Author Archives: Ben Hsu

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 … 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 … 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 … 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 … Continue reading

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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 … 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 … Continue reading

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1969 Toyota Corolla driven 350,000 miles by original owner heads to museum

In 1969 Shougo Asada, 24 years old at the time, bought his first car. a KE10 Toyota Corolla. Now he’s 77 and still driving that same Corolla. Under Asada-san’s care, the car has traveled 563,632 km, or 350,225 miles. But … Continue reading

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Toyota MegaWeb showroom demolished; to be replaced with sports arena

Yesterday, August 31, was the final day for the Daikanransha, the 377-foot ferris wheel that was one of the many attractions by Toyota’s MegaWeb showroom. When it opened in headier times in 1999, it was the tallest ferris wheel in … Continue reading

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This 1960 Toyopet Crown Custom Sports is the only known survivor from Japan’s first coachbuilder

The Toyota Automobile Museum has shared some images of one of the rarest and most seldom seen cars from its collection, the 1960 Toyopet Crown Custom Sports. The hand-built car was the first attempt at a coach-built car from Japan. … Continue reading

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NISMO reproduces Silvia S15 and Skyline R34 gauge clusters

NISMO has begun selling reproduction gauge clusters for the Silvia S15, Skyline R34, and Skyline GT-R BNR34 models. Note that these are not the OEM Nissan units, but actual NISMO aftermarket ones that would have been in-period upgrades for these … Continue reading

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QotW: If you could only drive cars from one marque, what would it be?

If car companies had their way, every buyer would be a return customer. Start your automotive life with a Tercel, move up to a nicer Corolla at your first job, get a Camry when your family expands, and arrive in … Continue reading

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Tetsu Ikuzawa’s 1967 Japan Grand Prix-winning 906 gets factory homage from Porsche

No, you haven’t mistakenly clicked on German Nostalgic Car (no relation). Granted, this isn’t the type of car we normally cover, but it’s too cool not to share. Porsche Japan has created a one-off factory custom tribute to Tetsu Ikuzawa’s … Continue reading

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New California laws will mean stricter smog tests, phase-out of gasoline cars by 2035

The strictest state in the union in terms of emissions and fuel economy is about to put the hammer down on gasoline cars. Two laws introduced in California this week will crack down on emissions cheats and fossil fuels. It’s … Continue reading

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Honda has been quietly reproducing parts for the 1988-99 Acty Truck

In recent years Japanese automakers have been remaking genuine parts for many of their most popular discontinued models. Thus far, such programs have been for sports cars and enthusiasts’ models. However, Honda has also been quietly reproducing parts for the … Continue reading

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Japan’s motorsports history unfolds at Suzuka Circuit in the 1960s

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Suzuka Circuit. Japan’s first full-scale race track. It was the brain child of Soichiro Honda, who so fervently believed in racing as a means to improve his motorcycles and cars, he carved out … Continue reading

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The Nissan Z configurator is now online, so this is how we’d build one

After what feels like eons of waiting, the time has finally come when you can get a new Z. Nissan has just launched its online configurator, prompting us to wonder how we would build a new Z. When a JNC … Continue reading

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How good are you at Japan’s Car Meister Test?

Can you correctly answer 100 questions about cars in one hour? If so, you might have what it takes to pass Japan’s Car Meister Test. Since 2014, the Japan Meister Test Association has held exams to see who qualifies as … Continue reading

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QotW: What is the best engineered Toyota?

In 1985 Japan’s Patent Office named the country’s 10 greatest inventors. As it turns out, a full six out of the ten came from Japan’s central region. The most famous among them, at least to automotive enthusiasts, was Sakichi Toyoda, … Continue reading

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Which Toyota Crown is the real Toyota Crown?

After much consternation and speculation the 16th-generation Crown was launched earlier this month, and to be honest we are still vexed. The Crown Crossover is, to us, such an affront to nearly 70 years of tradition that we can’t stop … Continue reading

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Initial D taxis are here to take you around Takumi’s hometown

The city of Shibukawa, Gunma is promoting itself as the home town of Initial D protagonist Takumi Fujiwara. The real-life town is where all the action of the series began, and even now, 27 years after its debut, fans of … Continue reading

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