Compact pickups are coming back. Former compact trucks have gotten so large that there’s now room at the low end of the market for smaller offerings. The catch is that this new crop of vehicles like the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz are unibody, not body-on-frame. As the undisputed king of mid-sizers, Toyota is well-positioned to offer a rival that slots below the Tacoma. Rumor has it they’re reviving a name from the past and calling it the Stout. Continue reading
A couple in Tolland, Connecticut were heading home from a dinner in a Toyota MR2 Spyder when they passed through a street takeover on May 21. The crowd of supposed car enthusiasts ended up surrounding their mid-engined roadster and deliberately and maliciously destroying it as the couple, driver Stephanie and passenger Dennis Sargisian plead with them to stop. Continue reading
At the peak of Group C racing, this Nissan R90CK set what is considered one of the greatest laps in modern racing. At the qualifying session of the 1990 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, newcomer Mark Blundell put the hammer down on its V8 with malfunctioning twin-turbos and set a pole position qualifying lap beating the next closest Porsche 962C by over six seconds, a gap that’s still not been bested. Continue reading
The Nissan Fairlady Z is still the one. The original game-changer from the Land of the Rising Sun that set a new bar for sports cars in the 20th century. It’s beautiful from every angle, spanked not only the competition but cars that weren’t even in the same price bracket, and forever changed the world’s outlook on Japanese cars. That’s why on today, 5/30 we wish everyone a happy S30 Day from JNC!
There are many degrees of JDM-ness, but we think it can be classified into four main categories. If we were to list them in order from most JDM to least, something very JDM like a Skyline GT-R that has absolutely no US equivalent would be a JDM4. Next up, a JDM3 would be a car that has the same body but a powertrain that is not offered in America, like a GC WRX STi. A JDM2 car would have unique options or colors that were only available on Japanese variants, like an AE86 Black Limited. And finally a JDM1 car would be a car that has minimal differences from its US counterpart, stuff like lights, folding mirrors, and the steering wheel on the other side. We’ve seen quite a few JDM1 cars here in the US, and it’s always made us wonder what made someone to go through the trouble.
Would you import a JDM car that you could get in America?
Talk about a genre of car that’s gone completely extinct. The compact wagon used to be a staple of American roadways, but first wagons vanished and now compacts are gone. The charm and sheer functionality of compact wagons is unmatched, though. Fuel efficient, easy to park, capable of hauling a ton, they’d be the perfect car if drivers weren’t so image conscious. Continue reading
If there’s anything Gran Turismo is known for, it’s having a zillion variations of the Nissan Skyline. The tradition continues with the latest Gran Turismo 7 update, which adds the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R NISMO to the list of playable cars. The homologation special is a worthy addition to the many Group A-derived street cars that are already in the game. Continue reading
Japan is known for poaching American celebrities for car commercials, and at first glance this spot for a DSM starring 12-time Grammy winner Tina Turner could easily be mistaken for that. But no, it’s a home-grown all-American ad for the Plymouth Laser, the Mitsubishi-built Eclipse twin that was never sold in Japan. Turner passed away on May 24 at the age of 83. Continue reading
Mitsubishi Electric, which put the world’s first in-car GPS in the 1990 Mazda Cosmo, is leaving the nav business
Mazda’s Eunos Cosmo was a car of many firsts, one of which was the world’s first in-car GPS system over three decades ago. The so-called CCS (Car Communication System) was developed by Mitsubishi Electric, a trailblazer in car-based nav systems. Last month, however, the company quietly announced it would be leaving the automotive GPS business altogether. Continue reading
The world is still waiting for the next Initial D, the last racing anime to really take the globe by storm. Could a new series about open wheel racing take the mantle? Titled Overtake, the series focuses on Formula 4, a junior league designed to put promising young drivers on the path to the F1. Continue reading
My son is three. I’ve always had dreams about passing down my AE86 to him someday. But by the time he turns 16 in 2035, a car built in 1986 will be nearly 50 years old. That would be like me, who came of age in the 90s heyday, inheriting a car from the 1940s when I got my license. And I can tell you that I had zero interest in a pontoon-fendered streamliner at 16. I’m hoping that my son will transfer his love for Hot Wheels into love for real cars, and that he’ll have one that teaches him the joy and art of driving in a fun and safe way. If gasoline and human-driven cars have not been outlawed by then…
What will my 3-year-old’s first car be?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Should being celebrity-adjacent add to a car’s value?“. Continue reading
We will be seeing you at Toyotafest 2023 this Saturday, May 20. Just look for the red JNC pop-up canopy or our tan Land Cruiser. Gates open from 9am to 3pm at Marina Green Park, 386 E. Shoreline Dr., Long Beach, CA 90803. All Toyota, Lexus, and Scion cars are welcome.
We wouldn’t call the car chase in the 1978 movie Double Clutch one of the all-time greats, but it’s definitely the only Subaru Leone vs. Subaru Leone car chase ever committed to film. We posted a shorter version of this clip back in 2009 but that one has since disappeared into the internet’s black hole of ones and zeroes. Here’s a longer version of the chase. Continue reading
The AW11 Toyota MR2 has long been the car of choice for electronica-influenced bands. Maybe it’s something about the angular wedge shape and flip-up headlights that make it the go-to. Last week we posted about one of the most memorable scenes from 90s Japanese TV in which two MR2-driving lovers stop in the middle of Shibuya Crossing to make out. Commenters Mick and Greyfox then alerted us to the fact that A-dubs had been heavily favored by the Australian nu-metal band Voyager, most recently in the 2023 Eurovision contest. Continue reading
The Shizuoka Prefectural government has an amazing video archive, as it turns out. Footage from the 1950s to the 1970s include a number of short films about public works projects, including the construction of roads. These clips are chock-full of vehicles from Suzuki kei cars to Hino trucks, long before they were classics. They’re well worth a watch, and you might even catch the random Hakosuka Skyline just driving by like it’s no big deal. Continue reading
As you may have heard, an R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R that appeared in one of The Fast and the Furious movies has sold for $1,357,000. Specifically, Paul Walker drove it in the fourth installment of the series. With an East Bear body kit, 19-inch Volk RE30s, and a simple Bayside Blue paint job it’s definitely one of the cleaner cars to appear in the franchise. But the price of regular-spec R34 GT-Rs hover at about $250,000. Is this car really worth the premium? Similarly, the Supra from the original The Fast and the Furious sold for $550,000, about triple the top sale price of a regular A80 Supra Turbo.
Should being celebrity-adjacent add to a car’s value?
The Nissan Crossing showroom in Ginza, Tokyo currently has an odd collection of cars on display. It’s typical for vehicles rotate in and out of the showroom from Nissan’s Zama warehouse for a few weeks at a time. More often than not though, they’re the latest models and concepts, which is why the eclectic mix currently on display is such a treat. Continue reading
So you thought the scene in Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift where Sung Kang drifts through the crowd at Shibuya Crossing was the most famous car-related clip to take place there? Well how about the time when two lovers just parked their Toyota MR2s in the middle of the world’s busiest crosswalk and started making out? The scene from the Japanese TV series You’re My Favorite in the World surpasses the drift, and there wasn’t even any CGI involved. Continue reading
The Toyota Automobile Museum in Japan has a new acquisition, a 1983 Celica XX. We know it stateside as the second-generation Celica Supra but technically speaking this is a GA61, which is considerably different than the MA61 we got in the US. It’s a bit surprising that the museum only recently added one to their collection and the specific trim level is a bit odd. Perhaps, though, it’s a roundabout way of avoiding an overt quarrel with Nissan. Continue reading
Let’s celebrate the one of the most iconic Japanese cars ever built, the Nissan Bluebird 510. SSS stands for Super Sports Sedan, but perhaps one of those S could be sleeper, especially if you option it out in grandpa spec with pea green paint and vinyl roof. No one will ever suspect a thing. Happy 510 Day from JNC!