QotW: Will the sport compact style make a nostalgic comeback?

Ah, the late-90s. You know the style: retina searing paint, aftermarket roll call down the door, a wing that could double as a dining surface, unpainted carbon fiber proudly on display, Kanji that looked like the default font from a Chinese diner’s takeout box, and Hyper Combat body kit with enough cavities to trigger trypophobia. It was a massive cultural swell that spawned a million cold air intakes, angerd old hot rodders to no end, and launched a pretty mediocre movie franchise.

Recently, our Senior Midwest Editor Ryan Senensky and I were debating whether this style would even come back into fashion. I, who was well past drinking age during the “Rice Rocket” era, believe that while people might have nostalgia for the cars, the cars, the Wings West body kits would remain firmly in the past. Ryan, who was in his formative car discovery years when all this was taking place, said it would “absolutely, one hundred percent comeback.” We need you to settle the debate:

Will the sport compact style make a nostalgic comeback?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What car must be saved before they’re all gone?Continue reading

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2019 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 07 — Kaido Racers

The classic Japanese street racer look has really taken off in recent years. It’s gotten to the point where even non-Japanese cars are adopting the look of deep-barreled small-diameter wheels, over-fenders with flush fitment, and a tough shakotan stance. It’s a distinctive style, and here are the cars of JCCS that exemplified it best. Continue reading

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The new Lupin III trailer has Bluebird-Cedric police cars

There’s a new Lupin III movie coming out, and the latest trailer shows a car chase with some classic Japanese police cars. At first glance they appear to be 510 Bluebird Coupes, but of course, it would be kind of difficult to shove perps into the back seat if you only have two doors. These are clearly four-door vehicles, which would most likely make them C30 Nissan Cedrics. In any case, they are unmistakably late-60s Nissans. Oh yeah, and the animation looks pretty cool too. Continue reading

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2019 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 06 — Awesome 80s

The 80s were a pivotal time in Japan’s automotive history, and the JCCS did not disappoint with a of turbocharged, retractable-headlight, angular-bodied machines. Continue reading

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After 30 years, Subaru bids farewell to the EJ20 engine

Since the dawn of the modern Subaru era, the venerable EJ20 engine has been a hallmark of the marque. In its various guises the boxer four has powered everything from rally machines to family station wagons. Now, after 30 years on the market — a tremendous lifespan for any motor — the EJ20 is ending production. Continue reading

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Japan slammed by worst typhoon in 60 years

Japan is still trying to assess the damage done by Typhoon Hagibis over the weekend. According to the Japan Times, the death toll is up to 68, and rescue crews are working around the clock to find more survivors. The storm was the worst to strike Japan in 60 years, and caused numerous landslides, power outages, and floods. The scope of the devastation is still unknown. Continue reading

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Drift back to school with an Initial D AE86 backpack

It’s hard getting up for class but when you’re wearing a snazzy AE86 backpack, you can slide to school in style. Forget your Jansport, a Japanese shop has made a replica of the Initial D Toyota Sprinter Trueno for all your book- (or tofu-) carrying needs. Continue reading

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QotW: What car must be saved before they’re all gone?

As much as we love Skylines, Zs, RX-7s, Supras, 2000GTs, and so on, perhaps there really isn’t a need to rescue them all, since there are so many well-preserved examples out there already. Or maybe there is, if it’s a particularly rare version. Then there aree the cars that no one ever thinks to save, which we will sorely miss when they’re extinct.

What car must be saved before they’re all gone?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your best advice for a JNC road trip?Continue reading

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VIDEO: A first look at the new heritage gallery at Nissan’s Yokohama headquarters

As we reported in September, Nissan has opened a permanent heritage section at its headquarters building in Yokohama. Now, the company has released footage from the grand opening, giving us a first video look at the display. Continue reading

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MINICARS: Hot Wheels S13 Nissan Silvia prototype

The hits keep on coming from our friends at Hot Wheels. Having successfully gotten a couple of iconic 90s Hondas into the 2020 lineup, it’s now time for another Nissan. While Skyline GT-Rs were nice, this car was emblematic of not only the everyman’s Nissan, but the larger late 80s and 90s tuning culture as a whole. It is, of course the S13 Nissan Silvia. Continue reading

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2019 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 05 — Toyota fans save the day

Before Toyota moved to Texas, their displays were always a centerpiece of JCCS. A massive enclosed trailer would bring a truck-full of the Toyota USA Museum’s rolling treasures to the show. Now, with the company’s headquarters several states away and, as we found out at Toyotafest, divesting some of its cars, the display has scaled down quite a bit. Continue reading

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MINICARS: There’s a Hot Wheels EG Honda Civic coming too

The Hot Wheels Honda hits just keep on coming. The latest diecast incarnation of a quintessential 90s Honda is the EG Civic hatch, a tuner favorite and yet another Japanese icon that was incredibly difficult to come by in miniature form. Continue reading

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2019 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 04 — For Nissan, it’s the fans that make the marque

For Nissan, it was supposed to be a huge year. 2019 marked the 50th birthday of not only two nameplates iconic for Nissan, but for the automotive kingdom as a whole, the GT-R and the Z. However, Nissan is also having a terrible year, with two presidents ousted on financial impropriety, and plunging sales. What should have been a glorious, golden anniversary celebration was just alright. Thank goodness for the fans. Continue reading

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MINICARS: At long last, a fifth-gen Honda Prelude is coming to Hot Wheels

The fifth-generation Honda Prelude was a phenomenal car, but until now it was nearly impossible to find one in diecast form. It wasn’t a popular car in Japan and thus doesn’t really exist in diecast form there, and when it was the new new the mainstream American-based diecast companies weren’t terribly interested in Japanese castings. Now, at long last, there is one coming to Hot Wheels. Continue reading

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2019 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 03 — Zoom Zoom

The Mazda booth is always a classy affair at JCCS, and this year they brought a who’s who of classics and late model cars from their North American collection. Right off the bat was one of the first Mazda RX-7s ever built — a replica of the Yoshimi Katayama, Yojiro Terada, and Takashi Yorino-driven GTU class-winning Mazda RX-7 from the 1979 24 Hours of Daytona — and a the only LHD FD3S Spirit R in existence. Continue reading

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MINICARS: Get humming with NISMO-tune Hot Wheels R33, R34 Skyline GT-Rs

Those of you who stopped by our booth at the 2019 JCCS may have caught a glimpse of some upcoming Hot Wheels. Here’s the deets on two of the most eye-catching models, an R33 and R34 Skyline GT-Rs in NISMO livery. Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your best advice for a JNC road trip?

Driving an old car for any distance can be a challenge. It’s not like hopping into a late model Camry with a cup of coffee and a bag of beef jerky and pointing that Toyota logo where you want to go. There’s aging parts, elevation changes, and comfort to consider.

What’s your best advice for a JNC road trip?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “How should Japanese carmakers honor their history?Continue reading

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Toyota has sold its 10 millionth Land Cruiser, celebrates in Japan and Europe but not US

Toyota is celebrating the sale of its 10 millionth worldwide sale of the venerable Land Cruiser. The longest serving nameplate not only in the Toyota lineup, but among all Japanese marques, it has taken 68 years for the go-anywhere truck to reach this notable milestone. Perhaps ominously, both Toyota Japan and Toyota Europe have launched campaigns to celebrate the accomplishment, but Toyota USA has so far remained quiet. Continue reading

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2019 Japanese Classic Car Show, Part 02 — JDM, yo

This year marked the 15th anniversary for America’s premier gathering of Nihon steel. To put that in perspective, at the first JCCS in 2005, the newest Japanese cars allowed for import under America’s 25-year import ban were built in 1980. The original Mazda RX-7, Toyota Celica XX (Supra), and S130 Nissan Fairlady Z (280ZX) were barely eligible. Now, the cutoff is 1994, and the spectrum of what’s allowable into the States is staggering. In our previous installment, we saw the rare USDM cars that JCCS had to offer. Here are some JDM ones. Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: A new historic racing group for Datsun 510s and other compact sedans of the 60s and 70s to race this Saturday

This weekend, October 4-6 2019, Classic Sport Racing Group (CSRG)’s Charity Challenge will feature an exhibition of historic sedan racing through its John Morton Cup Series, named after Datsun racing legend John Morton himself. Joining the cars of the John Morton Cup will be the Historic B&C Sedan class, under which the Datsun 510, Alfa Romeo GTV, BMW 2002 and others raced some 40 to 50 years ago. With a grid of about forty cars, paired with the truly legendary  Sonoma Raceway (formerly Sears Point), fans are guaranteed a memorable flashback to the days of wheel-to-wheel small bore sedan racing. Continue reading

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