Toyota is building a 1970s Chinook-inspired Tacoma camper

If you were around in the 70s and 80s, you probably have vivid memories of neat little campers built from Toyota HiLux pickups. The compact motorhomes were an official Toyota product, sold at dealerships and borne of a partnership between the Big T and the Chinook Mobilodge Company. Now, Toyota is paying tribute to those mini-RVs with a new project using a Tacoma as a foundation. Continue reading

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Reborn Acura Integra’s manual transmission confirmed

Stick shifters, rejoice! The 2022 Acura Integra will have a manual gearbox. Acura revealed the teaser in a clever video titled “Generational Shift” that depicted the standard transmissions (remember when they were called that?) of all past Integra models, including the RSX, being rowed by an enthusiastic driver. Continue reading

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The Twilight Express Mizukaze is the Toyota Century of trains

Today is Railway Day in Japan, established to commemorate the opening of the country’s first rail line, which connected Tokyo and Yokohama on October 14, 1872. Nearly 50 years later and exactly 100 years ago today, on October 14, 1921, Japan’s Railway Museum opened in Tokyo. So today we’ll take the opportunity to draw your attention to one of the most unique, beautiful, and luxurious trains in Japan. Continue reading

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VIDEO: The 1982 RX-7 GS was reviewed surprisingly similarly to modern Mazdas

We’ve seen a lot of Motorweek‘s old reviews, but a recently uploaded flashback to a 1982 Mazda RX-7 GS is a standout. Few have raved about their subject matter as much as this one. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the RX-7 is a fantastic car. What does surprise us, though, is just how closely the test matches today’s reviews of Mazda’s products some 40 years later. Continue reading

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Amazingly detailed Mazda 787B rotary engine model released for 30th anniversary of Le Mans win

This year marked the 30th anniversary of Mazda’s historic win at the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans. To commemorate the 787B race car’s victory, Mazda aftermarket parts company MZ Racing has developed a highly detailed 1:6 scale model of its quad-rotor engine. It’s a work of art, frankly, with intricacies that you’d be hard-pressed to find on any other 787B tribute. Continue reading

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Gran Turismo 7 looks to the future, celebrates Japanese classics

Last month, Polyphony Digital dropped the trailer for Gran Turismo 7, the latest iteration its ultimate driving simulator. The gorgeous visuals built on the standard set by GT Sport, along with the promise that we will get to drive on nostalgic courses like High Speed Ring. Thirty seconds in, the Castrol TOM’s Supra is showcased being unloaded from a fancy enclosed trailer, an homage to the Gran Turismo 3 trailer seared into our eyes back in 2001. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your favorite Japanese race truck?

Both Nissan and Mitsubishi recently revived some old racing truck liveries for the Rebelle Rally, which kicked off over the weekend. We often discuss Japan’s racing cars, but racing trucks seem to have been inadvertently sidelined. Most of Japan’s manufacturers who sell actual trucks — Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Hino, Honda — have raced them as well.

What’s your favorite Japanese race truck?

The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your favorite car book?“. Continue reading

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The new Kamen Rider trailer is a shot-for-shot remake of the original’s motorcycle opening

There’s a new Kamen Rider movie, called Shin Kamen Rider, coming out in 2023. The original, which aired in 1971 and is now 50 years old, was one of Japan’s most iconic tokusatsu shows of all time. The titular insect-costumed superhero has had over 100 variants and reboots over the decades, and while he is the star, no Kamen Rider would be a rider without his trusty motorcycle, and the new remake delivers that in spades. Continue reading

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Honda is leaving Formula One with a retro livery homage to its first F1 car

Honda is getting ready to leave Formula One by year’s end on somewhat of a bittersweet note. After several years of disastrous results, Honda’s role as an engine supplier finally seemed to be turning the corner. Sadly, it was too late. The company announced late last year that it was pulling the plug on the F1 program. Before it goes, though, RedBull Racing is going to send off its engine partner with a heartfelt farewell in the form of a retro livery. Continue reading

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Battered Subaru Impreza barn find turns out to be $360,000 WRC car

So you find a beat up 0ld Subaru gathering dust in a barn, a common scenario, especially in northern areas of the US. There are some racing parts on it, and it’s clearly been used as a rally car at some point. You begin looking into its history and realize that it was once a WRC racer driven by some of the sport’s most beloved drivers, world champions Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz — and suddenly it’s worth over 30 times what you thought it was. Continue reading

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Megaweb has reopened before closing permanently at the end of the year

As we reported back in July, Toyota’s Megaweb showroom in Tokyo will be closing for good at the end of the year. If you wanted to see it, though, there was a slight hitch: the showroom had already closed, as part of a COVID-19 lockdown, and it was unknown how long the pandemic-related closure would last. Luckily, Megaweb opened back up over the weekend, making it possible for those in Japan to see it one last time before it’s gone for good. Continue reading

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Why the 100-mile MX-30 seems like a rare misstep for Mazda

Mazda is one of the few car companies operating today that we feel really “gets” cars as something more than simple transportation. Every move they’ve made recently has piqued our car enthusiasm interest, so much so that we can hardly believe that a carmaker in 2021 is actually doing these things. But Mazda is not infallible, and when they make a rare misstep, especially on the first new model in decades to have “MX” in its name, we feel compelled to ask why. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your favorite car book?

Today is Old Book Day in Japan. The holiday is celebrated on October 4 each year because it’s a pun on the kanji 古書, which is translated as “old books”. When you break down the kanji for “old” (古) into its components 十 and 口, then overlap them as 田, it resembles four books. Well, at least that’s the explanation given by Japan’s National Federation of Secondhand Bookstore Association.

In any case, it’s a good a time as any to ask what’s the most indispensable from your home library. Perhaps it’s a history book, a repair manual, a picture book, or even a children’s book like Makoto Komori‘s Datto-san series (lead photo). Let us know what it is and why.

What’s your favorite car book?

The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your favorite Nissan color?Continue reading

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Nissan brings back 80s off-road racing livery on a Frontier rally truck

Nissan has created a rally truck out of a 2022 Frontier that hearkens back to its various race trucks of the 1980s. The red-and-blue-over-white livery adorned many of Nissan’s off-road competition machines throughout the decade. They racked up racing accolades across the spectrum, from southwestern deserts to stadium short tracks, and were heavily used in advertising during the Reagan-Bush years. Continue reading

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TUNE UP: Dua Lipa drives a pink Mazda Cosmo Sport in “Levitating” music video

Unless you’re talking about a Land Cruiser or Datsun 240Z, classic Japanese cars don’t often cross over to American pop culture. Surprisingly, though, in the music video for the song “Levitating” by Dua Lipa, which is done in an anime style, a pretty obscure (for most Americans) JNC appears. It’s a Mazda Cosmo Sport, and it’s hot pink. Continue reading

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Acura’s second Integra teaser confirms 5-door body style

Acura has dropped a second teaser for the upcoming Integra revival. This time, it’s the rear corner in a shadowy preview. In it, you can see the shut lines for a set of rear doors and a wide-opening fifth door hatch that incorporates the rear window. Interestingly, Acura seems to be drawing a comparison not with the insanely popular third-generation Integra, but the 1980s first-gen. Continue reading

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Happy 929 Day from JNC

The pre-facelift second-generation Mazda Luce is probably one of the most underappreciated 1970s Japanese designs. Called the 929 when equipped with a piston engine and the RX-4 under rotary power, it struck just the right balance of elegance and menace. In all our years covering various car shows, we’ve only seen a handful of them. Hopefully more will come out of the woodwork, but we won’t be holding our breaths. Happy 929 Day from JNC.

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BIKES: Kawasaki revives the 1976 Z650 with retro Z650RS

Kawasaki has introduced a stunning new retro bike inspired by the 1976 Z650. The new Z650RS follows two other throwback bikes that Kawasaki has introduced in recent years, the Z900RS and Z900RS Cafe. The addition of the Z650RS lets those seeking a middleweight bike that’s a bit more tame and affordable get in on the retro craze. Continue reading

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There is now a Takumi motor oil for Initial D fans

Since its debut about a decade ago, Japan’s Takumi motor oil has had nothing to do with Initial D. If Sears had been Japanese, its in-house line of tools would have been named Takumi, because though Takumi is a popular male name, it simply means “craftsman” in Japanese. However, Takumi motor oil now actually does have an Initial D tie-in, thanks to a partnership with the manga’s creator, Shuichi Shigeno. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your favorite Nissan color?

Nissan’s recent revival of Midnight Purple and Millennium Jade sparked an internal debate here at JNC about what the best R34 Skyline colors were. Even on that one model, there were so many great ones — do you pick one of the limited run colors above or the iconic Bayside Blue? Then we thought it would make a good QotW if we opened it up to all Nissans. There are so many great ones, from Safari Gold to Gun Gray to Solar Orange. The palette is so endless and rich that it’s hard to choose one. But if you had to…

What’s your favorite Nissan color (and why)?

The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC doesn’t get enough respect?Continue reading

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