Author Archives: Steve Chang

RIP Tina Turner, singer, actor, DSM spokesperson

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 … Continue reading

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Overtake, a new racing anime, is coming this fall

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, … Continue reading

Posted in manga | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

The Toyota MR2 strikes again in Eurovision 2023 and synth-laden music video

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Tune Up | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Toyota Camry vs Mazda 626 in 1983: History keeps on repeating

Motorweek was just two years old in 1983 when it decided to do a four-way test of five-door family hatchbacks. It’s not a format that stuck around — we’re talking about both the show’s comparo and the body style — … Continue reading

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QotW: Who taught you about cars?

Teacher Appreciation Week starts today, May 8, but these unsung heroes aren’t just found in the classroom. Many of us had a relative, friend, or internet resource who fed our curiosity about cars, automotive history, or wrenching. Or perhaps you’re … Continue reading

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Fight 1/8 scale crime with this gull-winged Nissan Fairlady 280Z from Seibu Keisatsu

Last year Hachette released an ultra-detailed model of the DR30 Nissan Skyline from Seibu Keisatsu, Japan’s most popular 80s cop show. Now they’ve followed up with the only logical move, a 1/8 scale model of the show’s Super Z, based … Continue reading

Posted in bosozoku, Model Kits, News | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Honda Legend is Han Solo’s preferred transport on this remote backwater planet

The Millennium Falcon might be a fast ship, but when Han Solo visits a primitive Outer Rim world that has yet to develop repulsor technology the galactic smuggler needs to blend in with the locals. That’s why he chooses the … Continue reading

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Japan’s oldest domestic bus is now on display at a Nagoya museum

Japan’s oldest surviving domestic bus is part of a new exhibit at the JR Tokai Maglev & Railway Museum in Nagoya. In fact, it’s so significant that it was the first bus to be designated as an important cultural asset … Continue reading

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QotW: What Japanese car would you drive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland?

A teaser trailer just dropped for Twisted Metal, a new series based on the 90s PlayStation game about automotive combat. The most surprising part isn’t that Sony is trying to build a franchise around a fairly obscure 20-year-old video game, … Continue reading

Posted in Question of the Week | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Liberty Walk cars star in boy band music video inspired by racing games

Exile Tribe is apparently a boy band in Japan with a whopping 16 members. In their latest music video, for a song called “The Rampage / 16 Boosterz”, the singers gather 16 of Liberty Walk’s most famous cars. Then they … Continue reading

Posted in Tune Up | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Acura Integra Type S will take anime to Pikes Peak

It seems stupid, but it took Japanese manufacturers until 2022 to embrace anime as an advertising tool. It’s only been the most influential Japanese medium for about, oh, the last 30 years. Ironically it’s Acura, the first brand created for … Continue reading

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Wheel lock comparison test finds only one design that’s not easily defeated

The days of “rims being more expensive than the car” are probably over for most JNCs, but a set of wheel locks is still a good investment, especially if you have super fancy expensive rollers. If you’re lucky, it’ll be … Continue reading

Posted in Product Guide | 5 Comments

The Honda Del Sol proves how important succession can be

The Honda del Sol is yet another car that was universally maligned by enthusiasts in its time, but is now endearing and legit. What octane-blooded driver today wouldn’t sacrifice a finger or two to have a car like the del … Continue reading

Posted in Video | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Subaru sends off the WRX STI with Initial D anime-style ad

Considering how Subaru will not produce an WRX STI based on the current WRX model, it seems like rubbing salt in the wound to debut an exciting new video starring what we know now will be the final iteration of … Continue reading

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Toyota Celica hovercar invades Louis Vuitton photo shoot

The last place we ever expected to see a mid-80s Toyota Celica is a Louis Vuitton photo shoot. It’s not that the affordable coupe isn’t stylish. It’s just not the type of car a mindless chaser of brands would typically … Continue reading

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Suzuki Jimny Heritage Edition gets retro with decal stripes

Those lucky Australians. Not only do they get the Suzuki Jimny, an off-roader we will have to wait until 2043 to enjoy, but now they get this sharp new Heritage Edition variant. It is only available in a 5-speed manual … Continue reading

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The bustling city of Tokyo in 1968

It’s really too bad that human technology didn’t evolve a cheap way to capture mountains of video footage until recently. It would’ve been great to see more of Tokyo during the post-war boom times, especially very beginnings of the golden … Continue reading

Posted in Nihon Life | 2 Comments

The ten most expensive Japanese cars sold on Bring a Trailer

Auction site Bring a Trailer is celebrating its 100,000 listing, and it’s a special one. The milestone car is the company’s own 1973 Datsun 240Z. Maintained by Z Car Garage of San Jose, California and fitted with a Rebello 2.7-liter … Continue reading

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QotW: What’s your favorite tuning house demo car?

There’s been no shortage of amazing one-off machines from Japan’s prolific tuning houses. The demo cars were built to showcase what the mad scientists were capable of. The most famous of them stood out as separate from the cars they … Continue reading

Posted in Question of the Week | Tagged | 9 Comments

Nissan Skyline and Honda City floating pens add some fun to your desk

Remember those “tip and strip” pens that were all the rage in the 70s? The pens had one image when lying flat, then changed when held upright for writing. They usually featured some quaintly scandalous image like a woman in … Continue reading

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