Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Tag: Kazuyoshi Hoshino

The other Nissan Silvia Super Silhouette racer

There is so much footage of the Hoshino Impul Nissan Silvia KS110 Super Silhouette race car that we tend to forget there was actually another car on the gird that resembled it: the Nissan Gazelle KS110 driven by Haruhito Yanagida!
Nissan Silvia KS110 Super Silhouette
In the season 1981 Yanagida’s car resembled Hoshino’s car with its bodyshape, but Yanagida’s car wasn’t a Silvia: it was a Gazelle. So you see the difference? 😉
I guess most of the audience also had difficulties and therefore Yanagida changed the bodyshape to the Nissan Bluebird 910 from the 1982 season onwards.

Photo found at: Minkara

Family Album Treasures: Hoshino’s Gazelle

Back in the early 80s when the Japanese Super Silhouette series were at its alltime high in popularity Kazuyoshi Hoshino drove his iconic Nissan Silvia S110 silhouette racer to many victories.
Nissan Gazelle S110 with Hoshino Impul rims
Kazuyoshi Hoshino was a smart man: apart from founding the Hoshino Racing he also founded the Hoshino Impul company which produced the Impul D-01 wheels as their first product. By mounting these wheels on his silhouette racer he had the best advertising possible and many of these wheels were sold to his (young) followers.

Also this guy fell for them and mounted them on his Nissan Gazelle S110, just like his hero Hoshino. Definitely a keepsake for the family album!

Found at: Minkara

Commercial time: the Hoshino twins drive Silvias!

Back in 1982 Kazuyoshi Hoshino was the star of the Grand Championships around Japan: he both competed within the long distance Group C races and also in the more popular Group 5 (aka Super Silhouette) races where he drove his Hoshino Impul Silvia:
Hoshino Impul Silvia advertisement
Two races on the same day: isn’t that a bit too much for a man?

Now this advertisement from 1982 shows you how he pulled off that trick: Continue reading

Commercial time: Smoking the competition!

I found this video on a Japanese blog called KaZato RACING and thought I looked very familiar:

Remember the two Cabin Spirit advertisements I posted a year ago??

Thanks to that blogposting I now know who is the driver in that advertisement: Kazuyoshi Hoshino!
One of the comments (translated by Google) in that posting:
It’s nostalgic! Hoshino smoke the scene, and I remember vividly!!
I can’t agree more with that comment! 🙂


Popular Bosozoku cars: Nissan Silvia S110

It was inevitable: one of the Silvias had to feature sooner or later! This week we feature the Nissan Silvia S110, the car that became famous through Kazuyoshi Hoshino during the Super Silhouette Formula till the cars appearance changed to the newer Silvia S12 bodyshape. This car inspired many Silvia S110 owners to convert it into a Grancha style lookalike!

Nissan Silvia S110 Zokusha

This one is a very very accurate copy of that S110:
immitation of Hoshino's Grancha Silvia Turbo
immitation of Hoshino’s Grancha Silvia Turbo

And this one a bit less accurate:
Less acurate immitation of Hoshino's Grancha Silvia Turbo
Less acurate immitation of Hoshino’s Grancha Silvia Turbo

And it is even not the hatchback!
Less acurate immitation of Hoshino's Grancha Silvia Turbo
Less acurate immitation of Hoshino’s Grancha Silvia Turbo

And this pimped out shakotan styled Silvia S110 doesn’t look too good either:
shakotan styled Nissan Gazelle S110
shakotan styled Nissan Gazelle S110

But that’s a matter of taste of course… 😉

Factory stock Nissan Gazelle S110
Factory stock Nissan Gazelle S110

Nissan Silvia history

The predecessor of the Nissan S110 was the ill fated S10: a “traditional” looking sports coupe with a not too hot engine. It was a big failure in Japan and got easily outsold by the Toyota Celica (and the Carina hardtop coupe) and Mazda RX5/RX3. Nissan decided to make the S110 the best car ever! Nissan saw the immense popularity of the rotary Mazdas and thought a rotary engine would be the solution. They forgot that Mazda already had 15 years of experience in rotary engines and Nissan’s attempt was a big failure: it proved to be very unreliable. Nissan decided to release the car with the new Z engine instead to get the production started.

Factory stock Nissan Gazelle S110
Factory stock Nissan Gazelle S110

The Silvia and Gazelle twins

There are actually two cars with the S110 chassis number: the Gazelle and the Silvia. The Gazelle had a rectangular grille, just as high as the headlights, while the Silvia has a slightly narrowed grille. The Gazelle/Silvia were produced that all Nissan dealerships could carry the S110. The Gazelle was only sold in Japanes and Australia while the Silvia got exported to Europe and the US (as the 200sx).

Nissan Silvia and Gazelle engines

The Z engine featured a 1.8, 2.0 and 2.2 liter displacement. The S110 really got its excitement after the introduction of the FJ20E with its facelifted RS model: the DOHC 4 valve EFI 2 liter engine produced 150HP. It featured a big port with dual valve springs and a wide angle bucket on shim valvetrain (only found on the Nissan S20 engine before) and was essentially a blueprint for the later RB and CA engines!

Factory stock Nissan Gazelle S110
Factory stock Nissan Gazelle S110

Nissan Silvia and Gazelle interior

The interior was basically an incarnation on the space age designed interior of the Silvia S10. It had a wide console stretching over the transmission tunnel. The material was, like every other late 70s/early 80s car, basic plastic in a two tone scheme.

Rally pedigree

Outside Japan the Nissan Silvia S110 also had a strong rallying following: a UK company called Blydenstein created a homologated version of the DatsunNissan Silvia S110 with a FJ24 engine: basically a FJ20E with increased displacement and a carburetor stuck on it. It dominated the British rally scene in the early 80s till it was outlawed by the Group B regulations.

Nissan 240RS: Nissan Silvia S110 with FJ24
Nissan 240RS: Nissan Silvia S110 with FJ24

In march 1983 the Silvia S110 got succeeded by the Nissan S12 in Japan. It wasn’t until 1984 that the S12 was available in other countries.

My take on the Nissan Silvia and Gazelle

I understand why the Nissan Silvia/Gazelle S110 is a very popular bosozoku style car: everyone wants to share a bit of that Hoshino spirit! Even though I prefer the later S12 styling more, I think the car itself is a very beautifully styled sports coupe! I would drive one any day! 🙂

[I posted this article earlier this week on]

More cabin spirit with the Nissan R88 at Le Mans

I found some more Cabin Spirit:
This time it is the Nissan R88 #85 which was driven by Kazuyoshi Hoshino, Takao Wada and Aguri Suzuki. You can see Takao Wada smoking Cabin Spirits in the advertisement, would this also mean he got an ashtray mounted in that Nissan R88?

The #85 did not finish. Officially due to engine and gearbox problems, but of course we know better now: Takao Wada was lighting a cigarette Bunta style during the race and missed his shift point. Result: wasted engine and gearbox. 😉

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