: What’s your best car story with dad?

Bunta Fujiwara AE86

Dads. They teach us how to drive, wrench, and curse when either of the first two goes wrong. Many of us got our passion for cars from our dads (or moms too, but it’s Father’s Day that’s coming up), and then when we become dads we desperately try to pass it on to our kids by buying them Hot Wheels that we end up playing with.

What’s your best car story with dad?

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 the craziest thing you’ve done to fetch a car?”  Continue reading


MOTORSPORT: Mazda at Le Mans

Mazda Le Mans

As you’re reading this sentence, the world’s most advanced race cars are barreling down a country road in France at 200-plus miles per hour. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is happening right now, and to commemorate their own win in 1991 Mazda France has released this video of their rotary racing history. Watch it below the fold. Continue reading


EVENTS: 2015 Nissan Jam, Part 02

39_Nissan Jam 2015

One of Nissan Jam’s proudest accomplishments is gathering a hugely diverse field of cars from Nissan’s long and storied history. From 1960s to modern day, from mini-trucks to drift machines, from lowliest Sunny to mightiest GT-R, the Jam had it all.  Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? 425,708-mile 1962 Toyopet Crown Wagon

Toyopet Crown Wagon S30 1

The S30 Toyota Crown Station Wagon is so rare, Toyota USA doesn’t even have one in their museum. They have two Toyopet Crown sedans, which are already exceedingly rare in the States. Wagons? They make 2000GTs seem as common as Camrys. Now comes only the second one we’ve seen for sale since JNC started in 2006, and the first that’s not covered in more surface rust than a rat rod meet. The only catch? It’s in Lima, Peru. Continue reading