NSX, multiple Type R Integras, and an original Honda Cub — an engineer’s car collection

Bryan Hourt is a chief engineer who has worked at Honda for 27 years. He’s worked on projects like the Acura TLX, Honda’s safety systems, and others. But one peek in his garage and you’ll see where his passions lie. Hourt has a dream collection of Honda cars, There are two NSXes, a white NA1 and an orange-on-orange NA2; four Integra Type Rs, one in each color offered and two in Championship White; and an S2000 CR. Continue reading

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Mazda Iconic SP patent application confirmed, complete with pop-up headlights

A patent for the Mazda Iconic SP has been filed with the Japan Patent Office. Renderings appear to adhere faithfully to the concept that debuted at the Japan Mobility Show (formerly Tokyo Motor Show) in October 2023. It even has the concept’s pop-up headlights. Some are theorizing that this means the car is destined for production.  Continue reading

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Bayside Blue and Midnight Purple origins: How the Nissan Skyline GT-R got its most iconic colors

Earlier this year Nissan announced that two colors forever linked to the legendary Skyline GT-R would be making a return. Bayside Blue and Midnight Purple are available as paint options on special editions of the R35 GT-R. We recently spoke with a Nissan spokesperson to find out more details about these historic colors. Continue reading

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Mazda CX-70: Why you’d get one over a nearly identical CX-90

We suspect that the Mazda CX-90 is, for nearly all of our enthusiast-minded — not to mention highly intelligent and super good-looking — readers, the best three-row SUV on the market today. Think Mazda handling. Now add an inline-six and rear-wheel-drive. The CX-90 is every bit as glorious as you imagine that combination to be. The two-row CX-70 was supposed to be all that and more so, because everyone assumed it was going to be shorter, lighter, and even more tossable. But as we saw at the CX-70’s static reveal, it’s essentially identical to the CX-90, just without the third row. They even cost the same. Nevertheless, there are the smallest of differences, and here’s why you might want to choose the CX-70 anyway. Continue reading

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QotW: What dead nameplate should be revived as an electric car?

Today, May 20, is Electric Car Day in Japan. It was named so in 2009 after battery company Yuasa restored a century-old electric car. As we hurtle toward the EV era automakers seem to have settled on two main naming strategies. The first is to give their electrified car a new eco-friendly or futuristic-sounding model name like Leaf or bZ4X. The other is to force an existing nameplate on a beloved but unrelated car, like the Mustang Mach E or Toyota Crown. Neither does much for enthusiasts. But perhaps a better plan would be to revive a dormant name that would have no hope of being used otherwise. We would love to see the return of a stylish cruiser like the Cressida, which was never intended an enthusiast’s car when new. Instead, it was built on a reputation as a quiet, smooth operator, characteristics that seem ideal for an EV.

What dead nameplate should be revived as an electric car?

The most entertaining comment by next week will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What car would you choose for a 100 horsepower or less cross-country rally?“. Continue reading

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Special Rescue Command Solbrain’s Sol Gallop — Guess the Tokusatsu Car!

From January 20, 1991 to January 26, 1992, kids could tune into the TV Asahi network Sunday mornings to watch the adventures of Special Rescue Command Solbrain. It’s about an elite police force that dons armored suits to fight crime and help people in need. Naturally, they have their own fleet of futuristic vehicles, like the butterfly-doored Sol Gallop. Continue reading

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Automotive bearing manufacturing is a mesmerizing process

JTEKT is one of the three largest bearing suppliers in Japan, along with NSK and NTN. The original company dates back to 1935 when it was called Koyo Seiko, and some may remember the blue Koyo logo on bearings packages. The company is part of the Toyota Group but supplies many automotive companies from Ford to Polaris, and aerospace firms as well. In a rare behind-the-scenes look at JTEKT’s Tokushima plant, you can now see how its precision bearings are made. Continue reading

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‘Return of Abunai Deka’ trailer promises car chases, gunfights, and the F31 Nissan Leopard

The dangerous detectives are back for a new movie to debut soon in Japan. Toei Studios has revealed a trailer for Return of Abunai Deka, the eight theatrical release in the series, which doesn’t include the original TV series that aired from 1986 to 1987. The movie seems to recapture the tone of the original, which is if Miami Vice took place in Tokyo and was more of a comedy. Best of all, the then-new-but-now-classic F31 Nissan Leopard seems to be making a comeback as well. Continue reading

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Castrol Toyota liveried Mustang wins NASCAR’s Goodyear 500 in Darlington

Dude, is this a Soopra? No, it’s a NASCAR Mustang running the same livery that adorned the Castrol TOM’s Supra in JGTC, and Toyota’s Celica GT-Fours in WRC before that. And as it happens, driver Brad Keselowski won the weekend at Darlington Raceway on Sunday. Did the retro livery help? Probably not, but it was definitely a sight to see the familiar red-and-green-on-white in the winner’s circle. Continue reading

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QotW: What car would you choose for a 100 horsepower or less cross-country rally?

Three years ago there was an invitation-only Cannonball-style cross-country rally for cars 100 horsepower or less. It was called the Musketball. Among the entrants were a Suzuki kei van decorated like the famous Trans-Con Medivac ambulance. So naturally we got to thinking, what’s the perfect JNC to tackle such an event? We should note that while it was a competitive event, winning almost took a back seat to having wacky fun, so do with that what you will.

What car would you choose for a 100 horsepower or less cross-country rally?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What Japanese racing livery should be revived?“. Continue reading

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Toyotafest 2024 — Get an exclusive coupon code for a discount on admission

The 2024 All-Toyotafest will be here shortly, and we have a lot of announcements to make. First, JNC is partnering with the organizers of Toyotafest, TORC, the Toyota Owners and Restorers Club, to offer a coupon code for all attendees. Second, there will be a special guest at the JNC booth. And last but not least, there will be an exclusive diecast car that you can get only at Toyotafest. Continue reading

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Happy 510 Day from JNC!

Kick back and grab an ice cold Calpis because it’s Friday and 510 Day. You deserve to have your thirst quenched with Japan’s favorite lactic acid bacteria drink. And yes, it tastes better than it sounds. Kanpai!

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Chojin Barom 1’s Mach Rod — Guess the Tokusatsu Car!

Chojin Barom 1 is a superhero formed when two childhood friends, one smart and one strong, are chosen to protect the Earth from evil demon-like creatures called Dorge. Naturally, a champion of that stature requires a suitable chariot, and the show does not disappoint with a bright orange roadster called the Mach Rod. Welcome to another edition of Guess the Tokusatsu Car. This heavily modified roadster is a tough one. See if you can figure it out. Continue reading

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Toyota S-FR sportster reportedly under development

What is going on at Toyota? Not so long ago, they were called the most boring car company in the industry. Now they have one of the most exciting lineups around, with one AWD hot hatch and two rear-wheel-drive sports cars. Soon, they might be adding another to the mix, says a new report out of Japan. Continue reading

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Nissan Z celebrating 55th anniversary with special edition, report says

There’s a rumor that Nissan is preparing to launch a 55th anniversary edition of the Nissan Z later this year. Prototypes of the car have reportedly been brought stateside already, and dealer allocations will depend on how many Zs that store has sold already. Continue reading

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QotW: What Japanese racing livery should be revived?

We were pleasantly shocked last week when Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing revealed that they’d be bringing back Toyota’s WRC and JGTC Castrol livery — on a Ford Mustang, no less. It got us thinking about what other famous Japanese racing liveries should be resurrected. Bonus points for finding the perfect car to match, and they don’t have to necessarily be on a car of the same marque.

What Japanese racing livery should be revived?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your favorite Showa Era car?“. Continue reading

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Electric FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser restomod runs on batteries, keeps original gearbox and good looks

Resto-modding a Toyota Land Cruiser is nothing new. People have been putting Tacoma V6es, J80 1FZs, or SBC in them for years, but a UK company is now building them to run solely on electric power. The outfit is called Inverted, and their builds are meticulously engineered to retain original look of the original Land Cruiser while delivering battery propulsion in style. Continue reading

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Netflix’s ‘Senna’ trailer: Brace your eyes for glorious McLaren-Honda MP4 action

Netflix has released a trailer for its upcoming miniseries about celebrated Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna. Considered one of the greatest drivers of all time, Senna won three world championships while driving for McLaren-Honda, an era of dominance that is still regarded as one of the sport’s most memorable. And if the footage from the trailer is any indication, Senna will be a thrilling ride. Continue reading

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Castrol TOM’s Supra livery rides again — in NASCAR

The iconic red, green, and white livery from the JGTC Castrol TOM’s Supra is making a comeback, but not on a Supra, Toyota, or even in Super GT. The reincarnated colors will instead be emblazoned on the No.6 Ford Mustang of Brad Keselowski in the NASCAR Cup Series. Continue reading

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Toyota Starlet revival could actually be happening, maybe

After Akio Toyoda stepped down as CEO of Toyota last year a shuffling of the ranks put Tomoya Takahashi at the helm of Gazoo Racing. As it happens Takahashi was a big fan of the Toyota Starlet hot hatch, and said it was his dream to revive it. At the time he made sure to clarify that this was his personal wish and not an official goal of the company. But if a new report from Japan is to be believed, his wish may come true after all. Continue reading

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