News about Japanese sports cars just keep on coming this week. First there was the RWD straight-six Mazda 6, then some rumors about the new Nissan Z. Now, there’s been some discoveries about a Mazda rotary-powered hybrid mounted in a longitudinally in a rear-drive layout based on some unearthed patent filings. Continue reading
Health care workers are fighting the good fight on the front lines right now, putting themselves at risk so that the rest of us don’t get sick. To support them, Mazda has announced that they will change their oil and wash their cars for free, a generous move on its own, but even better in this case because the health care workers don’t even have to own a Mazda. Continue reading
Toyota released a Heritage Edition of the J200-series Land Cruiser in the US last year, one with some snazzed up wheels and brightwork, as well as cool old school badges and logos. In the United Arab Emirates, where Land Cruisers are as aspirational as Cadillacs in 1960s America, there’s also a Heritage Edition but it’s quite different. Continue reading
A new report suggests that the seventh-generation Nissan Z is scheduled for an appearance by the end of this year, and that it will boast retro styling. We’ve reported last month on Nissan’s trademark filing of a retro Z logo, though at the time we couldn’t say anything about its styling. We still can’t, but the rumor mill is churning, and here’s what it’s saying. Continue reading
It’s next to impossible to get genuinely excited about a new car these days, but if there’s one that gets our loins burning, it is the next Mazda 6. That’s because it will ride on an all-new FR platform and have a straight-six powering the rear wheels. That’s right, everyone’s favorite underdog company from Hiroshima is going to do what much larger automotive giants are unable — or unwilling — to. Continue reading
This Tokyo street scene shows a variety of vehicles, from sedans like the Toyopet Crown to large trucks like the Toyota Toyoace to three-wheelers like the Daihatsu CO10T. What really makes the shot, though, is the ghostly bones of Tokyo Tower coming together in the background. Based on the vehicles and level of completion of the tower, we’d guess this photo was taken in early 1958. Tokyo Tower was finished that October, serving as a radio broadcast antenna to take the place of hundreds of smaller antennas throughout the city. For a time, it was the tallest freestanding structure in the world. It must have been an awe-inspiring sight as you drove around Tokyo in your Daihatsu Midget. Click through for another photo of the tower nearing completion. Continue reading
Welcome to another edition of Daily, Garage, Sell, JNC‘s version of Bang, Marry, Kill. By the late 1980s, Japanese carmakers were taking on the established luxury brands with guns blazing. Tired of the sales price glass ceiling that names like Toyota, Nissan or Honda could command, they launched marques like Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura and introduced them with deluxe flagship sedans. If presented with prime examples of all three today, which one would you drive into the ground, which would you keep pristine, and which would you unceremoniously throw on Craigslist?
Daily, Garage, Sell — Lexus LS400, Infiniti Q45, or Acura Legend?
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 extreme social distancing?” Continue reading
Like Nissan and Isuzu, Daihatsu is now also offering virtual tours of its museum. Though known mainly for kei cars nowadays, Daihatsu is 113 years old and started life making gigantic engines for steamships and industrial diesels. Though shorter than the other carmakers’ tours, the video highlights a couple of important milestone products that the company calls “The Origins of Daihatsu”. Continue reading
In the old days unlicensed toys used to be somewhat janky, but in recent years in China, where manufacturing prowess and the wild west of intelletctual property law intersect, a lot of it has gotten quite good. Case in point: this incredibly detailed non-Lego, non-Initial D Toyota AE86 tofu delivery car. Continue reading
A few years ago Toyota UK created some very cool GT86es to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary in the United Kingdom. While slapping a wrap and putting some wheels on an otherwise stock car can be a half-assed way for automakers to create a “show car”, the fact that these GT86es wore racing liveries of famous Toyotas around the world made them instantly cool. Now, you can build your favorite one, or all six of them, out of paper. Continue reading
Mazda is now 100 years old, and it’s done a lot over the past century. To prove it, the company has dug into its archives to put together some videos, mixed with newer footage, showing their highlights and imparting their carmaking philosophy. Mazda UK just released the English versions of the videos, and if you’re a Mazdafarian (or just a general fan of clever cars) they convey a strong sense of history and surmounting the odds. Continue reading
It looks like this coronavirus social distancing thing is going to last a lot longer than what was initially ordered. In fact, it might be best to take a few months’ supply of food and essentials and escape from civilization altogether.
What’s the best JNC for extreme social distancing?
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 scariest thing you’ve discovered while working on your car?” Continue reading
Mazda is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, and they are marking the milestone with a series of 100th Anniversary Special Edition cars. Announced this morning in Japan, the lineup draws inspiration from Mazda’s very first passenger car, thee 1960 R360 Coupé, a best-selling styling icon in its day. Continue reading
Isuzu Plaza, the official Isuzu museum was opened in 2017 in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, next to one of the company’s oldest factories. It’s currently closed through April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but thanks to Isuzu you can still visit virtually through a newly posted video tour. Unless you’re a box truck aficionado you might not think the Isuzu museum is worth the hour-plus trip southwest of Tokyo, but this tour might change your mind. Continue reading
The widebody masters at Rocket Bunny are preparing to launch a new kit for the T40/T50 Toyota Corona. The latest subject for their popular line of Pandem-branded kits may seem like an odd choice, but we think it’s one that will spread quickly around the world. The teaser image above is the only official one right now, but we managed to find another. Continue reading
We know being trapped at home can be boring, and not all of us can use this time in the garage. Luckily, here’s another JNC-themed way to liven up the quarantine and possibly occupy any kids that are climbing the walls for a few hours: baking some delicious car-shaped cookies. Continue reading
To mark the 60th anniversary of the revolutionary CB-series motorcycles, Honda had planned to debut the striking CB-F Concept at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show in March. Unfortunately, the coronavirus threw a big wrench into those plans, but Honda has revealed images of the bike online nevertheless, and it’s gorgeous. Continue reading
Since we in California are under “shelter in place” orders due to the coronavirus, I decided to spend some much-needed time making a bit of headway in my multiple project cars. About a year ago I picked up an FZJ80 Land Cruiser but since we took delivery of it it hasn’t seen much action other than sitting in the driveway. It was clear it needed some new shocks, as the front end got bouncy every time it hit a bump, but I had no idea how bad it was until I stuck my head underneath. The lower retainers, bushings, and stud had completely shorn off, leaving the damper just resting on the frame and an unsecured 3/4-inch nub keeping it in place. I don’t know if this is the most alarming mechanical malady I’ve ever discovered among my heaps, but it definitely raised an eyebrow.
What’s the scariest thing you’ve discovered while working on your car?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What shot of a JNC will be forever seared into your brain?” Continue reading
On Jay Leno’s Garage, there’s apparently a recurring segment where the prolific car collector puts blindfolds on his fellow showbiz car guy friends and makes them guess what car they’re riding in. In a recent clip Tim Allen, star and creator of the 90s sitcom Home Improvement, is Leno’s latest victim. Continue reading
At the Tokyo Motor Show last year Honda showed a cool little concept bike that looked like a revival of the 1980 CT110. Also known as Trail Cub or Hunter Cub, the original was a more rugged version of the venerable Super Cub for light off-road duty. Honda said the concept was merely there to gauge customer reaction. Customer reaction must have been quite good, because Honda has just announced it’s going into production. Continue reading