The Mazda rotary is coming back to America as a range extender

It’s official. The long awaited Mazda rotary engine is making a return to the States in the MX-30. It’s not in a turbocharged sports car we have hoped for, but there’s still nothing else like the RERE — rotary engine range extender — in the automotive kingdom. We’ve written at length about why Mazda deserves praise for this. After all, they could’ve just gone with a conventional hybrid or EV setup. Instead, they’ve turned what could’ve been an otherwise unexceptional vehicle into something that carries the company heritage and is unmistakably Mazda. Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

The Nissan van that was one of Japan’s oldest food trucks has closed after 45 years

From the looks of the dilapidated Nissan van that houses Hot Dog Yotsuba, you might assume that it had closed long ago. But, the patina’ed exterior was part of its charm, and the stand looked like an abandoned car even when it was open. Having been in operation for 45 years, it was likely one of the oldest and longest-running mobile food vendors in the world, but on March 31, it closed for good. Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Nissan Z generations converge in this surreal ad

We’re pretty happy whenever we see heritage acknowledged in a Nissan ad. It’s also pretty cool to to see the Z Proto driving along a track with an S30 Fairlady Z and a Z32. But with footage that looks like it’s from a video game and a voiceover that sounds like it was written by Yoda, there’s something off about the latest Nissan Z video. Continue reading

Posted in cm | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Honda S660 has completely sold out the rest of its production run

Honda announced on March 12 that production of its S660 roadster would come to an end, in March of 2022. That gave a year’s notice for anyone who wanted to buy one. Of course, this successor in name to the Honda S800 and in spirit to the Beat had been in production since 2015, so prospective buyers had plenty of time to pull the trigger. Nevertheless, by March 30 the entire remaining one-year run of the S660 had sold out. Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

QotW: What’s your favorite non-Japanese car?

The world of JNCs is wide, but sometimes there are automotive desires that cannot be satisfied with Nihon steel. Among the JNC staff, cars such as a TJ Jeep Wrangler, C3 Corvette, Mini Cooper, W124 Mercedes, S550 Mustang GT, and Porsche 911 have floated in and out of ownership, often to the quizzical looks from each other. But hey, automotive subcultures in Japan are, if anything, diverse. It’s the only place we’ve seen both a Fiat Panda and a Routemaster double-decker bus in the wild.

What’s your favorite non-Japanese car?

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 best road map story?Continue reading

Posted in Question of the Week | Tagged | 27 Comments

Ryu Asada Memorial Drive + Fundraiser announcement

Please come out and help us honor a great man and support a great charity. Click here for details. 🙏

Posted in Legends | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

A 510 Nissan Bluebird SSS Coupé has been restored… by Toyota

The 510 Nissan Bluebird is one of the most important cars in Japan’s motoring history. So it should come as no surprise that an automaker would want to restore this important automotive legacy and put it in a museum. Recently, just such an undertaking was completed, but the company behind the nut and bolt restoration wasn’t Nissan. It was Toyota. Continue reading

Posted in museums | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Honda’s first F1 prototype appears in found footage

The photo of the boss man sitting on a Formula 1 prototype racer is one of the most famous images of Soichiro Honda. The car itself is long gone, and any media of the car, in motion or not, is extremely rare. However, Honda has put some archival footage of the prototype online, giving us a rare glimpse into the nascent days of what would become a world-class F1 program. Continue reading

Posted in motorsport | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Watching a Toyota Crown get lavishly detailed is extremely satisfying

Owning a black car can be a blessing and a curse. A sleek, perfectly paint-corrected and waxed example can give an elegant car such as this MS60 Crown a menacing yakuza vibe. On the other hand, it’s also one wrong wipe away from swirls and spiderwebs to interrupt the gleaming finish. The painstaking level of hard work and attention to to detail that goes into restoring such a finish is captured in this video by Hong Kong detailing shop Contempo Concept. Continue reading

Posted in Video | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Nissan Z35’s retro blue interior color option leaked

Nissan’s latest commercial promised things such as bright colored sports cars with three pedals, and the fact that we deserve cars that “thrill us”. Well, one of the things that is moving us closer to being thrilled is the fact that Nissan will apparently offer the Z35’s interior in blue. Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Hino’s radio program for long-haul truckers ends after 52 years

For over half a century, a Hino-sponosored a radio program has kept long-haul truckers company in Japan as they drove through the night. Imitators came and went, but Hino Midnight Graffiti Hashire! Kayōkyoku wasn’t just the longest-running radio program for truckers, it was one of Japan’s longest-running radio programs, period. Sadly, on March 27, the series came to a close. Continue reading

Posted in Nihon Life | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

2022 Toyota 86 revealed alongside Subaru BRZ in Japan

Toyota has lifted the covers on the second-generation Toyota 86, now renamed the GR 86. As expected, it has been co-developed with Subaru and is largely the same as the Subaru BRZ twin, though there are (very) slight variations between the two. Interestingly, Toyota and Subaru decided to hold a joint reveal globally, the first time the two companies have shared such a big stage together, under the slogan “Let’s make a good car together!”. Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

QotW: What’s your best road map story?

Today, April 5, is National Read a Road Map Day. We know there’s plenty of JNC owners who began driving after GPS, and we’re not total Luddites that eschew navigation by smartphone. but there’s something romantic and fitting about using paper maps when driving an older car. Plus, it’s a good skill to have for when Skynet or the zombies take over.

What’s your best road map story?

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 story behind your first car?Continue reading

Posted in Question of the Week | Tagged | 6 Comments

This “This is the New Nissan” Nissan ad better mean something

“This is the New Nissan” is the best Nissan commercial since GI Joe drove off with Barbie in a 300ZX. It stars a whole mess of Nissans, both classic and new, and promises to usher in a new era for Nissan. We are very much here for it. Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

SSR MK-II and MK-III re-releases sold out in five hours

Last year, SSR made a limited re-release of the legendary Speed Star series, known for their clean, timeless spoke designs and wide barrels. Demand for the wide sizing and interest from a new generation of kyusha fans brought them back into production thirty years since they were first released, with new wider sizes. The wheels garnered a lot of attention and sold out quickly, despite being released during a pandemic. SSR gave those who missed out a second chance, but the entire run sold out immediately. Continue reading

Posted in Product Guide, wheels | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

The first NFT batch to include a Japanese classic has sold for $1.9 million

A batch of classic car NFTs has sold for $1.9 million. The fleet, which includes such icons as a 1967 Toyota 2000GT, Series 1 Jaguar E-Type, Shelby Cobra 427, and Lamborghini Miura P400S, was the first-ever sale of classic cars represented in the digital format. The auction house that facilitated the sale deemed it “the future of collecting fine automobiles.” Continue reading

Posted in Holidays | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Ebisu Circuit rebuilding efforts under way with fan donations

Last month, a 7.1 earthquake magnitude earthquake and subsequent landslide heavily damaged Ebisu Circuit, one of Japan’s most famed drifting grounds. The landslide caused the collapse of several courses including Drift Land, Minami, and Nishi circuits, and some surrounding facilities. Due to the extent of the damage being larger than expected, Ebisu Circuit needs help from fans. Continue reading

Posted in Nihon Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Toyota Celica Liftback that sold for $62,000 is a gift from a loving wife

A 1976 Toyota Celica Liftback has sold for $62,000. That’s a new high for this model, and of course it appears to be in exceptional condition. However, perhaps the better hook here is the back story of why the Celica has reached this record price. Continue reading

Posted in marketwatch | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

QotW: What’s the story behind your first car?

Remember your first car? No, not that one, your first car. It was probably three inches long, made of diecast metal, and ran on childhood dreams. Think of the way it felt in your hand, how fast it rolled, how beautiful it was to look at. Think of how you couldn’t wait to grow up and get the real thing. Of course you remember that car. It was the starting point of lifelong obsession with all things automotive. In honor of Ryu Asada, our QotW this week (belated due to extenuating circumstances) is about this first love.

What’s the story behind your first car?

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 rarest ‘normal’ JNC you’ve spotted in the wild?Continue reading

Posted in Question of the Week | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

KIDNEY, ANYONE? 1974 Toyota Publica 1000

The Toyota KP30 Publica is a rare bird, even in its native Japan. For export markets, it was known simply as the Toyota 1000. Constructed on a down-sized Corolla platform, it served as Toyota’s entry-level runabout in many nations where average cars were significantly smaller than the American land yachts of 1970s. Its as simple as it gets, and that’s a big part of the vehicle’s charm. Continue reading

Posted in for sale | Tagged , , | 2 Comments