Author Archives: Ben Hsu

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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QotW: How do you encourage a kid who’s just discovering cars?

On a recent visit with some friends that I haven’t seen in years, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the younger of their two kids, now eight years old, is really into cars. His parents aren’t, so he’s been … Continue reading

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How Honda celebrated 50 years of the Civic

Yesterday Honda launched the new Civic Type R, but the occasion was more than just the debut of Honda’s latest FF rocket. Honda also took the opportunity to celebrate the Civic’s 50th birthday with a lineup of multiple body styles … Continue reading

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30 years of Type R, 50 years of Civic converge into Honda’s next masterpiece

It’s been 30 years since a tiny red letter “R” appeared on a Championship White Honda. That car was the 1992 NSX Type R, an even more hard core, light weight, and track focused version of Honda’s already brilliant supercar. … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the last year that had cars which interested you?

If you’re a glass-half-empty type of person, you’re probably not excited about where the automotive industry is headed. Each year that passes, there seems to be fewer and fewer enthusiast cars, and the ones that come out are compromised in … Continue reading

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Toyota Crown sedan lives on as model expands into new segments

Thank the car gods that we were wrong. It turns out that the horrendously ugly Toyota Crown that we’re getting in the US is only one version of the Crown. There’s actually four versions of the car, including a rear-wheel-drive … Continue reading

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Toyota Land Cruiser FJJ restoration gets under way

When we last saw the dilapidated but rare Toyota Land Cruiser FJJ fire engine, it was being hauled from an owner’s driveway to a restoration shop. Turns out, that shop is Shinmei, a company that has been responsible for some … Continue reading

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Honda Civic design sketch gallery traces 50 years of evolution

The Honda Civic debuted on July 11, 1972. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, let’s look back on five decades of design sketches that have helped shape the car. Spanning 11 generations, the illustrations are taken from various stages of development … Continue reading

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JCCS registration open with welcome changes to award structure

The 2022 Japanese Classic Car Show has opened its doors for registration. Now in its 17th year, the show continues to evolve. The biggest change this year is the award categories. There will now be two Best in Show awards, … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your Honda Civic story?

Fifty years ago today, on July 11, 1972, the Honda Civic went on sale. The tiny but mighty compact became synonymous with value, dependability, and the tuner culture of the 90s. It’s a household name to even the least car-aware … Continue reading

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Hasemi Motorsport R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R offers rare chance to own JGTC race car in America

One of the earliest JGTC race cars will hit the auction blocks this August. The final R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R produced by Hasemi Motorsport was built for the 1994 All-Japan Grand Touring Championship season, where it came in second overall … Continue reading

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Toyota 85C back in action at the 2022 Le Mans Classic

Over the weekend the No.36 Toyota 85C raced again at Le Mans after first setting tire to asphalt there in 1985. As Toyota’s first factory entry for the famed 24-hour endurance race, the 85C is a pivotal car for the … Continue reading

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VIDEO: The 1999 Civic Si was peak Honda

Ah, the EM1 Civic Si, a jewel among jewels. The brilliantly engineered performance variant of the humble sixth-generation Civic was peak Honda. When it debuted in 1999, magazine reviews were unanimous in their praise. The Motorweek take could have been … Continue reading

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QotW: What type of car has the best community of owners?

There are some cars you love, but can’t stand the people in their orbit. Then there are other cars that seem to attract owners with whom you can forge life-long friendships. We have friends who own all types of cars, … Continue reading

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1982 Nissan Laurel Givenchy Version welcomed to Nissan Heritage Collection

The family that founded one of Japan’s largest department store chains was doing some spring cleaning recently and stumbled upon an entire car. Not just any car, but an impeccably preserved, one-owner 1982 Nissan Laurel Turbo Medalist Givenchy Version. What’s … Continue reading

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Patent images of Toyota Crown confirm doubts of ultra-loyal sight-unseen buyers

For decades, there has been a particular breed of customer for the Toyota Crown. These buyers were so loyal, dealers could count on them to trade in for each new generation before they had ever laid eyes on the car. … Continue reading

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Pikes Peak Tacoma brought out of retirement for 100th hill climb

Over the weekend the 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb took place. The event was marked by rain and dense fog, conditions that shattered any chance of drivers setting new records. One driver that didn’t need to … Continue reading

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