JNC THEATER: Shelby American

Ford v. Ferrari might be the biggest car movie out right now, but there’s an even better one currently playing on Netflix — and it’s non-fiction. Shelby American is the latest release by Chassy Media, the production company of Adam Carolla and Nate Adams, who brought you Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman covering the Datsun-centric career of the renowned actor. While Shelby American focuses mainly on the creator of the Cobra, we think there is still plenty of content of interest to JNC readers. Continue reading

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Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Mazda Roadster in Japan

While we were celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Mazda Miata in the US at Laguna Seca, Roadster owners in Japan had their own shindig. Held at Mazda’s Miyoshi Proving Grounds, the event drew 2,200 cars and 3,500 fans of the venerable sports car, from all across Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, the UK, and the US.
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VIDEO: And the best Japanese car of 1995 was…

By 2020 the 25-year threshold of what constitutes a classic car will cut off at 1995. What was the best Japanese car of that year? Back then, Japan’s Best Motoring sought the answer in a series of videos pitting several classes of cars around Tsukuba Circuit for the 1995 Car of the Year series. Continue reading

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NEWS: Subaru rally car restoration program announced

In recent years a number of Japanese companies have started up factory restoration programs for their iconic cars. Nissan, Mazda, Honda, and Toyota all have programs in place or in the works. Now, your dreams of creating the ultimate Gran Turismo garage move one step closer because restored Subaru rally cars can be added to that list. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your ultimate SUV restomod project?

Last week Acura unveiled a very cool thing: a restomodded SLX with a modern RDX engine and drivetrain. It was clever, challenging, and unexpected — all the hallmarks of a great build. Since SUVs and crossovers outsell sedans these days, maybe it’s time to start souping up these AWD family haulers like how the generation before made hot rods out of Sentras and Accords.

What’s your ultimate SUV restomod project?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What should we do about the manual transmission?Continue reading

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EVENTS: Celebrating the 30th anniversary of Mazda’s iconic roadster at the Miata Reunion

There aren’t many cars like the Mazda Miata, and we don’t mean light, two-seat sports cars, even if their scarcity is indeed glaring these days. We’re talking about something even rarer — a machine that transcends the realm of car nerds speaking in chassis codes and enters the mainstream consciousness. Like Corvette or Beetle, Miata is a household name that even non-car people will know. It holds a very special place in motoring history, one that makes its three decades worthy of celebration. Continue reading

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Acura resto-modded an SLX with 350-horsepower and a modern drivetrain

When one ponders the modified Acura, it’s usually a B18C-swapped Integra or some kind of insane time attack NSX. The SLX is probably pretty far down that list, if one can remember that is exists at all. However, Acura — yes, the actual company — has just built what is certainly the world’s first resto-modded example and will debut at the Radwood SoCal show this Saturday. And dare we say it, the result is actually kind of awesome. Continue reading

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They’ve gone to plaid: You can now buy reproduction plaid fabric for the first-gen Mazda RX-7

Design patterns covering kyusha interiors fall into a special category of obsession for us. Who can resist the finely embossed crests in vinyl headrests, or the colorful swirls in 80s upholsteries? Unfortunately, these surfaces tend to be points of major wear, and sourcing replacements range from difficult to impossible. Now, a shop in Saitama Prefecture has risen to this restoration challenge by offering replacement fabric that reproduces the seat design patterns in classic Mazdas. Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels Japan Historics 3

For 2020, the Japan Historics series returns to Hot Wheels’ premium line with three all-new castings and metal-base versions of two popular models. The beautiful five-car series continues to fill in the gaps of Japan’s automotive history with a distinctively Hot Wheels twist, and if these prototypes are any indication, they will be flying off the pegs. Continue reading

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TUNE UP: “Toyota Man” is an actual song by Indian Neon

You can imagine our joy when we discovered that there was an actual song called “Toyota Man.” Unfortunately, upon further research, the new release by Neon Indian doesn’t really have much to do with Toyotas at all, even if the video features a snazzy red A70 Supra throughout. Continue reading

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The Shoei NXR Zork TC-7 is the raddest helmet

We don’t often write about motorcycle helmets here on JNC, but when one comes along that is this striking, it’s hard to ignore. For 2020, Shoei is releasing a version of their popular NXR helmet slathered with 80s-inspired graphics, and it is called the Zork. Continue reading

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VIDEO: How Japan’s best-selling compacts stacked up against the Ford Pinto

Here is a 1977 Ford commercial that is great on several accounts. First, it pits a Pinto against the best-selling Japanese compacts, which include an E30 Toyota Corolla, first-gen Honda Civic, and Datsun B210 (Honey Bee!). Second, it has none other than three-time Formula 1 champion Jackie Stewart shilling for the Pinto. Continue reading

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QotW: What should we do about the manual transmission?

Last month, a turning point in automotive history was reached when electric vehicles outsold ones with manual transmissions. According to JD Power, stick-shifts accounted for 1.1 percent of new cars sold in America, while EVs accounted for 1.9 percent. The future looks bleak for the standard trans, indeed. Should we try to preserve this disappearing skill? Just enjoy it while we can? Welcome the march of technology?

What should we do about the manual transmission?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What job well done are you thankful for?Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Toyota Camry Wagon is the quintessential family car

We hope everyone is having a good Thanksgiving. Holidays, family get-togethers, road trips. These are the domain of the station wagon, and what better steed for the occasion than the longroof version of the 1992 Toyota Camry? The third-generation clan carrier was one of the sleekest wagons to come out of the 90s, but this contemporary Motorweek review disagreed vehemently. Here’s how a Camry Wagon was viewed at the time of its launch. Continue reading

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Japanese Classic Car Show 2019: Upping the Game and Best in Show

We are 60 percent of the way to the point where the JCCS itself, if it were a car, would be eligible for classic status. In its 15 years in existence, the Japanese Classic Car Show has grown from a small gathering of anything-goes “old cars” to a summit of the best examples of Nihon steel available in the US. It’s taken us a long time to get here, but we think the cars are worth it. Continue reading

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See some rare Showa Era trucks at Mega Web right now

If you’ve been to Tokyo you’ve likely visited MegaWeb, Toyota’s showroom in the Odaiba shopping district. The History Garage section has a rotating collection of classics, and typically you’ll be able to see a Toyota Sports 800, Mazda Cosmo Sport, Hakosuka Skyline, and more. And while seeing a Toyota 2000GT is nice, if you go right now you’ll be treated to a display of even rarer vehicles — trucks of the Showa Era. Continue reading

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TUNE UP: An A60 Toyota Celica stars in Beck’s “Dark Places” video

There’s definitely some 80s vibes going on in Beck’s new song “Dark Places,” off the album Hyperspace, which just dropped November 22. Lingering shots of the Los Angeles skyline, distant highway lights, and a woman driving a red A60 Toyota Celica make up the tableau of the moody video. Continue reading

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MINICARS: Nissan and Lego team up for an official GT-R set

In a 30-minute press conference in Yokohama this morning, Nissan announced a new licensing partnership with Lego. The first car to appear in the collaboration will be the GT-R NISMO, which will appear in the Lego Speed Champion series. In fact, it will help kick off a new format in the Lego Speed Champions line, which will now feature more detail and pieces than before. Continue reading

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QotW: What job well done are you thankful for?

Japan obviously doesn’t celebrate the same Thanksgiving Day as the US, but there’s a very similar holiday in Japan that occurs on November 23 each year. Labor Thanksgiving Day, or Kinrōkanshanohi, has its roots in a harvest festival, but in modern times honors workers and their role in society. Though many JNCers are do-it-yourselfers, there are always things we need help with, whether it’s from a tradesman, a good buddy, or the creator of some obscure part with which your project would otherwise be incomplete.

What job well done are you thankful for?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What should be inducted into the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame next?Continue reading

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Happy Evolution Day from JNC

We don’t think Charles Darwin had flying Mitsubishis in mind when he published On the Origin of Species in 1859, but nevertheless, here we are, 160 years later, to celebrate Evolution Day. All our ancestors were running across the savanna at one point in time or another. Some were just faster than others.

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