Author Archives: Ben Hsu

The Mazda rotary is coming back to America as a range extender

It’s official. The long awaited Mazda rotary engine is making a return to the States in the MX-30. It’s not in a turbocharged sports car we have hoped for, but there’s still nothing else like the RERE — rotary engine … Continue reading

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The Nissan van that was one of Japan’s oldest food trucks has closed after 45 years

From the looks of the dilapidated Nissan van that houses Hot Dog Yotsuba, you might assume that it had closed long ago. But, the patina’ed exterior was part of its charm, and the stand looked like an abandoned car even … Continue reading

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Nissan Z generations converge in this surreal ad

We’re pretty happy whenever we see heritage acknowledged in a Nissan ad. It’s also pretty cool to to see the Z Proto driving along a track with an S30 Fairlady Z and a Z32. But with footage that looks like … Continue reading

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The Honda S660 has completely sold out the rest of its production run

Honda announced on March 12 that production of its S660 roadster would come to an end, in March of 2022. That gave a year’s notice for anyone who wanted to buy one. Of course, this successor in name to the … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your favorite non-Japanese car?

The world of JNCs is wide, but sometimes there are automotive desires that cannot be satisfied with Nihon steel. Among the JNC staff, cars such as a TJ Jeep Wrangler, C3 Corvette, Mini Cooper, W124 Mercedes, S550 Mustang GT, and … Continue reading

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Ryu Asada Memorial Drive + Fundraiser announcement

Please come out and help us honor a great man and support a great charity. Click here for details. 🙏

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A 510 Nissan Bluebird SSS Coupé has been restored… by Toyota

The 510 Nissan Bluebird is one of the most important cars in Japan’s motoring history. So it should come as no surprise that an automaker would want to restore this important automotive legacy and put it in a museum. Recently, … Continue reading

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Honda’s first F1 prototype appears in found footage

The photo of the boss man sitting on a Formula 1 prototype racer is one of the most famous images of Soichiro Honda. The car itself is long gone, and any media of the car, in motion or not, is … Continue reading

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Hino’s radio program for long-haul truckers ends after 52 years

For over half a century, a Hino-sponosored a radio program has kept long-haul truckers company in Japan as they drove through the night. Imitators came and went, but Hino Midnight Graffiti Hashire! Kayōkyoku wasn’t just the longest-running radio program for … Continue reading

Posted in Nihon Life | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

2022 Toyota 86 revealed alongside Subaru BRZ in Japan

Toyota has lifted the covers on the second-generation Toyota 86, now renamed the GR 86. As expected, it has been co-developed with Subaru and is largely the same as the Subaru BRZ twin, though there are (very) slight variations between … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your best road map story?

Today, April 5, is National Read a Road Map Day. We know there’s plenty of JNC owners who began driving after GPS, and we’re not total Luddites that eschew navigation by smartphone. but there’s something romantic and fitting about using … Continue reading

Posted in Question of the Week | Tagged | 6 Comments

The first NFT batch to include a Japanese classic has sold for $1.9 million

A batch of classic car NFTs has sold for $1.9 million. The fleet, which includes such icons as a 1967 Toyota 2000GT, Series 1 Jaguar E-Type, Shelby Cobra 427, and Lamborghini Miura P400S, was the first-ever sale of classic cars … Continue reading

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The Toyota Celica Liftback that sold for $62,000 is a gift from a loving wife

A 1976 Toyota Celica Liftback has sold for $62,000. That’s a new high for this model, and of course it appears to be in exceptional condition. However, perhaps the better hook here is the back story of why the Celica … Continue reading

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RIP Ryu Asada, Hot Wheels designer, 1978—2021

Ryu Asada, beloved designer of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, has passed away after a hard-fought battle with cancer. He was 42 years old. Ryu was immensely talented and instrumental in bringing a multitude of well-loved cars to the Hot … Continue reading

Posted in Legends, minicars | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

Toyota South Africa is officially restoring a 2000GT

Toyota of South Africa has officially started restoration of a 2000GT. Only 351 hand-made examples were built, inclusive of pre-production models, and of those just three were originally destined for South Africa. The subsidiary calls it a complete nut and … Continue reading

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VIDEO: A virtual tour of Toyota’s Motorsports Biography exhibit

The Toyota Automobile Museum’s excellent “Toyota Motorsport Biography: Everlasting Challenge Spirit” exhibit is scheduled to end on April 11. Sadly, travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have prevented most overseas travelers from seeing it in person. However, the museum … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the rarest “normal” JNC you’ve spotted in the wild?

When we are out our radars are usually tuned to rare JNC sightings (much to the annoyance of our spouses). Of course it’s incredible when you see a 2000GT in morning rush hour traffic, but a once-common-now-rare car in good … Continue reading

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Behind the scenes of Honda’s Civic World exhibit

The Civic World special exhibit is still going on at the Honda Collection Hall in Japan right now, and Honda has released a video showing some of the set up that went into the display. It looks like a fantastic … Continue reading

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Nissan is remaking more R32 Skyline GT-R parts using state-of-the-art tech

Nissan has announced that its adding more body panels to its Skyline GT-R Heritage Parts program, including the rear panel for the R32. Of course, many of these parts have been out of production for decades, and it’s no easy … Continue reading

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TUNE UP: FJ62 Land Cruiser stars in Aly & AJ’s “Pretty Places” music video

Have you ever noticed that in music videos and commercials, especially ones that feature cross-country road trips, the cars of choice are almost always some big American boat? It’s true there’s a certain romance associated with a classic droptop, but … Continue reading

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