SHOWA SNAP: Amago Bridge, Iwaki Prefecture, 1977

For our first Showa Snap of the Reiwa Era, let’s go back to Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture in August of 1977. The Amago bridge traces its origins back to the times of the samurai. It was part of the Hama Road, which was designated part of Japan’s National Route 6 during the Meiji Era, and until 1951 was still made out of wood. It rebuilt in concrete to accommodate increasing automobile traffic of the times. Initially two lanes, by 1970 it was seeing 30,000 cars per day so the city widened it to four lanes in 1972. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Don’t underestimate the 1986 Mitsubishi Galant

The 1986 Mitsubishi Galant occupied a strange space in the 1980s Japanese sedan segment. It was only offered with a four-cylinder, so it would have made sense to cross-shop it with an Accord or Camry. But, it was catapulted it into heights shared with cars like the Cressida or Maxima thanks to an insane slew of high-tech options that are only becoming commonplace on cars today. Continue reading

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NEWS: Arkansas changes historic plate cutoff from 25 to 45 years

We at JNC have always had a rolling 25 year cutoff for what is considered a classic. That’s because 25 years is when the US allows cars to be imported, and when most states allow for historic registration plates. Sadly, that is no longer the case for Arkansas, as the state has passed a new law that moves the cutoff for historic registration from 25 to 45 years. That means the state no longer considers any car made after 1973 to be a classic. Continue reading

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NEWS: Mazda to offer more 30th Anniversary Miatas to US buyers

The Mazda Miata 30th Anniversary Edition sold out in just four hours after its introduction in February. All 500 allocated to the US market were spoken for during pre-order, but now Mazda is giving 143 buyers who missed out the chance to get one. The company has announced that it will be upping the US allocation of 30th Anniversary Miatas to 643. Continue reading

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MINICARS: Upcoming AUTOart 1:18 releases

Collectors of scale-model JNCs have come to expect beautifully detailed 1:18 pieces from AUTOart, though new releases can come along with maddening infrequency. Thankfully, news from the 2019 Shizuoka Hobby Show indicates that the coming year will be a veritable boom era for classic Japanese diecast. Continue reading

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Kidney, Anyone?: 1974 Datsun 710 Race Car

Did you go to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion this year and feel left out because you didn’t own a classic racer of your own? Did you also wonder if it was possible for the Datsun 710 to be desirable and cool? Well, this 1974 Datsun 710 race car is the answer to both of those questions. You now have a chance to get your own Datsun race car and it proves that the 710 is just as cool as any other Datsun. Continue reading

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QotW: Do you prefer a certain size of JNC?

Recently we added a little one to our family. After searching for an overly expensive car seat, the question came up on what car we should get to haul around the little guy. I have a Pajero Mini Turbo, but the high ingress height and thinner-than-paper body means we need a new ride in our future.

Problem is, I like smaller cars, always have. JNCs have a great history of small cars, even a few land yachts like the Nissan President and Toyota Century. The wife wants something bigger but I am still resisting. How about you? When getting a JNC, do you like small runners or large beasts á la Land Cruiser? Have you had to give up a JNC for something larger as a family hauler?

Do you prefer a certain size of JNC?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What questions do you have for the A90 Supra?” Continue reading

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Happy 510 Day from JNC!

Happy 510 day! Forty-eight years ago John Morton and Brock Racing Enterprises took their first of two consecutive SCCA Trans-Am Two-Five Challenge titles. Other worthy competitors included Mike Downs, Bobby Allison, Bob Sharp, Walt Maas, Jim Fitzgerald, Sam Posey, Peter Gregg, Herschel McGriff, Lothar Stahlberg, Dave Madison, John Meskauskas, Corky Bell, George Algerman, Gary Witzenberg, Bob Stevens, Bob Finn (car pictured), and many more. Never again will we see a more worthy line-up of small bore sedans. Continue reading

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NEWS: Nissan creates a watch for John Morton using his Datsun 510’s chin spoiler

Nissan has created a watch just for racing legend John Morton in honor of his SCCA championships behind the wheel of Datsun cars. The one-off timepiece incorporates not only design cues, but parts from the actual No. 46 BRE Datsun 510 that Mort0n drove to consecutive SCCA Trans-Am victories in 1971-72 until its class was canceled. Continue reading

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NEWS: Mazda is building a rear-wheel-drive straight-six platform

Mazda is working on a rear-wheel-drive platform to be powered by an inline-6 engine. An posted recently on a Mazda website revealed that inline-6 engines running on diesel and gasoline (in compression-ignition SkyActiv-X guise) will be mounted longitudinally in the company’s upcoming “large architecture” vehicles. Continue reading

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Toyota brought these classic Supras to the A90 launch

At the test drive of the first 2020 Supras this week at Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia, Toyota also brought along several examples of classic Supras to go along with the new kid on the block. Sadly, though we were allowed to flog the A90 all we wanted, they didn’t let us drive (or even touch) these gems. A Toyota spokesperson even told that the A80 was CEO Akio Toyoda’s personal car, and of course we would never dream of risking the big man’s own car, but we feel like we’ve seen this car before. Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels is making a Subaru Impreza 22B STi

Hot Wheels is at long last making a Subaru Impreza 22B STi, and it looks incredible. The car has been translated extremely well into 1:64 scale, with an extremely high level of detail in the front fascia, especially the grille and headlight area, the lower grille and foglamps, and vents and scoops of the hood. Naturally, it comes in metallic blue paint with gold wheels, a stunning miniature representation of Subaru’s beloved rally machine. Continue reading

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NEWS: Mazda restores a BD Familia hatchback

In 2015 Mazda launched an in-house restoration program of a 1967 Cosmo Sport. With a key goal of providing its younger employees with a connection to the company’s heritage, it resulted in the world’s most definitive restoration of an L10A Cosmo. Furthermore, it launched a series of restorations in the lead-up to Mazda’s 100th anniversary next year. March marked the official completion and unveiling of the penultimate restoration job, that of a fifth-generation Familia. Continue reading

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QotW: What questions do you have for the A90 Supra?

We’re about to get behind the wheel of the long-awaited fifth-gen Toyota Supra. Depending on who you talk to the expectations could not be higher, or lower. Toyota says we’ll have the chance to talk to engineers, designers, and other people who worked on the car. We might even get to take it on a track. We’ll finally be able to satisfy our own curiosities, like is the car substantially different from a BMW, will it live up to its predecessor, and what’s really behind the choice of the Supra badge? Let us know what burning questions you have for the A90.

What questions do you have for the A90 Supra?

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 greatest car of the Heisei Era?” Continue reading

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NEWS: Japan’s new emperor takes first ride in a Toyota Century Royal

On May 1, Japan’s newest Emperor, Naruhito, took his first ride as the head of the royal family to a ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Of course, the media was very interested in his inheritance of the swords and crown jewels that are passed down from one generation to the next, but what was truly interesting was the Emperor’s new whip, a Toyota Century Royal. Continue reading

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Get ready for the 15th Japanese Classic Car Show


It’s hard to believe, but the Japanese Classic Car Show will be celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Not only that, 2019 marks “year zero” of the Reiwa Era, and is thus an opportunity for a fresh new start.

The stunning official poster by Mame Ozizo was announced today, featuring a S30 Fairlady Z, SA22C Mazda RX-7, FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser, and Honda NSX.

Registration officially opens July 1, and the show will be held on September 21, so mark your calendars for those two days.

Once again, the show will be held at its new location in Marina Green Park in Long Beach, California, right at thee start/finish line of the Long Beach Grand Prix.  See you there!C

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NEWS: It’s the end of the road for the Nissan Z Roadster

The end of the Heisei Era has taken another model along with it. Nissan has confirmed that droptop versions of the Nissan Z will no longer be sold starting with the 2020 model year. While this doesn’t affect the Z itself, this does make the fate of the Z seem slightly more tenuous when variants are getting culled without a clear successor in place. Continue reading

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VIDEO: RE Amemiya’s rotary-powered Mazda kei car

One of our favorite tuner specials in recent Tokyo Auto Salon memory was RE Amemiya’s rotary-powered Mazda Chantez. As Ricky Silverio explained back when the car debuted in 2016, the car hearkens back to the legendary rotary tuning house’s roots, when founder and rotary mad scientist Isami Amemiya built a drag car out of the rear-wheel-drive kei hatchback. The new car is more of a circuit monster, and because Ama-san doesn’t just build anything for show, in this Option video you can watch it roar around Tsukuba Circuit. Continue reading

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Happy TE51 Day from JNC

The Heisei Era is over, and the Reiwa Era has begun. However, we’re going to Showa ourselves out with a third-generation Toyota Corolla Sport Coupe, or TE51. It may not be the most celebrated holiday on the JNC calendar, but it’s a good reminder that there are still good cars undiscovered by speculators. Happy TE51 Day from JNC!

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MOTORSPORT: Record-holding Dakar racer Yoshimasa Sugawara retires at age 77

After a record 36 back-to-back runs in the Dakar Rally, Yoshimasa Sugawara has decided to hang up his racing hat for good. The Hokkaido native holds dual Guinness records for most consecutive starts, having participated in his first Dakar Rally in 1983, as well as most consecutive completions in a race where only one in five make it to the finish line, a 20-event streak from 1989-2009. In recent years, Sugawara has also been the oldest driver in the backbreaking race, and at 77 years old, it’s no wonder he’s retiring. Continue reading

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