MOTORSPORT: Mr K and the rise of Nissan racing

Yutaka MrK Katayama Datsun HQ

Yutaka Katayama, who passed away last month, was unlike most executives. There was more than just spreadsheets and sales statistics to him; he was a true motoring enthusiast. Although this is exactly the type of automotive executive enthusiasts in the outside world clamor for incessantly, he nevertheless had to prove himself continuously.  Continue reading


QotW: What’s your springtime JNC ritual?

sakura_mitsubishiGTO 2

Spring is here, and for much of the world it’s time to take your JNC out of storage, finish up your winter project, or go for the year’s first drive.

What’s your springtime JNC ritual?

Well, if you live in SoCal, the answer is simple: act like it’s any other day of the year. In fact, you soon start digging up our window shades and searching for shaded parking because the California sun that The Rivieras sang so fondly of gives us 90 degree days in March and quickly makes JNC interiors crumblier than corn flakes.

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, “When is it okay to stance?”  Continue reading


EVENTS: Cars & Coffee Tokyo at Daikanyama Tsutaya

025-KL1049_Honda S800

In recognition of Honda’s return to Formula 1, the regular Sunday Morning Cruise in Daikanyama, Tokyo recently extended an invitation to “all Honda and other classic Japanese cars.” There was little excuse not to take the S800 out for an early morning run… except perhaps for the forecast of near zero degrees and rain. Continue reading


VIDEO: Toyota Motorsport GmbH’s warehouse

TMG Toyota Celicas

Located beneath a wind tunnel at Toyota Motorposrt GmbH in Koln, Germany is a warehouse of cars worth far more than their weight in gold. From a WRC Celica GT-4 in Castrol livery to the sole GT-One road car, it’s a Gran Turismo player’s dream garage. Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? The mystery of the “first” Toyota 2000GT

Toyota 2000GT 1st mystery 01

A mysterious ad for what is claimed to be the first Toyota 2000GT has been making the rounds in Japan (and beyond) recently. The serial number on the car is claimed to be MF10-10001, and if that is the case it would certainly seem to indicate that it’s the earliest one built. Multiple JNC readers have sent us this auction tip, but I’ve resisted publishing something about it until now because the story doesn’t quite add up. It took a team of six JNC writers to figure it all out, but we think we finally have the mystery sorted. Sort of. Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE? Mint 1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD 01 left side

Often a Kidney Car is something that’s rare because it’s unloved, bizarre, some berserk homologation model, or a 1 of 15 limited edition. The Diamond Star Motor triplets, however, are rare because the chassis was too beloved. Today’s 1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD hails from both the sunny shores of Jacksonville Beach, Florida and, in case you thought we were talking about a bird’s claw, a long dead arm of ChryCo. What it is, though, is a rebadged mechanical twin to the Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX, the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive It Car of 1990. Continue reading


EVENTS: 2015 Nostalgic2Days, Part 03

18-1003_Nissan Silvia CSP311

Closing out our coverage of the 2015 Nos2Days show, we begin with some cars being honored on the red carpet. Just like at a movie premiere, the event reserves a special crimson rug for those that have graced the cover of a magazine. In this case that magazine is Nostalgic Hero, and the carpet is a permanent fixture encircling the show floor.  Continue reading


QotW: When is it okay to stance?


Stance. It’s what all the youngin’s are into these days. Sometimes it looks cool; sometimes it’s downright painful to witness.

When is it okay to stance?

Yes, we know it’s popular. We also know it’s even more popular to hate on it. It’s been a style in Japan for ages, but it’s different there where roads are glass smooth. Here it’s a slow death sentence for your oil pan/fenders/spine/the entire car. Perhaps it’s time to issue the Three Laws of Stance, which decrees that if you must stance, stance something that is 1.) not rare, 2.) was not mint to begin with, and 3.) has no performance value whatsoever. Got a second-gen Mazda 6? Go nuts! Any Toyota/Honda/Infiniti made in the last 10 years? Here, I’ll grab a bat and help you roll. An RX-3, little-old-lady-owned Cressida, or Honda S2000? Sorry, get off my lawn.

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 most under-appreciated JNC?”  Continue reading


MARKETWATCH: Nissan Fairlady Z432 sold for $253,000

1970 Nissan Fairlady Z432 RM 01

Moments ago, a 1970 Nissan Fairlady Z432 that crossed the block at the Amelia Island auctions sold for $253,000, making it the most expensive publicly exchanged S30 Z in the world. Continue reading


NEWS: FR Nissan 2-door sedan rendered by Best Car

Best Car Nissan IDx render

With the disclaimer that this is pure speculation, we present an image a new rear-wheel-drive Nissan 2-door sedan expected to debut at the Tokyo Motor Show this fall. The cars you see here will appear on the cover of the April 10 issue of Japan’s Best Car magazine and are claimed, audaciously, to be renderings of a production model.  Continue reading


MINICARS: Complete 3D-printed Toyota 22RE engine and W56 transmission

A crazily talented engineer by the name of Eric Harrell of Santa Cruz, California has gone and cold printed out a 22RE engine and W56 transmission. Yes, it’s just like the one you’d find in a Toyota Hilux or 4Runner, and yes, this working scale model of one of the most famous Toyota drivetrain combinations of all time was spit out from a 3D printer and assembled.  Continue reading


PROJECT B: Owning a classic car in Japan, Part 03 — The Streets

Prince Skyline GT-B in Tokyo - GR21-875

In Part 01 of this series I went in search of my first classic car, a Prince Skyline GT-B. In Part 02 I proved to the city of Tokyo, where I live, that I had space to park it and went through Japan’s infamous Shaken safety inspection to get it street legal. Now comes the fun part — driving it through the streets of Tokyo. But first, I needed a license plate. Continue reading


MINICARS: Mysterious “?” Datsun 240Z appears on Hot Wheels official site

Datsun 240Z Hot Wheels RLC
A mysterious “?” appeared on the official Hot Wheels Collectors site today with no explanation but a countdown timer to March 31, 2015. Below it are the words “HWC Special Edition Datsun 240Z” and “Spring Race Week.”

No images or further details were provided. Could this be the long-postponed Red Line Club BRE 240Z companion to the BRE 510? We have no further information at this time and that’s just speculation. In any case, it’s something to watch out for.

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ART CORNER: Bosozoku Cats and Kyuusha by San Mamiya

Toyota Celica A20 & Datsun 620

San Mamiya is a brilliant artist from Japan that operates mainly on Instagram. With an apparent fondness for old cars, bosozoku cats and the superdeformed style that populates manga, his illustrations exhibit a unique Nihon style that can probably be loosely described as Japanese Ed Roth.  Continue reading


EVENTS: 2015 Nostalgic2Days, Part 02

055-DL054_Isuzu Piazza Asso di Fiori

One of the featured marques at this year’s Nostalgic2Days was Isuzu. It’s a brand that usually doesn’t get much love, here or in Japan, so it was a rare opportunity to see some machines from the company’s own collection.  Continue reading


VIDEO: Let’s Make a Deal on some Datsuns

Let's Make a Deal Datsuns

Here are a bunch of costumed contestants going apeshit over some Datsuns on Let’s Make a Deal. Everything from Li’l Hustler 620 pickups to 260Z sports cars to 710 wagons are dazzlingly revealed as prizes in one of the most popular game shows of the 1970s.  Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Mint unicorn Datsun F10 Wagon

Perhaps you’ve always wanted a Datsun, but find that 240Zs and 510s are annoyingly rear-wheel-drive. Or maybe you find even Skylines and B210s too common. Speaking of under-appreciated JNCs, here’s a 1978 Datsun F10 Wagon on craigslist.  Continue reading


QotW: What’s the most under-appreciated JNC?

1984 Toyota Camry

One could argue that all JNCs are under-appreciated, but even among the outcasts there’s a hierarchy. Not all of us can drive 2000GTs and Hakosukas, or even 510s.

What’s the most under-appreciated JNC?

Allow us to proffer the 1984 Toyota Camry. Sure, it was the bland brown box that launched an army of spaced out drivers that would rather be doing anything else, including performing a self root canal. It was the patient zero that spawned generations of mindless zombies shuffling from A-to-B. It was Beige Genesis.

But it was also the first car for a nation of pre-Facebook teens hopped up on hormones. It provided countless souls with depressingly thin wallets their first taste of worry-free mobility and freedom. And it was indestructable, an amazing feat of engineering durability that forced everyone else to stop foisting shitboxes on an unsuspecting populace. Not to mention it filled ToMoCo’s coffers with the money to spend on Lexuses, Supras and MR2s.

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 biggest JNC regret?”  Continue reading


EVENTS: 2015 Nostalgic2Days, Part 01

13-999_Toyota Crown S40 Mooneyes

Nostalgic 2 Days, the annual two-day event held by Nostalgic Hero, is as much a car show as it is a trade show. It’s as if the magazine springs to life, particularly the pages in which Japan’s classic car businesses — shops, dealers and restorers — advertise their services. Because many of these outfits’ livelihoods depend on attracting as much business in an already niche market, there’s sometimes the need to outdo one another with the most extreme resto-mods or the finest restorations.  Continue reading


PROJECT B: Owning a classic car in Japan, Part 02 — The Shaken

Prince Skyline GT-B - Shaken

In Part 01 of this series, I went through the process of searching for the appropriate classic car. Even though I live in Tokyo, it turns out the best way to get the car I wanted, a Prince Skyline GT-B, was to buy an export model from Australia. In this installment, I document what you need to get it past Japan’s dreaded Shaken roadworthiness inspection.  Continue reading