Author Archives: Ben Hsu

Toyota Corolla celebrates 50 millionth sold with manga series

This year marked a milestone for the unassuming Toyota Corolla. The bestselling nameplate in history sold over 50 million units. In Japan, Toyota celebrated by releasing a trio of special edition cars and a series of Corolla-oriented comic strips that … Continue reading

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Toyota’s MegaWeb showroom in Tokyo is closing so here’s a video tour of the History Garage

This will be the last week you’ll ever get to visit Toyota’s sprawling MegaWeb gallery in Tokyo. It will close for good on December 31, 2021, after 22 years. That includes not only the main showroom of new cars, but … Continue reading

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QotW: What automotive heartaches are you most eager to forget?

At year’s end, the Japanese tradition of bonenkai takes place. These “forget the year parties” are held to drink away the heartaches of the previous 365 days and hope for better luck the next time ’round the sun. For me … Continue reading

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Mazda Roadster-driving Santas bring joy to kids in Japan

The Mazda Roadster Club of Japan recently held their annual end-of-year Santa Drive. The event sees owners of Mazda Roadsters decorate their cars in tinsel and dress up as Santa for charity, bringing some joy to disadvantaged kids by letting … Continue reading

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Shunji Tanaka, Mazda Miata chief designer, 1946 – 2021

Shunji Tanaka, chief designer of the original Mazda Roadster/Miata, has died. He passed away at the age of 75 on December 12 at, according to a close friend and member of a Japan Roadster Club, who posted the news over … Continue reading

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My wife’s Hakosuka Skyline races for JNC glory in the world of diecast motorsports

When we started racing with YouTube’s premiere diecast motorsports league, we had no idea it would come to this. My wife Carrie took the JNC team trophy, after ruthlessly decimating every writer on the staff and also our own two-year-old … Continue reading

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QotW: What are you asking Japanese Santa Claus for this year?

It’s a well known fact that Japanese Santa Claus, a magical yokozuna in a red and white yukata, travels all over the world to in a flying Hino Ranger dekotora to bring those on his “nice” list. You can ask … Continue reading

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Nissan T12 Bluebird becomes 80s retro-electric “Newbird”

Eighties culture and fashion is, like, so rad these days. Nissan has gotten in on the fun by 80s-fying a T12 Nissan Bluebird — what we would have called a Stanza 5-door in the US — with a modern powertrain. … Continue reading

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Suzuki Samurai, Mazda RX-7 are classics to watch for 2022, says Hagerty

Hagerty Insurance has come out with their list of top ten classics to watch in 2022. The list is a reflection of how many customers ask for classic car insurance quotes for a particular model, with a focus more on … Continue reading

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The Lexus Electrified Sports concept sure looks like the stunning Mazda RX-Vision

Akio Toyoda surprised the world with a mega press conference yesterday, announcing Toyota’s plans for electrification. He showed no less than 16 concept cars in dramatic fashion, talking about a packed lineup of five before dropping the false wall behind … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Impreza 2.5 RS proved Americans could accept a sporty Subaru

It’s kind of hard to imagine, but even back in 1998 the idea of a sporty Subaru was still pretty foreign to most Americans. Its most well-known US model was the Brat, and the marque was known mostly for utilitarian … Continue reading

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Honda leaves Formula One with bittersweet championship win

The 2021 Formula One season concluded over the weekend. That means it was Honda’s final F1 race in an on-again, off-again factory effort that spanned over half a century. This time, though it seems fairly certain that the exit will … Continue reading

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QotW: What made you fall in love with cars?

We all had to start somewhere. Whether it was toy cars, books and magazines, or just a relative that had good taste, our passion for cars probably came at a pretty early age. We’ve asked about your love for Japanese … Continue reading

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The 1984 Plymouth Colt GTS Turbo Twin-Stick gets glowing review, some 40 years after its debut

It only took 37 years, but the 1984 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo is finally getting its due. Back in the day the captive import, sold here as the Plymouth Colt GTS Turbo, was not given a ton of respect. Sure, it … Continue reading

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NISMO’s $430,000 restored R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R: what it’s like to drive one

The R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R is already a car that few people outside of Japan get to drive. Even fewer will ever ever sit behind the wheel of one of NISMO’s $430,000 factory-restored R32 Nissan Skyline GT-Rs. The program takes … Continue reading

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Suzuki-Toyota-Daihatsu mid-engine sports car rumored to be under development

There’s a rumor coming out of Japan that a new mid-engine sports car is being jointly developed by Suzuki, Toyota, and Daihatsu. If true — and that’s skyscraper-sized if — it could kill two birds with one stone for Toyota. … Continue reading

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The Nissan Cima of actress Kazue Itoh has been factory restored

Just over a year ago, Japanese actress Kazue Itoh made headlines when she revealed that she was still driving a decades-old Nissan Cima that she’d owned since new. After she noted some of its imperfections on social media, her fans … Continue reading

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New Nissan Z GT500 race car launch brings out the legends

Nissan has announced its newest car for the 2022 SuperGT season, and it’s no surprise that it will be based on the new Nissan Z. For the last 15 years the GT-R has been Nissan’s fighter in the ring, but … Continue reading

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QotW: Will cars of the 2010s be collectible, and if so, which ones?

The other day we came across a company selling clothing “inspired by” 2010s style. That seems absolutely insane to us, as most of us probably have actual clothing hailing from before that era in our closets. Cars from the 80s … Continue reading

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A 1974 Toyota Celica has sold for $61,000

We don’t need to tell you that the acceptance of Japanese cars as collectible classics is pushing prices to previously unseen heights. Among some makes and models, values of so-so condition cars are shooting past what cream puffs once traded … Continue reading

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