VIDEO: Why the Isuzu museum in Japan has a Chevy in it

Despite its prowess in building large industrial trucks for any type of terrain, Isuzu was never truly able to succeed in the domestic truck and SUV market. They never were able to challenge the like of the Land Cruisers, Patrols and Mitsubishis, and even their small pickups lagged behind the competition from Toyota and Nissan. As a result, the Isuzu Faster set its sights on the US market, where its rebadged version, the Chevy LUV, was arguably more successful than the original. Continue reading

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A treasure trove of rare FD Mazda RX-7 parts has been found, but what does it mean?

Over the weekend, a Mazda RX-7 hoarder’s treasure trove was unearthed and shown to the world. Owned by an FD3S enthusiast from Kansas who’d recently passed away, the collection was purchased by an Oklahoma man named Lucas Fletcher who began posting photos of the stash on Facebook and blowing the minds of many a Mazdafarian. Continue reading

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50 years ago today, the first Mitsubishi cars set sail for North America

Here is a photo of Mitsubishi cars being loaded onto the Tagaharu Maru, a vessel operated by Yamashita Shin Nippon Kisen capable of holding 400 cars. The Galant wagons are being loaded at Kinjo Pier, Nagoya Port and bound for North America.

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The Mazda MX-5 Miata’s reproduction parts are now available in Europe

One of Mazda’s biggest gifts to motoring enthusiasts was when it announced a Roadster Restore program in Japan, bringing NA Eunos Roadsters back to factory fresh and offering a slate of official reproduction parts. Then Mazda brought the parts to the US. Now, Mazda is expanding the parts availability to Europe, according to the official Mazda UK Blog. Continue reading

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VIDEO: This Datsun Z’s first wash in 44 years is extremely satisfying to watch

Barn finds are great, especially if the car in question has only 350 miles on it. Not so great is the cleaning process required to wash a car that has been sitting for 44 years. The original owner of a Datsun 280Z ran into financial troubles while making some small fixes to his then-new Z, hadn’t even reached its 500-mile initial oil change yet. The car sat, disassembled, for four and a half decades until a new owner acquired it. The first task, though, was to clean it. Continue reading

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QotW: Which JNC would you choose for surviving the zombie apocalypse?

It’s almost Halloween, a time for celebrating the spooky and ghoulish, and this year feels particularly endtimey. What if there was a different sort of pandemic, one where anyone who caught the virus turned into a brain-gobbling savage? There’d likely be a breakdown of civilization, and humans would be forced to survive on their own by any means necessary. You’d probably need a vehicle of some kind. Now’s probably a good time to decide what you’d drive, what features you’d find most helpful, and what scenarios you might encounter.

Which JNC would you choose for surviving the zombie apocalypse?

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 ‘normal’ JNC?Continue reading

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VIDEO: Mazda tells its 100-year history with its most significant classics

As part of its continuing celebration of its 100th anniversary, Mazda has produced a short film covering its most significant classic models. Beautifully shot with a 15-minute runtime, it covers the company’s early history before delving into several milestone cars and what makes them special. Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Isuzu Bellel was far from great, but good enough

In the early 1960s, as Japan’s automotive market was heating up, Isuzu decided to forge its own path with a full-size, six-seater sedan. Notably, the Isuzu Bellel was Japan’s first sedan with a 2.0-liter engine and Japan’s first diesel passenger car. It was supposed to be the ace up its sleeve when entering a heated arena with the likes of Toyota, Nissan, and Prince, but soon that proved to be a double-edged sword. Though it had its flaws, the Bellel was the preferred ride of one of Japan’s most successful men. Continue reading

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JNC THEATER: Here’s the car chase from the new Lupin III movie

The first computer-animated Lupin III movie arrives in US theaters this week. The film looks beautifully rendered, and promises all the madcap shenanigans that generations of viewers have grown up loving. Cars have always been a big part of the Lupin universe, and as such no Lupin story would be complete without some automotive hijinks. So, here’s the full car chase from Lupin III: The First. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Behold, a loop of Tokyo’s Shuto Expressway in 1986

While most people are downing large quantities of Netflix right now, here’s something a bit more relevant to our interests: Home videos of driving through Tokyo in the Showa Era. It’s a clockwise loop of Tokyo’s Shuto, and speaking of normal JNCs, the roads are teeming with Bluebirds, Galants, Crowns, Coronas, Citys, Sunnys, Skylines, and Glorias. It’s old Japanese car heaven. Continue reading

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MARKETWATCH: A Subaru 360 has sold for $50,000

A 1969 Subaru 360 has sold for an insane $50,000. For that price, you could afford a number of significant Japanese classics. A Datsun 510 or Fairlady Roadster, Toyota Celica or AE86, early Mazda rotary, and so on. Or, you can get into a bidding war for a kei car with a 356cc, 2-stroke, 2-cylinder engine. Continue reading

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VIDEO: If you love Toyota Celicas, look away from this Pro/Celebrity race

For three decades, Toyota sponsored an annual automotive carnage-fest known as the Pro/Celebrity Race. It gathered a bunch of drivers, some who were actual professional racers and some who were movie and television… well, stars, might be too strong a word here, but you get the idea. All these people of wildly different skill sets were put behind the wheels of a fleet of brand new Toyotas and let loose on the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the greatest “normal” JNC?

The cars that yank hardest at our heartstrings are typically specialty machines — thrilling sports cars, rugged ladder-frame trucks, adorable kei jidosha, and such. However, there are legions of once-common grocery getters that are now rare and sought-after. And, possibly offering a purer driving experience than a modern by-wire box. What’s the ’57 Bel Air of the J-tin generation? For the purposes of this question we’ll exclude performance variants, so Corollas are fine but AE86s are not allowed.

What’s the greatest “normal” JNC?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What cars bookended your favorite era of Japanese cars?Continue reading

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2020 Japanese Classic Car Show: Editors’ Picks

In a historically unusual year, the Japanese Classic Car Show managed to pull off an event that managed to capture the same sense of community that the physical provides in spades. Not only that, but they’ve even welcomed more enthusiasts into the mix by hosting a virtual show open to anyone around the world with an old Japanese car. You’ve already seen the videos, but here’s the JNC staff picks and the reasons why we love these cars. Continue reading

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Nissan takes over Cars & Coffee Tokyo with Z Proto

Cars & Coffee in Tokyo is a relatively small event but given its location, it’s a place where Japan’s carmakers will sometimes sneak a priceless concept out to mingle with enthusiasts. Sometimes, even a CEO will pop up and pose with a lucky owner’s car. Last Sunday, Nissan brought out their Z Proto, attracting an army of Z owners and fans that took over the event. Continue reading

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Happy Japan Railway Day from JNC

On October 14, 1872, Japan’s first railway opened, connecting Shimbashi, Tokyo and Yokohama. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism designated the day an official holiday in in 1994. Today, Japan is home to one of the most advanced (and punctual) rail systems on Earth. It moves 10 billion passengers a year over 19,000 miles, and the average delay per year is under a minute. Continue reading

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Acura is seriously considering an NSX Refresh Program for North America

Honda has been offering a factory NSX refresh program in Japan for years. Owners can take their cars in and select from a menu of restoration items, from a deep clean to an engine rebuild. You can even get the car stripped and repainted in a hue from the official palette, and swap out the interior leathers for new colors as well. The program is so popular, the wait list is 12 months long. Also, it’s only available if your car is in Japan. Now, though, Honda is considering bringing the program to the US. Continue reading

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Mazda is giving away fifty 100th Anniversary Miatas to deserving heroes

It’s been a tough year, but Mazda is trying to make it just a little bit better by giving away 50 Miatas to deserving individuals. These are people Mazda describes as “selfless” and who have “gone above and beyond for their community.” And not only will they be getting a Miata, but it will be one of the special 100th Anniversary Editions that feature some unique color and trim. Continue reading

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QotW: What cars bookended your favorite era of Japanese cars?

There’s a lot of talk these days about whether we have passed the golden age of the automobile, and what the future of transport will bring. While technological improvements in safety, efficiency, and performance are hard to argue with, many of us hold on to an irrational love for cars of a certain era. What is that era for you? One could argue that the best period in Japanese motoring began in 1967 with the debut of cars like the Toyota 2000GT, Mazda Cosmo Sport, and Datsun Fairlady 2000. From there, it was a steady rise in automotive excellence moving hand in hand with Japan’s skyrocketing economy. The closing bookend is a bit harder to pin down, but 2003 seems like a pretty good stopping point. By then, cars like the 350Z, RX-8, and S2000 had been released, but it seemed like denouement.

What cars bookended your favorite era of Japanese cars?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Where’s the greatest place for Japanese cars outside of Japan?Continue reading

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2020 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 08 — Finale

We have arrived at the finale of the 2020 Japanese Classic Car Show, the awards section. In a normal year, this would take place at the end of the show, at the main stage. Winners would be called up and handed their trophies while the crowd applauded. Instead, the awards are now announced in the above video for the world to see. Congrats to all the winners, and we will be sending out the prizes to the winners of the JCCS x JNC trivia contest next week. Hopefully, we will all be able to meet in person next year.

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