Author Archives: Steve Chang

Suzuki Jimny Heritage Edition gets retro with decal stripes

Those lucky Australians. Not only do they get the Suzuki Jimny, an off-roader we will have to wait until 2043 to enjoy, but now they get this sharp new Heritage Edition variant. It is only available in a 5-speed manual … Continue reading

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The bustling city of Tokyo in 1968

It’s really too bad that human technology didn’t evolve a cheap way to capture mountains of video footage until recently. It would’ve been great to see more of Tokyo during the post-war boom times, especially very beginnings of the golden … Continue reading

Posted in Nihon Life | 2 Comments

The ten most expensive Japanese cars sold on Bring a Trailer

Auction site Bring a Trailer is celebrating its 100,000 listing, and it’s a special one. The milestone car is the company’s own 1973 Datsun 240Z. Maintained by Z Car Garage of San Jose, California and fitted with a Rebello 2.7-liter … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your favorite tuning house demo car?

There’s been no shortage of amazing one-off machines from Japan’s prolific tuning houses. The demo cars were built to showcase what the mad scientists were capable of. The most famous of them stood out as separate from the cars they … Continue reading

Posted in Question of the Week | Tagged | 9 Comments

Nissan Skyline and Honda City floating pens add some fun to your desk

Remember those “tip and strip” pens that were all the rage in the 70s? The pens had one image when lying flat, then changed when held upright for writing. They usually featured some quaintly scandalous image like a woman in … Continue reading

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FJ Company’s resto-mod Land Cruisers are worth every penny of their $210,000 sticker price

The FJ Company builds the best classic Land Cruiser resto-mods in the business. Their G40 series essentially takes FJ40 and longer-wheelbase FJ43 models and completely updates them with J70 suspension and 1GR V6 motors, the same kind you’d find in … Continue reading

Posted in Video | 2 Comments

Jay Leno drives a flawlessly restored Nissan Fairlady Z

Jay Leno has driven his share of Datsuns, but for some reason they’ve all been heavily modified. Finally, on the latest episode of his Jay Leno’s Garage channel on YouTube, he has the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a … Continue reading

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QotW: Who deserves to be in the JNC Hall of Fame?

Last week we wrote about two great men from Japanese motoring history. Former president of Toyota Shoichiro Toyoda passed away, while co-founder of Honda Takeo Fujisawa was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. That got us thinking about creating … Continue reading

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Toyota AE86 Hydrogen and Electric Concepts: build video and driving impressions

Toyota’s twin AE86 concepts, one powered by hydrogen fuel and one powered by electrons, were unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon earlier this year. Toyota has released some additional materials about the cars, including the images you see here, as … Continue reading

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Mazda made a chocolate Miata for Valentine’s Day

Picking out a spot-on Valentine’s Day gift is never easy but as it is in all aspects of life, Miata is always the answer. Forget flowers, if I found a chocolate Miata like this wrapped in a bow on V-Day … Continue reading

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This Toyota AE86 gets 40 mpg with its original gasoline engine

There has been a lot of buzz about the pair of alternative energy AE86s that Toyota unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon. However, even before Akio Toyoda‘s big reveal there’s been other efforts at making an environmentally friendly AE86. Specifically, … Continue reading

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Abandoned Japanese cars of the Fukushima nuclear exclusion zone

The Fukushima plant meltdown following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011 was one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. Today, there’s an area of about 143 square miles that’s still part of the nuclear exclusion zone deemed unsafe … Continue reading

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Toyota launches Refresh Program for “classic” 86/BRZ

We’re used to Japanese carmakers launching restoration and heritage programs these days, but here’s something we didn’t expect. Toyota is launching a factory refresh program for the first-generation Toyota 86. The announcement came from the Tokyo Auto Salon and the … Continue reading

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Mitsubishi vintage WRC and Dakar footage posted in massive video dump

Well this was unexpected. Just when you thought Mitsubishi was content selling Mirages and Eclipse Crosses, they unleash a bunch of footage from when the company still had guts. Though short, each video features raw clips of Lancers, Starions, Galant … Continue reading

Posted in motorsport | Tagged | 4 Comments

Toyota Century SUV rumored by end of 2023

Shocking rumors out of Japan claim that Toyota is working on what is internally being called a Century SUV. Since 1967 the nameplate has been attached to Toyota’s flagship luxury sedan, often chauffeur-driven and sold only to elite customers. But … Continue reading

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QotW: What Japan-market car from 1998 would you import?

It’s a new year, and that means a whole new roster of formerly forbidden Japan-market cars are now eligible for import. The 25-year federal prohibition on cars built in 1998 is now lifted. So what will it be, a Honda … Continue reading

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Gran Turismo movie trailer promises amazing camerawork

Sony dropped a first look at the upcoming Gran Turismo movie at CES, and we’re frankly shocked. The glimpses we get of on-track footage show some of the best racing camerawork we’ve seen in ages. Not only does it capture … Continue reading

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An ND Miata morphs into Mazda RX-3 convertible for Tokyo Auto Salon

The Tokyo Auto Salon is approaching, and that means it’s time for some truly stupendous vehicular creations to emerge from the Nihon Automobile College. This year, Japan’s future automotive technicians are bringing a Mazda RX-3 convertible to the tuning extravaganza. … Continue reading

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Gran Turismo, now 25 years old, promoted virtual racing but real car culture

On December 23, 1997 the automotive world was forever changed with the launch of Gran Turismo. The Playstation game didn’t just redefine the racing genre; it exported real life Japanese car culture worldwide. Less than one in five households in … Continue reading

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Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 not banned from Gran Turismo 7

Gran Turismo 7‘s December update is here and the Toyota Celica GT-Four has joined the party. Though infamously banned from the WRC in 1995 for using an illegal turbo restrictor plate, the ST205 is still an iconic car, perhaps even … Continue reading

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