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All photos by Matt Stone

Most people might believe that Japan’s automotive history dates to sometime in the 1960s, because that’s when Datsuns and Toyota Coronas began showing up in those small “Imported Car Dealerships” in nearly every city in the US. Of course, this isn’t true, as the history of Japan’s larger carmakers dates back prior to WWII. And even then, Japan’s enthusiasm for cars extended well beyond its own borders—as evidenced by several of this marvelous country’s dedicated car museums. This is an enthusiast community that loves American muscle cars, sports cars, exotics, and motorsport as much as any other on earth.

Wherever in the world we go, we seek out the automotive epicenters in search of collections, events and museums, and there are many in Japan. We call your attention to these three:

Motorcar Museum of Japan (MMJ)

Welcome sign for Motorcar Museum of Japan

Welcome sign for Motorcar Museum of Japan

This privately owned car museum was somewhat surprising in that it lives in a small, rural, mostly agricultural community of Komatsu City, Ishikawa, near the city of Kanazawa. Kanazawa itself is worthy of your visit—an engaging meld of old and new, with a magnificent park and castle complex in its center and beauty everywhere you look.

Another surprising aspect of the MMJ is the building itself: a large, English colonial style structure that looks modestly out of place in Japan and in the Komatsu countryside. Inside you’ll find more than 500 cars of all stripes, and from around the world. They are loosely gathered by type and/or country of origin.

One part of the museum is called “sports cars city”, while another gathers American “land yacht” Lincolns and Cadillacs—which are very popular in Japan.

Car under parasol in Motorcar Museum of Japan

Car under parasol in Motorcar Museum of Japan

Of course, you’ll also find countless rows of Japanese and Chinese cars, trucks, and motorcycles. I promise, there are brands of cars and bikes here you’ll never have heard of, much less seen; some date back to the very earliest days of motorized transportation.

Do not go there expecting dazzling museum craft; there are certainly all sorts of ephemera, photos, and other archival items to augment the displays, but the cars are shown in fairly simple rows with just adequate lighting and signage often containing some charming misspellings and grammar goofs—still, we’re not making fun of their English, as we don’t speak beyond three words of Japanese.

No matter. You go here for the cars, packed and stacked into three large floor levels, thankfully connected via escalators. There’s also a charming gift shop, but no snack bar or café, so for a bite, you might plan on visiting other areas of Komatsu, which the staff can direct you to.

While it’s possible to get to this museum via buses and trains, it’s not particularly easy; the best way is to base yourself in Kanazawa for a day or two, then rent a car with a nav system and drive there; it’s neither far nor particularly difficult. Admission is inexpensive, and you’ll enjoy what you see.

Section of cars at Motorcar Museum of Japan

Section of cars at Motorcar Museum of Japan

Motorcar Museum of Japan

Futatsunashi-machi, Ikkanyama

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By: Matt Stone
Title: Rising Sun Car Museums
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/rising-sun-car-museums/
Published Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2022 16:51:06 +0000

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Motor

81st Goodwood Member’s Meeting

Goodwood 81MM Members 2024 11 jpg

With an almighty roar, Goodwood welcomed a fleet of incredible cars from the Canadian-American Challenge Cup, including examples from McLaren, Shadow and Porsche – three of the most successful marques in Can-Am’s history. The 81st Members’ Meeting also remembered Niki Lauda with 2024 marking a series of significant anniversaries for the three-time Formula 1 World Champion, including 50 years since his first Grand Prix victory in the 1974 Spanish Grand Prix, 40 years since his third and final World Championship, and 75 years since the Formula 1 Champion’s birth. A special on-track demonstration saw Lauda’s 1985 Dutch Grand Prix-winning McLaren MP4/2B on track and the legendary driver will also be honored later in the year at the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard.

 Kieran Cleeves
Kieran Cleeves/PA Media Assignments
 Kieran Cleeves
Kieran Cleeves/PA Media Assignments

Spectacular demonstrations

On Saturday afternoon, Gerhard Berger returned to the cockpit of his 1989 Ferrari 640 Formula 1 car. The Ferrari, which raced in the 1989 F1 season with drivers Berger and Nigel Mansell, was the first to ever use a sequential paddle-shift transmission.

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By: Rex McAfee
Title: 81st Goodwood Member’s Meeting
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/81st-goodwood-members-meeting/
Published Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2024 18:36:28 +0000

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Wild Rover – 1966 Rover P6

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Photo: Pete Austin
Photo: Pete AustinMaking its debut in 1963, the Rover P6 was introduced as the new jewel in the crown of the Rover fleet. The car was voted European Car of the Year in 1964 and it revelled in the glow of Britain’s last true motor manufacturing era. By the time the P6 reached the end of its shelf life in 1977, Britain’s motor car industry was in a spiral of decline from which it would never recover.

 “a bit of an animal” around Silverstone
Author enjoyed taking the car he referred to as “a bit of an animal” around Silverstone, revelling in its responsiveness as he applied its ample power.
Photo: Pete AustinThe Rover P6 in its road-going 2-liter, 2.2-liter or mighty 3.5-liter specification was popular. Built at Solihull in the British West Midlands, the Rover was very much the executive’s car of the era. Used by company managers and by the police as a “Panda” car, the Rover was a car of style and only a Jaguar parked on your driveway allowed the man of middle England to feel he enjoyed a higher social standing.

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The post Wild Rover – 1966 Rover P6 appeared first on Sports Car Digest.

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By: SportsCarDigest
Title: Wild Rover – 1966 Rover P6
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/wild-rover-1966-rover-p6/
Published Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2024 06:59:32 +0000

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Motor

HEMI HEAVEN: The Engine of Our Dreams

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HEMI HEAVEN: The Engine of Our Dreams
LOT #760 – 1970 PLYMOUTH HEMI ‘CUDA – NO RESERVE

The HEMI engine, known for its hemispherical shaped combustion chamber, stands as an icon in the realm of automotive engineering, renowned for its power, distinctive sound and enduring legacy. What sets the HEMI apart is its unique combustion chamber design, featuring hemispherical-shaped heads with the spark plug is placed at the top-center, which shortens the burn distance of the air/fuel mixture, allowing for optimal combustion that results in performance all car enthusiasts can appreciate.

One of the key factors contributing to the HEMI’s legendary status is its storied history. Developed by Chrysler in the early 1950s, the HEMI quickly gained a reputation for dominating the racetrack and the streets alike. Its presence in NASCAR, drag racing and other motorsports solidified its status as a symbol of speed and performance.

Beyond its racing pedigree, the HEMI engine has left an indelible mark on popular culture. From muscle cars like the Dodge Charger and Challenger to iconic vehicles like the Plymouth ’Cuda and the Chrysler 300, the HEMI has powered some of the most beloved and memorable collector vehicles in history.

The HEMI’s enduring popularity can be attributed to its ongoing evolution and innovation. While the basic design principles remain consistent, modern iterations of the HEMI engine feature advanced technologies that include variable valve timing, cylinder deactivation and direct fuel injection, enhancing both performance and efficiency.

The HEMI engine’s combination of history, performance and cultural significance has cemented its status as one of the most iconic and legendary powerplants in automotive history. With its distinctive design, unmistakable sound and unrivaled performance, the HEMI engine remains a symbol of power, speed and American automotive ingenuity. Check out these HEMI-powered vehicles selling with No Reserve at the April 18-20 Palm Beach Auction.

LOT #760 – 1970 PLYMOUTH HEMI ‘CUDA – NO RESERVE

Pictured above, this 1970 HEMI ‘Cuda is powered by a correct 426ci HEMI V8 engine with a 727 TorqueFlite automatic transmission. In Tor-Red with black graphics, Shaker hood, Rallye wheels, black vinyl upholstery, Rallye gauges, wood-rimmed steering wheel. Well documented; Wise Report included.

Powered by a 1,000hp-capable supercharged HEMI 6.2-liter V8 engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Includes black leather, Brembo brakes, Demon badges and trim, yellow engine block and forged aluminum wheels. 11 actual miles.

LOT #694 – MR. NORM’S 1964 DODGE POLARA 330 HEMI FACTORY LIGHTWEIGHT DRAG CAR – NO RESERVE

Powered by a 426ci HEMI 8-cylinder engine fitted with Holley 4160 4-barrel carburetors, paired with a Chrysler 727 TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic transmission. Glove compartment door signed by “Mr. Norm” Kraus. From The Washer Collection.

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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: HEMI HEAVEN: The Engine of Our Dreams
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/hemi-heaven-the-engine-of-our-dreams/
Published Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2024 16:36:23 +0000

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