REMINDER: 2017 Toyotafest is this Saturday

Just a friendly reminder: The 22nd Annual Toyotafest takes place this Saturday, May 6, at its new location. It’s still in Long Beach by the Queen Mary, but it will now be held at Marina Green Park. Instructions can be found on the Toyotafest website.

The new venue should help with some of the parking shortages from past shows. Doors open a 9am and the show will run until 3pm for spectators and will include Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles. Admission is free.

See you there!

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels previews C130 Nissan Laurel

We are stoked to show you the latest Hot Wheels prototype, the C130 Nissan Laurel. Revealed by the design team in its metal and plastic form, it is a perfectly proportioned Butaketsu in true shakotan style.  Continue reading


QotW: Which car should automakers make reproduction parts for next?

We learned last week that NISMO is going to start making brand new parts for the R32 Skyline GT-R again. This is great news for enthusiasts, who will be able to restore and drive their cars, and also great for the automaker, who can feel good about supporting enthusiasts while keeping examples of their best creations on the road. Perhaps other Japanese car companies will take a page from Nissan’s book and do the same.

Which car should automakers make reproduction parts for next?

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 Skyline?Continue reading


NEWS: NISMO announces Heritage Parts restoration program for R32 Skyline GT-R

This is huge. NISMO announced this week that its is launching a program to recreate discontinued parts for certain Nissan cars. Called the Heritage Parts program, its purpose is to “provide support for Nissan performance models.” First up is the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R, which achieved classic status three years ago.  Continue reading


Radwood is Goodwood for cars of the 80s and 90s

A new car show in northern California just might have the best name ever in the history of car shows. Described as Goodwood for 80s and 90s cars, Radwood will be held on June 3 in San Francisco, California.

Basically, 80s and 90s costumes are mandatory, and any cars of any country of origin are eligible, as long as it was built between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 1999. This is a concept we can definitely get behind.

Modifications are allowed, but they must be of the era. “This is not about stance, because that’s not period correct,” co-founder Art Cervantes explained. In addition, there will be a special section for “Radwood Royalty,” which Art described to us as “cars that capture the essence of the era, like a white on white Testarossa or a black Back to the Future Toyota pickup.”

If you would like to participate, you can register here. The show will open from 8am to 2pm. Admission is free.


25 YEAR CLUB: 5th-Generation “EG” Honda Civic

As Honda gets ready to unleash a new generation of high-performance Civics — including the long-awaited Type R — upon us, it is only appropriate that the car that propelled the 90s tuner movement into mainstream America finally join the 25 Year Club. That’s right, the fifth-generation Honda Civic, the entry-level economy car that would come to redefine the term “hot rod” and change the face of every Friday night suburban mall meet in the US of A is officially a Japanese nostalgic car.  Continue reading


Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Mainetenance, 1928 — 2017

American author Robert M. Pirsig died on Monday at his home in South Berwick, Maine. His passing was made known by his publisher, William Morrow, who said that the writer’s health had been failing. Pirsig is most known for his classic 1974 novel, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintentance: An Inquiry into Values. Though the author never mentions the bike’s model in the book — on some editions there’s an illustration of an Indian motorcycle on the cover — in real life it was a Honda CB77 Super Hawk.  Continue reading


TUNE UP: Happy birthday to Show Ayanocozey, lead singer of bosozoku boy band Kishidan

Today is the birthday of Show Ayanocozey, the gloriously pompadoured lead singer of one of JNC‘s favorite bands, Kishidan. Though the concept of a bosozoku boy band likely began (like many Japanese bands) as a gimmick, and everything they do is with tongue held firmly in cheek, the group has actually produced really good music.

Plus, you can’t not like a band that uses Rat Fink-style cover art featuring a Hakosuka Skyline with takeyari pipes.

Here’s a video to their 2002 song “Wangan Nocturne ~ Lucifer’s Hammer,” which mimics the style and production value of a Bubble Era gang movie. Otanjoubi omedetou, Show-san! Continue reading


Shanghai Motor Show: China’s long history with Toyota

China is not a place you would immediately think of when Japanese nostalgic cars are mentioned. The country was largely closed off from imports until the 1980s, and wounds both psychological and physical, caused by Japanese actions during World War II, were not easily forgotten. This week, however, our readers in the Middle Kingdom have a very rare opportunity to see a wonderful, if somewhat unexpected, display of classic Toyotas at the Shanghai Motor Show.  Continue reading


EVENTS: How Nissan celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Skyline in Japan

Sixty years ago today, on April 24, 1957, the Prince Skyline debuted on a rainy day at the famed Tokyo Takarazuka Theater. It’s no exaggeration to say that few cars have a more revered place in the Japanese psyche, having served as everything from lowly family sedan to racing legend. To commemorate six decades of continuous production, Nissan marked this momentous occasion by holding multiple celebrations across Japan’s biggest metropolitan region.  Continue reading


QotW: What’s the greatest Skyline?

The Nissan Skyline is celebrating its 60th birthday today. Since its debut on April 24, 1957, it has seen 13 generations, countless trim and option variations, and an immense number of limited editions and tuning specials, from ALSI to KPGC10 to R34, it has been a staple of the Japanese auto industry and its car culture. Therefore, it seems only fitting to ask:

What’s the greatest Skyline?

Is it a race car like  Takahashi Kunimitsu’s works Hakosuka GT-R or the Calsonic R32 GT-R? A factory special like the BCNR33 GT-R LM road car or R34 GT-R Z-Tune? Or perhaps some dude’s tricked out C210 bosozoku sled?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Where will you road trip your JNC this spring?”

Continue reading


EARTH DAY: 1985 Nissan EV Guide Type II

The Nissan Leaf might be the best-selling electric car in the world, but Nissan has been experimenting with EVs since at least 1947. At the 1985 Tokyo Motor Show, they unveiled this Total Recall Johnny Cab-like contraption, called the EV Guide Type II. Amazingly, the concept was fully functional and was actually driven for many years after the auto show. Continue reading


NEWS: Nissan celebrates 60th anniversary of the Skyline

Sixty years ago, in April 1957, one of the most hallowed names in the Japanese car world was introduced at Tokyo Takarazuka Theater. The Skyline was not a Nissan yet, but a Prince. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Nissan is bringing out every generation of its iconic car to Tokyo this weekend.  Continue reading


VIDEO: Tommy Dolo’s bagged KP61 Starlet

Hawaii, a tropical paradise with warm beaches, beautiful marine wildlife, a thriving JNC community. Tommy Dolo is the godfather of Old School Imports Hawaii, and he’s built one badass bagged Toyota Starlet. Continue reading


NIHON LIFE: How an automaker deals with scandal in Japan

Because of the various demands of Japanese society, the shame of such an event manifests itself in strange ways. As you may have heard, Mitsubishi Motors experienced a little scandal last year, in which it was found guilty of cheating government fuel economy tests. It sent stock plummeting so badly that Nissan was able to gobble it up and grab a controlling stake. Two visits to Mitsubishi Motors’ Tokyo headquarters, pre- and post-scandal, revealed two very different companies.  Continue reading


KIDNEY, ANYONE?: One-owner 1979 Dodge Challenger (Mitsubishi Galant Lambda)

The A131 Dodge Challenger is definitely one of the more well-hidden captive import Easter eggs from the Chrysler-Mitsubishi partnership. It, and its Plymouth Sapporo twin, are extremely rare in the US market, but now a clean an example as there ever was has surfaced in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.  Continue reading


MINICARS: Hot Wheels Mazda RX-7 FD3S

You’ve seen the 3D prototypes, now here is the first peek at the new Mazda RX-7 FD3S casting courtesy of the official Hot Wheels design team (you can follow all their antics at their Instagram account). Finished in a dark metallic blue, it is the clean bodied version of the car we’ve all been waiting for, and it looks stunning.


QotW: Where will you road trip your JNC this spring?

Today marks the first week in Japan that truly feels like spring is in the air. Temperatures are hovering right around T-shirt wearing digits (a JNC shirt found in the JNC Shop would do the trick). It’s time to tackle that honored tradition of taking your JNC out on a spring drive. For many of us, that first drive is more of a shakedown to prepare for summer months of mountain drives and car meets. The trunk gets filled with tools, fluids (more than usual, anyway), and an assortment of rags and drop cloths just in case.

The spring cruise can also be the first time your JNC sees light outside of a garage or car cover in months. Just yesterday, in my neighborhood I saw a C110 Skyline GT-R Kenmeri in magical metallic royal blue that any Hot Wheels fan would swoon over, rolling on deep MkII barrels with period-correct stretched tires. I’ve lived in the area for some time, but this was the first occasion seeing it roam the streets. Thanks, spring!

So JNCers, what will be your spring cruise? Will it be strategically planned around parts stores? A long run along cool breezes in the canyons? Maybe a first test for your newly purchased or restored JNC?

Where will you road trip your JNC this spring?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What do you put up with on your JNC?Continue reading


VIDEO: Hear the Nissan Fairlady 240ZG tear around Fuji Speedway

Fans at least year’s NISMO Festival were treated to the spectacle of Nissan’s historic racing machines tearing around the legendary Fuji Speedway. Though we were able to share photos of the event, there’s nothing like being there and hearing the cars actually running at full tilt. Well you’re in luck, because Nissan has released on-board footage of their HS30 240ZG doing exactly that.  Continue reading


NY Auto Show: The coolest car in New York right now

JNC is at the New York International Auto Show, and despite all the big reveals of new crossovers and luxury sedans, the coolest car in city right now is what our own Ryan Senensky describes as “the first Japanese car to achieve 100 horsepower per liter.”  Continue reading