Author Archives: Ben Hsu

Toyota Stout name could be revived for sub-Tacoma pickup

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 … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Wanton Toyota MR2 Spyder destruction proves takeovers aren’t about the cars

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 … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Nissan R90CK that set “the greatest lap at Le Mans” is for sale

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 … Continue reading

Posted in motorsport | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

QotW: Would you import a JDM car that you could get in America?

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Question of the Week | Tagged | 12 Comments

The seventh-gen Mazda Familia wagon only existed as a Ford

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, … Continue reading

Posted in Video | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R NISMO is right at home in Gran Turismo 7

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Video Games | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

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. … Continue reading

Posted in News | Leave a comment

QotW: What will my 3-year-old’s first car be?

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Question of the Week | 18 Comments

QotW: Should being celebrity-adjacent add to a car’s value?

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Question of the Week | Tagged | 12 Comments

Nissan Crossing Ginza: Hakosuka GT-R, Pulsar EXA, and a kei car with a piano in it

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Galleries | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lovers kissing in Toyota MR2s is one of Japan’s most memorable TV scenes

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Film/TV | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

The Toyota Automobile Museum has acquired a Celica XX, successor to a debated speed record

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 … Continue reading

Posted in museums | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Gran Turismo trailer has Nissans galore, but also glaring omissions

The new Gran Turismo movie trailer was released earlier today, giving us a first look at what to expect when it arrives in theaters in August. In a heavily car-themed story like this one, it’s always interesting to see what … Continue reading

Posted in Film/TV | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

A Mazda 929 makes a great stealth luxo-cruiser, and it comes in stick

Its cool to want an 80s Japanese car now, but here’s a deep cut that’ll separate the wheat from the hipsters. The first-gen Mazda 929 was Hiroshima’s version of a big luxury sedan, not unlike a Toyota Cressida. Both were … Continue reading

Posted in Video | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Nissan restores 1940s fire engine for Tokyo Fire Department

An 82-year-old Nissan fire engine belonging to the Tokyo Fire Department has been restored. The fire department had been storing the vehicle for several years before reaching out to Nissan for help with the overhaul. A special team at Nissan … Continue reading

Posted in Emergency Vehicles | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Shoichiro Toyoda’s farewell memorial attended by 4,500 mourners, including Prime Minister

On April 24 three farewell memorials for Shoichiro Toyoda were held across Japan. The former Toyota Motor president passed away on February 14, 2023 at the age of 97. As is the custom, a private funeral was held for close … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Yukihiro Takahashi’s ads for Mazda, Daihatsu, Toyota Cresta and MR2

The seminal electronica band Yellow Magic Orchestra lost one of its founders, drummer and vocalist Yukihiro Takahashi earlier this year. Last week we remembered the band’s keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Nissan commercials; now it’s Takahashi’s turn, and he was even more … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

QotW: Why do you own a classic car?

There are many reasons to own a classic. Maybe it’s the nostalgia, or the feeling you get from driving something from a bygone era. Maybe it’s the desire to preserve something that gets rarer every year, or the satisfaction of … Continue reading

Posted in Question of the Week | Tagged | 17 Comments

Japanese automakers jointly built five EV concepts for the Tokyo Motor Show 50 years ago

The conventional wisdom is that Japanese automakers are dragging their feet when it comes to EVs. It’s kind of a reductive statement that doesn’t take into account the fact that most are simultaneously exploring many zero-carbon propulsion systems, or that … Continue reading

Posted in concepts, Holidays | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

REMINDER: Toyotafest registration closes this Thursday

We’ve been saying for years that the majority of enthusiasm for Toyota is in off-roading, so it’s no surprise that the 27th annual Toyotafest has an overlanding theme. However, cars of all shapes and sizes are still welcome, so bring … Continue reading

Posted in Reminder | 1 Comment