Author Archives: Ben Hsu

QotW: What’s the best inexpensive Japanese off-roader?

Recently we saw some laudable off-roading conducted by an unexpectedly capable 1978 Subaru station wagon. That has made us yearn for a truck that we can take into the wilderness without worry. To make this question more challenging, let’s add … Continue reading

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Here’s a GT-R50 Kenmeri Skyline homage in the proper colors

Earlier this week Nissan released images of the first production GT-R50. It featured a subtle tribute to the Kenmeri Skyline GT-R show car from the 1972 Tokyo Motor Show — one that was in fact too subtle for some. So … Continue reading

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You can now drive the Mazda RX-Vision… in Gran Turismo

One of the most stunning concept cars of the last decade has been the Mazda RX-Vision. No one has been able too drive the supposedly rotary-powered sports car, but that’s about to change — at least in the virtual world … Continue reading

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The first Nissan GT-R 50 pays homage to the Kenmeri Skyline

Nissan has released images of the first production Nissan GT-R50. Part of the extremely exclusive supercar’s $1.1 million price tag stems from the fact that each one features a hand-made body by Italdesign. It may be an exorbitant expense, perhaps, … Continue reading

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PSA: Stop using these Harbor Freight jack stands immediately

Ah, Harbor Freight. It’s like the McDonald’s of tool stores. You know it’s probably not good for you, but when you’re working hard and need a quick fix so you can get on with your project, their easy access and … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Mazda racing liveries, animated

Mazda UK has released a new video called “Our Greatest Motorsport Liveries” to honor its 100th Anniversary.  The short animated movie goes through several of the company’s famous racing colorways, varying from the Group B RX-7 to the renowned (ha!) … Continue reading

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DESIGN: A modern Honda roadster inspired by the Beat and RA272

Honda has come out with a new electric vehicle, a small, rear-wheel-drive electric hatchback called simply the Honda e. We have to admit the production version, while a good car, was a bit of a visual letdown after the fabulously … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Kawaramachi-Sanjo, Kyoto, 1972

Kawaramachi-Sanjo, a shopping and nightlife district just northeast of the historic Gion section of Kyoto, was a lively spot after the sun went down. Sharp cars would cruise down Kawaramachi street, past a Fujiya Grill. On this particular 1972 evening, … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your favorite automotive museum experience?

Today is International Museum Day, and even though must museums are still temporarily closed due to the coronavirus, they are destinations of wonder, learning, and preservation. Needless to say, we are particularly fond of car museums, whether they are official … Continue reading

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NEWS: Nissan will axe the Datsun brand… again

Reports are circulating that Nissan will soon undergo a massive restructuring plan and on the chopping block is the Datsun, revived in 2013 as a low-cost brand in developing countries. It was one of former CEO Carlos Ghosn’s crowning achievements … Continue reading

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ART CORNER: Learn how to color like concept car artists, courtesy of Nissan

Have you ever wanted to draw cars like professional designers? Specifically, using color to light the car so it jumps off two-dimensional paper like a proper three-dimensional object? To help kids (and adults) deal with more coronavirus quarantine time, Nissan … Continue reading

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Check out how a 1978 Subaru wagon stacks up to a new Outback off road

Subaru is synonymous with all-wheel-drive nowadays, but that wasn’t always the case. The first-generation Leone, as it was called in Japan established a Legacy (ha!) when it was offered straight from the factory with four-wheel-drive as a production model. In … Continue reading

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The iconic Mitsubishi Fuso K201 fire engine is all but extinct

I have recently become obsessed with an iconic Japanese fire engine that is seemingly all but extinct. The Mitsubishi Fuso K201 was one of those big, ridiculous looking machines that makes kids go wide-eyed. It looked at once futuristic and … Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Peko-chan looms large over Ginza, circa 1964

Four hundred years ago, Sukiyabashi was a bridge crossing the outermost moat of Edo Castle, which separating nobles and samurai from ordinary townsfolk. Post-war, it became one of the two main intersections in Tokyo’s ritzy Ginza shopping district. In 1964, … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your favorite tire?

On May 11, 1947, the patent for the tubeless tire was issued to BF Goodrich, ushering in a new age of wheeling. Nowadays, it can be hard finding the right sized rubber doughnut for many classics here in the US. … Continue reading

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VIDEO: An all-rotary episode of Option Video

The Japanese tuning series Option Video has just posted an all-rotary episode. In it, host Daijiro Inada assembles a group of cars that showcase the progression of rotary engine-equipped Mazdas, starting with a Cosmo Sport. Accompanying him in what seems … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Travel through time with these defining moments in Mazda’s 100-year history

As you may have heard, Mazda is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020, and they have created a little video showcasing the company’s “defining moments”. It’s short, but cleverly blends archival footage with modern, to give the impression that you … Continue reading

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ART CORNER: Here’s your classic Toyota papercraft

If you’ve ever visited the Toyota Automobile Museum, you may be familiar with the exclusive papercraft they give away at the info desk. It changes every so often, so you’ll never get the same one twice. Well, the museum has … Continue reading

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Next-gen Nissan “480Z” and design detail rumors

More dispatches about the next Nissan Z are coming through the grapevine. The latest is that the Z35 will spawn a high-performance version called the 480Z, and the number will refer not to the engine displacement, but its power output. … Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Watch these old Nissans dominate Fuji Speedway

If you’ve ever wondered why Nissan has such a strong following among Japanese enthusiasts, this video snapshot from 1970-71 explains it all. Nissans of all types dominate the field in two major races from those years. Though this was likely … Continue reading

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