Mazda restores a 40-year-old concept that was the first MX car

It appears that Mazda is continuing its streak of restoring works from its 100-plus years of history. The latest car to be restored is the Mazda MX-81, a 40-year-old concept car that also happens to be the first Mazda to wear the MX designation. First shown at the 1981 Tokyo Motor Show, the MX-81 Aria was a 323 wearing a very period-futuristic body designed by Bertone. It’s a beautiful restoration job that also provides Mazda, and us, an excuse to delve into some curious corners of Mazda’s design heritage. Continue reading

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Toyotafest is happening but everyone, including spectators, must pre-register

Great news! The City of Long Beach has given Toyotafest the green light, meaning the year-long nightmare of no official car shows may soon be over. However, there will be some major change that will affect everyone who attends, so consider this a JNC public service announcement. Continue reading

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Be on the lookout for this stolen Hakosuka Skyline and its trailer

A 1971 Nissan Skyline was stolen earlier this morning out of Vallejo, California. It was inside of a white enclosed trailer with a number “87” on the side and being towed by a cherry red 2001 F-350 dually. If spotted, please contact local authorities or @california_hako on Instagram. Continue reading

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Kidney, Anyone? Nissan 300ZX IMSA GTO race cars, one of seven built

While we await the next Nissan Z‘s arrival, and the new era of Nissan is has promised, with engaging, fun to drive cars and bright 90s hues. However, if you want to actually drive the king of 90s Nissans, here’s a 700-horsepower IMSA GTO race car for sale. Continue reading

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These Mazda rotary facemask holders are the latest from a Japanese jewelry company that makes car-themed bling

The year-plus-long hell that the COVID-19 pandemic has spawned some interesting products. For example, Japanese jewelry company Jerev has made a facemask holder in the shape of a Mazda rotary engine rotor. Basically, The flat side sticks to your dash, and the curved part gives you a handy little place to hang your mask’s strap. The only hook (no pun intended) is that it costs ¥13,200 ($120 USD). Continue reading

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A 93-year-old grandpa driving his Mazda RX-7 in a video game takes internet by storm

A 93-year old Japanese man playing racing games on his grandson’s computer has gone viral. YouTuber Olivin Corp created a channel featuring his gearhead grandpa at the helm of various virtual cars four months ago. and the most heartwarming video — of ojisan driving a car that owned in real life decades ago — has garnered 3 million views. Continue reading

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The Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins trailer gets Japanese cars right

Hollywood movies often get car scenes wrong, but especially when the setting is in Japan. Typically they just sprinkle in some a Nissan Figaro in the background or set up a parking garage drift in Los Angeles that stands in for Tokyo. However, in the trailer that dropped last night for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, the cars are spot on. Continue reading

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QotW: What automotive stuff do you hoard?

Today is National Pack Rat Day, a day to recognize the dreaded hoarder. If you’re into old cars, you probably a stash of parts, memorabilia, or actual vehicles somewhere. Whether it’s out of necessity for backups, reassurance for just-in-case scenarios, investment, speculation, or some kind of compulsion, you’re probably not doing the old car thing right if you don’t have a trove of treasure somewhere.

What automotive stuff do you hoard?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Are JNC prices getting out of control?Continue reading

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VIDEO: A British-built Acura Legend just wasn’t the same

In 1987 the Austin Rover Group embarked on an interesting experiment. They would sell Acura Legend-based luxury sedans with Honda guts. Everything else would be developed in-house, and the result would be unleashed on an unsuspecting American public as the Sterling 825. The results were exactly as you thought they might be. Continue reading

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Suzuki surpasses milestone of 25 million kei cars sold

It’s taken 65 years and 7 months, but Suzuki announced on May 11 that it has sold 25 million kei cars. That’s not a huge number compared to, say, the Toyota Corolla, which has sold over 44 million of a single model. However, when you consider the fact that the Corolla is a global model and kei cars are sold almost exclusively inside Japan and a few other Asian countries, that’s a pretty impressive statistic. Continue reading

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Mitsubishi Motors announces Ralliart revival

Japanese companies are in the midst of releasing their fiscal year financial reports right now. These are typically pretty boring investor briefs, but on May 11 Mitsubishi Motors divulged an interesting tidbit in theirs — that it plans to revive the Ralliart brand, and is considering a return to motorsports. Continue reading

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Toyota’s Megaweb garage takes in an MZ11 Soarer

After thoroughly restoring two iconic Nissans, the restoration pit at the Toyota’s MegaWeb showroom in Tokyo has finally taken in a car from the home team. The car in question is an 1981 Toyota Soarer 2800GT, resplendent in a two-tone gold over brown. However, the car isn’t undergoing a full restoration at the hands of Toyota’s expert technicians. It’s really more of a pit stop. Continue reading

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QotW: Are JNC prices getting out of control?

We’ve seen JNC prices on the rise for several years now, but within the past year or two there’s been an even sharper uptick. Celica Liftbacks are selling for $62,000. Datsun 240Zs are selling for over $100,000. An AE86 Corolla in nice but far from concours condition sold for $40,000 when a considerably nicer one sold for less than $25,000 just a two years ago. Perhaps people with secure finances are finally able to acquire the dream cars of their adolescence. Perhaps it’s speculation. Perhaps its a last gasp for analog cars in an increasingly electrified world. No matter the reason, prices are going up.

Are JNC prices getting out of control?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What would you do if you were Akio Toyoda?Continue reading

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Happy 510 Day from JNC

On May 31, 1971, it was the dawn of the SCCA Trans-Am 2.5 Challenge, a series which would turn the Datsun 510 into the Goliath-slaying David of the motorsports world. At the race held at Bryar Motorsports Park in New Hampshire, BRE entered John Morton’s No.46 510 for the first time. Morton was the fastest qualifier but his legendary 510 suffered mechanical problems that resulted in a DNF. That gave privateer Lothar Stahlberg of Utica, New York in his No.71 car the very first manufacturer’s championship point for Datsun in the US. The rest, they say, is history. Happy 510 Day from JNC!

Posted in Holidays | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Toyota Corolla AE86 sells for $40,000 even with light rust

There are times when a car is found in a state that is neither creampuff nor derelict. It does not beg to be preserved, adding mileage to its already six-figure odometer doesn’t feel like abuse, and parking lot door dings and scratches are of less concern as sections have already been repainted. Examples as such usually go for half the price of their low-mileage, all original, pristine counterparts. In the case of this 1985 Corolla GT-S, however, it set the record at $40,000. Continue reading

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Mitsubishi UK’s auction breaks world record for Lancer Evolution sale

We were saddened last month to learn that Mitsubishi UK was selling off its entire heritage fleet, a result of the company pulling out of the UK market altogether. Some of its cars had been part of the collection for 47 years, since Mitsubishi established a UK presence in 1974. It was a rare opportunity to acquire some of the best specimens of the triple diamond marque. The auction results are now in, and one of the cars has set a new world record for its kind. Continue reading

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EVENTS: The inaugural Kyushu Kei Car Meeting

On Sunday April 25th the inaugural Kyushu Kei Car Meeting was held in Asakura City, Fukuoka Prefecture. I see a raised hand in the back there. “Inaugural” means, like, the first one? Well, yeah. Due to a glaringly obvious oversight, the year of 2021 marks the first that the island of Kyushu (Japan’s third largest) gets an event dedicated to those dimensionally-limited machines of unlimited quirk and charisma. Continue reading

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Enkei expands selection of Neo-Classic wheels

Enkei has added new variants for two of its iconic wheels in the Neo-Classic line, a selection of wheels that have evolved with modern production processes but still retain their classic form. The Apache 2 Neo and Mesh 4 Neo now come in a two-piece design and in both “lo” and “hi” disc, promoting a wider range of customization. Continue reading

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QotW: What would you do if you were Akio Toyoda?

Today is Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s 65th birthday. So, first of all, happy birthday, Toyoda-san! It’s a notable age, because in the US it was once the traditional age at which one receives a gold watch and rides off into retirement. Toyoda, however, shows no sign of quitting as head of one of the largest companies in the world. Whatever you believe about Toyota’s cars, it’s one of the most successful corporations in history.

Not only that, but due to its size and strength, Toyota basically defines segments, indirectly sets the prices of materials, and has an outsized say in the direction of the industry. Toyoda himself is also head of the Japan Auto Manufacturer’s Association, which oversees the Tokyo Motor Show, negotiates government policies that affect technology and trade, and affects the livelihoods and careers of about 8 percent of Japan’s working population. It’s a position of tremendous power, and as close as you can get to being a king in modern times. So…

What would you do if you were Akio Toyoda?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “How do you feel about car investors and flippers?Continue reading

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Nissan is restoring the beloved Y31 Cima of actress Kazue Itoh

Last October Japanese actress Kazue Itoh caused a bit of a stir among her fans when she posted a photo of her car on Instagram. They were surprised to see the star driving a 30-year-old Nissan Cima that she’s owned since new. After seeing Itoh note some of its imperfections, the fans took to social media, imploring Nissan to restore the car for her. The company agreed, and on April 26 they held a small press conference at Autech headquarters before taking possession Itoh’s beloved Cima to begin the process. Continue reading

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