SHOWA SNAP: Fukuyama Station, 1975

Fukuyama Station in Hiroshima Prefecture is located right by the 399-year-old Fukuyama Castle. Bullet trains whiz in and out of the station on a daily basis, and over 20,000 people pass though it every day. Back in 1975, parking at Fukuyama station consisted of nothing more than a ticket booth and stanchions in a ring. The outer ring formed the limits of the lot, and additional cars were parked inside the ring. Continue reading

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QotW: What JNC did you once hate but now love?

If you were alive in the late 1980s, you’ll recall that the V20 Camry was everywhere. Few at the time thought they were particularly attractive, and they seemed to carry the stigma that Camrys today still hold — reliable as death but not particularly stirring. But then you remember that this Camry was available with a 5-speed and a V6 and all-wheel-drive. And the mere fact that it has an actual steering column physically connected to the wheels and an actual throttle cable connected to a butterfly valve probably makes it better to drive than many of the “by wire” cars that would be in its class today. Now, I wouldn’t mind having one.

What JNC did you once hate but now love?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Which S13 would you get, Silvia or 180SX?Continue reading

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JCCS Spotlight: And the JNC Award goes to Kevin Truong’s NA Mazda MX-5 Miata

Our final installment of JCCS coverage spotlights the car to which we gave the JNC Award: Kevin Truong’s first-generation Montego Blue Mazda MX-5 Miata. Our pick coincided well with JCCS’s expanded eligibility of cars up to model year 1995. The Miata not only arrived at the dawn of the Bubble Era, but also welcomes a new era of JCCS. At the same time, it’s something attainable, relatable, and iconic. And most importantly, Kevin’s car is an exemplary specimen of the genre. Continue reading

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JCCS Spotlight: Best in Show Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE

We’ve completed eleven installments of the biggest JCCS ever. It was a landmark year, one that saw approximately 500 cars and over 10,000 spectators, both new records. The competition was tougher than ever, but when the dust settled there was only one Best in Show, and this year it went to Jerry Rosenblum’s 1985 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE. Continue reading

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NEWS: Mitsuoka turns your Miata into a Corvette Sting Ray

Mitsuoka is famous for giving Japan’s domestic cars weird, retro automotive costumes. For decades, its most popular offerings were the Viewt, which transformed a Nissan March into a British saloon, and the Le Seyde, Japan’s own or built on a Silvia chassis. Now, the company has set its sights on an American icon, the Corvette Sting Ray, based on the current-generation Mazda Roadster (aka MX-5 Miata). Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2018 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 11 — Bikes

Two-wheeled conveyances are an integral part of Japan’s motoring culture, much more so than they are in America. Go to any city in the land of the rising sun and you’ll see hundreds of motorcycles buzzing around — as transportation, as sporting machines, as workhorses. Therefore, it is only fitting that JCCS devote a section to historic examples of these important machines. Continue reading

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Debut! Hayashi Racing tires for all your Kaido Racer needs

Mention the Hayashi Racing name to any J-tin enthusiast, and they’ll think of wheels. Hayashi Racing was the first to cast aftermarket wheels in Japan, but the true heritage of the marque, is as a racing car manufacturer. In 1967 Hayashi-san made the decision to cast his own wheels, when he couldn’t find suitable ones for his Carman Apache race car.  And 51 years later, the lack of suitable tires for the more extreme Hayashi wheel sizes, has led Hayashi-san to branch out into his own tires.

What you see here is the new Interspeed 00R by Hayashi Racing.

Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2018 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 10 — Bubble Era

For 2018, the Japanese Classic Car Show expanded eligibility to cars up to 1995. That means for the first time, a flood of Bubble Era greats were able to attend. Welcome to a JCCS full of pop-up headlights, T-tops, and factory turbochargers. Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? Rare T120 2-door Corona

The seventh generation Toyota Corona isn’t as exciting as a classic Skyline or Celica, but there’s at least one version that bears mention. That version is the very rare 2-door sedan, which is so uncommon that it doesn’t even appear on many lists of Toyota models. A clean specimen has just surfaced for sale in Fresno, California.  Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2018 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 09 — Fairladies

There is perhaps no other model more beloved at JCCS than the Nissan Fairlady and Fairlady Z. The revolutionary sports car changed perceptions of what a proper driving machine could be, and earned legions of loyal fans for nearly five decades. With a record 10,000- spectator at this year’s show, it was impossible to capture every car, but here are some of the fairest ladies of JCCS. Continue reading

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VIDEO: A complete snapshot of Nissan circa 1974

A short film made in the UK shows a complete snapshot of Nissan’s activities in what appears to be 1974. After a brief history of the carmaker’s early history, it delves into the company’s extensive manufacturing and R&D efforts. And of course, there are tons of drool-worthy Bluebird, Z, Sunny, Cherry and truck models rolling off the assembly lines in factory fresh condition. Continue reading

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QotW: Which S13 would you get, Silvia or 180SX?

Silvia. 180SX. Which is the better design from the Nissan draft table? Before you post, no, we’re not talking about a Sil-Eighty or the USDM 240SX sedan/hatch designs. We’re comparing only the pure breeds:

Which S13 would you get, Silvia or 180SX?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Do you prefer stock or aftermarket wheels?

Continue reading

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NEWS: Akio Toyoda checks out a classic Crown in Finland

Akio Toyoda was recently overseeing his business empire in Finland, when he came upon a vintage Toyota Crown. According to Toyota, the CEO was astounded to come upon the S40 sedan in a rural Finnish village, still looking as if it was brand new. Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2018 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 08 – It’s a Sunny Day in Long Beach

Sure, Zs and 510s are great, and all, but they’re a bit, how do you say, common. When it comes to Nissans, these two model lines often make up the vast majority of the field. This year, however, the humble Sunny made one of its strongest showings in JCCS history. Here are some of the rarest Nissan models to ever appear at the show. Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2018 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 07 — Beaucoup Bluebirds

Of all the marques at JCCS, Nissan and Datsun were by far the most prevalent. Riding high off the momentum from prestigious events like The Mitty and Monterey Historics, where Nissan was the featured marque, the carmaker’s fans had a lot to celebrate. They turned out in big numbers in Long Beach, an unofficial tally pegging them at nearly half the field. Here are the Bluebirds of JCCS 2018. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Starlet, Sunny, and AE86 on Maou Touge

In a recent Hot Version video, the gang takes a pack of highly tuned cars to the Maou Touge. However, rather than the standard Honda S2000 and WRX STI models, this time they are modified versions of old school RWD compacts. Continue reading

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KIDNEY, ANYONE? 15k-mile Toyota Celica All-Trac

The Toyota Celica All-Trac is often overshadowed by its AE86, MR2 and Supra siblings. However, the all-wheel-drive, turbocharged, and rally-inspired sports coupe was just as important a pillar for Toyota’s lineup of “Fun to Drive” machines in the 1980s. Now, what is quite possibly the cleanest example left in the country, with only 15,476 miles on the odometer, is up for sale. Continue reading

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NEWS: Mazda announces the official return of the rotary engine

The rotary engine is officially back. Mazda issued a press release this morning laying out is plans for electric and hybrid vehicles for the coming decade, and the rotary engine is a integral part of those plans, serving as a range extender for gasoline-electric hybrids. Continue reading

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EVENTS: 2018 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 06 — Mazdas

Vintage rotaries took a prime position at this year’s JCCS, thanks to a classy display by Mazda. Imagine a hillside blooming with brightly colored pistonless wonders from Hiroshima, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the Mazda section looked like at this year’s Japanese Classic Car Show. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Jay Leno drives a Toyota Century with blood in the trunk

It’s the moment when Jay Leno is shown a blood stain in the trunk that he really warms up to the Toyota Century. Whether its really hemoglobin or not isn’t known, but Leno is clearly stoked to be driving what could be an ex-yakuza car. Leno says he’s always heard about the the “Rolls Royce of Japan,” but in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage the former talk show host and car collector finally gets to drive one. Continue reading

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