Nissan helps rebuild long-lost Prince 1900 Sprint sports car concept

Sometime in the early 1960s in a small workshop in Turin, two men work at their drafting boards. One is an Italian master, designer of what are considered to be the most beautiful cars ever made. The other is Japanese, and will go on to guide the shape of one of the country’s most beloved nameplates: the Skyline. Together, they will create two jewel-like little cars, both of which will be lost to time. But this year, Nissan has recreated their forgotten work with a resurrection of the Prince 1900 Sprint. Continue reading

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A deep dive into the ever-evolving Hakosuka Skyline of Roy de Guzman

We’ve been on a long journey with our friend Roy de Guzman, one of the first Americans to ever own a Hakosuka Skyline. We first met Roy back when JNC was on paper and Roy’s car was all white. We revisited the car when it was made into Hot Wheels form. The ever-changing Hako is now in its nth and arguably best iteration, powered by a turbocharged and carbureted L28 and wearing one of the more elegantly subtle Rocket Bunny kits out there. Continue reading

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Honda’s behind-the-scenes motorcycle manufacturing doc from 1962 is a must-see

Honda has released an astounding documentary from its early days of motorcycle manufacturing. The 34-minute This is Honda dives deep into Honda’s factories, depicting every step of the production process, from raw steel to finished bike. Arguably the most amazing part is that the film was made in 1962, a year before Honda would even release its first car. The quality is massively impressive, with full color, a soundtrack that belongs in a kaiju movie, and a comprehensiveness that even includes the employee cafeteria. Continue reading

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QotW: What series should we binge over the holidays?

In 2014 a new trilogy of Initial D movies came out. Called New Initial D Movie — Legend, It was a reboot complete with new animation style, a retelling of the earlier chapters of the beloved series. We watched the original in the early 2000s, but we’ve never seen this one. The coming holidays might be a good time to catch up on what is now a nearly decade-old ode to underground drifting. We’ve also heard that Stranger Things and Archer, while not about cars per se, have pretty good background cars.

What car-themed series should we binge over the holidays?

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

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Yamaha’s miniature SR400 fuel tank marks over 40 years of production having ended

In 2021 we reported on the sad end of the Yamaha SR400, a beloved motorcycle that had been in production for 43 years. Not only did it have a long life but Yamaha kept it remarkably faithful to the 1978 model, keeping in tact cues like a glass headlight, spoked wheels, analog gauges, a kickstarter, and more right up until the very end. To commemorate the SR400’s life, Yamaha will produce a limited run of 1/6-scale SR500 fuel tanks made in the very factory that built the bikes. Continue reading

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The 1992 Honda Prelude Si 4WS came highly recommended, even in automatic

I never liked the fourth-gen Prelude’s styling. I remember thinking it looked like a squashed Oldsmobile, and that its profile was too far a deviation from the angular wedges of its predecessors. That belief was only confirmed when the fifth-gen Prelude returned to the previous design theme. Dynamically, however, the Prelude rocked. It was a showcase of Honda’s technology and suspension engineering. And as this 1992 Motorweek review shows, even an automatic transmission couldn’t kill the Prelude’s spirit. Continue reading

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QotW: What car-related things are you thankful for?

This week is Thanksgiving (if you’re reading from the US), that time of year when we talk about the things in life that, big or small, we are grateful for. In the very futuristic sounding year of 2023, we are thankful for many things, but chief among them is the fact that carmakers like Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, Nissan, and Honda still make sports cars. That’s more than one would expect in a class that conventional wisdom says is dying, and it gives us hope that the next generation will still have fun with cars.

What car-related things 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 technology made modern cars less interesting?“. Continue reading

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Mitsuoka M55 drapes Kenmeri Nissan Skyline skin over modern Honda Civic

The ever-controversial Mitsuoka has released its latest concoction, taking the lines  of a beloved classic and shoehorning it onto a modern chassis. In this case, the modern platform is that of a Honda Civic, but which classic is it? English media is saying this is an homage to the Dodge Challenger. In fact, it’s inspiration starts a little closer to home: the Kenmeri Skyline. Continue reading

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A Honda Prelude was Jean-Luc Picard’s Earth transport

When Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted on September 28, 1987 it was clear that this new show would be a departure from the occasionally campy escapades of the original. For one thing, the two-fisted antics from Captain James T. Kirk were gone, replaced by the more cerebral Jean-Luc Picard. Played by veteran British theatre actor Sir Patrick Stewart, Picard was a sort of space monk, a stickler for discipline and a frequent drinker of tea (Earl Grey, hot). The sensible sort of person who would, and did, show up to set every day in a silver Honda Prelude. Continue reading

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Toyota “Land Cruiser FJ” may be a baby off-road machine

If there’s one thing Toyota loves it’s reviving the chassis codes of past successes and making them full-blown model names. It did that with the FJ40-inspired FJ Cruiser back in 2007, then the AE86-inspired Toyota 86 in 2012. Now Toyota has trademarked the name “Land Cruiser FJ” in Japan. Could it be the spiritual successor of the FJ Cruiser? Continue reading

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Plymouth Arrow promotional video from 1976 shows its many quirks

The Plymouth Arrow is nearly forgotten today, but the badge engineered Mitsubishi Lancer Celeste had a lot to offer. Its handling was rated quite positively in magazine tests of the era, and Mitsubishi’s signature “silent shaft” technology used a counterbalanced mass to run its inline-four with the smoothness of a straight-six. This 1976 promotional video, however, offers even more reasons to buy one. Continue reading

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QotW: What technology made modern cars less interesting?

To the average consumer the formula is pretty straightforward: new = good. But JNC owners know better than that. The last couple of decades have seen an in-car technology boom, but if you’re reading this you likely long for the days when technology enhanced driving performance, not digital convenience; fuel injection, not
blind spot monitoring. Modern cars are faster than ever but arguably less fun. What was the turning point? CVTs? Drive by wire? Touchscreens? Mandatory traction control? Let us know when tech began detracting from the driving experience rather than amplifying it.

What technology made modern cars less interesting?

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

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Follow vintage Toyotas from factory to family in this 1973 promotional film

In 1973 Toyota released a 20-minute promotional film called “In Small Packages”. It was created to introduce the company and its various models to Americans. Not only is it filled with beautiful footage of Corollas, Celicas, Coronas, and Land Cruisers, but it delves into how the cars were built before they landed in the hands of the customer. Keep in mind that it was filmed less than 10 years after the Corona clawed back some of the embarrassment that was the original Crown, so Toyota still had to convince us that they made dependable cars. Continue reading

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Toyota teams up with streetwear brand Huf for 70s-inspired swag

Toyota is teaming up with streetwear brand Huf on a new line of apparel. Said to be inspired by 70s graphics, the clothes and accessories feature heaps of Toyota trucks and plenty of the red-orange-yellow tricolor. Some of the designs are pretty cool, but most of the vehicles depicted hail from the 80s and 90s. Is this cool? We are too old to know. Maybe you can tell us. Continue reading

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Japan Automotive Hall of Fame honors Lexus founder, Honda F1 engineer, pioneers of four-wheel-steering

The Japan Automotive Hall of Fame has named four individuals to be inducted into their ranks. Each has been chosen for their contributions to Japan’s automotive industry. As with the four cars that were announced this year, there are names that we assumed would’ve already been included long ago. Better late than never, though. Continue reading

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Japan Automotive Hall of Fame welcomes Nissan 510 Bluebird, Mitsubishi Pajero, Mazda 787B, and more

The Japan Automotive Hall of Fame has announced the inductees that will honored in its Historic & Heritage Vehicles category. The vehicles chosen have each determined to have contributed to the development of Japan’s automobile industry and car culture, and are deemed worthy of preservation. Continue reading

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QotW: What works from your childhood fueled your love for cars?

Last week I visited the home of some distant in-laws who were meeting my 4-year-old for the first time. They’re grandparents already and asked my kid if he’d like to play with some toys that once belonged to their now-adult son. To my surprise, they went into the garage and pulled out a giant box of first-generation Transformers complete with original instruction manuals and weapons still attached to the plastic sprues.

My son was stoked, but I think I was more excited. I had maybe a dozen Transformers as a kid but this collection was expansive, with nearly an entire archive of full-size Autobots, Decepticon jets, several combiners, and a couple of the transforming cities. I’d always loved cars, and cars that turned into robots were ultra cool to me. Memories of the watching the cartoons on UHF and poring over the catalogs came flooding back. This, along with MASK, Turbo Teen, Knight Rider, and Dukes of Hazzard, it was a great time to be a petrolhead kid.

What works from your childhood 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’s your most terrifying car story?Continue reading

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The Toyota Retro Cruiser concept restored, 25 years later

The Toyota Retro Cruiser concept made a big splash when it debuted in 1999. It looked like an FJ40 from the outside, but the running gear underneath came from the most advanced Land Cruiser at the time, the J100. Not only was the Retro Cruiser was fully functional, which is rare for a concept, but Toyota let journalists beat on it in off-road testing. It was then put away for a quarter century. For SEMA this year, Toyota brought it out of retirement and restored it to its former glory. Continue reading

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Toyota Tacoma X-Runner revived to take on the new Nissan Z

A huge SEMA surprise from Toyota this year came in the form of a revived Tacoma X-Runner. The original Tacoma X-Runner debuted in 2005 as a hot rod variant of the popular pickup. At the time, Toyota admitted to a rather shocking performance benchmark — the Nissan 350Z. Now there’s a new Z and a new Tacoma in town. Continue reading

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Toyota’s “FJ Bruiser” is a mean, green rock crawler built from a worn-out FJ45

The over-the-top builds from SEMA keep on coming. Toyota’s centerpiece vehicle this year is the FJ Bruiser, a beast of an old Land Cruiser built to take on grueling rock crawls like King of the Hammers. The one-off started as beat-up 1966 FJ45 pickup, but has been thoroughly reconstituted with a tube-frame chassis and a Toyota Nascar V8. Continue reading

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