QotW: What JNC do you spot the most on the road today?

The natural course of a model’s life is one of attrition. During and immediately after its initial four or five years of sales, they are most prevalent on the streets. Then, as accidents, mechanical issues, and rust take hold, the population grows smaller. Nowadays, however, more and more wonderful people like you JNCers are saving cars once destined for extinction. And with the onslaught of used JNCs being exported from Japan to new homes all over the world, spying a JNC, either imported or domestically-raised, is becoming more and more common. The answer isn’t the same for every region. Canada, for example, has a 10-year lead on importation compared to the US. How about in your area?

What JNC do you spot the most on the road today?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC did you once hate but now love?

When asked what JNC you’ve come around on and learned to love, some, like Scotty G, proclaimed to share no ill will towards anything that shares four tires and rolls. Others, like Jayrdee, disclosed how they would cringe at the sight of family movers but are now doing a 180 after some time to reflect.

The winning comment, comes from ra21benj who shared no love for the angular spaceship design of the Mitsubishi Starion/Dodge Conquest at the time of smoother Hondas of the era. See how he reversed course:

A187A wide-body Mitsubishi Starion/Dodge Conquest. This car came out around the same time the EF civics and DA Integras came out. I was getting used to smooth aero styling with big glass, and the Starion was the opposite. It’s styling was busy straight lines, creases, and small glass. I always thought it was the Japanese version of a muscle car. It was the opposite of what I wanted at the time.

After seeing one winning at the street races and a nice slammed one in college (silver with fin-spoke wheels), I’ve totally changed my mind about Starions. I love how it’s got so much Japanese style to it. It doesn’t need anything added to it to look perfect. Factory spoilers and wide-body are so cool looking. Future classic for me.

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18 Responses to QotW: What JNC do you spot the most on the road today?

  1. Lukas said:

    I live in Austria. The land, where german cars are even more popular than in Germany, where harsh winters with a lot of very aggressive road salt is eating cars like in a time-lapse and where the existing JNC-scene consists of so few people that you can count them with your fingers on both hands.

    So the JNC I spot the most on the street is my own sadly.

  2. BlitzPig said:

    Well, here in my part of the mid west, the winter has taken most of them.

    There is a 260Z rotting behind a shed north of town, one first gen MR2 still running around, though I don’t understand how, it almost had no floors back when I worked on it in the mid 90s. Still see a few late 80s early 90s Camrys and Accords, though they are in really bad shape. Have not seen an AE86 in over 10 years, a couple rotted out second gen CRXs, but never an SI. The cars just don’t exist around here anymore.

  3. Nigel said:

    Domestic T160 Celica, import R32.

  4. Banpei said:

    JNC’s have difficulty to survive the harsh Dutch winters. Due to salty roads they only have a survival rate of 90% per winter, which means after 25 years only 7% of the original population has managed to survive. However, there are a few rare and stronger specimen that seem to be nourished by their keepers and these are often locked away after 10 to 15 years and rarely come outside.

    This translates to a weird and bizarre situation on the roads: either there is the ubiquitous JNC (Corolla E90, Sunny N14 and Mazda 323F) or the rare and strange ones (RX7 FC, Honda Accord Aerodeck, second generation Camry) that manage to flock the Dutch roads.

    There is, however, one that is seen more frequently than the above: the Toyota Starlet EP70. This first generation of FWD Starlet offered a much higher survival rate than the previous generation:
    1. It’s not RWD, so no 4AGE swaps that plunges them sideways into a wall
    2. The unstressed 2E is a strong engine that just keeps going
    3. The 2E still delivers a decent amount of power to keep up with modern traffic
    4. It’s dirt cheap to run in terms of upkeep
    I basically see on average one or two per day: that’s a high survival rate for a 30 year old car!

    Also, in case you get bored with it, you can always slap a TRD 300/280 cam and twin 40 webers on it and have a lot of fun with it:

  5. Robb said:

    With out a doubt it is the S30z , I see at least 1 -2 a day, same with the early Porsche’s which is way I think they are over priced and the people paying 20 to 30 grand for one are foolish.

  6. Tama5 said:

    They’re not a “JNC” in the traditional sense but they deserve special recognition:

    Drive anywhere in Southern California and you will see an astounding number of late 80s-early 90s Toyota pickups still hard at work. You’ll even see interesting variants like 1-ton ex-Uhaul box trucks and flatbeds with dual rear wheels. Hire anyone for landscaping work and it’s likely they’ll show up in an old Toyota pickup.

    Unfortunately it’s impossible to sell a truck that small anymore. CAFE favors larger vehicles and modern safety regulations make them larger anyway. (Even the 2wd Tacoma is huge now). My guess is the little Toyota pickups will remain on the road to fill this niche until Sacramento mandates self-driving cars…

    Honorable mention: The 3rd-generation Toyota 4Runner is nearly as ubiquitous out here.

  7. Dallas Dz said:

    Civics. On the way to work every day, I pass an EF Civic sedan, in burnt orange with a black offset stripe along the hood and roof. There’s also a blue EG hatchback. Both of these cars have rust that can be seen from 1/8-mi. away, but it’s still cool to see them.

    In a parking lot near to where I work, there’s a perfect red A70 Supra which appears to be totally stock. It parks at the back of the lot, in a separate section, so far from the building that it looks conspicuous.

  8. Dallas D. said:

    North of Chicago, I see Civics. Every weekday, I pass an EF sedan, in burnt orange with a black offset stripe along the hood and roof, and a blue EG hatchback. Both cars have rust that’s visible from 1/8-mile away, but it’s still cool to see them every day.

    The other regular sighting is a red A70 Supra, seemingly stock and perfect. Its owner works at the building next door, and s/he parks so far from the building that the car looks conspicuous.

  9. Martin Kočka said:

    “Thanks” to communism japanese cars were never a thing in Czechoslovakian Socialistic Republic. All you can get was review of Mazda 323 in car magazine, good luck buying one as they were really expensive and sold only in specialized stores. Ordinary cars like Škoda and Trabant were one of the cheapest but you still had write yourslef on the waiting list and spend about 5-10 years savings on them. As a result of this even 90s Civic is pretty uncommon to see driving down the street. Practically all cars manufactured before 1988 are rare as hell. I personally own Mazda Luce Legato Van and in 11 million people country I am not aware of anybody else who have one.

    • Karel Bonk said:

      Dobrý den, jsem také z České Republiky. Auto, o kterém píšete, že jej máte, jsem před lety vídával v Havířově, kde bydlím. Jednalo se o 929 kombi (předfacelift). Je možné, že by se jednalo o stejné auto?

  10. エーイダン said:

    I keep seeing swarms of ’90s Camrys, in particular the ones from 1991 to 1996. I see people old and young in them and of every race and creed in this country. Every corner seems to have one, probably because like roaches in a nuclear Armageddon, they Just. Won’t. Die. The only other import that has such a vulgar number of examples on Canadian streets from the same time more or less is the Chevy Cavalier/ Pontiac Sunfire, but the Camry and similarly the 1991-95 Corolla are probably the most numerous JNCs here, you can’t go through any part of the city here without spotting at least 3 of each, the Camry, Corolla and maybe 1 or 2 of the Sunfire and Cavalier.

  11. nlpnt said:

    Does the ’96-00 Civic count yet? If not, then it’s down to either the FJ40 or FJ60/62 Land Cruiser. And I don’t see a lot of those. Or maybe the NA Miata.
    But ’90s Civics and ’94-97 Accords are the most common older Japanese daily drivers in Vermont (you’d think it’d be Subaru, but they get rode hard by third and fourth owners, and Subaru took a long time to get a handle on rustproofing).

  12. Mr. Bill said:

    Here a pig, there a pig, everywhere a pig-nose. Young McHoonald’s S13s…cold-air, cat-back, Bros.

  13. Cesariojpn said:

    Going off last week’s QotW, it’s now the “Bubble” XV10 Camry. Most of the older Camrys are now virtual unicorns (One clean V20 example is being sold in my area for $4,000). In fact, the 90’s “Bubble” cars are pretty much the “new” common JNC’s; E100 Corollas, J30 Maxima, and Fifth Gen Civic Coupes that either escaped being modded or are Frankenstein Fast & the Furious bodge-jobs.

  14. Eric P said:

    Toyota pickups from the 90s and camrys from that same era and perhaps a few accords.

  15. ra21benj said:

    The Japanese classic I’ve been seeing lately are AE86s. They’re in drivable condition, but not fully restored clean. It looks like the drivers are young, so there probably isn’t enough money to fully restore the car because it would cost about the same amount of money as buying a new/used Toyota 86. I’m just glad to still see them on the road.

  16. Ken said:

    Coming from a smaller city in Malaysia, I would say that I see all sorts of JNC at my place daily.

    B11 Nissan Sunny is a common sight where they are almost everywhere in certain district in my city. Old Toyota Corolla are very popular with the locals too where the commonly seen ones would be E70, E90 and E100 generations. Occasionally, some E20 and E30 can also be seen driving around.

    Old Honda Civic are also quite common especially EF and EG generation. The older ones are less common compared to their Corolla counterparts from the same era.

    Basically, Japanese cars with over 20 years old is a very common sight in my place where people are still using them for their daily chores. Some of them are well kept but most of them are no longer in their prime. If anyone here is curious on which place that I am from in Malaysia, the name of my city is called Ipoh. It is an old city with a lot of history.

  17. Speedie said:

    Early to mid nineties Honda’s by far. On any given day I will see at least two or three civics an occasional Accord or Prelude and even in a rare occasion a Del Sol.

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