QotW: What are you most thankful for, car-wise?

It’s Thanksgiving week for us Yanks and it’s a tradition to reflect on what we’re most grateful for. That’s why this week’s question is:

What are you most thankful for, car-wise?

For us it’s simple. We’re thankful that classic Japanese cars are getting much deserved recognition as such. It’s almost hard to believe, but when JNC first began in 2006 there were still people saying that Japanese car could never be a classic, period. That’s obviously changing, with cars like Patrick Ng’s TE27 Corolla getting prime positioning at SEMA in the Enkei Wheels booth and being chosen by mainstream automotive media like Edmunds.com as one of their Top 10 cars of SEMA. Attitudes are changing, which means more and more of these cars will be preserved for posterity.

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining or inspiring comment by next Monday will receive a random toy. Click through to see the winner from last week’s question, “What should Suzuki USA have done differently?” 

This week’s winner is max, who dreamt up a long shot scenario that would have been unlikely to alter Suzuki’s fate, but at least it would have left a really cool mark.

This opinion is based off about 20 seconds of Google research, but I think that they could have found more success if they’d continued development of the Samurai platform. In the SW USA in particular, 4×4 culture is huge. People love the Samurai because it’s such a capable platform (albeit a little tipsy-happy.)

IMO I think that if the Samurai was put through the paces that other successful 4×4 platforms were put through (Baja 1000, Dakar, etc), that they could have expanded upon the versatility of the platform. Instead, they have focused their efforts on sending bikes through these paces.

Racing breeds recognition. Success in racing will lead to success in sales. They had a strong victory in Pike’s peak with the Vitara, and then subsequently with the Monster, but that still wasn’t enough.

An old financial adage comes to mind here: “You gotta diversify your assets.” Suzuki should have diversified their auto racing program. Simple enough.

Omedetou! Your prize from the JNC gashapon is a new 2013 Hot Wheels 1970 Toyota Celica!

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26 Responses to QotW: What are you most thankful for, car-wise?

  1. Jdmrx2 said:

    I am most thankful for Dr Felix Wankel….the only 20th century engineer to have designed an internal combustion engine that went into production…..an engine that powers both of my pride and joys…..

  2. Aaron said:

    I give automotive thanks to my work truck. It’s a ’99 blue 5spd 4.3L, s10 that I’ve owned since 2003. When all the cars are apart, or blown up or broken, the s10 always get’s me to the parts house. I throw my motorcycle in the back and haul it where ever it needs to go. It’s towed a crew-cab f250 on the highway, in an emergency. I’ve driven it 32hrs straight to Peoria and back to LA, picking up my rx7 in the dead of winter. Also, it saved my ra29 from certain demise in a field of rusting vehicles. Not to mentioned moved my furniture more than 10 times in the last decade.

    Yes, the front of the bed is broken from a couple thousand motorcycle trips to the point where it dented the extended cab. And the A/C was out from 2008-2011, now the heater is bypassed because of a leaky core caused by some old stop leak from 2005 when the oem water pump let go. The A/C logic panel is all screwy, and the old delco cd player that I swapped in (came with a cassette player, plush with Tool Undertow) only plays 50% of my cd’s. The cruise stopped working, likely due to a rear speed sensor code and I can no loner adjust the tilt on the drivers seat. The fuel sender is finicky, but full tanks and a reset trip-ometer that reads over 300 means time to fill up. But this truck has never left me on the side of the road for good. Which is more than I can say for my MKIV Supra, rx7, tacoma, and multiple k5 blazers.

    So thank you, old blue. Here’s to another another decade of full-size fun and mid-sized turning radius.

  3. J.A.C.K said:

    i’m thankful for the new and continued production of fun FR cars! no hate towards FF or SUVs or hybrids, etc for daily drivers…but on the weekends, when it’s just me? let me jump in my “gold-digger-filter” of a beat up ae86 and listen to my twin cam hit the high note til it’s time to fill the tank again. booyaa

  4. Tyler said:

    I would like to give thanks for the manual transmission. I have one in each of my three cars and it allows me to be a picky, controlling bastard whenever I want. It’s more fun than any autotragic I’ve had the displeasure of piloting, and it allowed me to get 87% over my Probe’s EPA fuel economy figure on two separate tanks.

    Plus, who needs “restless leg syndrome” when you’re rowing through the gears on a tiny inline four? It’s a workout, I tell you!

  5. hondaonly said:

    Thankful for my 1992 honda civic VX hatchback :) looks good and gets 50mpg+ thank you Japan!

  6. Eljay71 said:

    I’m thankful I didn’t fall into the trap of driving whichever brand of car you spent your childhood years in. (VW 1600 Variant. AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!)

  7. Steve said:

    To combine J.A.C.K.’s and Tyler’s comments, I am thankful for the rebirth (in the USA) in my driving lifetime of the small, RWD, manual transmission, 2-door coupe platform. It’s been almost 20 years since Nissan stopped importing the S14. I have an NB Miata (with a hardtop) but it’s still not the same.

  8. Nathaniel said:

    I’m thankful to simply have a car. It lets me get to where I want to go, it takes me to school, to work, to my friends, to my family, it allows me to travel to places I haven’t seen before, and meet all kinds of new people along the way. It’s amazing to think about travel before cars these days. The opportunity that cars give us is a true dispersion of culture. For me, it’s awesome just to think about the simple joys that the privilege of owning a car can bring. Cars have brought us a long way, and will only continue to take us further. That is what I am thankful for this year. I get to drive home to my family and spend the holidays with them, all thanks to a Nissan 350z. How awesome is that?

  9. chin said:

    I’m thankful for aircraft stripper taking off the stupid hillbilly house paint that’s on my car now!!
    -_-

  10. Kaydubbs said:

    I am thankful for people who continue to hold on to their long-overdue restoration projects. I thank them because they are keeping one less iconic vehicle from going to the scrap yard.

    Living in the country, I drive by a lot of farm houses with large lots. Occasionally I will spot a forgotten car tucked under a tree or beside a shed. Heck, this one country road has not 1 but 2 rotting Datsun 240z’s within a mile. I wonder if the home owners know each other! Paint faded and peeling, rubber deteriorating, rust advancing. But the owners for some reason or another cannot part with it. It puts a smile on my face because I know there are people out there as passionate (or crazy) as I am, holding on to a piece of history. Just about anytime I spot a pre 90s JDM, I start thinking about restoring it back to its former glory.
    Ahh, if only…

  11. jivecom said:

    thankful that toyota’s LMP program hasn’t been a massive failure. here’s hoping they finally get that le mans win that life cheated away from them in ’99

  12. cesariojpn said:

    I’m thankful that I have an excuse to skip family dinner early and hide out in the garage working on the car when i’m bored out of my mind and not willing to endure one of my relatives boring story about how they lost some money long ago in some booze-induced stupor or everyone is passed out from eating and drinking.

  13. Fej said:

    I’m thankful for my RT4WD Civic Wagon even though at 23 years old it doesn’t quite qualify as ‘nostalgic.’

  14. Michael Lowe said:

    Where do I begin ? I am most thankful for – the Mazda Luce line, both the classic Bertone late 60s design (“1500/1800″) and the next iteration (’73 -77 ish, “929″) coupe. What fantastic styles, the first model having European design, the next being strongly American influenced (to my eyes anyway). The Isuzu 117 coupe – breathtaking delicate design. The Honda CRX 1988 model, which I had the pleasure of owning, a pocket rocket and a perfect piece of styling. Almost any Datsun from about 1972 to around 1977 – the distinctive overstyled grilles, the ornate hubcaps, the big tail lights, liberal use of chrome, and so on. And I am of course thankful to this brilliant website !

  15. yoda said:

    The return of small cars in general and hatchbacks in particular.

    It took a couple blasts of $4/gallon gas to seal the deal, yes; but the “echo boom” peaked around 1990 so demographics would inevitably mean more small cars and sporty coupes replacing minivans and body-on-frame SUVs as the families with young kids of 1996-99 are empty nesters and mostly-childless young adults now.

  16. ACSK said:

    Akio Toyoda. While I’ve never been that big of a fan of Toyota, I am absolutely excited about the direction Akio Toyoda is taking the company. I think most people can agree that Toyota is starting to make more exciting, and more beautiful cars once again. And, indirectly, I think it is going to be pushing the other manufacturers to compete with equally compelling products. This new era could be very well remembered by ‘future’ nostalgic car collectors.

  17. Julian Nicoll said:

    my sa22c, 20 + years and counting of happy,
    reliable, fun, motoring and many memories.

  18. Censport said:

    I’m a few days late (didn’t see this thread as I was out for the holiday), but I’m thankful to be working at a museum full of fascinating cars and motorcycles… and we actually drive them.

  19. boyee said:

    Car wise, I am thankful for bringing a different breed of humans, racers. Ever since racers have got bitten by the bug of seeing how fast to the limits they can push a car, motorsports was founded. I am most thankful for having motorsports for us to compete in, entertain, and develop the next era of automotive technology as seen, for example, in Formula 1.

  20. Max Motter said:

    Yahoo! Do you guys need my contact info? I never received an email or anything.