Tag Archives: kei

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 … Continue reading

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A Subaru 360 joins the super detailed subscription model club

  The 1/8 scale subscription models are among the most expensive and time consuming kits available in Japan. It takes serious commitment to complete them, and because of their complexity only a couple get produced per year. Only the most … Continue reading

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Mazda is restoring an Autozam AZ-1 for their museum in Hiroshima

Mazda is in the process of restoring an Autozam AZ-1 for their museum in Hiroshima. This year marked the 30th anniversary of the AZ-1’s debut, and Mazda showed the partially revived car during an AZ-1 owners’ car show at the … Continue reading

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Nissan 350Z, Toyota Truck, Suzuki Cappuccino are cars to invest in, says Hagerty

Hagerty has published its annual Bull Market list, next year’s “hottest collector vehicles” according to the classic car insurance company. Out of the ten cars (and one motorcycle) three hail from the land of the rising sun. Let’s see which … Continue reading

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Honda has been quietly reproducing parts for the 1988-99 Acty Truck

In recent years Japanese automakers have been remaking genuine parts for many of their most popular discontinued models. Thus far, such programs have been for sports cars and enthusiasts’ models. However, Honda has also been quietly reproducing parts for the … Continue reading

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The Suzuki Lapin LC brings adorable retro style back to kei cars

If you missed your chance to get a Nissan Figaro, the throwback design of the Suzuki Lapin LC is here to save the day. It’s been a while since a Japanese carmaker has produced something in the retro-cute category. With … Continue reading

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Subaru 360 “Beach Van” charms its way to the kei car Grand Prix at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon

In a show where copious horsepower and dazzling bling overshadows less shouty cars, a humble Subaru 360 Custom has taken the Grand Prix for kei cars at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon. Called the Subaru 360 Beach Van, it might … Continue reading

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Japanese Classic Car Show 2021, Part 01

To close out 2021, a year where things were finally opening up again, we’re going back to the Japanese Classic Car Show. After a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic, JCCS was back in full form. Perhaps trying to … Continue reading

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Honda S660 extends final production run, for the fans

It’s always good to hear a story about a carmaker doing something for the fans. Honda announced that sad news back in March that production of the S660 roadster would be coming to a close. That led to a spike … Continue reading

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The Daihatsu HiJet has won Good Design’s lifetime achievement award

The Daihatsu HiJet, perhaps the most ubiquitous of all the many kei trucks in Japan, has won Good Design’s “Long Life” award. It’s one of Japan’s highest honors in the field of industrial design, recognizing graphics, products, and architecture that … Continue reading

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Suzuki surpasses milestone of 25 million kei cars sold

It’s taken 65 years and 7 months, but Suzuki announced on May 11 that it has sold 25 million kei cars. That’s not a huge number compared to, say, the Toyota Corolla, which has sold over 44 million of a … Continue reading

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EVENTS: The inaugural Kyushu Kei Car Meeting

On Sunday April 25th the inaugural Kyushu Kei Car Meeting was held in Asakura City, Fukuoka Prefecture. I see a raised hand in the back there. “Inaugural” means, like, the first one? Well, yeah. Due to a glaringly obvious oversight, … Continue reading

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Enkei expands selection of Neo-Classic wheels

Enkei has added new variants for two of its iconic wheels in the Neo-Classic line, a selection of wheels that have evolved with modern production processes but still retain their classic form. The Apache 2 Neo and Mesh 4 Neo … Continue reading

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The Honda S660 has completely sold out the rest of its production run

Honda announced on March 12 that production of its S660 roadster would come to an end, in March of 2022. That gave a year’s notice for anyone who wanted to buy one. Of course, this successor in name to the … Continue reading

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The Honda S660 will end production with another homage to the Beat roadster

Honda has announced that production of the S660 is coming to a close. A spiritual successor to the Beat and tribute to the S-series roadsters, the mid-engined kei sports car will end its run in March 2022. Honda is sending … Continue reading

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TAS2021: Here come Daihatsu’s Tokyo Auto Salon cars

Daihatsu has officially taken the wraps off their 2021 Tokyo Auto Salon builds. We saw mock-ups of them last month, but now videos of the finished cars can be seen in motion, complete with jaunty music. This is probably the … Continue reading

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100 YEAR CLUB: Mazda, Part 03

Among automotive journalists, including many of us here at JNC, Mazda has long occupied a special place in our hearts. To this day, their cars just tick for us. Why? As we near the end of the year that marks … Continue reading

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VIDEO: Behold, a loop of Tokyo’s Shuto Expressway in 1986

While most people are downing large quantities of Netflix right now, here’s something a bit more relevant to our interests: Home videos of driving through Tokyo in the Showa Era. It’s a clockwise loop of Tokyo’s Shuto, and speaking of … Continue reading

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MARKETWATCH: A Subaru 360 has sold for $50,000

A 1969 Subaru 360 has sold for an insane $50,000. For that price, you could afford a number of significant Japanese classics. A Datsun 510 or Fairlady Roadster, Toyota Celica or AE86, early Mazda rotary, and so on. Or, you … Continue reading

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OH, KEI! The Jimny Santa Monica was a cute beach cruiser based on Suzuki’s mini-4×4

With summer is upon us, so are dreams of beachside cruising. In the history of kei cars, there was perhaps no vehicle more fitting for that purpose than the Jimny Santa Monica (it’s right there in the name!). Built upon … Continue reading

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