Author Archives: Ben Hsu

VIDEO: A British-built Acura Legend just wasn’t the same

In 1987 the Austin Rover Group embarked on an interesting experiment. They would sell Acura Legend-based luxury sedans with Honda guts. Everything else would be developed in-house, and the result would be unleashed on an unsuspecting American public as the … Continue reading

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Suzuki surpasses milestone of 25 million kei cars sold

It’s taken 65 years and 7 months, but Suzuki announced on May 11 that it has sold 25 million kei cars. That’s not a huge number compared to, say, the Toyota Corolla, which has sold over 44 million of a … Continue reading

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Mitsubishi Motors announces Ralliart revival

Japanese companies are in the midst of releasing their fiscal year financial reports right now. These are typically pretty boring investor briefs, but on May 11 Mitsubishi Motors divulged an interesting tidbit in theirs — that it plans to revive … Continue reading

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Toyota’s Megaweb garage takes in an MZ11 Soarer

After thoroughly restoring two iconic Nissans, the restoration pit at the Toyota’s MegaWeb showroom in Tokyo has finally taken in a car from the home team. The car in question is an 1981 Toyota Soarer 2800GT, resplendent in a two-tone … Continue reading

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QotW: Are JNC prices getting out of control?

We’ve seen JNC prices on the rise for several years now, but within the past year or two there’s been an even sharper uptick. Celica Liftbacks are selling for $62,000. Datsun 240Zs are selling for over $100,000. An AE86 Corolla … Continue reading

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Mitsubishi UK’s auction breaks world record for Lancer Evolution sale

We were saddened last month to learn that Mitsubishi UK was selling off its entire heritage fleet, a result of the company pulling out of the UK market altogether. Some of its cars had been part of the collection for … Continue reading

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QotW: What would you do if you were Akio Toyoda?

Today is Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s 65th birthday. So, first of all, happy birthday, Toyoda-san! It’s a notable age, because in the US it was once the traditional age at which one receives a gold watch and rides off into … Continue reading

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Nissan is restoring the beloved Y31 Cima of actress Kazue Itoh

Last October Japanese actress Kazue Itoh caused a bit of a stir among her fans when she posted a photo of her car on Instagram. They were surprised to see the star driving a 30-year-old Nissan Cima that she’s owned … Continue reading

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The Toyota Crown Vellfire minivan is slightly less insulting than the Crown SUV

We’ve been very concerned with the Toyota Crown recently. It has been rough times for the nearly 70-year history of Japan’s staple sedan. We recently learned that, at the Shanghai Auto Show, Toyota debuted the Crown Kluger SUV, a lightly … Continue reading

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QotW: How do you feel about car investors and flippers?

Japanese cars have been rising sharply in price in recent years and that’s attracted all kinds of buyers. That includes those who make a hobby (or living) out of finding nice examples and selling them for profit. On the one … Continue reading

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EVENTS: Ryu Asada Memorial Drive and Fundraiser

Ryu Asada was loved. By his family, by his friends, by his colleagues, and by the 200 people that showed up with a week’s notice to celebrate his life. The venerated Hot Wheels and Matchbox designer was taken from all … Continue reading

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Isuzu once made a J-body with a ceramic diesel hybrid engine for the Tokyo Motor Show

Every Earth Day we highlight a hybrid or alternative fuel concept car from Japan’s past. Back in 1985, long before the Prius was a twinkle in Toyota’s eye, Isuzu revealed a hybrid compact sedan at the Tokyo Motor Show. The … Continue reading

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Transformers to release an updated, more realistic Honda City robot

The character named Skids was not a very memorable one from the original Transformers lineup. We honestly can’t remember anything he did in the cartoon series. But, he was a Honda City hatchback in car mode, something we didn’t really … Continue reading

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The Toyota Crown Kluger SUV is here to replace the Crown sedan

Last year, we learned that 2021 would be final year of the Toyota Crown. The staple of Japan’s streets would, after over six decades of continuous production, come to an end due to lagging sedan sales. Its replacement is not … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your favorite Honda design?

We just spent the weekend honoring one of the great designers of the automotive industry. Our question this week was inspired by Ryu Asada’s love for Hondas. Of course, Hondas are known for their excellent handling, but what if we … Continue reading

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Mitsubishi’s Dakar-conquering Pajero and the mods it took to win

Like most carmaker headquarters buildings in Japan, Mitsubishi Motors’ in Tokyo has a small display area, gift shop, and coffee stand in the lobby. Typically, they display whatever new cars the company has on offer (or nothing at all if … Continue reading

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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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