We are proud to welcome Japan-based artist San Mamiya as a regular contributor to JNC. After we featured his brilliant artwork in March, some of the JNC staff commissioned him to draw their own cars. That project snowballed into a deeper collaboration, and we hope readers will enjoy the first San Mamiya X JNC illustrations.
As fans know, one of San Mamiya’s many talents is that he doesn’t just draw the cars. He understands their every facet and possesses a vast knowledge of various tuning styles. Each drawing is peppered with clever details and easter eggs that reveal themselves upon multiple viewings, perfect for the otaku and enthusiast alike.
For this first drawing, I wanted to imagine race cars duking it out on the old banking of Fuji Speedway, emulating the touring car races of the 1970s, while wearing livery like the JNC inkan‘ed Hot Wheels. Mt. Fuji, of course, would be looming in the background. Then, as an ode to another Showa Era icon, I wanted to add a little favorite of mine, Go Nagai’s Mazinger Z, whose base was by Fuji-san and whose battles mostly took place in the surrounding area.
Naturally, as the first Hot Wheels to bear the JNC inkan, the Hakosuka Skyline would be in the lead (not unlike period photos of the real works KPGC10s). The TA22 Celica was next simply because I love them, and the rest were based on their color schemes. You’ll find all the regular issue JNC Hot Wheels race cars — the white 240Z, black RX-7, red 510 wagon, yellow 510 wagon, blue RX-7 and black 240Z — in a tight field. San Mamiya’s expert placement of each car gives the sense of speed and really captured the look of the era. The inkan’ed blue 620 pickup sits in the infield as a support vehicle, and just for added coolness, there’s a Mad Manga in the mix, too.
In case you’re wondering the three billboards say San Mamiya, Hot Wheels in katakana, and Japanese Nostalgic Car. However, because the RX-7 was a bit too new for the original banking, San Mamiya suggested a surreal scenario in which the cars are running on the now unused and neglected section. For his part, San Mamiya was particularly excited about the vivid color of the sky, sun and clouds, a reference to the blues and reds used in Japanese art.
Lastly, in honor of our first collaboration, there’s the JNC inkan but modified slightly to include San Mamiya’s weapons of choice.
Another one of San Mamiya’s talents is his ability to create imaginative masterpieces based on only the flimsiest of guidelines. For example, Ben wanted a drawing of the ol’ JNC wagon, a 1986 Toyota Cressida. He sent only a photo of the car and mentioned that he wanted it on a Tokyo expressway.
Everything else spawned from San Mamiya’s rich imagination — the flying inkans in both original and black and gold, the Racing Mate and Okamoto Condom tributes peeking out from the clouds, the rising sun, nostalgic hearts, Tokyo Tower, looming 25 Year Club daruma, and myriad of old Japanese cars populating the expressway. Ben nearly fainted when he saw the final product.
For my own car, I gave him only a few parameters: my 1993 Miata racing on a circuit in Japan, Muttley of Hanna Barbera’s Wacky Races fame (incidentally, created by Iwao Takamoto) as the driver, some way to accentuate my SEV Marchal headlights, and my racing number on a roundel. I provided only two photos.
From there, San Mamiya read my mind. Tsukuba Circuit by the Dunlop bridge? That was exactly what I was thinking. The number 6 in a 1960s font? That matched exactly the style of my car. He even researched the mischievous persona of Muttley so he could depict him glancing impishly at the yellow Roadster he just sent off the course with a box of tacks.
Originally my limited imagination had Muttley racing only other NAs, but San Mamiya did one better by incorporating historic and iconic Eunos Roadsters. Let’s see if we can name them all: Beside my NA there’s a silver Pit Crew NA, followed by the Nopro JGTC rotary Roadster, the IAD V705 Miata prototype, a retro-modded ND, an NB in Crystal Blue Metallic, and since it’s a Rotary & Roadster meeting there’s an FD3S RX-7 in arrears.
Keeping with the all-Mazda theme, the safety car is Savanna RX-3 and the ambulance is a Mazda Bongo. Even the telephone lines that surround Tsukuba are captured before JNC decal-inspired sky, all brilliantly laid out and depicted by a master artist.
A very big domo arigato gozaimasu to San Mamiya, and please stay tuned for more of his work to be featured exclusively on JNC. Today also happens to be his birthday, so a big Omedetou to San Mamiya and follow him on Instagram!
We’re planning to print a limited run of the Fuji Speedway drawing as actual posters. How many JNC readers would be interested in purchasing one? Let us know in the comments.
I’d love to own the first one with the racers!
I’m interested in buying the limited edition poster!
Lovely art work. Are you going to sell them as a poster? I would love to get the first 2 and can also get a signature from San Mamiya. tnks
Amazing Artwork Love His drawings!! please run a production of the miata drawing, being a roadster fan and owner i would love to have one for my personal collection! Thank You
Such an amazing artist!
All of these are awesome. (I can hear Muttley laughing as he takes the corner).
Yes, I see these up near my bench at home. (Posters would be very cool).
These look awesome! As a Hot Wheels collector I’d be very interested in buying the top poster.
okay. My life won’t be complete until I can commission a Sharka toon from San Mamiya.
Soooooo cooooool! Love these! I’d definitely buy a print.
All of his works are awesome! I would love to buy prints of them. Hopefully the size of the poster will be a common size so we don’t have to spend $$ on a custom-sized frame. Thanks!!!!
It’s sooo coool (spoken in the annoying way Itsuki from Initial D did 😉 )
Time to register on the forum again with my Daihatsu and collect some found to order such amazing piece of art.
I would totally be interested!
So dope! These need to be in hd desktop wallpaper sizes! 1920×1080 please!
I swear this guy is the most talentednperson ive ever had the pleasure of getting a drawing from! I love all of them and the thought put in! ..I stare at pictures before reading, and I fot excitednnwhrn I realized the first one was all hot wheels!!!! I would love to buy a print of it!!! :)))))))
Errors, errors everywhere.. -_-
Fantastic, sign me up!
Wonderful! Count me in for a poster.
Can we haz dem in SUPER hi res? I’d like to print the Miata one!
Yes please, I’ll buy a Fuji Speedway print if I can get San Mamiya to do one of my car.
Id have a Fuji Speedway one too!
I too would want a poster.
This art is so original!! Some great styling going on there! I would love one of those posters in my room!
Definitely take the first two as I own an 86 Cressida Wagon myself.
I consider myself a fellow automotive artist, and San Mamiya’s stuff is great. I love the super cartoon style and all the little things peppered into it. His commissions are stacked so high , owning this would probably be the closest thing to getting on his commission list. Please count me in this, as I would definitely want one to frame.
I would like to order Miatas racing poster! Thanks, and great stuff guys!
So are these going to be available for purchase at jccs or something?
Yes, that’s the plan! We are trying to print them right now!
thats great news. Any idea what the charge will be?
Not yet. We’ll let you know as soon as we can!
sounds great. I’ve been a fan or this guys work for a while and an abide collector of Hotwheels and I would love o have this beautiful piece and support another artist.
Thanks! Look for an announcement soon.