QotW: What car still feels new to you even though it’s actually old?

As lovers of classic cars our perception of time can get seriously warped. That often manifests itself when we see a car like the Nissan 350Z, which because we grew up admiring the S30-Z32 generations, we think of as new even though it came out over 20 years ago. Maybe it’s because there was a Z hiatus between Z32 and Z33, or perhaps it’s the styling, but the 350Z just doesn’t give us the same warm fuzzy feeling or jolt of excitement as its predecessors when we see one.

What car still feels new to you even though it’s actually old?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Which Nissan model is the most Nissan?“. Continue reading

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Honda to open motorsports museum at Suzuka Circuit

Add another destination to your next trip to Japan, because Honda will soon open a new museum at Suzuka Circuit dedicated to motorsports. The Honda Racing Gallery’s grand opening this spring will coincide with the company’s 60th anniversary in Formula 1, which took place at the 1964 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. Continue reading

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NA Mazda MX-5 Miata OEM wheel reborn as 15-incher

The original Mazda Miata was an icon in every way, and the fact that its original OEM wheel is now being remade is proof. The RML Daisy takes its name from the nickname Miata enthusiasts have given the NA Miata’s 14×5.5 wheel, but it’s not an exact replica. Instead, it modernizes the design for lighter weight and makes it slightly larger in order to clear big brakes. Continue reading

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Kenjiro Shinozuka, Mitsubishi works driver and Paris-Dakar champion, 1948 — 2024

Famed Japanese rally driver Kenjiro Shinozuka has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 75. Best known for his achievements as a works driver with Mitsubishi, Shinozuka brought glory to the Triple Diamond in both the World Rally Championship and the Paris-Dakar Rally, becoming the first Japanese citizen to stand atop the podium in both events. Continue reading

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Marcello Gandini, legendary supercar designer, loved kei cars

The automotive world is still mourning the recent passing of legendary designer Marcello Gandini. One might assume that the much-revered designer of some of history’s most desirable supercars would drive something incredibly exotic. Something from his long résumé of iconic works, perhaps. A Lamborghini Miura? Maserati Ghibli? De Tomaso Pantera? Nope. As it turns out, Gandini was particularly fond of small Japanese cars, and when he got behind the wheel it was in his personal Suzuki Wagon R. Continue reading

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QotW: Which Nissan model is the most Nissan?

This is going to be a tough one. Not only has Nissan has built a wide variety of enthusiast cars over its 90 years in business, it has created icons over and over again. From the Datsun 510 to the R35 GT-R, Figaro to Fairlady, it’s almost impossible to pick one car that best represents everything the brand stands for. But asking you to try anyway.

Which Nissan model is the most Nissan?

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

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Honda and Nissan have inked a strategic partnership agreement

Back in 2019 the Japanese government reportedly tried to get Honda and Nissan to merge. At the time, both companies were said to have rejected the proposal right away. But now, a mere five years later, both carmakers have signed an agreement for a strategic partnership on their own. Continue reading

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1993 Nissan AP-X concept by Marcello Gandini was rumored to be a Z32 successor

At the 1993 Frankfurt Motor Show Nissan debuted the AP-X, a sports car concept meant to blend driving pleasure and environmental responsibility. The futuristic coupe was penned by Marcello Gandini, he of Lamborghini Miura, Countach, and Lancia Stratos fame. There was also a rumor that the AP-X was a planned Z32 successor. Gandini passed away Wednesday, March 11 at the age of 85, so lets take a look at the legend’s sole Japanese work. Continue reading

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Life-size Nissan Silvia S14 recreated for car lover’s wedding

A Japanese couple recently went viral on social media for having a Nissan Silvia S14 displayed at their wedding. The car in the photo above isn’t just any S14, though. The groom’s beloved Silvia proved impossible to get into the venue. So a life-size scale replica of the car, light enough to be carried through a doorway, was built instead. Continue reading

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Japanese detailers clean up a Toyota TE27 Corolla Levin

After seeing several detailers work their magic on classic Nihon steel, we wondered how such things are done in Japan. We weren’t able to unearth a video of anyone cleaning a full-on rat poop-infested husk, but we were able to find one of a shop thoroughly detail a TE27 Toyota Corolla Levin. Continue reading

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QotW: What tool has saved you the most agony?

Today, March 11, is National Worship of Tools Day. This oddly named day is meant to be spent taking care of the instruments that make our lives possible and convenient. Maybe take some time to organize your toolbox, cleaning grease off your implements or, as they did in the old days, putting linseed oil on wooden handles. There is absolutely no substitute for using the right tool for the job. Often when that’s not available people take shortcuts that turn out to be long cuts. For example, you can try to wrestle snap rings using other methods, but there’s nothing like a set of snap ring pliers to get it right the first and every time. And the rings don’t go flying off into no man’s land.

What tool has saved you the most agony?

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 tell a ‘car enthusiast’ from a car enthusiast?“. Continue reading

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Nissan puts classic Skyline, Silvia, Fairlady into the Metaverse

Nissan has opened a series of heritage car studios in the Metaverse to teach users about traffic safety.We have only the most rudimentary understanding of what any of that means, but if it means another way to experience classics like the Kenmeri Skyline then sure, why not? Continue reading

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Honda celebrates Collection Hall reopening by revving classic race engines

We can’t think of a more Honda way to open a museum than revving the crap out of some classic racing machines. Recently, the Honda Collection Hall in Japan reopened after a months-long remodel, and Honda held an opening ceremony with two of its most important vehicles, the 1965 RA272 Formula 1 car, and the 1966 RC166 Grand Prix motorcycle. Continue reading

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Tokyo Vice‘s cars elevate a pretty great yakuza series to something totally unprecedented

The yakuza series Tokyo Vice is currently on its second season. It’s not the most mind-blowing crime story, but one thing it has going for it is its excellent use of period correct Japanese cars. The series is set in Japan’s capital city in 1999 and while automobiles don’t play a central role, the sight of cool Nihon steel, even as background scenery, is a JDM carspotter’s dream. Continue reading

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Mitsubishi Starion getting first wash in 12 years is extremely satisfying

It’s not clear why someone would let a built Mitsubishi Starquest sit unused in a barn for 12 years, but that’s what happened. It gets even more curious when the builder is your father and one of the longest-serving experts on the Starion/Conquest platform. Luckily, the car was rescued from its life as a petri dish and given a thorough wash and detail job for a second chance at greatness. Continue reading

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QotW: How do you tell a “car enthusiast” from a car enthusiast?

Many people claim to be car enthusiasts, but are only superficially interested in things that go vroom-vroom. Sometimes what really appeals to “car enthusiasts” is the perceived status that owning a loud, flashy, expensive thing confers on them. Many go through that phase but some never grow out of it. Some give other car enthusiasts a bad name when they do stupid things on public roads. They range from mildly annoying to incredibly dangerous.

How do you tell a “car enthusiast” from a car enthusiast?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What should be the last purely gasoline-powered car ever produced?“. Continue reading

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The Nissan Fairlady Z stunt driver almost didn’t survive one of Japanese TV’s most insane automotive leaps

Over its five-year run Seibu Keisatsu was known for its share of crazy car chases, but there was one stunt that stood out from all the rest. Episode 104, “Rush to Glory”, is remembered for an insane jump in which a Nissan Fairlady Z flew 98 feet across a Tokyo canal. In the show the car is seen driving off on the other side with no issues, but in reality the driver nearly died. This leap year, let’s take a look behind Japan’s most famous automotive leap. Continue reading

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Mitsuoka announces production of “M55” Honda-based Kenmeri Skyline

Mitsuoka announced on February 29 that it will put the M55, shown last November as a concept, into production. The M55 was built to mark Mitsuoka’s 55th anniversary and is based on a modern Honda Civic, but the body has been completely restyled as an homage to the Kenmeri Nissan Skyline. Continue reading

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Toyota GR cars fight off boring autonomous vehicles in anime series GRip

Toyota has launched an anime miniseries to promote its Gazoo Racing lineup of sports cars. It’s called GRip: A Toyota Story, and its first two letters cleverly match the prefix in the series’ three star cars, the GR Corolla, GR Supra, and GR86. GRip takes place in a dystopian future where automated cars have taken over most of the streets and human-driven cars have to stick together. Continue reading

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NISMO twin-cam head for Nissan L-series straight-six unveiled

NISMO has been busy reissuing heritage parts for RB26-era Skyline GT-Rs, but recently they dropped a bombshell by building something completely new and unexpected for the previous generation of Nissan straight-sixes. In honor of the 40th anniversary of their founding in 1984, a NISMO race engineer designed a twin-cam head to replace the single-cam unit on classic L-series motors. Continue reading

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