The stunning Toyota GR GT3 Concept gives us hope that the RX-Vision will be built

The Toyota GR GT3 Concept has just been unveiled at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon, signaling the Big T’s intention to enter the GT3 class of touring car racing. The car is absolutely gorgeous, hands down the best looking Toyota in the carmaker’s entire portfolio right now, and that’s because it’s essentially a reskinned Mazda RX-Vision. This is a significant development is so many ways. Continue reading

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Toyota rolls out FJ40 Land Cruiser heritage parts, expands Supra, AE86, and 2000GT selection in major update

Toyota has just announced a significant expansion of new items for its Gazoo Racing Heritage Parts program. Most cover the FJ40 Land Cruiser and, surprisingly, the A70 Supra. However, the AE86, A80 Supra, and 2000GT also get some love. The latter three receive fewer, but major, hardware in this significant update. Continue reading

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Nissan Silvia CSP311 concept gains momentum as EV

Back in September, Nissan released some illustrations of an electric Silvia revival. Penned by Matthew Weaver, a vice president at Nissan’s European design studio, it pays homage to the original Silvia, the 1965 CSP311. At the time, it was just an assignment where Weaver was asked to come up with an electric car based on something from Nissan’s past. Now, the electric Silvia is apparently being seriously considered. Continue reading

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Mazda 3-rotor, rear-wheel-drive flagship, and how to make it happen

Mazda has filed a patent application for a 3-rotor hybrid drivetrain configured for a rear-wheel-drive layout. Obviously, if built, it would be the first rotary-engined car since the 2012 death of the RX-8, and the first triple-rotor production car since the JC Eunos Cosmo ended production in 1995. Just as obviously, though, it would totally buck prevailing market trends. The rotary, great as it was, was never as clean or as thrifty as a piston engine, and even those are phasing out. What’s going on in Hiroshima? Continue reading

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Happy Kenmeri Day from JNC

It’s January 10, the day we honor the Nissan Skyline C110 chassis. It’s the car that in Japanese culture became synonymous with the romance of the open road. Why not take your JNC for a drive today to celebrate? Happy Kenmeri Day!

Posted in Holidays | 3 Comments

QotW: What car from 1997 do you want to import?

It’s 2022, which means that America’s 25 year rule now applies to cars from 1997. That opens the doors to a new slate of once-forbidden machines. Let’s say money and rarity are not factors. The imagination swirls with visions of something sporty like a Tommykaira ZZ or EK9 Honda Civic Type R. Or, you can go ultra-luxe with a V12 Toyota Century or 2JZ-powered Toyota Aristo V300. Maybe you just want something unique, like a Toyota Caldina 2.0GT-T.

What car from 1997 do you want to import?

The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your automotive New Year’s resolution for 2022?” Continue reading

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Toyota AE86 meets 2022 GR86 in stunning Initial D-inspired commercials

We promise we are not turning into an Initial D blog, but this was too cool not to share. We’ve not been shy about crapping on Toyota’s terrible ads before. So consider us flabbergasted that the same company, just before the holidays, quietly released one of the greatest car commercials we’ve ever seen to shill the 2022 Toyota GR86. Continue reading

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Initial D‘s beloved characters: “Where are they now?” according to MF Ghost

We last wrote about MF Ghost in 2017, when Shuichi Shigeno had but published one chapter in Young Weekly, the same manga serial that Initial D ran in from 1995-2013. Back then, little was known about the plot, but now that enough chapters have been published to make an anime adaptation, there have been some interesting plot developments. That’s especially true for fans of Initial D, as MF Ghost takes place in the same universe, just several decade later. Here’s what happened to the main characters of Initial D. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Japanese Classic Car Show 2021

The Japanese Classic Car Show Association dropped their official 2021 JCCS video yesterday. While it doesn’t feature all the cars, trucks, and motorcycles that were present (you can see our own coverage for that), it does a great job of capturing the feel of the event. Continue reading

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Initial D successor MF Ghost anime in the works

Turn up the Eurobeat. Successor to the beloved Initial D, Shuichi Shigeno’s MF Ghost has been in publication since 2017. With four years of weekly stories under its belt, publisher Kodansha announced today that, like its forebearer, MF Ghost would be adapted into an anime. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your automotive New Year’s resolution for 2022?

It’s a brand new year, and that means an opportunity to start anew. What are your automotive goals for 2022? Finally get that dormant project on the road? Finally make a dent in the pile of 1:24 scale plastic model kits you’ve been hoarding? Or simply vowing to get out and drive more? Remember, anything you post is contractually binding!

What’s your automotive New Year’s resolution for 2022?

The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What automotive heartaches are you most eager to forget?“. Continue reading

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Japanese Classic Car Show 2021, Part 02 – Our Faves

Some time off can do funny things. It can act as a reset. The in-person Japanese Classic Car Show was forced to go into a hiatus because of the pandemic last year, and forced to move to a new location this year. In the two years since we last had a live event a lot has happened. Upon its return to a new venue, Angel Stadium, where perhaps our lifetime’s greatest baseball player suits up, things felt different. Like Shohei Ohtani, who hails from Iwate Prefecture, Japanese cars feel like they’ve made it. Continue reading

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Japanese Classic Car Show 2021, Part 01

To close out 2021, a year where things were finally opening up again, we’re going back to the Japanese Classic Car Show. After a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic, JCCS was back in full form. Perhaps trying to make up for the lost year, owners turned out en force, making it one of the biggest gatherings in recent memory, with about 100 more cars, trucks, and motorcycles from the 1960s to the 1990s filling the venue. Continue reading

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Toyota Corolla celebrates 50 millionth sold with manga series

This year marked a milestone for the unassuming Toyota Corolla. The bestselling nameplate in history sold over 50 million units. In Japan, Toyota celebrated by releasing a trio of special edition cars and a series of Corolla-oriented comic strips that tell a story in each decade of the model’s existence. Continue reading

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Toyota’s MegaWeb showroom in Tokyo is closing so here’s a video tour of the History Garage

This will be the last week you’ll ever get to visit Toyota’s sprawling MegaWeb gallery in Tokyo. It will close for good on December 31, 2021, after 22 years. That includes not only the main showroom of new cars, but the enthusiast-oriented History Garage located in the adjacent Venus Fort mall. Ironically, Toyota released what is probably the most in-depth video of the History Garage earlier this year. Continue reading

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QotW: What automotive heartaches are you most eager to forget?

At year’s end, the Japanese tradition of bonenkai takes place. These “forget the year parties” are held to drink away the heartaches of the previous 365 days and hope for better luck the next time ’round the sun. For me personally, it’s not what I did but what I didn’t do. With work and family duties, I didn’t get to wrench/drive/hang out at car events as much as I wanted to. There’s also the massive hole in my heart left by how I didn’t spend more time with a dear friend before he passed away. Well, the turning of the calendar gives us all the opportunity to start anew and kaizen ourselves in 2022.

What automotive heartaches are you most eager to forget?

The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What are you asking Japanese Santa Claus for this year?“. Continue reading

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Mazda Roadster-driving Santas bring joy to kids in Japan

The Mazda Roadster Club of Japan recently held their annual end-of-year Santa Drive. The event sees owners of Mazda Roadsters decorate their cars in tinsel and dress up as Santa for charity, bringing some joy to disadvantaged kids by letting them ride through town in a parade of Japan-market Miatas. Continue reading

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Shunji Tanaka, Mazda Miata chief designer, 1946 – 2021

Shunji Tanaka, chief designer of the original Mazda Roadster/Miata, has died. He passed away at the age of 75 on December 12 at, according to a close friend and member of a Japan Roadster Club, who posted the news over the weekend on his social media profile. Tanaka-san was instrumental in bringing to life one of Japan’s most influential cars, shaping it into the icon we know today. Continue reading

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Suzuki 100th Anniversary helmet goes on sale in January

Suzuki Motor is commemorating a century of business with an extremely limited production motorcycle helmet. Based on an Arai RX-7X, the helmet is finished in Suzuki’s MotoGP racing colors with the words “100th Anniversary” printed along the chin guard. It’s also limited to 100 pieces worldwide. Continue reading

Posted in Motorcycles | 1 Comment

My wife’s Hakosuka Skyline races for JNC glory in the world of diecast motorsports

When we started racing with YouTube’s premiere diecast motorsports league, we had no idea it would come to this. My wife Carrie took the JNC team trophy, after ruthlessly decimating every writer on the staff and also our own two-year-old son. Her Hot Wheels Nissan Skyline gave no mercy to our Toyotas, Mazdas, or Datsuns. Now, her JNC tournament-winning Hakosuka is taking on the winners of 3DBotMaker‘s other tournaments, going up against everything from a BMW M3 to Vin Diesel’s blown 1970 Dodge Charger from the Fast & Furious movies. Continue reading

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