QotW: Tell us a tale of a JNC you helped rescue

Summer is just around the corner here in Japan. As we get ready to take our prized machines out on a hot sunny day with the wind in our hair, we ask you to think back on a time when you rescued a JNC destined to return to the earth or live a life under heaps of junk and clutter. Maybe it was a vehicle you rescued, or maybe one you helped find a new owner that would give it the care it deserved.

Tell us a tale of a JNC you helped rescue

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC belongs in a museum?

Last week we asked what shinning JNC example should find its way onto a museum pedestal to be admired and appreciated. To be fair, this question deserves a bit more clarification as pointed out by Cersariojpn and Speedie. Both presented extensive lists based on cultural significance and role they played to highlight JNCs and the stories behind the badge. As this deserves a few more specialized QotWs, we will visit this topic again under greater scrutiny.

Ahja shined a light on the workhorse that is the FX-16, a 4A-GE hot hatch that took on the touge in the dead of winter in blizzard conditions but also held its own in a battle down the twisties.

Andreas Michel reminded us of a scene from a cinematic appearance. If not a museum, we could possibly find the screen-used vehicle hanging off the walls of a Planet Hollywood. They still have those, right? (Click the link to watch the clip.)

This week’s winner is Power Tryp who reminded us that one of the most influential JNCs to ever kickstart JNC tuning since the age of the Z and 510 just turned 25: The fifth-gen Honda Civic. Known as the EJ in coupe and EG in 3-door form (and 4-door sedan), this little runner created a global phenomenon that expanded to other makes and models, eventually leading many of us to partake in some form of motorsports (hopefully at the track, not on the two lane blacktop). See the significance below:

…This Civic transcended it’s humble grocery getter roots and opened the eyes of many in the 90’s creating legendary names in the community like Stephan Papadakis, Geoff Raicer and Brian Gillespie as well as solidifying the place of Mugen and Spoon Sports on the world stage.

Not since the Mustang has a car been able to capture the minds and hearts of so many and then polarize everyone else into a frothy level of hatred

So with these reasons listed I don’t think that just a showroom stock version of the EJ2/EJ1 is worthy of a display, but a manufacturer backed display featuring some of the most incredible examples of tuning and modification should be shown alongside the humble yet inspiring little hatchback and coupe.

Omedetou! Your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop.

JNC Decal smash

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22 Responses to QotW: Tell us a tale of a JNC you helped rescue

  1. Anthony P Raimondo said:

    I found a 1984 Cressida (MX 63) at a house in the woods, and brought it home. We are slowly.bringing it back to life, and are shooting to bring it to Toyotafest in 2019. If anyone has bumpers that fit, let me know!

  2. Tim Mings said:

    Remember that one time I rescued the first N600 HONDA? Or how about that time I saved American HONDA’s first race car effort, the Baja 1000 N600? Good times…..

  3. Power Tryp said:

    Awesome! There were some serious contenders there so I feel lucky to have done it.

    How do I go about getting you my address?

  4. Joshua Sassi said:

    i rescued a 1981 kp61 from a strange old man in fayetteville NC. it began to run rough so he deserted it to the yard. it had racing stripes and harley stickers, he looked like gandalf the grey and lived in a booby trap infested barn; actual true story.

  5. Scott King said:

    I’d had an N600 since I was 15 years old and had always heard that Honda had made a convertible. I had to have one but it was back before the internet and it wasn’t as easy to find such a thing in the 90’s in the US. A long-time 600 friend Miles Chappell clued me in on a car in Pennsylvania that was rusted pretty badly and in boxes. I called Brian Baker – S600 specialist and without ever having met me, invited me to his home (I was living in Virginia at the time) and we went to look at the car together. Long story short, I bought the car and after years of searching for missing parts and mechanical work – it was ready for paint, body and rust repair. I’ve restored the car using only Honda parts and fluids. It took Best in Show a few years ago at JCCS. A rags to riches story that supports Mr. Baker’s motto: “there’s no such thing as a parts car”.

  6. Brandon Mathouchanh said:

    I wasi driving home one night from my then girlfriend’s house now wife in my 1978 Toyota Cressida I was slowly restoring. I got rear ended and sandwiched by a drugged up/drunk driver and needless to say the car was totaled. In desperation and depression to find another JNC to replace, my automotive enthusiast side pushed me to search endlessly for another J-Tin. I came across a Utah classified ad of a 1979 Toyota Cressida wagon that was listed for $200 outdated for about 4 months and the ad had a link to the eBay auction. The listing had ended but was not sold so I figured I’d try to contact the seller. Within two days I got a response from the owner stating it was still available so we exchanged numbers. Unfortunately the ad listing for $200 was a typo and price asking was $2000. The car had problems staying on and needed to be towed. I negotiated with the owner for months awaiting my accident claims to settle and finally the owner dropped the price to $1000. Took a 32 hour round trip to go get the car and bring it back to California. The most interesting part of it all was there was hardly any rust on the car and I learned through the DMV that it was originally a California car! Had I not inquired about the car, the seller was going to just junk it….

  7. AustraliYan said:

    I was on the hunt for a early rhd s30 Fairlady Z for a few months. After reaching out to some close friends a lead on a car came up. After checking it out and confirming that it was infact a true Fairlady Z I learned that it had not run for 24 years. Spending the majority of its life as a storage rack in the owners garage. A deal was struck up and I brought the car home.

    To my surprise after throwing in a new battery, fresh oil and some clean carbs the car started up after 24 years. I Dealt with the brakes and registration and then daily drove it in its barn find status for a year and a half before selling it to its new owner who will be doing a full restoration.

    Not the most exciting story but it is a true testament to the durability and quality of the power plants found in old J tin. I honestly cannot think of any modern car that could survive sitting for 20+ years and then be daily driven after a tune up.

  8. Cameron Jensen said:

    In 2016 I got in a pretty bad car accident, my car was totaled and my back was trashed, I had drove a 1993 Camaro at the time, but was dreaming of an AE86. When I got my insurance back I was on the hunt for an AE86, ever since I first saw Keiichi Tsuchiya’s videos when I was around 10 years old, during my obsession of Tokyo Drift, but being as expensive as they were I had a slim chance of ever finding one, one day while searching the entire USA for a decent priced AE86, I stumbled upon a 1985 SR5 AE86 on eBay, that was well within my price range, and was also a one owner vehicle that was all stock. Finding this i Immediately bid on the car, and ended up winning it for a price that felt too good to be true, but it in fact was true and I was going to pick up my AE86 the following weekend, the car also happened to be in Boise Idaho, only 4 hours from my home in Pocatello Idaho. All of these factors fell into place so perfectly and this car I feel was meant to be mine. When I got the car, it was completely stock with everything and every piece there, other than the center console radio surround, which had been stolen when the original owners son forgot to lock the car up at school. The AE86 ran rough, as it had been sitting in a field for a little bit since the son had graduated high school, and surprisingly had only one small patch of rust which was an absolute blessing as well. Since that day my AE86 gives me motivation every single day and I drive it every single day, except in the winter. I am beyond thankful that I found this car and I could save it, as it saved me. I’m sure I’m leaving out details, but I don’t want this submission to be too long. Thank you, 86.

  9. Alex Nylund said:

    Sooo, I was car shopping for my son last year and was looking for something he couldn’t easily modify and end up destroying. Did the usual Honda, and Nissan search without much luck. Ended up running across an ‘88 Celica GTS for under $1000.
    Well, this car needed some serious TLC!
    On a spare, mismatched tires, high pressure hose for PS was leaking and of course they used the wrong fluid, every component of the front suspension needed replaced and check engine light was glaring. But, the body was straight and only had the usual issues of the st162’s.
    Then you pop the hood and see the engine code- 3SGE. Sold!
    I worked feverishly to get this car up and running for him. Even getting into work early so I could get home and Work on it with what little winter daylight was left.
    After several months on jackstands it was time to lower her down and take a spin…holy Krud!! That TVIS kicked in and she just kept pulling!
    Needless to say, I’m currently driving the car and he ended up finding another vehicle.
    I’m still working on it son.😉

  10. Greg said:

    I rescued a 72 corona mark2, mx22 2dr ht & a 73 rx3 wagon.. both were sitting in a field right next to each other in central California since 1981 & 1982. I went to originally check out a 74 610 sedan which I also picked up for my son & that’s his project. The ironic thing about it is that I had never seen a 72 corona mx22 before or an rx3.. they are super rare where I live & I’ll probably be the only one around here with either one.. both are on my IG redrumlscarjunkie
    Just getting started on these rare beauties..
    Greg

  11. ssvirk said:

    Had a buddy who notified me about a 280Z that the owner wanted to sell. Turns out the owner had a 1978 280Z that was a “california car” and wasn’t asking for much money so I took the 60 mile trip to go check it out. Now, I realized this guy lived outside of the city (I’m in Houston) but I didn’t think much of it. To my surprise, I ended up in a heavily wooded area with an extremely sorry looking Z sitting behind the owner’s house. Now, it was purchased on eBay back in 2002-2003 from Los Angeles and then shipped to the owner where for the most part been in a state of decay in the-middle-of-nowhere, TX.

    All of the attributes associated with a California car were long gone as over a decade of Texas weather had obliterated the dash (simply saying that the dash was cracked would be a severe understatement) and the once Beige Metallic paint that adorned the car from factory was now a faded swamp color that was covered in a heavy layer of dirt/dust/mold that made it look 5 shades darker than it should’ve been. Also, the passenger footwell was having a rust party and there was even a tennis ball sized hole along with a few other pencil sized ones. This is probably because that side of the car appeared to be sunken into the ground and any bit of rainfall would easily flood the floor with some nice H2O. Oh, and about 90% of the weatherstripping was removed so rain would just pile up inside the car too. The interior had been stripped out except for the driver seat and dash but the engine was still complete.

    I’m typing a lot here but I wanted to drive home that the car was basically toast. Best part was that I was in college and wanted an “mild” and “fun” project car and this was at the absolute opposite end of the spectrum. Anywho, I ended up buying the car and 7 months later this thing is doing laps around my neighborhood. Not bad for $500.

  12. Kyle Levitt said:

    As a collector and enthusiast I have collected over 50 plus vintage Japanese vehicles
    From crowns/corollas/celicas/FJ/coronas/Publicas Mazda’s and few Datsuns here in Alberta Canada. “Must make picture thread soon”

    But the best story to this date was when I was featured in a local paper for my 67 Toyota stout,it had mentioned myself as a collector and a elderly man read the article and contacted me asking if I would be interested in his 70 4spd Crown,one owner and all original.
    Sat in his garage for 20 years under blankets and on blocks
    Turned out it was just as nice as he proclaimed,and with only 15,000 miles on the clock.
    Only way to pay for said crown was in silver..cash was not good enough for him lol

    Another cool story,when I was picking up a 67 corona on my travels home I seen a cool old barn in the distance and beside the barn was a long roof line of a old wagon,grass was super tall so I could not identify what it was until I got near it.
    Decided to take a chance “as my heart was pounding at the possibility of being something super cool” I ran through the field and to the barn to find in my amazement a 64 40 series crown wagon.
    Ran back to my truck and drove to the nearest farm house,talked to the family who owned the farm land and said it had sat there since 1972 as a foreign exchange student drove it to work “the farm” and left it there when he went back to his home country and never returned.
    Asked kindly if they would part with it,luckily they said yes and they donated it to me free of cost

    Have multiple stories and tons of pictures of the cars I have saved and built to return them back to the road!

  13. Pierce Ford said:

    I have a friend who gives Cash for Junk Cars, he yanked a 1976 Corona station wagon from a crusher yard with no idea what to do with it. Knowing how much I love old, shitty projects that can never be completed, I was the first person he contacted. This one actually didn’t take much to get it running again, after a new park switch, lots of brake parts and a carb tune, I drive it regularly!

  14. Rotsun said:

    I snatched a 240Z for a ridiculously low sum of money from a hipster who neglected the car to a disgusting degree…

  15. Speedie said:

    Its not a car, but I just recently reacquired my wife’s 1979 Yamaha Champ. We had given it to a friend for restoration and unfortunately he let it sit idly in his garage collecting dust and grime for the last five years. They needed it gone and asked if we would like it back. So in the shed awaits its 50 ccs of two-stroke awesomeness just dying to once again belch blue smoke across the horizon. My intention is to lend it to my friend who races vintage Datsuns so he can use it as a pit bike when he is at the The Glen.

    As a side note, my wife went to buy an off road bike (I believe a Yamaha AG100) when she was 19 and unfortunately her parents went along and convinced her that the Champ was what she really wanted. Unknown to her at the time the cutoff for requiring a road registration for use is 50 ccs. So unlike a real moped, a plate it did have.

  16. Mr Camouflage said:

    I saved a 1969 Datsun Super Six (Nissan P130 Cedric) from going to the crusher. The current owner was moving house and under strict instructions from the wife that the car was not coming with them.

    It sat for some years in my backyard until I realised I’d never get around to doing anything with it (too many other projects), so I sold it for modest sum to a guy new to the state and looking for a project Datsun.

    It was in good hands, he buffed the paint back to shiny red, fixed some minor rust. Got the L28 that was in it running smoothly, slapped on some white wall tyres and used it for weekend cruising for a few years.

    He sent me some photos of the old Ceddy in all it’s restored glory, which I also forwarded to the guy I had originally got the car from.

    Then came the time he decided to move back east, and put the Cedric up for sale, and the story takes a tragic twist.

    They young fella he sold it to wasn’t familiar with column shift autos, and drove it home in first gear on the freeway at 100kmh (60mph) destroying the L28. It was last spotted on the back of a scrap metal truck which a few cars stacked on top if it heading off to the crusher.

  17. Thomas Robinson said:

    Started looking for 240z-280z I’m from ohio surfing Craigslist I found one in buckhanna west Virginia owned by a 18 year old girl named Icy. If you thought that was a hillbilly name your were right so I had my buddy with his ccw come along for the ride. I had to meet them at a local gas station because she didn’t know her dad’s address they show up 3 deep in her mom’s 1990 Dakota with garden edging for fender flairs and 3 different wheels on the truck. Follow then down a windy road the house bairly had a place to pull off the road after a blind curve. Car was outside behind the house and had almost sank in the dirt up to the subframe.. Luckily floors were still soid we agree on a price I had to back my armada and 18ft trailor beetween 2 half cut done trees.. start to winch it on but it was so buried the 12000lb winch would bairly move it. Finally got it on the trailor with the help of a big come along and made the 3 hour drive back home

  18. Brad bunze l said:

    Well. It all started when I bought a $300 barnfind 76 280z s30. I just got in the market to buy a z, and I saw the rear end sticking out a barn, turns out there were selling the estate and the car was going to a scrap yard. I offered $300 and they took it. Came back the next day with a trailer. i’ve been restoring it and rebuilding it for 5 years now all on a low budget, aka junkyard hunting. It’s getting closer to being road ready. Since I’ve started junkyarding, I came across a early series one 240z, posted it to a fb forum and got several orders for parts, that has now turning into my own junkyard picking business for imports @bradspinknship. So not only have I saved my 76z from the crusher, I now pick and ship jnc parts all over the world, including datsuns Mazdas yotas Nissan etc etc. #saveallthejdmcars

    • Alex Nylund said:

      Awesome! This motivates me to start junkyard hunting again and attempt this sort of work.
      Many of my parts for my GT are from the junkyard since they are so hard to come by, but I always see other cars and wonder who would need other items. Would love to know more!

  19. Otso said:

    Must be this pmc skyline from original owners estate. Now restored In UAE. https://youtu.be/KuJbbvTISK8

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