Our love for old Japanese cars may seem like the most rational thing in the world to friends and fellow JNCers, but often it leaves the rest of the unenlightened scratching their heads (ie “Why are you spending so much money and time on an old Corolla?” or “Is that thing safe?” or “What’s that smell?”).
What does your family think of your JNC?
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 was your second car?”
We were thoroughly entertained — and even inspired to conduct a few craigslist searches — from your answers this week. In particular we loved Skyler‘s tale of being young and in love with a Supra, Tj‘s “half a JNC” of an RB30-powered Holden, Brett‘s yarn of haggling his local dealer into submission for a Mitsubishi Lancer Celeste, Kathleen Walker‘s account of how her Mazda RX-7 changed her dating life, Ian Gopez‘s Mitsubishi Eclipse woes, and Kevin‘s anecdote about his A60 Supra. However, by far the most chuckle-inducing story was Yoda‘s about his 1999 Corolla:
I’ve seen a lot of cool cars on this comment thread, but none of them are as cool as my second car.
My FIRST car was a primer-grey 1990 CB7 Accord LX held together with zip-ties, duct tape, and prayers to any deity that would listen. I loved that car more than anything, but pretty much every time I took it on the highway I would hold my breath, listening to the weary transmission floating between gears, the body panels shuddering about, the suspension groaning and wheezing. It overheated all the time, especially in the summer, leaving me stranded in many a hot parking lot. No A/C, and if you rolled down the windows, you’d have to take the trim panels off to get them back up again (which I got pretty good at, after a while). It was, in effect, a mess. But it got me to high school and to my summer job (most of the time) and was decently quick with the o/d off. I drove it, jerry-rigged it, and hobbled it together for two years, and loved every minute of it.
Then everything changed. I met a girl. And she didn’t think I was a total weirdo. In fact, she wanted to go on, dates? Suddenly, I needed a car that I could count on to get me places on-time, and without looking like a sweaty mess. Preferably one that wouldn’t fall apart if someone’s loose shopping cart bumped into it at Target. One fateful day while driving home from work, my TCU finally up and quit, hobbling the Accord’s transmission significantly. On the side of the road, waiting for my Dad to come get me, I decided it was time to make a change.
With my savings from selling popsices and sunscreen at the local waterpark gift shop, (and an advance on birthdays/Christmas for the forseeable future from my parents) I purchased what felt like the best upgrade in the history of time. My second car was Fremont’s finest, the 1999 Toyota Corolla CE. Finished in soothing Sandrift Metallic and retaining 3 of its original hubcaps, I wasn’t popular with the shop kids and their Mustangs and Civic Si’s, but I couldn’t hear their snickers over the sound of 120 Aichi stallions reigned in by a properly-sized timing chain and the glorious whir of my ice-cold A/C. I had a stereo, I had a gas guage that worked, I even had *two* sideview mirrors! I could drive this car on the highway all day without one once having to forcibly unclench by jaw. I imagine this was what it felt like to see color TV after a lifetime of black and white. It wasn’t a blast to drive, it will probably never be a collector’s item, but I’ll never forget the grin on my face when I would turn that key and my bland little Corolla would start, without fail. But seasons change. I graduated, went to college, moved away. I don’t know where that car is now, but I take comfort in the knowledge that it’s probably still on the road.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!