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

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

019-9521_ToyotaCorollaAE86

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

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NEWS: Tree-damaged Toyota 2000GT arrives at repair shop

Toyota 2000GT crushed

We were all saddened by the recent loss of a Toyota 2000GT in Japan, crushed when it passed under a tree at the exact instant the aged beech decided to fall. The good news is, the owner has decided to rebuild it. We have the technology.  Continue reading

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MEDIA: 1987 Isuzu Impulse Turbo RS Limited Edition in Hemmings

1987 Isuzu Impulse Turbo RS Bart Wilkus

If there’s one marque that does not get the love it deserves in classic car circles, it’s Isuzu. Despite never producing a 510  or Civic, a car that really took the Japanese motoring world by storm, vintage Isuzus are ripe for crossover collectability from the concours d’elegance crowd.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 1972 Hakosuka GT-R to be auctioned at Monterey Historics

1972 Nissan Skyline GT-R KPGC10-001445 01

Welp, it’s happened. A 1972 Nissan Skyline GT-R will be offered at RM Auctions this year at the Monterey Historics, the week-long celebration of the automobile during which sheetmetal is admired, coveted and traded amongst kajillionaires like Picassos. After last year’s record sales of a Toyota 2000GT crossing the block at $1.2 million at auction, the floodgates to Japan have been opened.  Continue reading

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QotW: Just the tip of the iceberg, or last of a dying breed?

1988 Honda Civic CRX Si

Last week we saw several nice Hondas come out of the woodwork, including newfound appreciation for a Mugen CRX Si with customizing styles way ahead of its time.

Are these just the tip of the iceberg, or last of a dying breed?

It’s a truth as old as the ages: Any Honda with even the slightest hint of performance pedigree has been snatched up and customized, thanks to their affordability, Old Man Soichiro-infused driving dynamics and complete lack of resemblance to modern Hondas. Some have been modded tastefully, some not so much.

We don’t have a problem with putting personal touches on Hondas as long as stock ones continue to exist, and in great enough numbers that the occasional errant beech tree attack won’t dwindle their numbers by too much. Did we just see a few unicorns, or are there more, squirreled away in garages waiting to cross the auction lines at Barrett-Jackson 2020?

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 greatest JNC tragedy?”  Continue reading

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Happy Father’s Day from JNC

1983calendar07_HondaPreludeMk2

To all the daddy JNCers out there, Happy Fathers Day.

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PROFILES: Sid Chiang’s 1986 Mugen Honda CRX Si

1986 Honda CRX Si Mugen 01

Sid Chiang is a long-time veteran of the automotive design world. He’s held positions at GM, where he worked on cars like as the C7 and Camaro, and before that Ford, where he was lead exterior designer on the ST44 Probe and Ford GT. Prior to today, there were only three known photos of Sid’s Mugen CRX on the internet, all mysteriously taken inside a Ford studio. Here’s how it happened in Sid’s own words. —Ben

I’ve always had the love of sporty cars, especially small displacement 4-cylinder imports. As a teenager in the 70s, my first car was a rusty 1969 Triumph GT6+ that I loved and cherished. I drove it to into the ground and as many teenagers do, ended up nearly killing myself in it. But it didn’t kill my addiction to 4-bangers.  Continue reading

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NEWS: Pre-1969 California Legacy Plates approved

1964-65 Isuzu Bellel diesel 02

Residents of California can now get classic black license plates for their vintage cars. In 2012 the state began taking applications for the Legacy License Plate program, promising to re-issue the classic colors if at least 7,500 people signed up.The black plate, originally produced from 1963-69, just reached that magic number and all systems are go. They will go into production in January 2015.

Unlike this diesel Isuzu Bellel, however, most cars owned by JNCers were built in the 1970s and require blue plates to be period correct. Unfortunately for those, there’s still a ways to go.

Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Bubble Economy Honda Civic Si trio

1986 Honda Civic Si 01

Have you noticed? Original, mint-condition, late-80s Hondas  have been coming out of the woodwork over the past year. On eBay, right now, there are two Civic Si examples, both incredibly clean, while a similar-condition CRX Si auction just ended. Are we seeing a classic Honda boom? Continue reading

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