QotW: What JNC has stuck with you through thick and thin?

Initial D AE86 R32

As we roll past Thanksgiving weekend and into the final stretch of 2016, why not reflect upon the one that has stayed by your side. I’m talking about that JNC that has been through it all, even when you’ve been pushed to your limits in stress, driving ability, mechanical know-how, or finances. But in the end, there it is. Love it or hate it, that JNC has been there and will always be there to put a smile on your face. So we ask:

What JNC has stuck with you through thick and thin?

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 car thing are you most thankful for?”

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Last week’s QotW hit me on a personal level because it embodies not only the JNC website, forum support, and overall pursuit of J-tin, but even the staff of JNC when we are not behind the black mirror. Even though we are spread out around the world, it’s still a tight community where make the time to get together for a chat, a drive, or a wrench on those carbs that always need a bit of dialing in. So when mattwithoutyou posted up about community, well, that is really what we are all about.

What car thing am I most thankful for? The community.

Being a “car guy/gal” is more than just a common interest. It’s a sort of brotherhood, an ancient fraternal order of those who believe that some machines have a soul, and we bond our own souls to those machines, making both stronger.

It’s a dwindling community, endangered by the rise of a generation that is coming to view the car as appliance, an extension of “app culture “. Where thirty years ago a car commercial might show the latest model powersliding through the desert in slow motion, today’s car ad touts internet connectivity, and social media integration. People today want cars that practically, and literally drive themselves.

But not us. We’ll take the keys, thank you. And while our numbers may wither, our passion is as strong as ever.

On the weekends we migrate to the garage, at times thrashing on a serious project, at times just tinkering. By application of blood and sweat, we make our cars better, and they heal the internal wounds that the week has wrought, and man and machine emerge into the light healed. Then we take our machines to the car meets, various shows, or organized drives in our area.

If religion is built on the bonds of fellowship, then Cars and Coffee, the JCCS, the club meet, these are our temples. The general public might see an old Toyota, but the car guy sees a dream realized, long nights and scraped knuckles. And if one of us should need help, the car guy/gal come together in a way that others seldom do. We donate time, money, parts and wisdom freely to each other, and sometimes all of the above, before we even learn our new friend’s full names, (ex:Dave with the Honda 600, or James with that white RX7, you know the guy). I’ve made some of my closest friendships over cars.

A friend of mine once typed in a car forum that sometimes he wishes he wasn’t a car guy, that if he could just look at any car as transportation, his marriage would be better, and he would have more money. In that way being a car guy/gal is like a disease. And maybe knowing that others suffer the same affliction, that makes our bond fast and strong. We all know the late night Craigslist hunts, we all know the tight lump in the throat, and the way your voice catches when the trailer drives off with your baby loaded on it, and that burning desire to replace it with a new obsession as soon as possible…so you can feel whole again.

Having a community that understands all that, knowing I’m not alone, well I’m truly thankful for that, and having great forums like this to bring us all together.

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

JNC Decal smash

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23 Responses to QotW: What JNC has stuck with you through thick and thin?

  1. Jim Simspson said:

    94 Mazda Miata, stll driving the car all these years later… bought it new.

  2. Jayson said:

    My Nissan Frontier 2013 Quad Cab/Crew Cab(4 Doors). I love Datsun truck back to the 620 ,thru Hardbody til today. I love them and will caontinued to buy Nissan/Datsun pick-ups. I would love to find a extended cab 620 and also a Datsun 510 SSS

  3. Vic said:

    1972 Toyota Celica. All stock except for exhaust, Momo steering wheel and ’74 GT wheels. Altair green metallic. Bought it new in ’72 while a junior in high school. Still have it! All the great memories from teenage years into retirement. Only peeks its smiley bumpers on sunny clear days. Not only is it a fun car to drive, it gets all sorts of attention and questions whenever I cruise it about. Cool explaining, “Yes, Celicas were made way back then.” :o) Through the “thick and thin”, has become very sentimental to me.

  4. MikeRL411 said:

    My 1967 RL411 sedan. Bought new, survived my wife and 3 kids learning to drive in it. Only 150,000 miles, I treat my cars gently. Long trips were made for planes!

  5. Steve said:

    LOL On the other car websites I frequent, my answer to this oft-asked question, “My 1979 Celica, bought new!” elicits a number of “Wow!”, “I wish I had kept mine!”, etc. responses. And yet, on this website, two of the first four answers predate my car by a decade. I salute you! Love this site…

    My Celica is no longer stock; (real) TRD springs and shocks, an 18RG, 15X7 Enkei 92s, and rear window louvers. It’s sitting in storage (my mom’s garage) now, though, a non-runner awaiting a full restomod when I find time (post-retirement) and space (new larger house).

    Retirement, here I come!!!

  6. Dillan said:

    My 1978 280z 2+2, on my third year of owning it now and its running as good as ever. It had been sitting for many years before I found it and after a winter of refreshing the brakes, suspension and fuel injection system I’ve made it my daily driver and have taken it places most Z owners would never dream of. I’ve driven across the country twice now, on more backroads than I could ever imagine recalling all over northern California as well as Colorado. Rainy mountain passes, narrow harsh dirt roads, long highway runs, my Z has done it all in absolute confidence. Through thick and thin hardly does it justice. It can be difficult explaining to some the unique bond someone can have with a machine but I know you guys understand what I mean when I say that owning and driving my Z has truly been of the best things to ever happen to me.

  7. Legacy-san said:

    I’m thankful for my 91 Subaru Legacy LS wagon…in Colorado, it doesn’t get a second glance because Subaru has definitely conquered the market. I can be stopped at a traffic light and half the cars waiting with me are Subies of all models and generations. I’ve modified mine just a little with European and Japanese Legacy items…European glass headlights (left hand drive from Germany) and OEM headlight washers, plus Japanese spec front turn signal lenses, halogen fog lights and a OEM black leather MOMO steering wheel from a Legacy GT, and it all looks like the car came from the factory with it. When it snows, I tell my friends “The word Subaru isn’t a noun, it’s a verb”

  8. Ebriones said:

    My 1997 4Runner. After my 350z got wrecked, I needed something that could take me from point A-B and back. It was only supposed to get me through the summer before I would sell it and get back into a new Z… (This was 7 years ago). My 4Runner has been the most dependable car I’ve ever owned. Not only does it take me to work and back, but it has also helped friends move furniture, countless home improvement projects, has crossed borders, state lines and still be able to haul my jnc tercel AND motorcycle (at same time) to a couple of jccs events. 250k on the odometer and still running strong.

  9. banpei said:

    My 1982 Toyota Carina TA60. She has been around for nine and an half years now, I still haven’t performed that 4AGE not T50 upgrade, but I surely have used it for many many great drives. She only did refuse to start once, but that was due to a (too) low level of petrol.
    I’ve has many occasions when I decided it was time for something new, but for some reason I never have been able to do so. She is still around and I’m happy to drive the good old 2T plus A40 automatic (as long as I stick below 80 km/h). I simply haven’t been able to sell her…

  10. Nakazoto said:

    1988 300ZX SS. Bought it with 60k on the clock, now has 180k. I’ve had it since I was 17, so a bit over 15 years now. In the time span I’ve owned the SS, I’ve either owned or still currently own an additional 15 cars (nearly one a year, haha). Through it all, the trusty Z has always been at my side, ready to whisk me to my destination in pure comfort and speed.

  11. TheRickster said:

    While I have dreams of owning many a vintage JNC. I easily am the most and will always be the most attached to my 02 RSX. I bought the car from a close friend who had done a few mods and by the time I got it in 2010, it was very tastefully modified with a stock engine back in the car.

    While it has not aged to most, I feel like I’ve seen the entire life cycle of this car and know where it’s slowly going. When I first bought it, it was still a not a bottom value dweller and carried a bit of a premium for equivalent comparisons.About a year or two after buying it, I watched the entire local forum change. Owners moved on to BMW’s and Subaru’s while a new wave of RSX owners came in, happily buying these cars at nearly half of what I paid for mine. (No regrets here!) With this new wave things changed. I watched as cars were haphazardly modified, wrecked by very young drivers and saw quality and numbers of the car begin to decline.

    Flash forward to 2016, mine has just under 200,000 miles and I love it just as much as the day I got it. I’m amazed that even with the miles, mine is one of the cleanest examples left. I have a true personal nostalgia with this car and we have together watched the decline of her brothers and sisters. I take immense pride in knowing mine will, to the best of my ability always be a clean example of what this car should be. I don’t think I will ever be stuck on any other car I own the way I am this one. 30 years from now I will still find myself unable to sleep, and climbing into this car for a nostalgic, fun and enthusiastic drive down memory lane.

  12. Ryan Senensky said:

    My ’91 Honda Civic Si. Holy crap has this car been a labor of love. 5 engines, 3 transmissions. A brief period with a B18 swap and now its back to a D16A6/Y8 mini-me. I was about to get it on the road this year then… snow. Minnesota sucks half the time…

  13. Bryan said:

    92 300zx, daily driven for a year and a half now, many sleepless nights in order to have it up and running the next morning for work, also happens to be my first car

  14. LM said:

    It’s a borderline classic — but close enough?

    In 2004, not long after I started my first job that paid more than minimum wage, I bought a ’93 Acura Legend coupe with 52k miles. Against the advice of everyone I knew, who encouraged me to finance a modern vehicle with a warranty, I insisted on this particular Legend. It had the lowest miles of any for sale at the time, but it hadn’t been meticulously maintained. The original owner’s parents owned a dairy farm in the Inland Empire, and the owner basically used it for commuting between his university and the farm.

    I had to have it. It was the only car I wanted. And after a couple months of negotiating over price and minor necessary repairs, it was mine for $8300.

    It was an utterly unremarkable, but utterly reliable car. Everything worked. Every control was in exactly the right place. And, over the years, it only taunted me a couple of times. The driver’s door lock was possessed by unearthly powers, once trapping me in the car for 20 minutes, cycling malevolently whilst I contemplated the feasibility of escaping through the moonroof. After 10 years of ownership, the main relay started to act up, stranding the car in my parking garage several times. Each time, my mechanically savvy boyfriend came to rescue me — only to have the car start as soon as he turned the key. And finally, last fall, I found myself stalled at an intersection after leaving a gas station. My mechanically adept boyfriend and friends came to my aid, and promptly diagnosed low oil, bad fuel filter, and a myriad of other causes.

    I, however, had concluded the ignition switch was to blame — a $50 part on Amazon Prime that I quickly installed, head between the pedals, tiny girl fingers negotiating tight spaces, as my boyfriend lounged on the lawn snapping photos of my contortions.

    But — nearly 13 years of ownership, and 130k miles. I can’t imagine a more dependable vehicle. Alas, this summer I succumbed to Germany’s siren song of performance and technology, and bought a 2016 BMW 228i. The Acura was left to languish. I couldn’t bear to sell it — I’d disclose every scratch and flaw and quirk. Instead, I donated it to the local Humane Society. When the driver came to haul it away, he opined, “most of the donated cars are sold for scrap. Not this one, though.”

    I hope it lives on, either in the hands of someone who needs basic, cheap transportation, or someone who acknowledges the mid-90s high point in Japanese manufacturing and treasures it.

  15. Geoff said:

    1976 Mazda 1300. Crashed into, sitting unloved in a shipping container, I’ll never sell it. She and I have been through girlfriends, ex wives, a divorce, multiple house moves and god knows what else.
    I miss seeing it in my garage every day.

  16. Robin said:

    Im writing straight from the heart here… not for stickers or the best comment, simply for everyone’s entertainment and insight as to why I simply love My Japanese Nostalgic.

    I drive a sunny truck/nissan 1400 bakkie, Had it for just over two years now and still decline offers that come my way at every second traffic light. The reason for this is how well it has treated us (my GF ,Yoshi and Me).

    I sometimes wonder if this little truck has some kind of artificial-intelligence due to the times it broke down when we reach home and never leaving us stranded.
    It was a winters evening (month of June) and our little Shiba Yoshi was ready for us to collect him at the ladies house who helped with importing Him for us, this lady lives on a farm 70km’s away. Most farm roads in South Africa do not have street lights and as we get close to the gravel road leading (2km road) up to her house the sealed beams on the truck decide to stop working. In typical old car style a quick little knock on the fuse box or wires leading to the fuse box would mend the problem, unfortunately this trick we all have come to know did not work… GF as calm as always looks at me and says lets go back home and come tomorrow, I can see though she waited for little Yoshi for a few weeks and I could not turn around now and disappoint her. So we have that other little trick, the one where we talk to our cars telepathically and i pull the light switch and push it in and one the second try after speaking to the little Nissan the sealed beams lit up the road ahead and until today it has never stopped lighting the road for us on each of our journeys. I have checked to see if i can find any issues and all seems fine, could be a lose wire somewhere but the little truck fixed itself. Yoshi still runs to the Nissan to go for drives and when we wash it he will sit in the passenger seat. I wish it stays with us through thick and thin… staying with us part leads me to my next story.

    A year back , my Gf was over visiting. This was when I still lived with my parents, so I would park the truck outside should I have to take her home. My Parents live in a fairly safe neighbourhood however being a country filled with crime no area is safe and we have to be vigilant at all times, I try to be but sometimes you just can’t live like that. We were at the back watching a movie and we heard Yoshi screaming, we thought it was the neighbours cat on the roof again and did not bother going to check but my Significant Other said his scream is different and weird… my first mistake was being stubborn and playing his scream down. He was pacing up and down the house and very restless, making us think it is the darn cat as He wants to rip the cats apart.
    We fell asleep and about 11pm I felt like something is wrong only to find Yoshi sitting at the bedside with a blank stare, this he does when he needs us to open for him to go do his business or when he wants to go for a drive. I went to open for him but he went straight to the front window and this made me look out to show him there is no cat… well there was no Nissan either where I parked it. You probably thinking my heart dropped and I furiously called the cops and shouted to my GF right? Well my heart dropped for a second but then quickly realised what I have always told my family… having nice stuff in SA you have to make peace that it could be gone sooner than you think and I calmly said “Dad the Nissan is gone” . Got me a glass of water (which i initially wanted after opening the door for Yoshi) and my Gf comes out the room and says “No can’t be! Not the damn Nissan!” she looks at Yoshi as he was still looking out the window with his tail in attack mode and ears forward. Gf looks out and says “Robin, its still there, its still there – HURRY!”. I look out and see the cream truck parked diagonally across the road about 300m away and a tow rope still attached and the door wide open. The little Nissan refused to leave us and fought with all it could… I have a habit of always locking the steering (the steering lock that the Nissans came with and not the aftermarkets ones) but we all know how easy it is to force this open. They just could not get it loose. All they took was the radio and speakers. They also left me with very expensive tow rope which i keep in the truck haha… so i think thats a fair swap.

    We have put on close to 50 000km within the two years, yes we drive a lot and I have told the story of driving half way through South Africa with a blown head gasket only to die on me in the driveway.

    We recently moved into a house as said above and all our stuff was moved using the bakkie, carbs purring and seeing your future loaded at the back and your family next to you is something i can’t express in words… I cant imagine our lives without it.

    We had much fun together too… spin outs in the wet due to acting a fool and pushing it to its limits, it is also a great conversation starter and many stories we heard from older people about their Nissans etc. Gets us into trouble with the law and also out of trouble when the cops merely pulled us over to get a better look at it. Most importantly is the bond, its as if we understand one another. It got me home on an empty tank when i forgot my bank card at home and had no cash on me… only to start up in the morning and die due to no fuel. Sure it could be my luck but somehow i think this truck gets me and has our best interest at heart….

  17. Matthew Vona said:

    My ’83 kp60 Toyota Starlet.
    I bought it bone stock two years ago. I had limited budget on me and i worked at a part time job, so money was an issue.
    The previous owners didn’t really cared about it, the electrics were a mess, the tires were BAD, it had almost no brake pads and the diff needed some help.

    I did my best to enjoy it since i wanted one so bad. I fixed all the issues with the help of some friends and found some great deals from other kp owners i met.
    I changed the wheels, the tires, all the wiring, ignition motor, exhaust, installed a bucket seat, a Nardi steering wheel and did a lot of DIY work on it to keep the prices low.

    At that point i was really depressed. M parents broke up, my 5year reletionship with my (now ex) girlfriend ended so the only relief i had was that car!
    It kept breaking down, i kept push starting it, but i was enjoying every day! I met some very interesting people that shared the same passion, made a lot of friends, went to several meets, long night drives etc.

    After all the hard work and patience, after i changed my wheels and i was really excited that i changed the looks of it, to what i had in mind it was gone!

    I woke up one morning and i found that i has been STOLEN!
    It was missing for about a month. I was searching every single day for it. From wrecking yard to used parts stores, just to find were it gone.
    Until i received a call from a guy that saw my post on facebook about the stolen car and that he saw it parked 20mins away from my house!
    I went there, called the police and claimed my car back!

    The car was back home but it won’t start but had no exterior damage (fortunatelly). So back in the fixing again! My budget though has been limited even more in the process
    so i was able only to fix the more important stuff.
    That did’t hold me back from driving it though! I took my new girlfriend for some driving lessons in it and she loved it!

    Now it has a driveshaft and diff issue, needs some new brake rotors and it has some oil leaks… If i find some time and money to put a 4K-U engine that i have already bought.

    But im patient, waiting to save money to enjoy it even more.

    • vitor said:

      My grandfather bought a kp61 brand new in turd metalic brown, 5 speed in 1982. It was his last car. I drove i auntil he couldn’t drive anymore around 2002. Every single night the car passed inside the garage, less than 50.000 kms. I miss it

  18. madis said:

    my 89 fc3s turbo II with a 6 port engine, gonna get it running again in december(hopefully)
    only drove it like 1500 kilometers and now it’s been almost 4 years… it has made me totally broke and in dept, that’s what it is building a rx7 in a poor country, with no parts available locally.

  19. 1973 Mazda Rx2. Purchased in 1985, still with me today. At times, I think about selling her, until I hop in behind the wheel, turn the ignition, and listen to the purr of the stealthy rotary beast begging to be taken out for a tear around town. All the interruptions of the public wanting to pay homage to the car they wish they had kept like myself, makes all these years worth while. The occasional street drag races against the 5.0 Mustangs, Turbo Honda Civics, as well as standard issue BMW, LEXUS and Acura cars, always resulting in looks of amazement when they catch back up to me after the race, doesn’t hurt either 😜

  20. CelicArt said:

    After selling my ’95 Honda Accord and using that money to pay some debt, I was left with very little to purchase another car. So as I was pushed to buy something pretty old I decided I wanted something pretty rare, reliable and cheap on gas, so even being a Mopar fan that would leave any Dusters or Darts out of the list.

    Mexico is a country full of Datsuns, but boring ones, mostly Violets and Bluebirds with leaf springs. But months before that I saw a mk1 Celica hardtop, I’d never seen anything like it, it was beautiful. I knew Celicas existed, but I’d seen just ’90s models, so I started finding out about it. It was perfectly what I wanted. Living in a small city I was able to know where to find the car. So I went to see if they’d sell it to me.

    First problem: it was an automatic. I didnt want an old automatic, modern automatics are boring enough for me!
    Second problem: I inquired anyways but they were unwilling to sell.

    I felt lost! I didn’t know of any more of those in my town.

    Exactly three days later, I was taking a walk with (back then) a possible girlfriend. And at some random street in her neighborhood I couldn’t believe my eyes: Another Celica (’76) and even better, a Liftback!!! I didn’t think twice, to the girl’s surprise and embarrassment maybe, I knocked on the door and asked. The owner was planning to sell but he’d be home some half an hour later. I asked the girl if we could wait right there, as puzzled as she was, she said yes. Car was sitting but started at first and early next morning I was picking it up. I think the car was meant to be mine, it was waiting for me, and been the coolest car ever. It introduced me to the greatness of old japanese cars in so much that I’m almost done restoring a ’75 Corolla and trying to get my hands on a ’77 Corona and a G50 Infiniti Q45. Can’t stop it anymore!!!

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