Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Category: webmining (Page 1 of 2)

Why did the 1985 Nissan March Turbo feature this hybrid cluster? – Deepdive

1985 was the peak of the digital gauge clusters. When digital gauge clusters were introduced with the Aston Martin Lagonda in 1976 they were a luxurious feature. However, by the early 1980s, Toyota already launched their Soarer with a similar digital gauge cluster. Toyota being Toyota, copied their new technology to other upmarket cars like the Chaser, Cresta, Mark II, Celica, Carina and Corona. Soon other brands, like Nissan, followed suit and also featured digital gauge clusters in their top models. By the mid-1980s these digital gauge clusters had trickled down to even the smallest commuter cars like the Honda City and the Nissan March. The gauge cluster of the Nissan March is what we feature today!

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Webmining: Dutch brochure of the Toyota Corona RT46 panel van

This Dutch brochure scan of a Toyota Corona RT46 panel van (delivery van) shows me another prime example of reverse fetish. I collect Japanese brochures and I love to browse them every now and then. Then go through every tiny little detail and compare the trim levels with each other. Apparently the blog owner here also has the same fetish and collects brochures from overseas! Brilliant!

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Saving Stepho’s Toyota Site from disappearing

Stepho’s Toyota Site has been an indispensable resource for the classic Toyota community over the past two decades. Unfortunately his Australian provider Iinet stopped hosting their customers websites and therefore something important disappeared. Luckily enough I was able to retrieve 98% of its content from and decided set up a mirror of Stepho’s Toyota Site on my website. I was able to contact Wayne and got his approval for setting up a mirror. He confirmed his provider stopped doing webhosting and he’s currently looking for new hosting and overhauling his entire website. Until he has done so the mirror on this site will remain.

Stepho's Toyota Site mirror at
The last snapshot of Stepho’s Toyota Site in March 2023 looked like this

Stepho’s Toyota Site

For those that are unfamiliar with Stepho’s Toyota Site, Wayne Stephenson created a website about Toyota as far back as 2000-ish. The webdesign feels even older than that and I’d say it’s more like 1997-ish, using free webcounters and webrings. (do you even remember those?) Wayne owned (or owns?) a 1977 Toyota Celica RA28 and a 1979 Carina TA45 in which he swapped a Lexus 1UZ V8. He shared all information he had on his website and slowly it became a rich resource of technical Toyota data. Over the decades he added more and more information and also visitors contributed their knowledge to his site.

I’m confident to say that almost any (older) technical Toyota resource has been “borrowing” knowledge from Wayne’s site. I’m a 100% sure that I did. A quick scan through my website shows I have at least three links to his site. Also on the AEU86 site we copied data from his site, put that in our Technical Reference and linked back to his site. I would say Wayne is one of those unsung internet heroes who put a lot of effort in making information available and sharing it with the community!

Challenges to set up a mirror

You may think setting up a mirror is a breeze. Just download the content and then put it online somewhere. If it were that easy, my life would have been a lot easier than that. The keeps copies of the files and pages it crawled in the past, but that means that if it didn’t retrieve all files its copy isn’t complete. I wasn’t planning to go over the and save each and every file individually. Luckily they have a page covering downloading a complete snapshot from the and someone made a tool that would be able to download all files in such a snapshot. I extracted over 900 files from the from the latest snapshot, but quickly found out it wasn’t complete.

While traversing through the contents I kept finding missing files, so one by one I looked up these files, extracted the snapshot-identifier and saved the files in this snapshot over the latest. Then I overwrote the html files with the ones from the latest snapshot. Unfortunately there are still files missing. Especially the missing Celica brochures is a huge loss.

Stepho’s Toyota Site mirror

I ended up keeping the mirror as close as possible to Wayne’s original site, but it was inevitable that I had to make a couple of alterations.

I had to remove the hyperlinks to the missing files from the html to prevent errors. I removed the webcounter and webring parts as the webcounter and webring both have disappeared a long time ago. Instead I added a Google analytics tag to keep track of the website and what files are still missing.

I hope Wayne is able to get new hosting soon!

Webmining: Paul Newman Skyline on the Fort Gates Ferry in Floria

One of my favorite tools to find new things is Google Images. I was searching for photos of a Paul Newman Skyline but bumped into a set of photos of Paul Newman with a red Nissan Skyline GT-ES Turbo at the Floria Memory site taken in May 1982 around the Fort Gates Ferry in Floria.
Paul Newman Skyline Fort Gates Ferry in Floria
This obviously triggered my curiosity and I started digging into the subject. ;)

I suspected at first this was just footage for one of the famous New-man Skyline ads from 1982, but for some reason I could not remember seeing this ferry in any of them:

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Webmining: Nissan 2000GT at Spa Francorchamps ETCC in 1972

Earlier this week I stumbled upon a photo of a Nissan 2000GT (aka Hakosuka Skyline or HLGC10) on a Japanese blog. The car clearly was the European 2000GT and not the Japanese Skyline:
Nissan Skyline 2000GT in 1972 at ETCC in Spa Francorchamps
The url in the photo was no longer functioning, but after digging a bit I found their new website! ;)
The photo had been taken at the ETCC 24 hour endurance race at Spa Francorchamps from 22nd of July 1972 to 23rd of July 1972.

Even better, I found three photos: Continue reading

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