Japanese

All cars that are Japanese

Toyota Mk1 MR-2 Restoration

January 19, 2017 in Japanese / Restoration Shop / Video

This Mark 1 Toyota MR-2 is the subject of a nut and bolt restoration thread on detailingworld.co.uk by it’s owner, forum member “Beeste”. Before anybody throws up their arms and starts questioning the sanity of this car’s owner for spending so much money on the rejuvenation of a car of such meager current economic value, it should be pointed out that Japanese cars are among the next crop of future vintage cars which are likely to see an appreciation in worth. Our information source, Hagerty Insurance, recently wrote an on-line article outlining the top 5 Japanese cars that they predict will become future collectibles. We have cut and pasted it at the bottom of this page, as it makes for an interesting and educational read. Although the MR-2 did not make their short list, we anticipate that they would have included one in their top 10, had that list been extended.

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Cut-A-Way Car Displays

December 6, 2016 in American / Cutaway Pictures / English / French / German / Italian / Japanese / Race Car

Since we featured Shin Yoshikawa’s awe inspiring cut-a-way car drawings a few weeks ago (http://www.carbuildindex.com/22153/part-3-shin-yoshikawas-cutaway-drawing-and-book/), we thought that it might be interesting to take a look at actual, full scale cut-a-way cars. The use of cut-a-way car displays is a tradition that automobile manufacturers have been practicing for decades since the early days of auto shows. When we see them we always find it interesting to do a walk around and hope that some deeper understanding of automobile’s intricate mechanical workings will somehow be willed upon us while we blankly gaze at them trying to figure them out. Unfortunately that never seems to happen and then the best we can do is resort to imagining a good hand car washing rather than wrenching. In any case, continue on the next page for a look at the attached cut-a-way cars exposed in all of their naked glory for your own personal viewing pleasure, whether it’s for washing or wrenching purposes, or possibly even both if you are so inclined…

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1990 Mazda Miata MX-5

November 16, 2016 in Japanese / Survivor

For today’s Survivor feature, we have decided to continue with a white theme for the weekend with this 1990 Mazda Miata MX-5. Now, before anybody goes throwing their arms up in the air questioning how a car of such recent vintage could earn the “survivor” title, all we ask is that you try and recount how many all original early Miatas you can remember seeing lately with only 30,000 miles and in such great condition. Sure, these were mass produced and there are still some out there, but the herd is thinning. Quickly. And we are partial to this first edition, as each consecutive model change got larger and more bloated, and therefore heavier while these are just over 2,000 pounds. Continue with us on the following page for a closer look at this particular cream puff (please excuse the dealer listing influenced terminology), and general Miata-esque chit chat, won’t you?…
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Short Take: Datsun 240Z with Viper V10 Engine Swap

November 7, 2016 in Engine Swap / Japanese / Sleeper

This unsuspecting classic Datsun 240Z was the recipient of an engine swap of all engine swaps, receiving a Viper V10. The low key sleeper looks extremely well built and we have been scouring the internet trying to find any information regarding this car’s build to go along with it’s pictures, but have come up short time and time again. Rather than keep it selfishly to ourselves any longer, we felt that it still had to be shared even without any solid details to go with it. If/when a build thread can be found, we will update it here at that time. Until then, find what pictures we do have on the following page.

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The Brilliant Shin Yoshikawa. Part 1

October 31, 2016 in Japanese / Restoration Shop / Video

We set aside the day today in order to focus on Shin Yoshikawa, an awe-inspiring man blessed with multiple automotive related and unrelated talents and skills. If his name sounds familiar, it may be because last month we featured his stunning restoration of the 1968 Toyota 2000GT which was once owned by the un-licensed 1960’s supermodel Twiggy, a rare model of vehicle that Shin has become an expert of. Since we want to make sure that his multi-faceted talents are given the proper justice they deserve, we decided to break his story into 2 features today. Additional upcoming features will include a glimpse into the cut-a-way drawings that he is so well known for and of his book about the Toyota 2000GT, too. Watch out for them in the coming week.
Part 1 begins below with a Vimeo video presentation about the man described as a professional photographer, designer, writer, restoration specialist and concert pianist all wrapped up in one package. From Silly Thing, please enjoy “Into the Wilderness“. Make sure to watch it in HD and full screen. Shall we begin?

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Random Vintage Targa Floria Race Photos

October 28, 2016 in American / English / French / General Discussion / German / Italian / Japanese / Race Car / Video

In this feature we have plucked 130 random photos of the classic Targa Florio race from http://www.forum-auto.com/ ‘s 1,642 page thread. The open road rally-esque race was held on the public mountain roads of Sicily beginning in 1906. By 1977’s last race, it was declared “totally insane” by driver Helmut Marko because of the high speeds the race cars would achieve while ripping within inches of spectators standing on the streets without any protection between them. Throughout it’s history, miraculously only 9 people total were killed during the race, drivers included. But rather than focus on the morbid, how about we take a moment to celebrate the courageous drivers of the past from before the time of stringent safety concerns for them or their audience. And also marvel at the gorgeous war weapons that were brought out to duke it out with in the heat of battle for the overall championship title. Those were the days of guts and glory, a romantic period of time when cars were designed by artisans with vision rather than lawyers with restrictions. The drivers were fat and their tires were thin, as the saying goes. Please continue onto the following page for the featured pictorial …
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1986 Toyota Celica Group B Race Car Restoration

October 26, 2016 in Japanese / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

This 1986 Group B Toyota Celica was the subject of a full rotisserie restoration by Rallye-Engine in Germany. While we may just have previously featured an almost identical 1984 Group B Celica restoration by MAT in Finland only a few weeks ago, can you really blame us for wanting to feature another one again so soon after seeing the first one? Since then we have been having delusions of grandeur of sliding it at speed during muddy forest stages in between massive Sequoia’s while our co-driver is feeding us route map notes…”Right. Left. Jump in 100 feet. Then hard brake and 90 degree left!”…
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A Closer Look at Automotive Museums

October 14, 2016 in American / Factory Photos / Factory Tour / General Discussion / German / Japanese / Race Car / Survivor

Last week, Automotive News took a look at the exorbitant costs that manufacturers pay to keep their museums operating. According to the article, General Motors apparently spends approximately $1.8 million per year to keep their Heritage Center operating, while housing 600 production, race and concept cars. At the time of the federal bailout, they had almost double that amount of cars on hand before deciding to cut it down during the desperate times as an appropriate and necessary act of good faith.
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Most Beautiful Race Car Of All Time?

October 12, 2016 in American / English / French / German / Italian / Japanese / Race Car

David Malsher at http://www.racer.com/ recently asked his readers their own personal opinion of “the most beautiful race cars of all time”. The question is not limited to his own audience, so how about we join in, too? He requested that only 5 are picked at most, and the best replies will appear in an upcoming February follow up story with the chance at some prizes. The trick is that he asks that you try and be objective with your decisions and not choose only cars that have a winning competitive history that may have influenced your own personal reasons for picking them. Normally we are told not to judge a book by it’s cover, but in this case that is exactly what we are being asked to do here.
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1984 Toyota Celica Turbo Rally Car Restoration

October 4, 2016 in Japanese / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

This 1984 Toyota Celica Turbo TC35 Rally Car was the subject of a restoration by Mäkelä Auto Tuning in Finland. It’s shop owner is retired rally driver Kari Mäkelä, who you may remember from our previous feature of their absolutely jaw dropping 1983 Ferrari 308 Michelotto Group B rally car replica build, which can be found in “Related posts” on the following page. Back to the subject at hand, this particular 2 wheel drive, 1.8 liter 4 cylinder turbo (4T-GTE) Group B rally car’s revival journey began by getting completely gutted before being fully rebuilt from the ground up. The shop’s crew custom fabricated an impressive amount of the vehicle back into it’s original Group B configuration, and knowing MAT, possibly even a few giant leaps beyond…
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1977 Toyota Celica Resto/Mod Build + Video

September 23, 2016 in Engine Swap / Japanese / Modification Thread / Video

This 1977 Toyota first-generation Celica was the subject of a resto mod by it’s owner, Brian Karasawa. Back in the early 70’s, he was one of the early pioneers in the Japanese car enthusiast’s scene who were amongst the first to have modified their foreign “econo-boxes”. There weren’t a lot of aftermarket parts options available for him and his Southern California Shoreline Racing club member friends to choose from at the time. They all owned rear wheel drive cars such as Mazda RX3’s, Datsun 510’s, Capri’s and Celicas, making their lightweight platforms perfect candidates for engine and suspension upgrades. As a youth, he did what he could on a limited budget to modify his first Celica by cutting the springs, installing some Hayashi 13X7 rims and also a louder exhaust system, which all together created the look he was going after, but didn’t exactly have the performance to back it up. Recently he decided that it was time again for him to build a car like he had always wanted in the past, but this time around built right without any of the budget limitations that he had in his youth and the results seen on the continuing page are epic. See for yourself in the pictures and video…
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PART 2 of Abandoned Cars: A Sad, Sad Pictorial

September 7, 2016 in American / English / French / General Discussion / German / Italian / Japanese / Movie Car / Race Car

#Here we have a continuation of the “Abandoned Cars: A Sad, Sad Pictorial” feature we did not too long ago. A few from that past post may have sneaked their way into today’s segment that we have overlooked, but what we find most interesting is that that we have featured 2 of the basket cases here as restoration projects. The goal, of course, is to track down and find the remaining to showcase on our site. Until then…
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Nissan Navara/Frontier 2015 Dakar Race Truck Build

September 2, 2016 in Build In Progress / Japanese / Race Car

Here’s a chance to follow a great build from the beginning over the course of the next year. It is a Nissan Frontier (known in the ROW as the “Navara”) which is being built in South Africa for driver Johan van Staden to tackle the 2015 Dakar, said to take place in Peru. Looks like they are getting an early jump, which is always much more preferable than a last second slap together, especially when we are talking about a vehicle that is going to have to endure the grueling punishment which the rally demands. Find the first episode of it’s build pictures and link on the following page…

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2002 Mazda Miata Sleeper Build with Corvette V8 Engine Swap

August 4, 2016 in American / Engine Swap / Japanese / Sleeper

This 2002 Mazda Miata was the subject of a sleeper build by Flyin’ Miata in Palisade, Colorado. The shop is known for their outlandish American V8 engine swaps that get squeezed into the tiny Japanese roller skates, a formula which we at CarBuildIndex absolutely love. Carroll Shelby started shoe horning Ford 289 and 427 motors into the small, British Ace roadsters back in the 60’s, a concept which never gets old.
Miata’s are known among true grit car enthusiasts (who are entirely secure with their own sexuality) to be awesome handling, fun to drive, lightweight, tossable canyon carving banshees. Stock or even lightly modified, they are referred to as “momentum racers” because they require a driver to be precise with their apexes and braking points to carry their speed through corners since there’s not enough horsepower to cover or make up for any possible mistakes. Ultimately, these are the qualities in a car that truly hone a driver’s skill behind the wheel.
Continue with us on the next page as we follow this build start to finish…
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Vintage Race Car Hauler Pictures

July 13, 2016 in American / French / General Discussion / German / Italian / Japanese / Race Car

We always love a good ‘ol vintage car pictorial to scroll through, especially when the subject is race car related. There is just something about seeing the haphazard way that things used to be done that gives us a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside. We hope you enjoy looking at this feature of Vintage Race Car Hauler Pictures as much as we did in finding them.

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1985 Toyota Celica Supra Mark II “P” Type Resto-Mod Project

July 12, 2016 in Build In Progress / Japanese / Modification Thread

This 1985 Toyota Celica Supra is the subject of a recent resto-mod project on CelicaSupra.com, linked at the bottom of the next page.  It’s owner, forum member Ken Henderson shares his extremely impressive detailed build, and gives proper accolades to all of those who were involved in every aspect of the project throughout the thread. We always appreciate a subtle, tastefully built car. Clean examples like this opens our eyes up to models that we wouldn’t have thought of before and hopefully does the same for our readers too, which is ultimately the goal here at CarBuildIndex.
Throughout the quick 3 1/2 month build, Ken has achieved what every car nut dreams of doing ourselves with our projects: to find an extremely clean, low mileage version of our favorite vintage car, and then go through the aftermarket catalogs and pick out every single go-fast piece possible that fits each aspect of it’s performance, including big brakes, engine and suspension mods. To get an idea of what went into this creation, take a look at the 99 point itemized list at the bottom of the following page…
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Factory Photos

May 23, 2016 in American / Build In Progress / English / Factory Photos / Factory Tour / French / General Discussion / German / Italian / Japanese / Race Car

With your help, we would like to develop a new category that features vintage and current factory photos. We always enjoy seeing cars in their manufacturing phases or during their restorations and modifications. That is ultimately the reason for this site’s existence, so what could be more fitting than having them all together and categorized here in their own section? Until then,please enjoy the few photos we actually have gathered up so far on the following page and if you have something interesting to include, please put a link to them in the “Comments” section below, or e-mail them to us at [email protected] for us to include and update here. Help us make this into a new category booming with an assortment of factory and shop pictures of all types of vehicles from all different time periods, OEM or aftermarket.

1956 Ferrari Factory 1

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Exploded Parts View Pictures

May 20, 2016 in Build In Progress / Engine Swap / General Discussion / Home Garage Build / Italian / Japanese / Modification Thread / Race Car / Replica/Tribute Build / Restoration Shop

We have come across a great segment on http://www.build-threads.com/ which features photos of car,  (a) plane and motorcycle parts laid out for expanded views before their builds. We would like to build upon (see what we did there?) this base and create a new section on this site that will be dedicated to the subject and linked on the front page. If you know of any, then please by all means send them to us at [email protected], or include a link to them in the “Comments” section on the following page. Credit will be received and the universe will be a better place because of it. We thank you, in advance.
Here’s a 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1 Engine in all of it’s glory:
2012 Chevy ZL1-Powertrain-8-Cylinder-LSA

Google Street View Virtual Tour of The Honda Collection Hall in Japan

April 29, 2016 in Factory Tour / General Discussion / Japanese / Uncategorized


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Although not an actual build thread or restoration, we wanted to share this Google Street View virtual tour of The Honda Collection in Japan since it is an historically significant slice of automotive culture, and an uber-cool piece of new technology at the same. Ever since we featured Google’s first tour of the Lamborghini factory a few stories back we have been excited for a follow up, so here it is in all of it’s glory only a handful of days later. The only drawback is that in this virtual tour you are not able to climb into any of the cars like you are at Lamborghini but we can live with that, until their next tour at least. Use the mouse as your virtual feet and walk through the museum in the comfort of your own home.
Open since 1998, The Honda Collection hall is a 3 story museum in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture. Take a gander at all that Honda has been involved with throughout their diverse history, ranging in everything from race cars and production vehicles to scooters and robots. Then back to our regularly scheduled programming with car restorations and builds in future story features here on CBI.
Enjoy.

 

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