Mitsubishi Fuso’s rare dual front-axle bus has been restored

Looking like something out of an Ultraman movie, the Mitsubishi Fuso MR430 bus oozes retro-futuristic strangeness. Tri-axle buses aren’t rare, but one with two axles located at the front, both of which turn with the steering wheel, certainly is. It is believed to be the only tri-axle, dual front, rear-engined bus in the world. And until last week no running examples were known to exist. Continue reading

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Mazda to launch restoration program for FD RX-7

Mazda plans to launch a restoration program for the FD RX-7. Details are scarce for now, but we expect something similar to the Mazda Roadster Restore program launched in 2017. If that is the case, the program will likely see certified Mazda technicians removing every nut and bolt off of the cars and rebuilding them as new. Continue reading

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QotW: When is it time to call in the professionals?

When it comes to car repair or restoration, many of us pride ourselves on what we can do in our own garages. But there are lines that must be drawn. We feel pretty comfortable tackling any mechanical, some electrical, and occasionally cosmetic issues. When it comes to paint and body, though, that’s when we tap out. It’s time to call in the pros. There’s something about nuts and bolts fastening into place that feels like science, while rust and dent repair or spraying the sheetmetal is more like dark magic.

When is it time to call in the professionals?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What TV series or movie fueled your love for cars?Continue reading

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Miatas enter Guinness Book of World Records for largest Mazda parade

A gathering of Mazda MX-5 Miatas has broken the world record for largest parade of Mazda cars. The assembly took place at Italy’s Modena Circuit on September 18 and was certified by a Guinness Book of World Records adjudicator at 6pm local time. The total of 707 cars surpassed the Dutch record set in 2013, which had 683 cars. Continue reading

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Tadashi Kume, former president of Honda, 1932-2022

It was announced today that Tadashi Kume, the third president of Honda Motor Co., had passed away. The engineer turned businessman died on September 11, 2022 at age 90. The influential leader guided the company from 1983 to 1990, a time of great change and expansion for Honda. During his tenure, Honda was transformed from a small automaker, operating in the shadow of Nissan and Toyota, into an international rival to those giants. Continue reading

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The Nissan Z is looking sharp as a GT4 race car

The lads at NISMO have been busy at work with the new Z, and Nissan has just revealed the results. It’s not the street legal NISMO Z you’re hoping for, but could be even better, depending on your perspective. Instead, it’s a track-ready RZ34 that meets all FIA GT4-class specifications so you can head into battle against GT4 Supras, Mustangs, Cayman 718s, BMW M4s, and so on. Continue reading

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Rate this Ad: Toyota HiLux family receives an unexpected visitor

In the latest ad for the Toyota HiLux, a family that owns multiple generations of the venerable pickup receives a disturbing visit. It’s time for another Rate This Ad, this time coming to us all the way from Australia. This one is titled “An Unbreakable Connection” and arrives just in time for Halloween. Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Lexus SC presented buyers with a difficult dilemma

The Lexus SC is probably, to this day, still one of Toyota’s best-looking cars. It was the Supra you could take to the opera, built upon the same chassis that spawned the legendary JZA80, but grander, more civilized, and fitted with a sharper suit. However, the SC presented a vicious buyers’ dilemma. Go with the V8-powered but automatic-only SC400, or the manual-equipped but less powerful 6-cylinder SC300? Continue reading

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QotW: What TV series or movie fueled your love for cars?

Forty years ago today, on September 26, 1982 Knight Rider debuted on NBC. As much as I hate to admit it, the show played a seminal role in my love for cars. The reason I hate to admit it is because, well, the show was objectively ridiculous. The screenshot above is from a first season episode in which Michael and KITT enter an alternative fuel race to root out a saboteur. It was a funny episode because the race included an “electric” Porsche, a “solar” Mustang, a “propane-powered” Datsun 200SX as the Japanese entry, and a not-so-subtle jab at that other jumping car show in the form of a “moonshine-powered” orange Charger (which gets blown up, naturally). Despite its terrible writing, what could be cooler to a grade school kid than a talking Firebird Trans-Am that could fly through the air, reach 200 mph, and be your best friend?

What TV series or movie fueled your love for cars?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What will happen to classics after the EV revolution?Continue reading

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Nissan’s Zama Heritage Collection offers another virtual tour

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced yesterday that Japan would remove caps on international travelers and visa restrictions on countries such as the US in three weeks’s time. That effectively means Japan will allow tourists back in starting October 11. However, if you can’t wait that long to visit Nissan’s Zama Heritage Collection, the company has conducted another virtual video tour. Continue reading

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Nissan Skyline tops Japanese survey about dream cars

Monday, September 19, was Respect for the Aged Day in Japan. To mark the occasion Kinto, a car sharing service, held a survey to ask drivers of three generations about their motoring habits, including what their dream cars were when they were in their 20s. It should be no surprise that the Nissan Skyline topped the lists, but here are the detailed results. Continue reading

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The 1937 Datsun Type 16 now displayed at one of Japan’s top engineering universities is a gift from a former student

On September 20 an unveiling ceremony was held at Shibaura Institute of Technology, one of Tokyo’s most prestigious engineering universities, for one of Nissan’s oldest prodcution vehicles. The 1937 Datsun Type 16 sedan is now part of the school’s permanent collection, donated by an alumnus earlier this year. Continue reading

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Brand new Nissan SR20 engines will soon be available in Japan

A company in Japan will soon start making brand new SR20 engines. While they’re not technically from Nissan, like the remade Skyline GT-R parts and NISMO gauge clusters are, the motors are being made with Nissan’s blessing. Mercury Enterprise, a used car dealership chain that sponsors a D1 drift team, is the firm behind the project. Continue reading

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QotW: What will happen to classics after the EV revolution?

Automakers, governments, and Elon Musk are all pushing the industry headlong into electric cars. There are pros and cons to EVs, but whether you see them as Betamax or VHS, it doesn’t really matter. The industry seems like it’s headed in that direction and there’s probably no turning back. What we’re here to ask is:

What will happen to classics after the EV revolution?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “How have video games affected your passion for cars?Continue reading

Posted in Question of the Week | 19 Comments

Collect the 100 most significant Japanese cars in 1/64 scale

By now JNC readers are probably familiar with large-scale subscription model kits. Iconic cars like the Nissan Skyline GT-R or Toyota AE86 are common subject matter, with a few pieces mailed to you each week over a period of about two years. In the end you’ll have an approximately 2-foot model of a single car. But what if you want a whole collection of tiny historic Japanese cars instead? Well, one of the companies that kicked off the modern subscription model trend has got you covered. Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 1973 Mazda Luce with less than 4,000 miles

When considering the list of 6-figure Japanese cars, the Mazda RX-4 isn’t typically a chart topper. When new it was considered too heavy for its rotary engine, especially compared to its RX-3 and RX-2 stablemates. But man, it was a looker, especially as a 2-door coupe. They’re rare, too, which is perhaps why dealer in Australia is offering an eye-wateringly beautiful original example for the equally eye-watering price of $149,950 AUD ($101,165 USD). Continue reading

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A Toyota Corona runs from the law in Assassin

Almost exactly 40 years ago, on September 15, 1982, the movie Assassin was released in Japan. The plot was loosely based on the Setouchi Seajack Incident of 1970, one of the country’s most notorious hostage situations at the time. In the dramatized version, a suspect takes a Toyota Corona taxi, leading police cars on a thrilling chase through the narrow streets of Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture. Continue reading

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A Nissan Patrol became the first vehicle to cross the Simpson Desert 60 years ago

Sixty years ago, the Sprigg family made history as the first to cross Australia’s Simpson Desert in a motorized vehicle. That vehicle was a G60 Nissan Patrol, a four-wheel-drive rival to the Toyota Land Cruiser. The Spriggs made the 12-day trek with no maps, GPS or radio, only a bare minimum of supplies and a 200-liter (53 gal) drum of fuel in the back. Continue reading

Posted in trucks | 7 Comments

QotW: How have video games affected your passion for cars?

Today, September 12, is National Video Game Day. For many car enthusiasts, especially of Japanese machines, the cultural reach of video games has been instrumental to the hobby. Whether you’re into cars we’d otherwise never see on the streets, the world of highway and touge battles, the physics and traditions of customization, or building a dream garage, games have offered those opportunities

How have video games affected your passion for cars?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Which JNC looks best in black?Continue reading

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1970 Datsun 240Z Rallye Monte-Carlo: A history lost, now found

As iconic as the Nissan Z is, remarkably little is known in English-speaking countries about its motorsports history. In the US, the American-spec Datsun 240Z is best remembered, and deservedly so, for its SCCA victories. But while names like Peter Brock, John Morton, and Bob Sharp were conquering American road racing, the Nissan mothership in Japan was in the midst of an all-out assault on international rallying. Continue reading

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