Author Archives: Ben Hsu

The 1983 Nissan NX-21 concept was dead wrong about 21st century cars

At the 1983 Tokyo Motor Show the star of Nissan’s booth was a prediction of what an 21st century sedan might look like. Its hopes were right there in the experimental saloon’s name, the Nissan NX-21. As we know now … Continue reading

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A Toyota Celica takes on 1970s sports coupes plus a Daihatsu Taft in Hong Kong’s ‘No U-Turn’

The 1981 film No U-Turn is a car-centric romp with an 8-minute illegal race as its centerpiece action sequence. In it, an orange A20 Toyota Celica races a “who’s who” lineup of performance cars of the era, including a BMW … Continue reading

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This 1973 Datsun promo video makes us want to travel back in time

Created to introduce its audience to the Datsun brand, a 1973 Datsun promotional video serves up loads of drool-worthy imagery. The 20-minute short film presents a primer on Nissan history dating back to the 1930s before going behind the scenes … Continue reading

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This Lincoln Continental Mark IV kaido racer makes every day Independence Day

One of the most shocking kaido racers ever built recently stepped onto the scene in Japan. Instead of the typical Nissan or Toyota base car, it uses a 1973 Lincoln Continental Mark IV as its foundation. Though Tokyo streets can … Continue reading

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A Hakosuka Skyline gets obliterated in ‘Did the Red Bird Escape?’

The 1973 film Akai Tori ni Geta? (Did the Red Bird Escape?) was an avant garde work that differed vastly from Japan’s typical crime dramas. Rather than heroic cops taking down bad guys, it was a tragedy about aimless youth … Continue reading

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Nissan’s next restoration will be a Z31 Fairlady Z NISMO rally car

With the restoration of its WRC Pulsar GTI-R complete, the next project Nissan will tackle is a third-generation Fairlady Z rally car. The Z31 claimed the All-Japan Rally’s 1985 championship, despite missing the first two races of the season. The … Continue reading

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Flying Mitsubishi police cars chase a Mazda Grand Familia in one of Japan’s worst cop shows

The wild success of Seibu Keisatsu spawned a lot of similar cop shows. In Novemberr 1980 one short-lived series titled Hashire Nekketsukeiji (translated literally as “Run, Spirited Detective!”) followed the same format: police in the big city, hard luck stories, … Continue reading

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The FC Mazda RX-7 Convertible was the Miata before the Miata

When the Mazda Miata debuted in 1989 it was heralded as a rebirth of the once-common British-style roadster. But Mazda may have already been attempting to resurrect that segment before the MX-5’s arrival. The FC Mazda RX-7 Convertible was described … Continue reading

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Kamen Rider’s Ridoron had mandibles and a top speed of 932 mph — Guess the Tokusatsu Car!

Y’all thought you were so smart figuring out that Inazuman’s Raijingo was an Isuzu Bellett based on the shape of the windshield frame? Good luck guessing what car lies beneath the Ridoron, the vehicle from 1988’s 47-episode Kamen Rider Black … Continue reading

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‘Toyota’s Child’ is a novel in which Akio Toyoda time travels to meet his grandfather

A new book about Akio Toyoda has been published in Japan, but it’s not your typical biography. Eri Yoshikawa’s Toyota no Ko, which translates to “Toyota’s Child”, is a science fiction novel in which the current Toyota chairman travels back … Continue reading

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Suzuki Cappuccino may be revived by Toyota, which will continue sports car partnerships

Toyota might be single-handedly responsible for reviving Japan’s sports car market, if a whirlwind of rumors prove true. The latest says that Suzuki is working on resurrecting the legendary Cappuccino with Toyota’s assistance. The car might even spawn two other … Continue reading

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Nissan Z Heritage Edition lands stateside to mark 55th anniversary of the Z-Car

The rumors were right. Nissan is celebrating 55 years of the iconic Z by bringing Japan’s much-praised Customized Edition to America. Inspired by the S30 Fairlady Z and Datsun 240Z, the 2024 Nissan Z Heritage Edition adds several styling cues … Continue reading

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Akio Toyoda is so badass he flipped a GR Yaris rally car

When Chairman Akio Toyoda spoke recently at the opening of Toyota’s new R&D center, he did it standing before a wrecked GR Yaris rally car. It was one he overturned himself while hot-shoeing it at the newly built Shimoyama Technical … Continue reading

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Kujira Crown gets painfully shot up and crashed in ‘Alice in Borderland’ car chase with Nissan President

The fourth-generation Toyota Crown is a rare car, even in Japan, which makes its destruction particularly agonizing to watch. In a car chase from the Netflix Japan series Alice in Borderland, a gunman in a 250 Nissan President gives chase … Continue reading

Posted in Film/TV | 6 Comments

This 1986 Mazda 626 GT review is surprisingly similar to that of modern Mazdas

It’s almost eerie, but Motorweek‘s review of the 1986 626 GT could be describing a modern Mazda. Take out the prices and horsepower figures and you can basically copy/paste the parts about how it handles and feels into any Mazda … Continue reading

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Inazuman’s Raijingo flew at Mach 3 and had a mouth — Guess the Tokusatsu Car

The 1973 series Inazuman featured one of the most memorable cars in tokusatsu history. Called the Raijingo, the convertible sports car had a reptilian mouth from which it could fire missiles. But perhaps more impressively, it could transform into a … Continue reading

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Get 33% off your Toyotafest admission with this coupon code

The 2024 All-Toyotafest will is this Saturday, June 8. General admission is $15, but be sure to use coupon code JNCFAN to get $5 off. Also, please stop by the JNC booth to meet former international editor of Road & … Continue reading

Posted in Reminder | Tagged | 1 Comment

QotW: What’s the best ‘Gran Turismo’ setup?

Last week’s Gran Turismo 7 update brought back a lot of memories. Some of us have played the latest and greatest, but the last GT game I really played religiously was Gran Turismo 4, simply due to the sheer number … Continue reading

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Mazda developing dual-rotor engine as partners Subaru and Toyota commit to boxers and inline-fours

This week Toyota, Subaru, and Mazda jointly announced that they were teaming up to develop Japan’s next generation of combustion engines. Each company would specialize in the iconic engines that built their brands while striving toward carbon neutrality. Toyota would … Continue reading

Posted in News | 7 Comments

Reebok Skyline GT-R wins 1991’s Japan Touring Car Championship

Nissan has released a video of the 1991 All-Japan Touringcar Championships, the sophomore year of the R32 Skyline GT-Rs domination. The R32 had proven itself as a force to be reckoned with the previous year, so there were no less … Continue reading

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