SSR MK-II and MK-III re-releases sold out in five hours

Last year, SSR made a limited re-release of the legendary Speed Star series, known for their clean, timeless spoke designs and wide barrels. Demand for the wide sizing and interest from a new generation of kyusha fans brought them back into production thirty years since they were first released, with new wider sizes. The wheels garnered a lot of attention and sold out quickly, despite being released during a pandemic. SSR gave those who missed out a second chance, but the entire run sold out immediately. Continue reading

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The first NFT batch to include a Japanese classic has sold for $1.9 million

A batch of classic car NFTs has sold for $1.9 million. The fleet, which includes such icons as a 1967 Toyota 2000GT, Series 1 Jaguar E-Type, Shelby Cobra 427, and Lamborghini Miura P400S, was the first-ever sale of classic cars represented in the digital format. The auction house that facilitated the sale deemed it “the future of collecting fine automobiles.” Continue reading

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Ebisu Circuit rebuilding efforts under way with fan donations

Last month, a 7.1 earthquake magnitude earthquake and subsequent landslide heavily damaged Ebisu Circuit, one of Japan’s most famed drifting grounds. The landslide caused the collapse of several courses including Drift Land, Minami, and Nishi circuits, and some surrounding facilities. Due to the extent of the damage being larger than expected, Ebisu Circuit needs help from fans. Continue reading

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The Toyota Celica Liftback that sold for $62,000 is a gift from a loving wife

A 1976 Toyota Celica Liftback has sold for $62,000. That’s a new high for this model, and of course it appears to be in exceptional condition. However, perhaps the better hook here is the back story of why the Celica has reached this record price. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the story behind your first car?

Remember your first car? No, not that one, your first car. It was probably three inches long, made of diecast metal, and ran on childhood dreams. Think of the way it felt in your hand, how fast it rolled, how beautiful it was to look at. Think of how you couldn’t wait to grow up and get the real thing. Of course you remember that car. It was the starting point of lifelong obsession with all things automotive. In honor of Ryu Asada, our QotW this week (belated due to extenuating circumstances) is about this first love.

What’s the story behind your first car?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the rarest ‘normal’ JNC you’ve spotted in the wild?Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 1974 Toyota Publica 1000

The Toyota KP30 Publica is a rare bird, even in its native Japan. For export markets, it was known simply as the Toyota 1000. Constructed on a down-sized Corolla platform, it served as Toyota’s entry-level runabout in many nations where average cars were significantly smaller than the American land yachts of 1970s. Its as simple as it gets, and that’s a big part of the vehicle’s charm. Continue reading

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RIP Ryu Asada, Hot Wheels designer, 1978—2021

Ryu Asada, beloved designer of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, has passed away after a hard-fought battle with cancer. He was 42 years old. Ryu was immensely talented and instrumental in bringing a multitude of well-loved cars to the Hot Wheels and Matchbox canon. With his perpetually upbeat personality, he garnered countless fans and friends in the local Los Angeles-area car community and all over the world. Continue reading

Posted in Legends, minicars | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

Z35 to be known as Nissan Z, production specs leaked?

Hot on the heels of pictures of the production Nissan Z35 being leaked online, a member by the name of Houston.Z35 on 400zclub has come forward with insider info on the specs and pricing on the new Z. Although many have been tentatively referring to it as the 400Z Houston.Z35 claims it will be known as simply the Nissan Z. In Japan, the name Fairlady Z will carry on.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: The 1989 Toyota Camry brought V6 power to the masses

Today there is no question that the Camry is the benchmark for the ideal family sedan. Its reputation for legendary reliability and innocuous styling had to begin somewhere. Back in 1989, the V20 Camry still had to prove its worth against contenders such as the Chevy Lumina and Ford Taurus. And apparently, there was a time in America when the Camry was still unfamiliar enough that Motorweek insisted on calling it a Cam-ray throughout their video review. Continue reading

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Yamaha’s YZR-M1 MotoGP race bike livery is a throwback to the 1960s

Yamaha’s 2021 MotoGP race bike has debuted with a throwback livery that pays tribute to 60 years of Grand Prix competition. The YZR-M1 is finished in a white with red chain block stripe that can be traced back to some of the company’s earliest race bikes, and it looks absolutely beautiful. Continue reading

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Toyota South Africa is officially restoring a 2000GT

Toyota of South Africa has officially started restoration of a 2000GT. Only 351 hand-made examples were built, inclusive of pre-production models, and of those just three were originally destined for South Africa. The subsidiary calls it a complete nut and bolt restoration, and will be documenting the progress on its website. Continue reading

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A Mazda RX-7 FD has sold for $60,000 at auction

Over the weekend a 1993 Mazda RX-7 sold for $60,000. The car in question was finished in Competition Yellow Mica, considered the most desirable color in the FD palette and exclusive to first-year performance-oriented R1 packages. Only 350 CYMs were sold in the US market. Initially our gut reaction was that the price seemed too high, especially given the Craigslist quality copy in the listing. But given some time, we’ve come to reassess the call. Continue reading

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Happy 323 Day from JNC

Picking up on this week’s near-extinct normal cars theme, when was the last time you saw a Mazda 323 in the wild? These were practical but loveable cars in their day, equivalent to a Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic. And yet, while Corollas of the era are still plentiful, the 323s are all but gone. Let’s take some time to appreciate small wagons, unloved compacts, and Mazdas today. Happy 323 Day from JNC!

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Production Z35 Nissan 400Z photos leaked

Two sets of images of the production Z35 Nissan Z have leaked. One shows a metallic gray car that evokes the Carbon Silver of the 350Z and Gun Metallic of the 370Z. Another shows what looks like a standard silver but is could also be a pearl white reminiscent of the Z31 Shiro and Z32. Both were posted to the 400ZClub forum, which says the photos were taken at Nissan’s Tochigi plant, but it appears to be a cargo staging area at a air shipment port. Continue reading

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VIDEO: A virtual tour of Toyota’s Motorsports Biography exhibit

The Toyota Automobile Museum’s excellent “Toyota Motorsport Biography: Everlasting Challenge Spirit” exhibit is scheduled to end on April 11. Sadly, travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have prevented most overseas travelers from seeing it in person. However, the museum is doing the next best thing, and has released a virtual tour before the exhibit is gone for good. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s the rarest “normal” JNC you’ve spotted in the wild?

When we are out our radars are usually tuned to rare JNC sightings (much to the annoyance of our spouses). Of course it’s incredible when you see a 2000GT in morning rush hour traffic, but a once-common-now-rare car in good condition can brighten your whole day as well. Even “Normal” JNCs are getting scarcer on the streets, so seeing one still kicking is always a treat.

What’s the rarest “normal” JNC you’ve spotted in the wild?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s does the Fairlady mean to you?Continue reading

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Behind the scenes of Honda’s Civic World exhibit

The Civic World special exhibit is still going on at the Honda Collection Hall in Japan right now, and Honda has released a video showing some of the set up that went into the display. It looks like a fantastic showcase of Honda’s best-selling compact, and it would be great to see it in person. Unfortunately, with the pandemic and Japan’s restrictions on US travelers, this is as good as we’re going to get. Continue reading

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Mitsubishi UK is auctioning off its entire heritage fleet

We are sad to report that Mitsubishi UK will soon be auctioning off its entire heritage collection. Last year, Mitsubishi made a sudden announcement that it was withdrawing from the UK and European markets. While it has since reversed the decision for Europe, it’s still leaving the UK. With no presence in the UK any more, there’s no longer any need for (or anyone to maintain) a heritage fleet. There are 14 cars being put up for auction, and now is your chance to own a piece of Mitsubishi history. Continue reading

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VIDEO: The Mazda MX-6 appeals to the emotions

Before there was Kodo, Mazda practiced Kansei Engineering — engineering based on human feelings. It still resonates today, trickling down to even the CX-30‘s heartbeat-like LED turn signals. Back in 1993, design DNA from the flagship FD RX-7 trickled down to perpetuate the low, wide stance and flowing lines of the MX-6. Continue reading

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Nissan is remaking more R32 Skyline GT-R parts using state-of-the-art tech

Nissan has announced that its adding more body panels to its Skyline GT-R Heritage Parts program, including the rear panel for the R32. Of course, many of these parts have been out of production for decades, and it’s no easy feat to start making them again, especially when they won’t be sold in large volumes. Instead, Nissan is using ultra-modern manufacturing techniques to make these parts possible. Continue reading

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