Happy MX73 Day from JNC

We love a good chassis code-based holiday here at JNC, but cars like the Toyota Cressida present a dilemma. The US sedan’s chassis code is MX73, so naturally that would make today, July 3, MX73 day. I think we can all agree that it should not be celebrated on July 2, because the MX72 wagon, as cool as it is, is an offshoot of the sedan. However, Japan’s chassis code for the Mark II on which the Cressida is based is GX71, which would put the holiday on July 1. Which day should we observe celebration of this fine automobile?


MARKETWATCH: Another A80 Supra Turbo sells for record price at $176,000

Values of the A80 Toyota Supra Turbo keeps climbing. Over the weekend, another example sold at auction for prices well into the 6-digit range. This time, the gavel came down at $176,000, a new record. Continue reading


VIDEO: The great tragedy of the Geo Storm Wagonback

“These small sports wagons were popular with growing families who needed more room but didn’t want to give up their sports car lifestyle,” says Motorweek host John H. Davis of 1960s cars like the MG B GT and Volvo P1800. Ah, it was simpler times back then, in 1991, just prior to the SUV boom. He says the Isuzu-built Geo Storm Wagonback builds on that heritage,  is of the same ilk, and the review comes out generally favorable. But man, what could have been. Continue reading


QotW: What’s the best US-built or US-market JNC?

The conventional wisdom says that the best Japanese cars were reserved for the home market, but that’s not always true. We may not have gotten the Skyline GT-Rs and triple-rotor Cosmos, but there were cases where we Yanks got more unique or better versions. From Honda N600s to VG30-powered S12s to 2.8-liter Cressidas, there were plenty of cars a Japanese otaku would want to repatriate. And that’s not to mention the US-built cars that were either imported back to Japan to be sold, or never offered there, like Honda Coupes and Camry wagons. In honor of the 4th of July this week, we ask:

What’s the best US-built or US-market JNC?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW,”What non-car item is essential for your JNC life?Continue reading


VIDEO: This Honda CR750 channels 60 years of racing bikes

Speaking of Honda racing bikes, a custom 1973 CB750 might just be the coolest Japanese vehicle Jay Leno has ever hosted on his YouTube channel — an iconic Honda superbike built to channel Old Man Soichiro’s renowned early RC race bikes of the 1960s. The former talk show host and prolific car and motorcycle collector went to a British bike show, and in a sea of BSAs, Triumphs, and Royal Enfields, picked Vincent Scarelli’s custom “CR750” to invite onto his show. Continue reading

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MOTORSPORT: Honda celebrates 60 years of racing

Honda is one of the few carmakers that’s been racing almost as long as it’s been a company. Its first foray into motorsports was a dive into the deep end, challenging the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, widely considered one of the world’s most demanding motorcycle races. It’s been 60 years since that 1959 contest, and Honda is planning a slew of events to mark the occasion. Continue reading

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MINICARS: The new Matchbox Subaru SVX was a designer’s dream

Hot Wheels designer and Osaka native Ryu Asada is beloved around the world for infusing the popular toy car line with brilliant Honda castings. With his catch phrase “Honda for life!” Ryu has not only been responsible for the majority of the Hondas that Hot Wheels collectors clamor for, but has a long family history of Honda ownership in real life, too. It may surprise many, then, that the first car he bought as a young automotive design student was a Subaru SVX. Continue reading


MOTORSPORT: Sonoma Festival of Speed

Sonoma Raceway, or more widely known as Sears Point Raceway and Infineon Raceway, is one of Northern California’s “old-time” tracks with rich racing history that stretches back to 1968. Often overshadowed by Laguna Seca Raceway, it has long been the home of SCCA racing, NASCAR, the Indy series, and at one point, Bob Bondurant’s Racing School. The racing circuit is one of my personal favorites with its challenging tight corners, nervous sweepers, and straights that make up a highly technical road racing course. It’s the ideal course for the country’s most iconic period-prepped cars. Continue reading


NEWS: Mitsubishi Motors relocating North American headquarters to Tennessee

Mitsubishi Motors is relocating their North American headquarters to Franklin, Tennessee. The move was announced by Tennessee governor Bill Lee today. The change of address is expected to strengthen Mitsubishi’s tie-up with Nissan, which moved to Franklin in 2006. Continue reading


VIDEO: The Mitsubishi Diamante was a diamond in the rough

Mitsubishi didn’t have the budget to launch an entire upscale brand like Lexus or Infiniti. But, it had the know-how to build cars that were competitive in that class save for the badge. The Mitsubishi Diamante is largely forgotten now, but back in its glory days it was reviewed favorably against luxury juggernauts such as Mercedes. It was all due to a combination of luxurious design and high-tech engineering Continue reading


Toyotafest Spotlight: Our favorite car of the show

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a unicorn appears out of nowhere. It has always been a rare sight, even at Toyotafest and JCCS, to find any A10 Toyota Carina. To observe one as clean as Nestor Rabanal’s? It’s like seeing Sasquatch riding Halley’s Comet. Continue reading


QotW: What non-car item is essential for your JNC life?

As JNCers we often pride ourselves on needing the absolute minimum in order to enjoy our cars. No touchscreens, power seats, or cupholders required. However, once in a while there comes an item it’s hard to live without, such as a Bluetooth FM transmitter and phone charger. It allows you to play media from your phone to the car, all without installing a too-colorful head unit or carrying around a box of 8-tracks. But your essential thing doesn’t even have to be this fancy. We’re just looking for the item that you always bring when driving your JNC. It could be a pair of sunglasses, a trusted tool, or a quart of 10W-40.

What non-car item is essential for your JNC life?

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 best JNC for open-top cruising?Continue reading


EVENTS: All-Toyotafest, Part 06 — Trucks

Many long-time Toyota enthusiasts may feel that the company has squandered their loyalty by farming out their sports car icon (no matter what the reasons) or dissolving important parts of the Toyota USA Museum. However, there is one thing Toyota will always be known for, and that is indestructible trucks. Continue reading


Toyotafest Spotlight: This mint Starlet was once part of the Toyota USA Museum

We’ve already covered the Starlets from this year’s Toyotafest, but there was one particular example we had to point out. It’s not that it was bone stock, or flawless, or a rare 3C5 Coral Metallic color, though it was all those things. It’s that this car was once part of the Toyota USA Museum — emphasis on was. Continue reading


Happy 620 Day from JNC

It’s time to celebrate the little pickup that was fit for a King. Or a King Cab, at least. Happy 620 Day from JNC!

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NEWS: Honda restores a Chevy pickup

It is an extremely rare event for us at JNC to feature a non-Japanese car. Even more rare is when an automaker spends its hard-earned money to restore a car made by one of its competitors. But that’s exactly what Honda has done with this 1961 Chevy Apache pickup to celebrate its 60th anniversary. Continue reading


VIDEO: Watch the first Honda car built for the US get restored

The discovery and restoration of the first Honda car ever built for the US market is like an Indiana Jones story for car nuts. Not only did the car find its way to the right owner, Honda N600 and Z600 restorer Tim Mings, but it sat in his treasure trove of Honda artifacts for 10 years before he even realized what it was. Also, Mings actually says the words, “It belongs in a museum.” Continue reading


QotW: What’s the best JNC for open-top cruising?

As of yesterday, Toyota became the only Japanese carmaker to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice, but when it came time to escort the colossal trophy around Circuit de la Sarthe, they had to go with a 1987 Toyota Celica. Now the T160 Celica is a fine car, but it highlights the rarity of the open-top cruiser among JNCs. A Miata or S2000 is a different animal, built for canyon carving rather than relaxed wafting on a cool summer night. Compared to Detroit, they are so uncommon that we’ll have to include roadsters, targas, and T-tops just to get a diversity of answers.

What’s the best JNC for open-top cruising?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What is the Best Japanese Automotive Trilogy?Continue reading


MOTORSPORT: Toyota’s Celica Convertible Le Mans Trophy Car

As is tradition before each year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the previous year’s champion gets to do a little parade lap showing off the towering trophy they have. The prize then gets delivered to FIA officials so it can be passed on to the next winner. Of course, one must find the appropriate chariot for the presentation, and in Toyota’s case it was a 1987 Celica Cabrio. Continue reading

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Every once in a while you run into a car that simply drops your jaw. At this year’s Toyotafest, one of those cars was Gary Toomer’s 1984 Toyota Celica Supra. It looked as it it had rolled straight out of the showroom 35 years ago, and time-warped itself to Long Beach. Continue reading