QotW: Which JNC do you most want to see in person?

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Here in SoCal, we take a lot of things for granted. One of them is the fact that we get to see some of the rarest Japanese cars ever built. Several times a year, we feast our eyes on sheetmetal that most readers have to travel hundreds of miles or cross borders for. It’s easy to forget how good we have it.

Which JNC do you most want to see in person?

We’ve had numerous occasions to lay our eyes the Toyota 2000GT in person, it’s one of the most-photographed JNCs ever, and you might think you know every line on that car. But trust us, you still owe it to yourself to travel to whatever museum, show, or even the JCCS later this month just to see it in person. There’s no other way to witness the fineness of its craftsmanship, observe the light dancing off each curve and crease as you walk around it, or inhale the smell of 1960s Japan emanating from its rosewood dash.

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a toy. Click through to see the winner of the last QotW, “What’s the hardest work you’ve put into a JNC?” 

1989 Honda Accord coupe

This week’s winner was Andrew L, who tells the tale of restoration of an abandoned 1988 Honda Accord that may have contained more organisms than metal.

Three years after my best friend moved up north, he called me up to tell me that his old ’88 Accord sedan was still down in Tennessee in the storage facility where he’d left it, and I could have it if I wanted. Well he mailed me the key and I drove out to the place, found the Accord parked in the back of the facility, half covered in mossy dust, tires dead flat and dry, pop-ups frozen, everything covered in bird poop. Breaking the Three Year Seal of the driver door sounded like an episode of Double Dare.

Anyway I got it back to the house and set to work. The mechanicals of the car itself weren’t that bad, but 3 years in the U-Haul back lot had left the Accord with a crazy wasp infestation. There were nests under the hood, all through the trunk and undercarriage, inside the filler door, and even one under the door handle I discovered by accident (yay).
A case of wasp spray later, I was digging through the random detritus that my friend had left behind in the car: a nametag from the grocery store he used to work at, a bowling ball, an unfinished essay from English, etc. I mailed it all to him in a box marked ‘Time Capsule’.

The Accord was his grandmother’s car before his, and I’d spent a lot of my childhood in it, so I was determined to get it back in good shape. I cleaned and repaired a lot of stuff, started it up, and then heard a massive bang from the back. Turns out some creature had built a nest in the tailpipe/muffler and the whole muffler split in half when the engine finally cranked up.

After replacing most of the exhaust, I got it running again and fixed it up pretty well. Ended up passing it along to another one of our high school friends who needed a car, so it stayed in the “family”, and it’s been serving him loyally ever since.

Omedetou, Your comment has earned you a rare Hot Wheels Super Speeders mystery pack Mazda RX-7!

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Image courtesy Honda.

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33 Responses to QotW: Which JNC do you most want to see in person?

  1. SurvivorDude said:

    “Which JNC do you most want to see in person?” Not scoring a single point for originality,my answer is without a doubt the Toyota 2000GT.

  2. Nigel said:

    First pick is the Hakosuka Skyline. (Even though I like the C110 more).
    Second Z10 Soarer. Third pick Honda City Turbo or Nissan DR30.

  3. cesariojpn said:

    I want to see specifically the Toyota 2000GT seen in the James Bond movie “You Only Live Twice.” Supposedly two convertibles were made especially for the film by Toyota, and one survived somewhere (in Hawaii?) before being rescued and restored. Bonus points go to the fact it replaced the Aston Martin for a film as well, despite not being owned by Bond. Plus imagining Akiko Wakabayashi driving one is abit of a laugh. Imagine if that car was on the open road today……

    Plus the film was almost pretty much vintage JNC porn (with a few American cars thrown in).

  4. invinciblejets said:

    Me being in good ol’ south Carolina we don’t see well anything japanese before the 80s…….anything jnc is “rare” here…

    So my pick would go to hakosuka….

    And as someone else said a first gen soarer would be awsome to see..

    The south is not the best for jncs

    Most people in south Carolina who see my rx7 are like ….”is that there ‘ve-hick-cle’ some kinda Porsche?”

    • Jefreeman said:

      Aren’t too many left here in Ga either. A little bit of gold shows up on craigslist every now and then, but you never see anything too good in person.

  5. acbpanda said:

    To be honest with you all, the Dome Zero is a must see for me, i mean it looks like the cockpit to some sort of spaceship!

    • Damian Solorzano said:

      Right there with you. I first saw pics of that car in’77, in Road and Track and have been lusting after it ever since.

  6. The black CRX said:

    I’d love to see a pristine Honda 1300 Coupe 9… so pretty, so advanced, so pivotal to Honda. It was very much Soichiro-san’s personal vision brought to life, something few cars have been since the earliest days of the automobile. In a way it’s like a Tucker or Delorean, except that his company succeeded. (I’d also love to see a Honda T360, just so I can smile at the enormous logo on such a tiny trucklet.)

  7. Bart said:

    Not only would I like to see one, but I would like to own one.

    1967 Isuzu Unicab.

    Someone sell me one. :)

  8. Jonas said:

    Mazda Cosmo, because it’s the closest we’ll ever get to the Jetson’s car.

  9. Kevin said:

    I am still waiting for the day when I come across a 510 in person. I know they aren’t that rare to spot in the US, but up here in Canada is a different story. I have always admired the design styles of old Datsuns/Nissans, whether it be a car, wagon or truck.

    After recently having a chat with my mother (who shall remain ageless) about old cars, she casually mentioned she learned to drive on a manual 510 sedan. I had no idea my grandpa bought one for the family way back. Even her high school friend had a 2-door 610 that they would carpool on weekends. I explained to her how collectable those econoboxes are becoming, and to contact her old friend for possible photos of the cars. Who knew the Datsun name ran in my family!

  10. NismoDocta said:

    Toyota Crown Pickup

  11. Expulsion said:

    Tomica DR30 Super Silhouette Skyline.

    Or maybe an entire meet of boso/shakotan cars at a Daikoku PA. At night. Maybe have some bikes show up. Guuuuuuuuuuuh.

  12. Dave said:

    This is a good one. I’m lucky enough to have seen several of my dream JNCs, but there’s plenty more I’ve yet to come across. Right off the bat I want to say the Autozam AZ-1, the little mid-engined gull-wing kei *supercar* from Mazda/Suzuki. But that’s technically not a nostalgic yet. So I’m gonna say the R30 Skyline, specifically the late-type “tekkamen,” and even more specifically the liftback or wagon variant. These cars are so quintessentially 80’s Japan. They’re long, wide, low, lean, and sleek. So cool and confident. The DR30 coupe is the standard ones many people adore, and it is super cool and iconic. I love it. The liftback and wagon, however, were equally slick. The wagon’s back is very fast, looks barely bigger than the liftback and hence quite striking. I know they exist, I’ve seen one on Wasabi Cars, but they definitely are rare. Wouldn’t mind seeing one, especially one done up nicely.

    • Styles said:

      Not to nit-pick, but neither the hatch/liftback or the van/wagon received the “Iron Mask” facelift, that was restricted soley to the RS and RSX sedans and coupes.

      Of course that doesn’t mean that you couldn’t convert one to an iron mask front!

  13. Gino said:

    I would have to choose the CSP311 Silvia. A lot of people will disagree with me, but I think that it is the most beautiful car from Japan in the 60s (sorry 2000gt lovers). I am so mad I did not get the chance to see the one that was at the Vintage Auto Salon.

  14. Eddie said:

    A real, honest to god 432ZR. Not just the sight of it, but the sound and the feel of it. I want to see with my own eyes the kind of work whatever race team had it did to make it competitive.

  15. Styles said:

    For me it has to be the 910 Bluebird SSS turbo coupe, I don’t mind which sub-grade, lol!

    A bit of an unknown, this is somewhat of a groundbreaking car, featuring a turbo-charged Z18ET engine, a pretty big deal for 1980! I love the very 80’s angular lines, it must be one of the earliest Japanese cars to break free of the 70’s curves and overwrought details look. I dream of finding the mythical old-lady-owned-it-since-imported-in-the-80’s example, for sale at a reasonable price, but just seeing one in the flesh would make me happy!

    A close second for me would be the K10 Nissan March Super Turbo, I’ve seen a couple of turbos, with the MA10T engine, but seeing a Super Turbo would be great, who couldn’t be excited about a tiny hatchback with an engine that’s got a supercharger AND a turbo!

  16. Tyler said:

    I’ll have to cheat a bit and say the Autozam AZ-1, because that’s the one I want the most. I’ll likely see one for the first time when I buy one.

  17. Patrick Strong said:

    If I might amend the question to read “…see in action,” then I cast my vote for Toyota’s awesome (but ultimately futile) Group B Celica.

  18. Steve said:

    Even better than seeing a 2000GT in person is to hear one running, even if it is run only for Toyota staff to load it up into their transporter. I was very disappointed at last year’s ToyotaFest when it was announced that none of the cars were allowed to be started until the grounds were completely cleared of spectators. I had hoped to watch the Toyota people start their cars and drive them up and into their transporter…

  19. pstar said:

    Honda RA272

    Toyota 7

    And I want to see them going up against their intended period competition. Ooh, Jeezuss.

    As far as mass-produced cars are concerned… TE27.

  20. Victor said:

    For me its the Mazda Cosmo Sport. I am one of the biggest diehard rotary guys out there, The guys at RotaryNews probably know me by name from all the times I comment on their posts. To me seeing a Cosmo Sport is a dream, in fact I’ve had various dreams where I see 5 going in the opposite direction and I can’t turn around to check them out for some reason. Driving one is on my list of things I must do. Owning one is the goal.

    • Nakazoto said:

      It drives every bit as good as you imagine! I had the pleasure of spending about an hour in the hot seat of an L10B and it was one of the greatest motoring experiences of my life!

  21. j3wman said:

    Kenmeri GTR by far. but also I want to see a perfect mind condition Mitsubishi Galant Lambda in USMD Dodge Challenger trim. Ive seen one of them ever on craigslist not even in person. To see a mint condition one, i’d shit bricks forever. That car was so unloved here, because it was marketed as a challenger, if they marketed it as an actual Mitsubishi product that would of been a success like a MK2 Supra or 280ZX. So to see that trim undestroyed would be amazing.

  22. Dillan said:

    There are so many I still have yet to see but by far the JNC I’d like to see the most would be the MR2 222D, an insane rally MR2 built for Group B that sadly never got to race because of the fact that Group B was banned in 1986.

  23. lloyd said:

    The jnc I want to see most of all is my ta22. I want to see it finished and running

  24. blue72 said:

    I’ve seen a 2000GT in person at the 2009 JCCS together with the “Trifecta of Awesome”, the Z432 / Hako GT-R / Kenmeri GT-R.
    What haven’t I seen that I’d love to lay eyes on in person? A Sports 800. I’ve seen a Publica, but not its little 2 cylinder, horizontally opposed sister. I’d also love to see one of those hand-built CSP311 Silvias in the flesh.

  25. Zak said:

    As a Nissan S13 Silvia owner, I guess my answer is a little biased ….
    First one that comes to mind has to be the CSP311 Silvia. With 554 produced, it is one rare car to see anywhere around the world let alone in Down Under – even though there are 49 that were exported here! I would’ve had the chance to see one had I ventured off to another state for a classic j-tin show where one was present in the stunning olive colour they came in – so all hope of seeing one is not all lost!

    Second would have to be the Datsun 240ZG model. As soon as I saw one in the burgundy/maroon colour with the g-nose, I fell in love! Black wats and with – more uncommon – no flares body, I would be in heaven.

    Lastly and probably my true dream would be able to see and even drive is a Nissan March K10 3 door with fender mirrors. This is the car of my childhood – the first car I rode in! It was owned by my uncle who darted this thing around the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh as if it was a bona fide hot hatch. Fender mirrors and the rectangular shapes gave it the ultimate Japanese representation of everything that was the 80’s too. My mom even learned how to drive in that thing! It was such a great car and when you’re in the back seat it had the most spacious seat you can ever imagine. This car started my love for all things Nissan and hopefully I get to experience that spark I had received from it again!

  26. KE25lover said:

    Toyota 2000GT , Toyota AA , an immaculate factory original TE27 and any TTE car

  27. Colin said:

    I would absolutely love to see a pristine, stock 1991 Mazda MX-6 LX, especially in Brilliant Black. Really any GD Mazda Capella C2, 626 coupe or MX-6 in showroom condition would be a joy! And the Capella Infini, oh my . . .
    Ive seen many rusted out or modified examples.

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