Author Archives: Steve Chang

QotW: What’s your favorite Japanese car commercial?

Today, August 28, is the 70th anniversary of Japan’s first television broadcast and, thus, it is also the 70th anniversary of Japan’s first television commercial. TV signals began beaming at 11:20 am; the first commercial aired 40 minutes later. It … Continue reading

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Toyota Celica, the first convertible with 4-wheel-steering

Today, August 24, is the birthday of a car that is pretty unique in the annals of automotive history. It’s the day the fifth-generation Toyota Celica Convertible was introduced, a car that most observers don’t think of as being particularly … Continue reading

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Robot Detective‘s Joker — Guess the Car!

If you grew up watching Ultraman or Power Rangers you’ve seen a tokusatsu television series. Meaning “special photography” in Japanese, these action shows for kids usually had a sci-fi theme and used elaborate costumes and primitive live-action special effects to populate … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the worst trend in car culture these days?

Apologies for the late QotW, thanks to a big storm that knocked out power a JNC HQ. It was an annoyance, but not as big an annoyance as the many atrocities committed by car people. We, for one, cannot wait … Continue reading

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Barbie does indeed have some ‘JDM’ cars in her garage

A couple of weeks ago we wondered what “JDM” car Barbie would drive if she wasn’t in a Corvette. Turns out this chick has more cars than Jay Leno. We learned more than we ever wanted to know about her … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your saddest story of saying goodbye to a car?

Today, August 14, is Japan’s official End-of-Life Vehicle Recycling Day. This is because the numbers 8-1-4 can be read ha-i-sha, or “scrapped car”. While Japan is pretty good about recycling disused cars, they’re probably a bit more trigger-happy when it … Continue reading

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Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 or cake?

The “Is it cake?” trend is a couple of years old now, but people still can’t get enough of ultra-realistic desserts. For the launch of the J250 Land Cruiser, Toyota had a 1/10-scale FJ40 cake made to commemorate the occasion. … Continue reading

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Nissan Z haunted by ghosts of Z-cars past on a sleepless night

We’ve seen the formula before. A commercial for the Nissan Z brings out generations of older Z-cars to support the new one. Not a single word is uttered in the whole ad and the narrative couldn’t be simpler. A man … Continue reading

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QotW: What was the most important machine ever invented?

Today is Machinery Day in Japan. The holiday was established by the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers to consider how machines can be created responsibly to benefit society, as well as to spur interest in the field of mechanical engineering. … Continue reading

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Hardest core Toyota Land Cruiser returns to Japan

It’s almost eerie how similar this week’s Toyota’s Land Cruiser launch has mirrored Nissan’s Z NISMO launch. Both made a big splash with the global announcement for an iconic nameplate, both had stylistic nods to heritage, and both then quietly … Continue reading

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QotW: What car would Barbie drive if she went “JDM”?

Ads for Barbie‘s live-action film are everywhere, and her 1956 Corvette seemingly plays a significant part. It makes sense, as the movie has massive GM product placement (the Blazer, Hummer EV, and Suburban also feature heavily). But for her next … Continue reading

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Cutaway Nissan RB30 made out of Lego actually spins

The creativity that people can manage with a pile of plastic bricks never ceases to amaze. The most recent Lego marvel we’ve come across is a completely operational Nissan RB30 engine. Powered by an electric motor, the approximately 1:3 scale … Continue reading

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QotW: What should the next-gen Nissan Skyline really be?

Nissan harshed our mellow last week when it was reported there’s a good chance the next Skyline will become an electric crossover, and not a sedan like it’s been since 1957. It seemed like a sad fate for one of … Continue reading

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Watch this cracked taillight be repaired to like-new condition by a master craftsman

A cracked or broken taillight lens is usually considered something that’s unfixable. When the unfortunate happens, you’re usually off to a junkyard or scouring eBay for a replacement. But what if you’re taillight is so old and rare that replacement … Continue reading

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Nissan Skyline reportedly morphing into electric SUV

A new report out of Japan says that the Nissan Skyline is about to change forms and become — you guessed it — an electric SUV. The popular tuning platform has been a sedan since 1957 (years before Nissan) when … Continue reading

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Mugen celebrates 50th anniversary with Casio watch

In 1973 Mugen was founded to build race and aftermarket parts for Honda motorcycles and cars. Its racing engines, composites, and tuning parts have powered everything from Formula 1 cars to hooptie Civics over the decades. This year marks its … Continue reading

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QotW: What are your favorite cars as emoji?

Today, July 17, is World Emoji Day. The digital pictograms that have proliferated ants were invented in 1999 in Japan. However, the date of July 17 originated from the day Apple launched iCal application in 2002. When emoji were added … Continue reading

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Subaru 22B STi prototype owned by Colin McRae up for auction

Adding a Subaru 22B STi to your garage would already be an accomplishment for any collector. It’s about as close as you can get to a factory WRC rally car and rare to boot. But if having a “normal” 22B … Continue reading

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Nissan is getting ready to throw a 90th anniversary bash

Nissan is about to throw a big birthday party for itself as it readies itself for its 90th birthday. In the coming months, the carmaker will roll out a series of initiatives to celebrate its heritage and DNA. This includes … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your oil change routine for your car(s)?

There’s the old joke about a wrenching noob that goes into an auto parts store to ask for a 710 cap. Well, in Japan they’ve gone and made an entire day out of it. Today, July 10, is officially Lubrication … Continue reading

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