Greetings, JNCers. Today marks the first week in Japan that the weather is actually turning for the better. The sakura are in bloom and a gentle breeze beckons us to get on the road for a casual jaunt down the nearest winding road. Back in the states, this would signal the time to take my US/J-spec mishmash zenki AE86 out of the garage. But as many know, owning a JNC is not always as easy as turning the key and driving off. They all have their own quirks and temperaments, some small and some large.
I have a 5AG stroker kit and AE101 ITBs installed. This gives the engine a roaring song at WOT not unlike the trumpets of victory as Perseus returned from defeating the Kraken. The tradeoff was the fuel mileage was awful, just above double digits on nice days. This meant I needed to several trips to the gas station a week and allocate a small fortune for fuel. Oh, but that sound. It was a temptation I could not fight.
This leads us (finally) to the QotW. We want to know about the things you look past when owning a JNC. Parts availability? Bolts not in metric? Tell us:
What do you put up with on your JNC?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Will the coming influx of JDM imports make US-spec cars less desirable?“.
In my opinion, I honestly don’t think the market will change at all for US-Spec markets. And here is my reasoning, keep in mind the following response is referring to clean, unmolested, non-junky cars:
The influx of JDM vehicles will continue to grow over time since more cars will become legal, but with the amount of people getting into the whole importing business, its just going to saturate the market with RHD cars to the point where they will be just as common as buying a US-spec car. Any car, whether it be RHD or LHD, if its rare and desirable someone will want it. Only difference is later on there will be more options to choose from.
Take the s-chassis market for example. I’m using that market because, talking numbers, they’re definitely on the cheaper side compared to idk, the supra/skyline market so there’s more activity. Finding a clean, rust-free and unmolested 240sx is almost like finding a needle in a haystack. They’re out there, but they aren’t cheap like they used to be. Your average solid 240sx can be found anywhere between 3-7k. You can argue drift-tax all you want, but thats just how things are now. On the flip side, the hype of owning a RHD s13 has died down too so you can easily find a RHD silvia (already imported) for anywhere between 5-8k. The cleaner SR20 Silvia Ks will be the most expensive around the 9-12k range, but then again so will any other clean turbo/motor swapped s-chassis.
Now that the RHD hype has died down with the s13, its just as easy finding a RHD s13 as it is finding a clean US-spec 240sx and they’re all roughly in the same price range.
I think this behavior will be a common occurrence for each market as time passes by. Thinking long-term, after all the famous 90s/early 2000s Japanese sports cars that young dudes like me grew up racing on Gran Turismo are legal, the hype will die down leading to a healthy equilibrium similar to the s-chassis market.
And of course, there’s the wonderful power of the internet and using those Auction websites too. Those are perfect for dudes like me who don’t have all the fancy connections and resources overseas like all the big guys. I’ve imported/sold an S13 Silvia Qs, and an FC RX7 through an auction website. Its a HUGGEEE risk buying an auctioned car sight unseen, but then again the process is very straight forward and do-able if you have the funds. I’m actually about to pick up an AE86 from the port in Baltimore next week! That was purchased from a dealership in Japan though.
A little off-topic, but initially I just wanted to do some hustling in order to be able to afford to import a RHD AE86. Then considered doing the whole importing thing on a more professional level after I found out how straight forward it is, but with me being in school I just don’t have the resources to do so. and with how many people are importing cars now, I feel like bus is already long gone if you want to make any decent profit. I just tell people to wait until the hype dies down. Eventually everything will equal itself out.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!