Author Archives: Ben Hsu

VIDEO: Fun facts about classic Mazdas, depending on your definition of fun

Mazda UK has released a series of videos issuing “fun facts” about classic Mazdas. To be honest, it’s a bit of a stretch to call these facts “fun” unless you find scintillating tidbits such as “Mazda first used the 929 … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The hand-built 117 Coupé was easier for the Isuzu Museum to restore than a lowly pickup

The most heralded passenger car from Isuzu’s portfolio of classics is the 117 Coupé.Marketed as a flagship luxury GT, it was very much an image car intended to put Isuzu on the map against the Toyotas and Princes of 1960s … Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: The Raybrig livery finished its final race before retirement in a jaw-dropping blaze of glory

For nearly 25 years, the Raybrig NSX has been a fixture in the Japan Grand Touring Championships. In the JGTC heyday, the striking blue racing machine was one of the most recognizable on the track. Over the weekend, however, the … Continue reading

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MINICARS: How to turn a Hot Wheels Nissan Skyline into a kaido racer

There’s a whole subculture of customized Hot Wheels and, as it happens, an ever-growing list of Japanese castings. That gives ample opportunity to create something cool from Japan’s rich car culture, like this Kenmeri Skyline kaido racer. It’s hard to … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Nissan Z Proto designers talk about what inspired them

The Nissan Z Proto’s design leads, Executive Design Director Satoru Tai and Senior VP of Global Design Alfonso Albaisa, both have a strong love for Z-cars and worked on past Z generations. Tai said he in fact wanted to be … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Isuzu Rodeo was cheap but cool

If you were a teenager in the late 80s or early 90s, wanting an Isuzu more than anything in the world was not an odd thing. Dealerships were lined with sleek Impulses and colorful Amigos. The coolest kid in my high … Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC things are you thankful for this year?

It’s almost Thanksgiving in a crazy, tumultuous, and strange year. But if there’s one thing that can keep us sane, it’s our JNCs. Cars have no idea what ails the world. The friends we make, the experiences we have, and … Continue reading

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The Mazda 3 Turbo, a true sport compact for those who love driving

Cars, as we know them, are dying. Even if the switch to autonomous driving doesn’t kill them, the buying public’s insatiable appetite for crossovers will. In the waning days of the automobile, though, there is one company that still gets … Continue reading

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Toyota will drown 65 years of history and tradition in a shallow bathtub by discontinuing the Crown sedan

It’s been a hard year and we’re so close to the finish line. Before it leaves us, though, 2020 is going to deliver one last sucker punch to the gut. The Chunichi Shimbun newspaper reports that Toyota will kill off … Continue reading

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This is the second-generation Subaru BRZ

The first Subaru BRZ was a lightweight, compact, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe in an age that saw consumers abandon, in droves, fun-to-drive cars for enormous crossovers. In other words, it was practically destined to be a single-generation flash of automotive history. … Continue reading

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The Toyota Automobile Museum has opened a “Motorsport Biography” exhibit

“A harsh environment of competition toughens our people and cars,” said Toyota Motor founder Kiichiro Toyoda once said. It’s a quote framing the Toyota Automobile Museum in Aichi, Japan’s newly opened an exhibit highlighting some of the company’s historic race … Continue reading

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MINICARS: The classic Tomica Building playset updated and re-released for 50th anniversary

Originally released in 1971, the Tomica Building was one of the most popular and iconic playsets from the diecast company’s early years. The palm-sized diecast cars that had debuted in 1970 had turned out to be a big success, so … Continue reading

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NEWS: Nissan may sell its stake in Mitsubishi Motors

It seemed like just yesterday that Nissan took a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors. Now, some insiders are saying that it’s looking to abandon the project like a crank-walked Eclipse. It’s no secret that Nissan is hemorrhaging cash, a one-two … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your favorite JNC fast food story?

Today, November 16, is National Fast Food Day. While I generally try to avoid the stuff for health reasons, there’s one situation where I give myself á la carte blanche: road trips. Whether it’s picking up a Craigslist score, cannonballing … Continue reading

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Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia is restoring a ruined 2000GT

Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia recently announced they are undertaking a tremendous project: restoring what might be the country’s only 2000GT. The car was stuffed in a garage for 40 years, surrounded by junk, but it had been ruined long before … Continue reading

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Chief engineers of Mazda Miata, R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R inducted into Japan Automotive Hall of Fame

In addition to cars, the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame also honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the country’s motoring culture. For 2020 three people were inducted: Toshihiko Hirai, chief engineer of the original NA Mazda Roadster; Naganori … Continue reading

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Japan’s Automotive Hall of Fame inductees for 2020 include the Suzuki Jimny, Honda RA272

Each year the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame choose three classic automobiles of historic significance to honor, and they’ve announced their inductees for 2020. More so than in past years, the trio covers extreme opposite ends of the vehicular spectrum. … Continue reading

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NEWS: The next Subaru BRZ isn’t coming to Europe

If a new report out of Europe is correct, Subaru won’t be bringing the second-gen BRZ to that market. That would make the 100-run Final Edition launched in Germany earlier this year truly final. Furthermore, according to Autocar, the BRZ … Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC van should star in a Japanese A-Team reboot?

In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a court even Nissan’s CEO didn’t want to face for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Tokyo underground. Today, … Continue reading

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EF Honda Civic-driving idiot tries to run from police

One of my guilty pleasures is watching dashcam and police chase videos. It’s rare though that the subject of the pursuit is one of our own. And by one of our own I mean the enthusiast of an old Japanese … Continue reading

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