The 10 Most Important Classic Japanese Cars
If I were to write about the history of cars, a single chapter wouldn’t be enough to talk about the Japanese car industry’s impact in shaping that history. I’d need a few chapters to properly encapsulate what Japan’s car history means to the larger history of the automotive world. From humble beginnings to global domination, Japan’s car scene has given so much to the auto world. That includes some of the most iconic car models to ever hit the ground. These ten models are classics in the basic sense of the term “classic.” More importantly, these ten models are classics because they’ve earned the right to be called one, whether it’s through sheer popularity or long-lasting impact in the business.
How Japan’s Car Culture Has Changed Over the Years
Japan is known for a lot of things. From its incredible food to its hilarious game shows, every corner of culture is occupied, in some capacity, by Japanese culture. That sentiment holds in the world of cars.
Japan is home to some of the biggest automakers in the world. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mazda all call the Land of the Rising Sun home. Japan’s status as one of the epicenters of the automobile industry is a big part of the country’s vibrant and undeniably unique car culture. That extends to all sorts of aspects of the car world, whether it’s manufacturing, innovation, motorsports, and yes, even street racing.
Understanding Japan’s car culture and how it has evolved through the years requires a look into all these aspects, though it’s largely through the spectacle of street racing where we can see a big part of this cultural shift. There’s obviously more to it than that, but it’s still one of the best places to start if we’re going to talk about the how Japan’s car culture has changed over the years.
Mythbuster: The Truth About JDM Cars
JDM cars, or “Japanese Domestic Market” cars, are arguably some of the most desirable vehicles in the world. They’re not the fastest, most powerful and most expensive cars in the world, but the limited access to these rides, plus the fact that a lot of them are exceptionally built, has made JDM cars the darlings of automotive markets outside of Japan.
Maybe it’s because we don’t get access to them as much as we want. Maybe it’s because we’ve waited for so many of these cars to become available outside of Japan. All of these factors have played into the growing mythical status of JDM cars to the extent that, with most of them now available for importing, our fascination for these Japanese vehicles is now being met with the opportunity to acquire them. We’ve learned a lot about JDM cars over the years, and if you’re one of those who still need to get caught up on what these cars are about, here are some facts about JDM cars to get you started.
5 Sexy, True Import, JDM Cars You Should Consider Buying Today
With the Acura NSX revival, Toyota Supra’s successor, and reveal of the characterful Suzuki Jimny, Japanese cars never seemed so appealing. Except in the eighties and the early nineties, when Japanese manufacturers went the extra mile to show us just how inventive, cool, and fun they can be. A recent massive rise in popularity of Japanese vehicles led primarily by the new NSX, Supra, and Jimny suddenly increased the value of the cool Japanese cars from the nineties. While the best time for buying Japanese automotive oddities from the eighties and the nineties was a few years before the mentioned trio appeared, you are still not late to the party. I’ve picked up five JDM cars you should consider buying right now.
TopSpeed Travels: Running Around the Streets of Tokyo, Japan
When you talk about car culture, the first places you think of include Los Angeles, Dubai, London, and just about every city in Italy. Tokyo often gets lost in the shuffle, except that it shouldn’t be. The bustling capital of Japan has one of the most diverse car cultures in the world. Part of that culture can be traced back to the bōsōzoku, a group of biker gangs that emerged back in the 1950s. The bōsōzoku flaunted their outlandish motorcycles and proudly wore the deviants and delinquent labels of which they were given. They rebelled against the establishment, and their counter-culture ways sparked a car culture phenomenon that lives on to this day. The result is a culture that’s as outlandish as it is diverse. I spent a few days in Tokyo for a vacation, and while I didn’t specifically seek out Tokyo’s car culture, it was all there for me to see anyway. From high-end supercars to mind-boggling custom creations, Tokyo, Japan is a haven for any car enthusiast, and in the few days I spent there, I got a first-hand look on why the megacity should be considered one of the premier car culture cities in the world.
Looking to Invest In a Classic Car? These ‘90s-Era Japanese Imports Could Be the Smart Move
Nostalgia can be a very powerful thing, especially when it comes to cars. Just look at the recent surge in high-spec muscle machines, which was driven primarily by demand from the baby boomer generation. Now, as millennials get older and start to accrue a little extra disposable income, the classic car market is starting to shift, from big blocks and American iron to turbochargers and JDM canyon killers. This is the generation that grew up on The Fast and the Furious, Initial D, and drifting, and their four-wheeled predilections follow suit. As such, we put together this list of 10 ‘90s-era Japanese sports car that could become very valuable over the next few decades.
A Drove Of Italian Bulls Parades In Japan To Commemorate The Asian-Pacific Premiere Of The Aventador SVJ
Have you watched The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift? Well, this parade looked exactly like that; the sole difference being that there were only Lamborghinis dominating the roads. Lamborghini recently unveiled the Aventador SVJ in the Asia-Pacific region, and what followed it could make any enthusiast go weak in the knees.
Nissan has made the Japan-only Note e-Power Nismo even faster than before, with the new Note e-Power Nismo S. That “S” entails it has some extra power thanks to a boost in its electric output.
The Note e-Power Nismo, as its name suggests, is a Nismo-tuned version of the already existing Note e-Power and the Nismo S is one additional tier above. It features not only a power boost over the regular Note e-Power, but also gets a reinforced chassis as well as a much sportier suspension setup to transform its driving experience.
This extra performance is also mirrored in the way it looks, with new red-accented bumpers and side skirts and obligatory Nismo S badges front and rear - on the sides; the e-Power badge is displayed instead. According to Nissan, the car should provide “exhilarating acceleration,” while at the same time also being quiet and is touted as a new kind of Nismo experience.
In order to avoid confusion - Nissan also sells non-electrified Nismo and Nismo S versions of the Note, alongside the electrified ones. This new model detailed here is the e-Power Nismo S, which is a range extender hybrid.
Fifty-One Ferraris Prematurely Meet Their Maker After Super Typhoon Jebi Lays Waste To Japan
A Ferrari dealership located on Rokko Island in Japan suffered the wrath of Typhoon Jebi, causing damages to 51 of 53 new and used Ferrari models at the dealership. According to local media, some of the destroyed Ferraris had already been purchased, and we’re just waiting to be delivered. Dealership employees tried to block the floods caused by the typhoon with tarps and sandbags. Unfortunately, none of those preventive measures worked.
2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA-R
Though it’s true that most of them are found only in Japan, there are no shortages in special edition Subaru WRX STIs in the world. We all need to remind ourselves of that because Subaru is releasing another special edition version of its power-packed performance sedan, and it’s once again exclusive to the Japanese market. It’s called the WRX STI Type RA-R, and it’s essentially a lighter and more powerful version of the WRX STI Type RA, one of the few special edition versions that made its way in the U.S. market.
Japan has a New, Outrageously Large Mecha Robot
It’s not exactly as high-tech as Bumblebee or Gypsy Danger, but I can argue that LW-Mononofu is the best robot of the three because he’s actually a real thing. The 27.8-foot giant mech robot is the handiwork of Japan’s Sakakibara Machinery Works Co., the same company that gave us the Landwalker from 2005 and the $20,000 Kids Walker Cyclops from 2013. Known for its mech wizardry, Sakakibara spent the past six years developing LW-Mononofu, and now that it’s actually built, it looks about as cool as you’d expect it to be.
Nissan Prepares to Test Self-Driving Taxis In Japan in 2018
Another day, another development in the race to put autonomous driving technology on the road. The latest bit of news comes from Nissan, which announced plans to roll out an autonomous ride-sharing pilot program with tech partner DeNA. The public test will take place in the Minatomirai district in Yokohama, Japan.