This Honda Civic EF wearing Advan Oni 2 wheels was our SEMA favorite

We’re still compiling the hundreds of photos from SEMA into a digestible gallery (and intermittently washing our eyes out with bleach), but we wanted to give credit where credit was due. Our favorite car at the 2022 SEMA Show was a humble 30-year-old Honda Civic hatchback at the Yokohama Advan booth. Even better, it was brought in to advertise the remake of Advan’s famed Oni wheels. Continue reading

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Toyota Land Cruiser body panels are here to help you rebuild an FJ40

One of the surest signs a car has become a classic is when an aftermarket company begins to offer body panels for it. At the SEMA Show this year, we stumbled upon a outfit making replica body panels for nearly every surface of the FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser. In theory, if you bought them all you could recreate the your dream 4×4 with brand new rust-free sheetmetal. Continue reading

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Toyota’s TRD tricolor will never not look cool

At the SEMA Show Toyota unveiled a colossal number of trucks while announcing yet another line of off-road sub-brands called Trailhunter. Apparently this overlanding thing is really taking off (/s). The coolest among this gaggle of 4x4s is a Sequoia that’s been slathered with the old TRD tricolor on every conceivable surface. It’s almost too much red, orange, and yellow. Ah, who are we kidding? this livery will always be cool. Continue reading

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Casio’s Honda watches are a tribute to historic machines

We don’t really know a lot about watches here at JNC, but our recent article about an Initial D and MF Ghost Casio took us down a bit of a rabbit hole. Turns out Casio is an official partner of Honda Racing and has been making some pretty spiffy watches are part of that relationship. There are two that caught our eyes specifically, inspired by the legendary racing machines of the Honda RA272 Formula 1 car and the Honda RC162 race bike. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the most sinister looking JNC?

Just in time for All Hallows’ Eve, we come to you with a question of the most sinister looking JNC. Some people think old wagons are just creepy because they look like hearses. An S40 Gloria wagon in particular looks like something that might be driven by the Addams family. A modded JZA80 Supra would strike fear into any rear view mirror it appeared in, but the smoothed out shape of car it self doesn’t look all that scary. Then again, you probably wouldn’t want to approach a Toyota Century with tinted windows if you saw one in a dark alley. There are several ways to skin this cat.

What’s the most sinister looking JNC?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Can you help a fellow JNC reader find a ride-on car for their daughter?Continue reading

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Happy Halloween from JNC

Have a wonderfully spooky day today, and may our vintage Japanese cars outlast us all. Happy Halloween from JNC!

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BRE Sunny Truck with Leaf powertrain leads Nissan’s SEMA 2022 lineup

In the past couple of years the pandemic has decimated participation at the SEMA Show, but there are some signs of life in Las Vegas. Nissan, for example, is bringing a diverse mix of weird and wonderful builds that capture the spirit of the good old days. You might expect that with the new Z just coming out that it would be a Z-fest. But no, the headline car is a Nissan Sunny Truck with just the right amount of SEMA craziness beneath the skin. Continue reading

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Matchbox X JNC Mazda MX-5 Miata ND

We’re honored to share another great piece by our friends at Matchbox. It’s the latest car to feature the JNC inkan, and in fact it’s the newest car by year, make and model to feature our logo. It works out perfectly, because we can’t think of another modern car that better captures the spirit of the Nihon classics than the ND Mazda MX-5 Miata. Continue reading

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An Initial D and MF Ghost Casio watch is here to keep time on your touge runs

Expensive motorsports-themed watches are nothing new, but typically they involve a Formula 1 team or some kind of luxury brand tie-in. Now there’s a watch — ahem, timepiece — for the lone wolf mountain racer in a humble Toyota. The publishers of Initial D and MF Ghost have teamed with Casio Edifice for an official watch — ahem, chronograph — celebrating the touge battle manga. Continue reading

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Hyundai continues to build better Mitsubishis than Mitsubishi

In 1986, to prepare for the upcoming Seoul Olympics, Hyundai needed a flagship sedan. But it was so wet behind the ears that it had to turn to another carmaker to design one for them, one that seemed like a juggernaut in comparison: Mitsubishi Motors. The Mitsubishi Debonair and its rebadged Korean cousin, the Hyundai Grandeur, both debuted in 1986 as the range-topping sedans in their respective lineups. Some 36 years later the Debonair is long gone while a new Grandeur has just debuted, and Hyundai has added a few retro cues that hearken back to the Mitsubishi-designed original. Continue reading

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QotW: Can you help a fellow JNC reader find a ride-on car for their daughter?

This week’s question comes from Robin N., whom we are trying to help with the very worthy goal of finding a Japanese Power Wheels-type car for kids. “There are not many ride-on cars for kids that are Japanese,” Robin wrote in an email. “Even more so ones that are JNCs. I just had a kid and I can’t find anything cool for her except the Mazda Roadster/MX-5 Miata, which costs the same as a real car.”

It’s true. about 20 years ago, we came across the above display at a Japanese Toys R Us, but trying to find any of those outside Japan — or smuggling one back in your suitcase — was impossible. Robin continues. “All I find are BMWs, Mercs, Audis, etc. It would be cool to see what comments arise from this as I’m sure I’m not the only one looking for a ride-on car that’s something cool like a Hakosuka or a TA22 Celica.” Let’s try to help Robin with this very worthy goal of a cool car for the kiddo.

Can you help a fellow JNC reader find a ride-on car for their daughter?

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 car chase scene?Continue reading

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Subaru celebrates 50 years of all-wheel driving

The Subaru Leone 4WD estate van debuted in 1972, making this year the 50th anniversary of Subarus driven by four wheels. Prior to its debut, all 4WD vehicles had been the domain of vehicles like the Toyota Land Cruiser and similarly truckish rigs. Subaru broke the mold for what a 4WD vehicle could be, had has been running with the formula ever since. Continue reading

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Gran Turismo 7 finally welcomes the Kenmeri Nissan Skyline GT-R

Gran Turismo 7‘s October update has dropped, bringing four new cars to the game including the beloved Kenmeri Skyline GT-R. With the addition of the KPGC110, the game now has every GT-R generation. And as the release video shows you can do things with it in the game that no one would dare attempt in real life with one of just 197 Kenmeri GT-Rs built. Definitely not drifting it on a track like a common S13 with original bias-ply tires shrieking in protest. Continue reading

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Toyota GR Corolla joins the family — Rate This Ad

The Toyota GR Corolla is hitting the showrooms soon, so it’s time for some new ads. For Americans, the 300-horsepower AWD hot hatch is probably the most anticipated Toyota in decades, especially if you count only the cars fully developed by Toyota in-house. A series of new commercials are unified by a common theme — that Toyota now has three performance options in its lineup, not to mention a long history of sporting machines. Continue reading

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Jay Leno drives a couple of Z cars from opposite ends of the spectrum

Jay Leno doesn’t have a ton of Japanese cars on his show, but the last two were both Zs. And they couldn’t be more different. One is a 1970 Honda Z600, a 2-cylinder front-wheel-drive compact making about 36 horsepower; the other is a brand new rear-wheel-drive Nissan Z with a twin-turbo V6 making 400-horsepower. Both are enjoyable drives in their own way. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your favorite car chase scene?

The world of movie car chases was forever changed 54 years ago today. October 17, 1968 saw the theatrical release of Bullitt, in which the centerpiece action sequence between ad Ford Mustang and Dodge Charger is considered to be one of the best vehicular pursuits ever filmed. Call us childish but car chase scenes always get us stoked. Even the worst examples have us glued to the screen when we’d gladly skip the rest of the surrounding movie. For this question any cars of any country of origin will qualify, though you will get bonus consideration if there’s J-tin involved.

What’s your favorite car chase scene?

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 Japanese sports car?Continue reading

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Japan’s first railway began operating 150 years ago today

One hundred and fifty years ago today, Japan’s first railway opened. The line connected Shimbashi, Tokyo to nearby Yokohama, a distance of just 18 miles. Pulled by a British-built steam locomotive, the trip took 53 minutes non-stop. The train made The opening of the railway not only revolutionized the movement of people and goods, but established the consistent keeping of time. Continue reading

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Hot Wheels has a tsunami of Japanese cars coming

Our friends at Hot Wheels recently shared with us some previews of upcoming cars. For fans of Japanese diecast, there will be no shortage offerings infiltrating every series the company makes. Here’s a couple dozen peeks at what’s coming down the pipe, from some in the very early stages of prototyping to ones that are already complete. Continue reading

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SHOWA SNAP: Unicorn Datsun U221 pickup zooms through post-war Tokyo

Showa era images always manage to unearth something of interest. For example, in a photo taken in the late 1950s or early 1960s, we stumbled upon an ultra-rare Datsun U221 pickup. It looks like a coupe at first glance, but is instead a ute-like vehicle with a very small bed. We’d bet the number of these still in existence is somewhere in the single digits. Continue reading

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50 YEAR CLUB: How Honda’s CVCC beat its rivals and made the Civic a household name

Fifty years ago today, at the Akasaka Prince Hotel in Tokyo, Honda revealed the CVCC engine to the world. The engine was still over a year off from mass production in a road car, but Honda was eager to get the news of their achievement — an engine that could pass the strict emissions rules for 1975 without the use of a catalytic converter — out to the press. After the unveiling the EPA invited Honda to Michigan to subject a CVCC engine to their rigorous tests. The only problem was, the Honda Civic was so new, it wasn’t yet ready. So Honda installed their CVCC engines in a couple of Nissans and sent them to Ann Arbor. Continue reading

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