Author Archives: Ben Hsu

QotW: What would your dream garage build include?

We’ve asked about dream garages filled with your most wanted cars, but not about the garage itself. What kind of home with your cars live in? We’re not talking a Jay Leno-style museum for 100 cars, but something more reasonable. … Continue reading

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Will Nissan’s 80s retro-futuristic roadster be the first fun-to-drive EV?

The Nissan Max-Out concept doesn’t take any cues from previous Nissan models, but it’s aesthetic is decidedly retro. There’s a lot of 80s contour grid patterns and neon colors, and the entire presentation evokes an Out Run-type video game that … Continue reading

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At least the Mazda Miata will be forever

Mazda’s all-SUV lineup might be demoralizing to some, but there is hope. They still make the Miata and, according to Mazda execs, the Miata will exist as long as the company does. It may not always have four cylinders or … Continue reading

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Mazda CX-90: How Mazda laid out the roadmap for a glorious enthusiasts’ future, then threw it away

Many years ago a little bird at Mazda told us that the firm was working on a rear-wheel-drive sedan to be powered by a straight-six. We were stoked. On paper it was the ideal configuration — an inherently balanced engine … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your favorite JNC shout-out in a song lyric?

The Mazda MPV made its Japanese debut on January 30, 1990. Eagle-eyed observers might note that this date is two years after it debuted in the U.S. With available seating for 8 and 4WD, it was a unique conscription into … Continue reading

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Akio Toyoda steps down as president and CEO: His legacy at Toyota and his successor

It is often said that Akio Toyoda likes surprises. The Toyota president and CEO is fond of racing, and is one of the few corporate leaders who will eagerly don a helmet and climb behind the wheel of his company’s … Continue reading

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Toyota Land Cruiser 70 might get re-released in Japan

One of the rumors coming from the Tokyo Auto Salon is that the Land Cruiser 70-series might, once again, get a re-release in Japan. Though the workhorse is still being sold in Australia and some areas of South America, it … Continue reading

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QotW: How do you scratch your car itch in the dead of winter?

It’s been a tough winter for much of the country and with weather reports predicting another snowstorm in the northeast, it doesn’t seem like it’s letting up any time soon. That means icy highways, weather too frigid to spend any … Continue reading

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Nissan Z’s customized nose from Tokyo Auto Salon is greenlit for production

From the Tokyo Auto Salon comes some good news for fans of the new Z. Nissan showed again an orange concept based on the Fairlady Z Customized Proto from last year with minor tweaks. That’s because the split nose, which … Continue reading

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Mazda announces specs of inline-6 that will be completely wasted on SUVs

Mazda has spilled the specs on what should have been its last hurrah for internal combustion engines, the 3.3-liter turbo inline-6. Imagine, a straight-six brought to you by the same wacky dreamers that willed the rotary engine into a production … Continue reading

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Toyota AE86 Hydrogen and EV conversions will let enthusiasts enjoy older cars for decades to come, says CEO

The rumors we reported on were true. At the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon Toyota did indeed unveil two AE86s converted to run on alternative energy. A flip-up headlight Sprinter Trueno was converted to hydrogen power, and a fixed-headlight Corolla Levin … Continue reading

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QotW: How do you get bad smells out of your car?

The question this week is a personal one. Of the many traumatic things that happened after my AE86 got stolen (and recovered) is the fact that the entire car now smells like smoke. I’ve owned the car for 20 years … Continue reading

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Toyota Land Cruiser 70 and 80 added to Heritage Parts program, taking requests for FJ60

From the Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota has announced that the Land Cruiser J70 and J80 have been added to their Heritage Parts Program. Additionally, Toyota is taking requests for the FJ60 and has added a slew of new items to … Continue reading

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2024 Nissan GT-R gets retro R34-inspired face and color palette

Unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the 2024 Nissan GT-R adds a surprise late-in-the-lifespan facelift to Nissan’s supercar slayer. Those familiar with the R35’s Skyline predecessors will immediately recognize its lineage. Along with the visual throwback it also brings back … Continue reading

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Toyota may reveal electric or hydrogen-powered AE86

As the industry shifts to alternative fuels and some cities consider the ban of gasoline cars altogether, how will enthusiasts enjoy their classic cars? Some automakers, like Mini and Aston Martin, are working on electric motor conversion kits for their … Continue reading

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The Rays Vesta Eins Glacé “Strawberry” is the ultimate JDM fashion wheel

Today is Strawberry Day in Japan. The Japanese word for strawberry is ichigo, but as it happens, the Japanese pronunciation for the number one is ichi and the pronunciation for the number five is go. So “one-five” becomes “ichi–go” and … Continue reading

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Mitsubishi Ralliart’s video history still gets our blood pumping

“The desire to elevate motorsports to the realm of art.” That is what Mitsubishi says the name Ralliart is meant to evoke. For decades, it was the banner under which the Triple Diamonds raced. And even though the revived Ralliart … Continue reading

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Nissan Z crossover is hopefully not a sign of things to come

Sorry to start the year with this, but a Nissan Z crossover is apparently scheduled to appear at the Tokyo Auto Salon. Called the Nissan Fairlady X (the letter “X” for “cross”), the car is being built by students at … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your automotive New Year’s resolution?

I’ve been pretty depressed since my 1986 Toyota Corolla GT-S was stolen. I’m glad I got it back, but there were some rare parts broken that I fear I’ll never be able to fix or replace. I’ll get into all … Continue reading

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Classic Toyota Land Cruiser merged with J70 chassis is the ultimate FJ40 restomod

With enthusiasm for classic Land Cruisers at an all time high, it was only a matter of time before Toyota itself got in on the resto-mod craze. For the upcoming Tokyo Auto Salon, they’ve Frankensteined a classic FJ40 with a … Continue reading

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