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Today a global leader, Japan was a late bloomer when it came to the automotive industry. Still, thanks to its global expansion during the 1970s, Japanese cars were quick to catch up and outdo the competition in various segments, sports cars included.

In the last few decades, every major Japanese brand left its mark in the sports car market by delivering cars that not only handled like a dream and sounded stunning but were also reliable, highly tunable, and affordable to a younger demographic. Needless to say, these cars also brought a different kind of beauty—clearly influenced by prevailing trends of their respective eras, but all with their own idiosyncrasies.

These ten Japanese sports cars are not all-time greats only for their not performance and clever engineering but for the shockwaves they made through the industry, shaping manufacturers, the culture and the whole automotive world.

#1: Toyota 2000GT

Toyota 2000GT Static Image

Toyota 2000GT Static Image
Via Toyota

In the 1960s, the prospect of a high-performance Japanese automobile seemed distant, at least until Toyota made a pioneering move in the segment in 1967, creating the 2000GT. In its basic proportions, this alluring fastback echoed European styling, yet it was still unlike any other car on the planet. It was the birth of the Japanese sports car.

Being produced in just 351 copies, it was a scarce car and hardly a sales success as it wasn’t offered outside of Japan, but thanks to some movie magic, the 2000GT gave Toyota much needed global exposure. Tailor-made into a convertible for Sean Connery’s lean frame, the first Japanese sports car famously starred in the 1967 Bond movie You Only Live Twice.

Adding to the legend, this car also had a stellar racing career in Japan, competing in SCCA, where three cars were prepared by none other than Carroll Shelby. Today, Toyota 2000GT is the most valuable Japanese classic car and one of the most influential ones as well.

#2: Datsun 240Z

Datsun S30 240Z Static Studio Shot

Datsun S30 240Z Static Studio Shot
Via Nissan

Initially known as a Fairlady Z, the Datsun 240Z was an instrumental car in shifting the global attitude towards Japanese sports cars. It was introduced to the North American market just before the oil crisis hit and it stayed there as the homegrown performance movement crumbled over financial, ecological and safety concerns. With a 2.4-liter inline-six placed in a graceful and compact body, the 240Z soon became a worthy alternative to both American and European sports cars.

Little by little, it started captivating the press and the public, becoming one of the greatest sports cars of the decade and also giving birth to the Datsun Z Series. In fact, the upcoming Nissan 400Z is a tribute to the primordial Z car rather than being a visual evolution of its predecessor, the 370Z.

This sports car’s importance transcends just the Nissan brand, as it almost single handedly awakened hunger for Japanese sports cars in North America, which gradually became the biggest export market for performance cars coming from other manufacturers as well.

#3: Mazda RX-7 FD

Mazda RX-7 FD Studio Static Shot

Mazda RX-7 FD Studio Static Shot
Via Mazda

Rotary-powered Mazdas have been

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By: Djordje Sugaris
Title: Top 10 Japanese Sports Cars of All Time
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/top-10-japanese-sports-cars/
Published Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2022 19:52:05 +0000

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Motor

Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame

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custom triumph tr6 matchless frame 625x417 1

Kids are impressionable, especially when motorcycles are involved. That magical combination of sound, smell and danger has a way of imprinting itself on young minds. But Kyle Harvey didn’t just dream of bikes as a child—he practically grew up with them.

Kyle’s trade is tool and die making, but his passion is building bikes. His father, Garth Harvey, got Kyle and his brother into bikes at a young age; as soon as they could start their old man’s vintage motorcycles, they were riding them. Living in Edenvale in South Africa’s Gauteng province, the boys also had direct access to the local Classic Motorcycle Club.

 

The folks at the CMC made quite an impression on young Kyle—and taught him everything he knows about vintage bikes. After helping numerous friends work on their bikes, he went on to open his own shop, named simply ‘The Workshop.’ Kyle has been building and restoring classic motorcycles for over a decade now.

This cheeky bobber is his latest build, and it’s immensely fascinating. The engine’s from a Triumph TR6 Trophy, the frame is from a Matchless, and the quirky handmade details on it are endless.

Custom Triumph TR6 with Matchless frame

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-triumph-tr6-matchless-frame
Published Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2022 17:01:12 +0000

 

 

 

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The Swan Song of the V12

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The V12 engine holds a special place in the heart of many automotive and motorsports fans. For some, it’s the sound of Formula 1 through the years, especially during the 1990s. For others, it’s engines like the 6.1 L BMW S70/2 from the McLaren F1 or the 3.9L Lamborghini V12 that powered all their cars from the Miura through to the Diablo. No matter where it lies in your heart, it is the “proper” configuration for many: 6 cylinders per bank, put into a V, and firing in an odd sequence to give it that special roar under power.

Yet, as concerns over fuel efficiency, qualms about environmental impact, and high-powered turbocharged V8 or V6 engines are the norm now, the V12 is slowly, but surely, being put to rest. In fact, the only place that V12s are still hanging on by the last threads of their engine mounting bolts are in supercars, hypercars, and a few ultra-luxury cars. Even then, many exotic brands have announced that their next cars will either be V10s or turbo V8s and V6s.

Since it appears that the swan song of the V12 is reaching a crescendo, we thought it only appropriate to celebrate the few remaining cars out there that carry them. It may be the last time we see some of these brands, many of which are known for their V12s.

The Amazing Last V12 Production Versions from the Big Brands

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 Superfast. Image via Supercars.

The writing is on the wall for the prancing horse, as the new Ferrari 296 GTB is showing the direction that Maranello is headed. Yet, unless you were invited to snag one of the limited-edition Monza SP1 or SP2 cars, there is still one car you can buy from the legendary marque that has all 12 cylinders fully intact.

The 6.5L F140 GA V12

The 6.5L F140 GA V12
The 6.5L F140 GA V12. Image Via: Wikimedia Commons.

The 6.5L F140 GA 65-degree V12 in the front of the 812 is the last road-going version of the V12 that debuted in the Ferrari Enzo. Producing a monstrous 789 HP and 530 lbs-ft of torque, it is no slouch either, as when the 812 Superfast debuted, it was the most powerful naturally aspirated production car engine ever made.

It has the typical low-rev Ferrari roar that rises into a howl as the car revs up to nearly 9,000 RPM, and will catapult the 3,845 (1,744 kg) car to 60 MPH in 2.9 seconds. As far as a curtain call is concerned, that’s a great way to bow out and focus on hybrids and turbocharged engines.

Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC
cedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC. Image via Supercars.

Mercedes-Benz used to be at the very top of the V12 pecking order when it came to luxury performance cars. Such classics as the S 65 AMG from the mid-2000s and the 500 TE AMG W123 Touring from the very end of the 1970s came with big V12s that sound astounding, but the biggest and baddest of the Mercedes V12s left on in a production car is the M279 E60 LA that hauled the S65 AMGs of 2014.

M279 E60 LA Twin Turbo V12

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By: Simon Bertram
Title: The Swan Song of the V12
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/v12-swan-song/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 10:49:26 +0000

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Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!

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In our continuing quest to source motorcycle gear that combines safety and style, we bring you our thoughts on Shoei’s new ECE 22.06-approved NXR2 helmet. Plus a stealthy riding parka from Akin Moto, and the perfect pair of urban riding gloves from Rev’It!.

Shoei NXR2 helmet It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Shoei’s helmets. Every Shoei I’ve owned has fit and felt right from the first wear, with no major deviations in their sizing or shape from model to model. So when I was looking for a do-it-all street helmet to replace my well-used Shoei RYD, the new NXR2 was a no-brainer… and it hasn’t disappointed.

I loved the RYD for its combination of neutral styling, comfort and ventilation. The NXR2 basically feels like a premium version of the RYD; it has the same clean aesthetic, but ramps up the performance. And it’s one of the few helmets that meet with Europe’s new, and more stringent, ECE 22.06 standard.

Shoei NXR2 helmet reviewRead More

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/shoei-akin-moto-revit-review-44
Published Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2022 17:01:31 +0000

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