Mitsubishi made its first newsworthy announcement in years in May when it said it would revive Ralliart, its motorsports brand for all things rally. On June 23 at Mitsubishi Motors’ annual shareholders meeting, CEO Takao Kato got a bit more specific about what exactly that means. Continue reading
Today marks the 30th anniversary of Mazda’s historic win at Le Mans with the iconic rotary-powered 787B. We have explored Mazda’s journey in this and other endurance racing events over the years, yet were only scratching the surface. The people involved and the stories they lived through could fill volumes. Today, let’s highlight a Mazda luminary perhaps not yet well known to some readers, Kunio Matsuura, the only person to have worked twenty seven straight years on racing development of the rotary engine. Continue reading
The Suzuki Jimny is already one of the most affordable yet purest 4x4s on the planet. However, Suzuki has decided to offer an even purer version of its capable compact off-roader called the Jimny Lite, one that gives enthusiasts a everything they need and nothing they don’t. Continue reading
This week marks the 30th anniversary of Mazda’s historic victory at Le Mans. Fairy tale doesn’t properly describe it, as fairy tales are usually pat and tidy. For Mazda, it wasn’t just the race itself but everything that led up to it, including many prior years of blood, sweat and tears, as well as decades of rotary engine development that took place before that. Add to that the demonic roar of its fire-spitting quad-rotor, the end-of-era clinch in the final year of the rotary’s eligibility, and its insane so-ugly-it’s-cool livery, and it’s an unforgettable machine. It may be the obvious answer to a question, but this is just the discussion opener.
What’s your favorite Japanese race car?
JThe most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the biggest hurdle to keeping your JNC nice?” Continue reading
Mazda has just quietly published an updated version of their RX-7 heritage parts list. The program launched in December 2020 with about 90 parts total for both second-generation FC3S and third-generation FD3S models. With the latest update, there are now 30 items for the FC and 73 items for the FD. Continue reading
This week has been filled with reports about Japan’s hallowed nameplates. First there was the Skyline, then Celica, and now Miata. The latest to come out of Japanese media about Mazda’s roadster says that it will be electrified within nine years, but there could be one last ICE version before that happens. Continue reading
On June 17 Mazda dropped a ton of information regarding its plans for the next decade. As expected, electrification is on its way, but that doesn’t mean the outlook is bleak for motoring enthusiasts. Additionally, Mazda has released renderings of its highly anticipated straight-six, rear-wheel-drive platform. Continue reading
It was bound to happen. An 80-series Land Cruiser has followed the likes of the 2000GT and A80 Supra deep into six-figure territory by recently selling for $136,000. Of course, there are extenuating circumstances, with the main one being that this particular example had only 1,000 miles on the odometer. Continue reading
A report out of Japan indicates that Toyota is working on a sporty car that is powered by alternative fuel. More sporty cars are always a good thing, but what’s perhaps more interesting is that the report states Toyota could revive the name Celica for this model. Continue reading
Over the weekend a minor panic ensued among Nissan fans and car enthusiasts when the Nikkei Shimbun newspaper reported that Nissan was discontinuing the Skyline. The Fuga and Cima would go along with it, the article stated. Reasons cited included a shift towards the almighty SUV, and that resources would be reallocated to develop electric cars. However, a high-ranking Nissan executive has just denied that report. Continue reading
With Land Cruiser pricing getting into nosebleed territory, 4×4 fans have moved onto Lexus GXes, Monteros, and even the occasional Trooper, driving all their prices up. So far, the Mitsubishi Montero Sport seems to have evaded their gaze. Debuting at the height of the SUV craze, it was a ladder-frame, leaf-sprung, and lower-priced alternative to the 4Runner and Explorer. Continue reading
It’s a myth that southern California is really good to cars. Sure, due to the desert climate old cars don’t rust (unless you live near the beach), but you can always fix rust if you’re determined enough a welder. What you can’t fix is the sun, and how it absolutely fries the brittle, vinyl-wrapped interiors of brittle, old Japanese cars. And it’s a lot harder to fix old dashboards, upholstery with intricate little embroidered logos than metal, and foam cushions that crack and turn to powder.
However, that’s a probably largely unique to the southwestern US. Depending on where you live, the issue could be the lack of parts support from OEMs, bad drivers, Honda thieves, or any number of phenomena constantly threatening your vintage car.
What’s the biggest hurdle to keeping your JNC nice?
Toyota went all-out in launching the J300 Land Cruiser, digging deep into its history to inform development of the latest iteration. One of the many revealing tidbits to come out of the LC300’s launch is the fact that the engineering team used the much-revered J80-generation Land Cruiser as their north star during the development process. Continue reading
We finally have an official date for the Z35’s debut. Nissan tweeted that it will unveil the seventh-generation Z-car in New York on August 17, 2021. This means it will likely debut as a 2022 model, matching the GT-R Proto’s timeline over a decade and a half ago. Continue reading
In an age when Toyota’s sports cars are built by other carmakers, Aichi still has one historic world-dominating model that the company will pull out all the stops for: the Land Cruiser. A new generation of the venerated truck debuted on June 10, marking its tenth iteration, and for the debut Toyota leaned heavily on Land Cruiser history, enthusiasts, and clubs to make it statement. That part should be of no surprise, and while it says a lot about the Land Cruiser’s place in Toyota’s family tree, it says even more about cars like the Supra and 86. Continue reading
Rob McFarlin of FAR Performance raced a number of different popular Datsun models. While he took his 240Z, 510, and Fairlady roadsters all to the SCCA Runoffs, it wwas perhaps his 610 that was the most unexpected finalist. Happy 610 Day from JNC!
There’s a rumor swirling around Japanese automotive media right now that Daihatsu might be bringing back the mighty Rocky. Well, technically it’s not the Rocky, but the vehicle that the original Rocky was based on, the Daihatsu Rugger. It’s said to be a very compact, ladder-frame 4WD, one that will go head-to-head with the tremendously popular Suzuki Jimny. Continue reading
The year-long lockdown due to COVID gave all of us a lot of downtime to catch up on back burner projects. Hopefully, you used that time as wisely as Suzuki did. The company has just revealed a stunning, one-off, road-going retro Katana based on a 2008 GSX-R1000 Superbike World Championship race motor. Continue reading
The Nissan Patrol turns 70 this year, and Nissan has released a new video previewing some kind of occasion to mark the milestone. It’s a worthy goal, as the Patrol enjoys a huge following on par with that of the Toyota Land Cruiser in some parts of the world. Unfortunately, the computer generated images of the Patrol used in the video are absolutely terrible. Continue reading
We recently learned that the Jun Auto Mechanic Honda Civic is up for sale. Tuning houses are small outfits, especially in Japan, and it’s basically impossible for them to keep everything they’ve built. Many once-revered demo cars plastered on the covers of magazines and catalogs have been released into the wild. Let’s say for a moment that you could take any one of these shop specials — even if it’s still owned by the original builders or has since been destroyed — home.
What tuning house demo car do you want to own?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC concept deserves to be found or restored?” Continue reading