Tag Archives: kei

MINICARS: A beginner’s guide to JNC Legos, Part 03

In the final installment of our beginner’s guide to Lego JNCs, we are going to focus on the prevailing style of builds in Japan. In Part 01 we admired highly complex creations comprised of hundreds of pieces where the sky’s the … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Jay Leno drives the Autozam AZ-1

In the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, the car collector gets behind the wheel of another Japanese great, the Autozam AZ-1. The gull-winged, mid-engined, kei-classed sports car seems to charm the host, who actually says he might consider buying … Continue reading

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EVENTS: Petersen Museum Cruise-in, Part 02

The Petersen Museum in Los Angeles puts on many events throughout the year, each with a theme ranging from hot rods to Porsches. Recently, they hosted their annual cruise-in for Japanese cars, inviting Nihon Steel both old and new to … Continue reading

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MINICARS: Subaru SVX and Sambar, Honda S2000, Nissan trucks join Matchbox lineup in 2019

The annual Matchbox convention took place last weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This is where the diecast brand has traditionally revealed the new cars to appear in next year’s lineup. As it turns out, in 2019 there will be several … Continue reading

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KEI HERO: The Suzuki Cappuccino is to the Miata what the Miata is to all other cars

Kei cars are an important and inescapable aspect of life in the Land of the Rising Sun. Some are important because they were a landmark of technology, and others because they were the first of their kind, and still others because they were … Continue reading

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NEWS: Daihatsu debuts retro-styled Mira Tocot kei car

Daihatsu says that its Mira Tocot is designed for women, but we kind of want one. The styling is appealingly somewhat retro, and reminds of the Nissan Pao. It has the same utilitarian look and comes in cool throwback colors, and as most kei … Continue reading

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NEWS: Retro fourth-gen Suzuki Jimny leaked ahead of July debut

Though it has been on the market for nearly 50 years, the stalwart Suzuki Jimny has had only three complete generational changes. The fourth generation of the kei SUV debuts this July, but renderings based on leaked information in Japan’s Best … Continue reading

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VIDEO: A cartoon history of the Suzuki Alto and motorcycle business

After a brief hiatus, Suzuki is back with two new cartoon videos explaining how the company got where it is today. The first outlines the genesis of the Alto, a revered name in kei cars, and the second explains how … Continue reading

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This Kenmeri Skyline does not look o-kei

Japan is a place where space to park for your car is at a premium. Compared to most driving populations, Japan is full of visible feats of Jedi parking, where cars are squeezed with millimetric precision into the smallest parking … Continue reading

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KEI HERO: Mazda R360 Coupé

Of all the mainstream carmakers, Mazda puts the most stock into the driving experience and the sportiness of their vehicles. However, this is not just a recent occurrence. Mazda’s had drivers’ cars in their blood since their first post-war passenger car. Let’s take … Continue reading

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VIDEO: You can’t not love the Subaru Sambar

Scott Coletti is a lifetime Subaru fanatic, and his 360 Sambar is among the best kept examples stateside. I can only think of a handful that are anywhere near to being on par. He’s honest about the van — it’s … Continue reading

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KEI HERO: Suzuki Alto Works

Poor America. We don’t even know how bad we have it. In the States, we think of hatchbacks as puny, minimally equipped tin cans that people buy because they can’t afford something better. Elsewhere in the world and especially in Japan, not only are … Continue reading

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25 YEAR CLUB: Mazda Autozam AZ-1

Kei cars are cool. Slow and small they might be, but they are feats of engineering ingenuity that extract the most space, efficiency, and usability out of a tightly defined set of rules. And sometimes, the most fun as well. … Continue reading

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VIDEO: What it’s like to drive an Autozam AZ-1

“Ridge Racer-feeling” are the words used to describe the Autozam AZ-1, the Mazda-Suzuki collab that was quite possibly the pinnacle of the kei car breed. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, just death and taxes, or something like that. So in … Continue reading

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Tokyo Motor Show: The State of Cars in Japan

By now you have seen plenty of car magazine and social media channels declare the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show as being a disappointment. Leading up to the show, there were whispers of some tasty production cars being revealed: a Fairlady Z … Continue reading

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Kei Hero: Subaru 360 Young SS

The Subaru 360 gets a lot of praise as being the first massively successful car in the Japanese market, as important as the VW Beetle was for Germany and the Model T was for the US. That is great and well deserved recognition, … Continue reading

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Tokyo Motor Show: The heritage is strong with Daihatsu

Daihatsu came out strong this year with heritage models. We’ve already seen the Daihatsu DN Compagno concept, which shared the stage with a classic Compagno. Also at the Daihatsu stage was its most iconic nostalgic car, a 1959 Midget. 

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JCCS Spotlight: Best in Show goes to the most stunning Subaru 360 restoration we’ve ever seen

The competition has never been harder for a Best in Show award at JCCS. We did the perhaps obvious thing by giving the JNC award to a Datsun 510, but the JCCS judges collectively gave the coveted Best in Show … Continue reading

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NEWS: Daihatsu’s retro concepts for the Tokyo Motor Show

This year’s Tokyo Motor Show might see the revival of some legendary models — Supra, Z, S2000, Evo — but it might be Daihatsu that takes the cake for the most charming heritage concepts this year. The compact car specialist has revealed a … Continue reading

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Have a relaxing Labor Day from JNC

It’s Labor Day in the United States so the JNC staff is taking a break from our regularly scheduled program until tomorrow. Fifty years ago, though, the Mazda factory was hard at work churning out three-wheeled trucks. The K360 kei car … Continue reading

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