QotW: What automotive woes are you most eager to forget?


In Japan, the bonenkai (“year forgetting”) parties on December 31 are where you leave behind the stresses of the previous year, usually by consuming large quantities of alcohol with friends. Old cars can be the source of many reasons to down a pitcher of Sapporo — a project car that’s its very own circle of hell, an obscure part grenading itself at the worst possible time, or perhaps the regret of that rare Craigslist find slipping through your fingers.

What automotive woes are you most eager to forget?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW,”What will you ask Japanese Santa Claus for this year?” 


We had an entire Japanese Santa’s bag’s worth of excellent replies this week! John M made egg nog stream from our noses with his letter. Greylopht broke our holiday hearts with his plea. We marveled at Brett‘s authentic capture of bureaucratic memo-speak. There were requests for everything from parts to wheels to cars to garage space to actual trips to Japan.  There can be only one winner, however, and this week it was ScottyG for his ability to rank the importance of things. Also, a bit of verbal bribery never hurt!

Dear Japanese Santa,
I would like…er, wait, did you say that a person has to be a good boy first? Never mind..
(just kidding..)..

I would love a 1971 Toyota Corolla 2-door wagon, a Subaru 360 Young SS, a Subaru Justy 4WD (5-speed, of course), several other vintage / nostalgic Subarus of your choice. And, of course, world peace, no wars, no more hunger, yadda yadda.. and all of that stuff, too.. But, first, the Subarus, please!

Happy Holidays, and, thanks to JNC for such a great escape from the real world. Or, at least, the real world that most of us live in, which is relegated to dreaming about all of the great vehicles shown here here every day!

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

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18 Responses to QotW: What automotive woes are you most eager to forget?

  1. Cesariojpn said:

    I’ll quote the words said by a model railroader once:

    “If I figured out how much I spent on my hobby, I’d throw myself off a cliff. If my wife found out, she’d do it for me before I got a chance to do it.”

  2. Ash said:

    I have no woes, everything that happens makes me better at keeping my nostalgic (and anyone else I can help) on the road

  3. Ant said:

    I’d quite like to forget the house move that lost me my car. Back in 2010 I was rather happy – II lived in a fantastic apartment in one of the best areas of town – close to amenities, everything within walking distance, decent view, inexpensive rent, and secure, out-of-sight, gated parking perfect for the ’91 MX-5 I’d just bought.

    Then, at the request of my then-girlfriend, I moved into a different apartment in the suburbs. It was roomy, but more expensive, not as pleasant, further from everything. To my regret, it also lacked secure parking – and one night my Mazda was stolen. The police discovered it the next day, heavily crashed, perpetrators nowhere to be seen. A month after, unrelated but adding insult to injury, our relationship split up.

    That apartment move was a bad call. And for avoidance of doubt, I’m more bothered about what happened to the car than what happened to the relationship…

  4. atx said:

    I wish i could forget that first crack that appeared on the dash of my celica supra. It is the tiniest little crack, but is otherwise pristine. No way i’ll find a dash in better shape, and i’ll break more stuff trying to replace it and end up worse off. 2016 will be the year of the growing crack, and there is no stopping it.

    • Kev said:

      AutoGlass has a resin-based liquid that they inject into a small crack or chip to stop it from spreading. Perhaps look into that. I miss my Supra 🙁

      • atx said:

        Ohhhh for dashboards even? I’m tempted to drip some sort of glue/epoxy in there to try and minimize the spreading, and then cover it with a jdm lookin carpet pad. Now if only i could find some lace seat covers that only cover like the top 1/4 of the seats hehe

  5. Scotty G said:

    Other than the usual suspects (left-lane-hoarders – in the US where polite drivers stay to the right – and non-signaling-lane-changers), my biggest automotive woe is not having enough garage space, which we’re hoping to take care of in 2016.

  6. Jaceracer said:

    On my MR2 AW11 I spent a month or so rebuilding the 4AGE engine. I had the head machined and rebuilt for more performance with cams. After 3 amazing runs my engine mangled a rod bearing. I then called AAA for a tow, but was told it’s not an emergency and they won’t tow my car from the Laguna Seca property.
    After a lecture, I got my father to tow my car out of the pit area with his truck. Slightly embarrassed at that point I got AAA to tow it from the turn off. It was an uncomfortable ride home 3 hours cramped in the truck worrying about my car. At home I call AAA to see when they will be dropping it off. They inform me that my car shouldn’t have been towed and that they are still deciding what to do with it. Finally after 3 days they deliver my car after telling me they plan to punish the tow truck driver. Out of confused guilt I call AAA and proceeded to beg them to not to punish the tow truck driver.
    I learned the hard way in 2015 that you need a trailer and tow vehicle for track events. AAA does not count.

  7. Dimitry said:

    I was reading through the comments to this an couldn’t think of anything…until I reread the “example” to an answer above.
    Last year a 198x Toyota Tercel wagon in fantastic red and a manual gearbox appeared on my local kijiji (Canadian Classifieds) pages. It was clean. Cleaner than my ’04 Accord for a fact and I always get the question of “What year is this?” as the only thing rusted on that Honda are the control arms. Anyways, back to the story. It was going for roughly 2k Canadian, but unfortunately I just didn’t have even a penny at that point. I was working and saving every dime while checking the ad at least few times a day. I was already above 1k and wanted to email the owner when…when…(intense sobbing)…the car was gone. The glorious, 70-something powered, clean as a newborn baby after thorough wiping, Tercel was sold. I still think about that car and wonder who got it.
    Actually, if you’re reading this – good buy and hope you’re still enjoying it!

  8. Ryan Senensky said:

    That scotty g guy’s response reads like mine would of haha

  9. Khee said:

    I think parts and mechanical woes are to be expected with these cars, but for me it’s incidents of operator error that I want to bury it down deep inside and never bring it up again, one in particular.

    One of the first drive out with a newly acquired limited slip on the s30, I’ve been flogging the open diff previously for many years at autox and was psyched to have a more aggressive setup. The off ramp coming into my street is a 180 degree bend, steep uphill grade, 2 lanes wide. It was drizzling outside that evening but not quite raining, about 10 pm at night with no one in immediate sight. Basically an open invite for ‘commmeee onnnnn, do something stupid.’

    I rev match down to 2nd, confident in my abilities, and gas it as soon as the car starts rotating, traction loss achieved. A slight tail end out and I rev few times to enjoy the two wheels spinning. And then I let off the gas.

    At this point all the weight is shifted off the front on this steep uphill, my rear wheels still spinning to find traction on their own, and shoots the car forward in an uncontrollable 90 degree turn to the right. Now the nose of the car is pointing directly at the freeway off ramp 10 ft below (being a 180 bend).

    Brakes don’t work obviously in this situation, so I sat and waited. Waited at the inevitable crown to be the first guy in a s30 to launch his car down I-15 Cali freeway perpendicular to oncoming traffic.

    The Z came to a stop past the solid white bike lane, but just shy of the grassy run off area leading down to the pre 180 turn off ramp. By this time the one car waiting in the red off ramp light, and another car just pulling up behind me was staring me down. I reversed, got back in line, and drove it home like a dog with tails between.

    I think I may have just rehashed this more vividly than ever by typing all this out.

  10. Mike D said:

    This year I will be drinking to forget the troubles of removing, rebuilding, and installing every component under the hood of my Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo. Although it is not as aged as others, many will agree that features oof the car were over-engineered and accessibility to them were little to none. This led into dozens of hours cleaning, modifying, refinishing, and then gently re-modifying components. I am happy its over! And by over, I mean until next month, as the VG30DETT has a reputation of being very temperamental.

  11. Negishi no Keibajo said:

    It’s not exactly JNC, but in November, the carb on my beloved 1977 P10 Step Van decided to grenade itself on the freeway. I had it towed to the nearest shop, just to get it off the road. A week later, I got a call from the shop saying that it WAS running fine until someone pulled out in front making an illegal left turn. The ensuing insurance battle against Allstate has valued my totaled van at $1300, Mind you, this van was loved by the neighborhood and passerby alike & I would easily get an offer to by on my windshield once a month. The most painful are my photos of my partner helping me squeeze the new engine in it through the side door with her aligning it with her feet. I would have MUCH preferred my Lexus obliterated. I am still sick and haven’t seen a single insulting penny yet after a month and a half.

  12. Censport said:

    I’ll be drinking to forget the MX-5 Miata I bought about this time last year, and am still stuck with today. I could blame the previous owner and his misleading craigslist ad and his “oh I don’t know nothin’ about these cars” act, but I’m blaming myself for being in a rush to buy some wheels and not looking the car over more carefully.

    On the flip side, I’ll also be drinking to celebrate its replacement, the first-year Xterra (in yellow, of course) I bought a couple of months ago from a much more honest person and at a very fair price. Hopefully the MX-5 will be gone in the spring (at a loss I’m sure, as nobody could be stupid a buyer as I was), and maybe, just maybe, I can find the garage and budget room for an S130.

    • Negishi no Keibajo said:

      Oh… been there done that. Sorry man. For me it was a 1970 Camaro back in the day. Just not much of a Detroit muscle guy unless it’s a truck (or van). The good news was, it brought my 240Z into my life (for a long time). Have fun with your Xterra!

  13. Taylor said:

    I’d like to forget most of the troubles my 67 VW camper has caused me over the years. It’s been a love/dislike relationship that’s finally put me in a position to sell it, help the family out with a few things, before getting into a new project. And that project is going to be a Japanese car…haven’t decided which yet, but I am spending more of my day than I ought to checking out what ignites that new passion.

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