QotW: What was your second car?

05_Mazda Basement GLC & 323 GTX_MakeModel

Over biru and yakitori dinner Monday night in Ikebukuro, the JNC Japan team discussed cars we’ve owned. Brandon had the bright idea of going around the table to with what their second car was — simply because the first is often a hand-me-down or but the second car is something you actually choose, sometimes even smartly, after learning a thing or two about cars in general.

Also, probably because he owned the coolest one of all, a Mazda 323 GTX. Skorj had a Karmann Ghia, Ken had a Honda Civic Si, San Mamiya has yet to own his first, and I had a Lexus SC 300 5-speed. We the thought to put the question to you, dear readers:

What was your second car?

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’s your most heartbreaking tale of JNC loss?” 

Toyota Corolla GTS AE86 crushed

Well, Yuri and sv_i both had tales of cars that got crushed just as they were on the brink of rescuing them. In the end, Yuri won out simply because he had a bit more detail in his answer, including a photo of the very car that was destroyed:

About three years ago, I was venturing through one of Wilmington’s junkyards, early in the morning on a weekday. Coming across an empty row, I waited around to see what treasures would be unveiled as the yard workers brought out the new carcasses to be picked over, one-by-one. As the third car was brought in, a familiar silhouette revealed itself. The faded and dirty red paint adorned an iconic hatchback, while gold alloy wheels, and a giant rocker graphic visually yelled “GT-S TWIN CAM 16 VALVE.”
A bone stock 1985 AE86 Corolla GT-S Zenki hatchback was being plopped unceremoniously into the yard. Grabbing my tools, I sprinted to the sales counter, desperate to save the car.
After much convincing the yard (and a 50% downpayment on the $900 price for an entire car) that I really did want to buy the Corolla whole, they agreed to send a forklift to take it into a holding yard. While waiting, I guarded the 86 from people attempting to take its fuel system and rear-end. Finally the forklift came, and took it to the holding yard, where it would remain for 2weeks while the paperwork went through to release it from the junkyard. I started buying up parts to restore it to its former glory, including a fuel tank and other components from JNC’s own Ben Hsu. Every day, I would daydream about once again owning a Hachi Roku, and a zenki GT-S hatch in red on red at that! Every other day, I would stop by the junkyard, and check up on my 86.
But near the end of week two, I went in to visit my 86, and it wasn’t there. I asked around, and it turned out, one of the employees, thinking the car was in the wrong lot (and not believing an 80’s Corolla would be in the lot set aside for classics people wanted to save intact) picked the 86, and took it directly to the crusher. I was pissed off and heartbroken. They promised to let me know when another intact GTS came into the yard (This was a lie, 3 GTS’s including a grey over black 2-tone zenki coupe came in over the next 2 months, and I was not contacted once.) Thankfully they also returned my deposit.
Here’s the doomed 86:http://i809.photobucket.com/albums/zz20/dkapt2/The%20saved%20Corolla/0215130911.jpg
I did end up with an 86 however. I was so bummed, and so badly wanted an 86 again that I ended up trading my daily driver, a 1997 Miata M-edition with a hardtop, for an ’85 GT-S coupe with jdm bumpers.
But that poor crushed AE86 hatchback will always have a place in my heart as the one that died before its time should have come.

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

JNC Decal smash

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55 Responses to QotW: What was your second car?

  1. Jason Carpp said:

    My dad’s 1978 Toyota Truck. It had a 5 spd. manual shifting gearbox. It had a 2.2 litre 4 cylinder gasoline engine. It developed 96 bhp (72 kW and 120 lbs-ft. (162 N-m) of torque, not bad for a 4 cylinder engine. It had seating for two adults. Although the seats themselves were dreadful, there was room enough to be comfortable with the right kind of seats.

  2. Lupus said:

    My 2nd car was a better example of my 1st machine. A Daihatsu Applause. The 1st one was white and had accidental history. He wasn’t repaired properly and had the tendency to pull to the left. He was just plain dangerus. I bought Him for cheap from my teacher at the end of high school.
    My second Applause has been choosed carefully, after weeks of searching ad portals. He was gun-grey, staight, acidental- and rust-free. And He’s still with me, after over 9 years. During that time i’ve owned beside him two Charade’s G100’s, a Ford Focus Mk1, a E11 Corolla Wagon and my current daily-driver is a Legacy Wagon.

  3. Killer Bee said:

    Well, my first car was (and still is) a Datsun 510. But at the time I really wanted something “faster” and we were also a Honda family. My father owned a ’84 Accord LX that I enjoyed driving and once I had saved up some money I was all set to buy a new second gen CRX, but ended up buying a 1990 Acura Integra LS in Honey Beige Metallic. I really liked how that car drove and my only real beef with it was the mechanical seat-belts. Sadly it was totaled one day after I paid it off when someone fell asleep and crashed into it while parked in front of the house. 🙁 Six months later, after a short stint of daily driving the 510 again, I purchased a 1994 Integra GS-R.

  4. Kevin said:

    That is so sad to hear the GTS got crushed anyway. I would have been in tears. Maybe a good idea to future car-rescuers would be make up 2 signs (one for front and rear windshield) that says Do Not Crush. SOLD. Might scare off angry men with forklifts.

    • Kevin said:

      As for my second car, I remember leaving my old mundane customer service job at 5pm on a Sunday. Waiting to turn on to the main road, a shiny white wedge shaped fastback screamed past me. I had no idea what it was, but managed to catch the giant decal “S U P R A” on the rear hatch. The minute I got home I commenced the Google photos search. Scrolling past the common MK4 found in the first Fast&Furious movie, I found the MK2 (1982-1985). The styling cues were so unusual from the Toyota’s I knew of. I was in love. The more I researched, straight inline 6 cylinder, fuel injected, pop up headlights. Sold.

      I began saving my pennies. About a year later I had saved up enough cash, and after several emails and phone calls I found a killer 1985 Celica Supra P-Type. Automatic 4 speed (ultimate cruiser) 24valve 5MGE. It was in such good shape and repainted the original Toyota Super Deep Red. It also had a sunroof delete which I later learned is a very rare option…or non-option for those cars. I drove for over 4 hours with a friend in the worst thunderstorm of my life to purchase it. “Should we pull over and wait this out?” “NO WAY MAN just keep driving!”

      Over the next five years I would baby that car, replacing worn-out parts and upgrading the suspension. Taking her to shows and weekend spirited drives. It was this very car that got me excited about JNC, enough to take my first solo vacation from Toronto Canada to Long Beach Cali for the 10th Annual JCCS.

      As all vacations must come to an end, eventually I felt it was time to move on, as I was craving something with a 5 speed. I sold it to a retired gentleman who had owned other Supra’s in his lifetime. I knew him and his wife will enjoy it as much as I did. I’m sure one day there will be another classic Toyota in my garage.

    • Randy said:

      “Angry men with forklifts.” I’d say: Dumbass quarterwit employee… I’d probably have to be escorted out after finding out who the moron was who made a decision above their pay grade, and ripped him a new one – LOUDLY; called him a MORON to his useless face, and in front of EVERYONE – who are probably equally fricking stupid. Probably only capable of going to a bar and ordering “a beer.” Nothing in particular; just “a beer,” ’cause he heard someone else say that once. Any thought about that makes me have to seriously edit my words.

      That opinion is bolstered by the fact that they could have had THREE further easy sales, but were to freaking LAZY and/or STUPID to pick up a damn phone. Lazy, stupid, and probably not qualified to run/work at a salvage yard. I’ll bet ya *I* could figure out how to run a forklift in less than a day…

      Agree with you about the signs. Maybe actually PAINT: SOLD -date- DO NOT CRUSH, and your phone number on the windshield and back window. Scrape them off later.

      It looked absolutely savable, as do the other cars in the picture.

    • Hashiriya86 said:

      Scare off angry men? Sure. Stupid men? Not so much.

  5. Skyler said:

    My second car was a 1990 supra with a very worn out 7mgte. I first got it when I was 17. It was an automatic, slow, though at the time I thought it was fast. It was weird pearl white with a blue hue and the trim had the dumbest blue flames I had ever seen. Though no rust and as cheesey as the paint job was it was actually done quite well. The interior was perfect except for the worn out suede sparco steering wheel “JDM for life bruh”. I lost my first and only street race (i was only 18 don’t judge) against a hawkeye sti. And yes I lost, I lost miserably. That’s okay though It taught me not to be a little cocky cock. The car also stuck with me through 2 terrible relationships (thank goodness those didn’t last). When I turned 19 the transmission went out and so I bought my 1977 Celica Liftback and started ignoring the supra. Once I was 20 I got the transmission fixed and started driving the supra again. I had turned the celica into a project. One day while driving to school to sign up for classes the inevitable happened, the 7m blew… I then got it towed home and sold it for 500 bucks to fund my celica. Not realizing at the time how easy it would’ve of been to swap in another 7m. I hadn’t started my beams swap on my celica yet and I didn’t know as much as i did today about these cars. Since then it’s been up for sale twice now. Both times I came up with the money to buy it back but the unknown and my new love for my celica kept me from doing so. Also both guys trying to sell it were a little sketchy. Even though the paint was rice, even though the car was slow, even though I lost a race and made me look like a fool. I don’t and didn’t care I loved that car. I hope that soon one day another sketchy man will be selling it again and this time I will buy back! Not only did I learn how to do routine maintenance I learned life lessons from that car and that my fellow JNC enthusiasts is what these cars are all about.

  6. Pete240z said:

    1985 Nissan 200SX SE hatchback. 5-speed, 2.0 liter fuel injected engine, independent rear axle, disc brakes all around. Not really a 300ZX but had similar suspension.

    http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i170/pete240z/200SX-1.jpg

  7. Nigel said:

    1982 Toyota Tercel, metallic brown two door. (Four speed manual).

  8. Lance Pan said:

    Haha my first car was actually a JNC. Last year I owned a 1990 Honda Civic Si (ED7/EF Chassis) that was a fun car but short lived. My second car was a 1998 Honda Civic CX (former racecar). It use to have a B16B Turbo but had a Z6 in it for some reason. Also had a cage and was tracked + drag raced. The car was tremendously fast in its previous life in Ontario before it came to British Columbia.

    http://67.media.tumblr.com/12dcba4df0388b116ec67b7af402e9a3/tumblr_o5r5orXFVQ1uxh5mvo1_1280.jpg

  9. Mercilessmings said:

    My second was a 1970 N600 HONDA. My first was a 1971 AZ600……Now I have serial #1 1967 N600, and a S2000CR, and several more N600’s……

    • Pete240z said:

      I think every car you’ve owned had the number “600” in the name.

    • SHC said:

      Cool ! Another CR owner, I have several of them myself.

      My second car was “59 Austin Healy Bugeye Sprite. It was fun car to drive and fueled my love for tinkering on cars, which seemed to happen quite regularly on British cars of the day.

    • GEN2TWINCAM said:

      Good deal Mr. Mings! My 2nd was a 1972 blue Z600, purchased after my brand-new ’82 Civic (which I still own). Great that you paired-up with Tom on the California Touge. He’s a friend of mine.

      • Mercilessmings said:

        Two things: One, Mr. Mings is my cat, you can call me Tim. And two, odd fact known by few, Tom is my step dad!

  10. Steve said:

    My second car is a bare bones (not even a stereo) 1988 Toyota long bed pickup. 185,000 miles. It runs fine after warming up for 20 minutes but it has carb issues. It along with my first car, a 1979 Celica GT, my third car, a 1999 Miata 10th anniversary, and my first, second and third motorcycles, await restoration until I find time and space to work on them. I am looking oh, so forward to retirement…

  11. Mark Newton-John said:

    Second car: 1985 Audi 5000S turbo so I could retire my 1974 Corolla SR-5 (TE27). Talk about a change from a small car with a stiff clutch and stiffer suspension to German luxury stahl. I had just gotten engaged and thought that would be a better car for me and my wife and maybe a future family.
    Coincidentally, I bought it at one of the first Lexus dealers (in Sacramento). Didn’t qualify for an ES250, but a few months later, they had the Audi.

  12. Ant said:

    My second car was – well, would be – officially a JNC.

    After six years of driving around in a Ford Fiesta (not a hand-me-down, but very much dictated by budget and insurance costs), I spent months searching for a replacement – everything from BMWs to Alfa Romeos to Honda Civics to a particularly tired-feeling Mitsubishi FTO.

    But motivated partly by memories of first cars in Gran Turismo and partly by laziness (as it was located only a few miles away), I opted for a 1991 Mazda MX-5 in Chaste White. Had a set of 15″ Enkei alloys, Momo wheel, very little rust, great mechanically.

    It takes a lot for a car to feel more special than a first car, but this thing had it right away. So much faster than my Fiesta (how little I knew, given how slow my current Eunos Roadster feels…), gripped forever, and I flipped the top down at every opportunity.

    And barely a year after buying it, it was stolen from outside my apartment and written off. Hence it “would have been” a JNC, had it still been around today. Who knows where its constituent parts are today… though I wish I’d kept that lovely Momo wheel.

  13. Alex Traw said:

    My first car was a ’64 Mercury Monterey fastback and I still have it. I blew the motor and needed something to drive to school and work so I went to a local budget car lot and saw a ’72 Toyota Corona with an electric blue Earl Scheib quality paint job on it. It still had garbage on the floor and the salesman said it had just come in but he let me drive it anyway. A half block from the lot it was jumping and bucking all over so a quick U-turn and back to the lot. I cot under the hood and touched the air cleaner and it idled right down nicely. I then saw that an intake manifold bolt was missing. Made a deal to buy the car for $150, went to the junk yard and got the right bolt (this was 1985) and went back and put the bolt in before I drove away. The salesman wasn’t pleased… drove it for two years until I graduated and left for the Army. Oh, I sold it for $400.

  14. Tj. said:

    My second car was technically a half JNC.
    Fresh out of high school I handed back to my older sister my hand-me-down first car, a 1976 Mitsubishi Galant, and bought a 1986 VL Holden Commodore which of course was fitted with Nissan’s 3.0L RB30 single cam six.
    VL Commodores were, and still are synonymous with cut coil springs, questionable cap orientation and McDonalds carpark burnouts (I still refer to tyre smoke as ‘that VL smell’) but I was a well behaved kid and stayed out of that kind of trouble.
    That didn’t stop the cops from targeting me though. Every damn Sunday morning I’d get stopped on my way to work.

    Anyway, I spent stupid amounts of money on that thing not modifying it, but just getting it back to a reliable, comfortable to drive condition.
    And once I had it just right it got stolen.

    Oh yeah, that’s the other thing VL Commodores are synonymous with, getting knocked off.
    I didn’t get it back the second time it happened.

  15. ahja said:

    My second car was/is my first AE86, which I’ve had for almost a decade and a half and will keep for ever. 87 GTS in silver/dark gray two-tone. Previous owner was a hairdresser lady in her 50s (?). 😀 My 4th and 6th cars are also hachirokus, and I continue to own them as well. I’m afraid #4 is kind of a “ran when parked” situation though.

    • ahja said:

      If anybody got depressed about thinking of the forlorn seemingly abandoned #4, take some heart: I’ve only cannibalized like one piece of trim from it for the other cars, and it has a lot of parts waiting to go onto it “someday”. So its not like its just degenerated into a parts-car. Plus its an SR5. If we were all at a bar I’d talk all your ears off all about it but I suppose I’ll spare uds the wall of text.

  16. Brett said:

    My second car was a Mitsubishi Lancer Hatchback (known in the US as a Plymouth Arrow).

    I desperately wanted one, and found a good example for sale at the used lot of the local Ford dealer, who was a bit of you know what. I needed to trade my first car, a 1976 Escort coupe, but they wouldn’t give a sensible price for it as a trade. I kept going back and they kept treating me disdainfully (I was quite young), until I eventually gave up. About 3 months later I was passing and the car was still there. I went in asked if they had changed their mind and the salesman told me to go away. I walked back to my car and was just starting it when the salesman appeared at the window and said they would give me what I wanted, so I bought it. Part of the deal was that they needed to do some work, and they tried to diddle me on that, but I pushed back and eventually it was done.

    At the end of it all they said to me that I was the most difficult teenage buyer they had encountered (expressed somewhat more pejoratively); which I think was intended to be an insult, but I took it as a compliment.

    The Lancer was great car; I had for about two years until I went overseas for a few weeks and made the fatal decision to allow my younger brother to drive it while i was away. He wrote it off when he clipped a parked car. I should have been furious but, in the end, he is my brother, and it was accidental.

  17. Randy said:

    My second car was a ’65 Chevelle Malibu SS – SIX cylinder/2-sp. Powerglide. Found out it was rare AFTER the moron in the Bronco turned left in front of me and totaled it… Turned out it had a good bit of putty in it… Eh – rustbelt… Saw it about a year later with a ’64 front clip on it, so at least it lasted somewhat longer. Possibly the largest trunk of any car I’ve ever owned – 27 cu.ft.

    First J-car was that ’85 626 LX. Still my overall number one J-car, and in the running for my overall favorite car.

    Second J-car was an ’85 Dodge Conquest with the Technica package. Fun, but traded it for something bigger. USELESS in even 1″ of snow, even with new-that-day tires… Wasn’t actually as nice as I’d like to remember, but man, it was FUN! One of those cars that makes you feel like a hero – what’s missing from today’s vehicles.

    Too bad I’ve never been rich enough to just keep all my cars… If I hit the lottery, however, the search will be seriously ON, including vehicles others would not think are “worthy.” Don’t care. My money; my taste; my warehouse. 626es, MX-6es, Probes (1st-gen), Conquests/Starions, and so many others… Even a couple of Germans (Merkurs)…

    Now I’m depressed… Thanks ever so much for the question…

  18. Dutch 1960 said:

    My second car was a yellow 1972 Mazda RX2 coupe, because the car could blow the doors off of my first car, a red 1972 Toyota Celica. The Celica was the better looking car, but the engine was rather agricultural. The Celica came with a “loud” pedal, but the Mazda came with a “go” pedal.

    Followed by a 1966 Mustang and a 1965 Mustang Fastback (Real boats, after the two JNCs) and four early pignose RX3 coupes. Then 7 first generation RX7s, along with a couple of big bumper RX3s and a couple of RX4s along the way. All from that first RX2, which showed the way. It was a great car.

  19. Kathleen Walker said:

    1981 Mazda RX7. BRIGHT yellow. Great in the corners, plus a very good stereo! Musical notes hand painted on the hood by my dad. The week before I got it, the parking guard at the bank said, “That’s a cute car” when I drove through in my Honda Z600 (first car). The day I drove through in the RX7 he said, “You are very beautiful!”

  20. Nakazoto said:

    Depends on how you count. The car I learned to drive on was my Dad’s 1964.5 Mustang 289 with 4 on the floor. That car may have been handed down to me eventually, but I flipped it rubber side up before that ever happened. If you count that as my first car, my second car was a 1987 300ZX N/A.

    However, I don’t count the Mustang as my first car because it wasn’t actually my car. So, the honors of second car goes to my 1988 300ZX SS. Someone backed into my 87 Z31 while it was parked, so I got a nice 3k in insurance payment from that, and then I sold the car for another 3k, and pooled that with the 2k I had saved up and bought the SS with 70k miles on the clock in pristine condition. Nearly 15 years later, I still have the car and it’s still going strong and looks great!

    Although, because my new daily driver is the 117 Coupe, the SS is now being regularly driven by my better half.

  21. 5MGEsupra said:

    Second car for me was an unneeded hand me down after the first one started acting up, a black ST204 1994 Toyota Celica GT coupe with an unfortunate automatic transmission. Still, I loved driving it since it was a huge improvement over the previous Camry. The interior was spotless, however the paint was faded in many spots with peeling clear coat, there was quite a bit of poorly repaired rust, and a large dent on the left rear quarter. I used it for several months before adding something a little sportier to the garage, however I still tried to take it out when I could and used it for winter duty which with only two Blizzaks on the front it went through exceptionally well, never getting me stuck badly enough I couldn’t get myself out within 5 minutes. I later bought a 1986 4Runner which meant it was no longer needed nor affordable, so it was sold to a customer at work where it still comes in. It’s in much worse shape now sadly.

    I’ve always been a huge fan of Celicas since my dad has always owned some as a kid, but this little black Celica got me hooked on them, and I now have an ST184 1990 GT-S with a proper 5 speed box! I’d like to revisit the ST204 albeit with a 5 speed this time.

  22. Frank said:

    2nd car, 1972 Mustang Mach 1

    2nd vehicle, 1983 Celica GT

    1st vehicle, 1980 LWB Toyota Pickup SR5

    I’ve had a few JNCs: 75 280Z, 2 83 Celicas, 2 85 Corolla GTS coupes, 2 S13 coupes. I’ll keep my 92 240SX as long as I can. One day my B14 Sentra might be considered a JNC? My 1991 Toyota pickup is looking rather “classic” these days. 20+ years with the same truck and 15+ years in the 240SX.

    I never would have sold the Z or the two Corollas if I had a place to store them when they needed significant repairs I couldn’t do or have done quickly.

  23. JovaTecH said:

    My second car was a 1989 Mazda 323, 3 doors, 4 speed and bone stock!

    Obviosly i wanted to make it morr faster than stock i started with putting Straight Pipe with a Thrush Glasspack, A 626 2.0 ecu, Mercury Tracer instrument cluster, new clutch and some jdm stickers (5+ hp each one) lol xD

    Well i enjoyed that car a lot then my plan was do a bp05 1.8 engine from a Kia Sephia but i didn’t finish the project and i traded for an Kia. I really miss it.

    In 9 years i owned a total of 4 Mazda 323’s (LX with Manual Sunroof option, 2 Station wagons and the 3 door in was talking before)

    • Car Nut Seattle said:

      My first car was my dad’s 1978 Toyota pickup truck, my second car was a 1987 Toyota MR2. I’d buy another 1978 Toyota pickup truck in a heartbeat. While the seats on the Toyota truck weren’t very comfortable I found that I had more headroom and more legroom than in the MR2.

  24. Kane said:

    My second car was a 1990 duel Cab Toyota Hilux, Diesel. It was in white and had a 4″ lift and a exauhst done to it. Aside form those two things it was pritty much completely stock. I was very happy with it, but i wish the story had a happy ending tho….. when i was having some fun with her in a paddock, I slid into an existing rut i had created from the previous lap/laps i have done. The car bounced up, went on its two right hand wheels….. and fell on its side. I checked if everyone was ok (witch they where, thankfully). I had a few freinds with me so we used a snatch strap to pull her back on all four wheels. I guess this is where the hilux gets its amazing reputation, becouse it fired up perfictily fine. I drove it home as if it never happed……. aside from it having no windshield. I ended up getting money from insurance after what happend. I brough a 60s serries landcruiser afterwards, but sold it not long after i got it becouse it was a bit of a lemmon. I still miss that car tho and i think my life would potentially be diffrent if i still had her. “Kylie” my Hilux.

  25. Raymond said:

    I bought my second car in 1990 and is still with me, a 1982 Toyota Starlet.

  26. Alex said:

    Second car was 1992 EG6, my first proper VTEC haha. Sold it as couldn’t eventually afford the insurance but it was such a hoot!

  27. Fred Sigarto said:

    My second car was a brand new 72 Datsun 240Z. I was discharged from the Air Force in early Feb. 72, lived on the West Side of Cleveland, Ohio. We had 3 Datsun Dealership in the area. Breyley, Bedford, and Mentor Datsun. They all told me the same thing, $1000 down and put on a list, 6-9 month waiting list because they only got 1 Z for every 29 cars they sold. My sister, who lived in North Ridgeville told me about Stang Motors, in Elyria,Ohio.I spoke with Terry Tracey, showed him all the literature i received while on leave in Japan. he told me, “Give me $100 and I’ll see what I can do.” A week later, he calls me up and said he has 3, take your pick. One air, one Auto, and a white 4 speed, I took the white Z,when I asked Terry how did they get 3 Z’s. He said “deakership get 1 Z for every 29 cars they sell, we sell Triumph, MG, AMC and Datsun, we sell more cars”. A year or so later I received a call from Breyley Datsun, saying I could buy the blue Z they had in their showroom.

    looked at the bottom of the main page “birthdays” Today June 28,2016 i am 68

    • Pete240z said:

      I love these stories. There are two guys that currently show up at the Downers Grove, IL Friday night car show with similar stories.

      1. The one guy comes back from the service and buys a butterscotch color 240Z and has owned it since.

      2. although not a JNC there is a guy with a beautifully restored 1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 be bought before the service and kept it in his family since new.

      If you look deeply into their eyes you can see these two 20 year old guys and their stories of buying these cars.

  28. Banpei said:

    It was exactly as you described: my first car, a 1991 Mitsubishi Colt, was my learning curve. I put a few dents in it and I basically learned to properly drive in that. As the owner/admin of the European AE86 forum my choice was obvious: my second car had to be an AE86!

    It took me about a year to save up the money and buy a decent one. Back in those days prices already soared. I bought mine for 1300, which is a lot compared to the 500 euros you paid for a rough one. However this one was special: a two door 1985 USDM Corolla SR5 that already received a GT swap (we don’t have GT-S-es in Europe) and was lowered a few inches. It wasn’t the best one around and it certainly needed many rust repairs during my ownership, but I kept it alive.

    I had a great time with the car until my GF (nowadays my wife) became pregnant and complained about getting in and out the car. So I started to look for an alternative and found a mint 1982 Toyota Carina TA60 and right around the time I bought this I sold the AE86: I had no money to stash it for a few years. I still regret selling it as it was the car that I always wanted… Maybe some day I’ll find another AE86…

  29. Derrick said:

    My second car was a 1988 300zxt 2+2 that i did rescue from the wrecker. Got it home it had a bad trans seized turbo and no power steering. Pulled the engine and trans. Rebuilt the turbo and the trans (will never rebuild an auto again) cleaned it up and drove it for 2 years.
    Unfortunatly it was still pretty rough then one day my buddy showed me a burgandy 2+2 turbo for sale with a bad engine and trans in much better shape. I bought the car and started on it. I decided to look at the build dates and both where built in july of 87 then looked at the vins and low and behold there only 3 numbers apart. Checked when they were built found to be built a day apart and sold at the same dealer 3 days apart.
    Unfortnatly the first car became the parts car but it still lives on in the burgandy car i still own 10 years later

  30. Rob Sayers said:

    A 1988 Nissan Sentra. That car is part of the reason I’m a “car guy” today. I bought the car in high school after my Dodge Shadow mysteriously died (I’m shocked that car lasted as long as it did). While searching the internet for some random issue I was trying to fix, I discovered the now defunct sentra.net. After reading through the site and its forums, I was baffled as to why people were modifying small Japanese cars, but something hooked me. That set me down a path which started with me basically ricing the car out, but 18 years later I’m sitting here with a turbo miata and an mr2 in my driveway, and still spending too much damned money on my cars.

  31. Serg said:

    Yeah I had the Holden Camira as the beater first car (I don’t understand all these younguns nowadays with their 2013/2016 Volkswagen Autoclutchbrakingmakecargonow POS – that Camira was so knackered it kept me alive by convincing me that any mistake north of 100kmh was definitely going to be lethal and quite possibly going to happen, whereas now the steering feels exactly the same through the bend until the front wheels are pointing skyward) but my second started me on the Japanese marques.

    This was before dad bought 20 Alfas, he’d had good experiences with his GM work cars and 60s Holden so he found a VL Commodore 5 speed at a local dealer and suggested it on the promise of kicking in some cash. Truthfully I think he just wanted to drive it 😀 My mate convinced me that it’d be feasible to turbocharge it for little money and that the 5 speed would hold value, so home it came.

    I spent thousands fixing up the sheetmetal and keeping it ticking along, the only thing I never really dropped money on was the smooth as silk Nissan designed RB30. The odometer stopped working at 290,000km and one day clicked onto 390,000 – pretty standard Holden quality. Halfway through repainting it and adding a bodykit (Yes, I know, I was young) some knob U turned into it, and after many months I wound up buying a heavily modified S13 that became my new money pit. Eventually I sorted the repairs and insurance begrudgingly paid out less than what I’d spent (Had I known then what I know now I’d have bent them over a courtroom bench much much sooner) but as it was I lived with it because it was a big part of me. Many many years later of being a backup car for my brother and I between project cars the local constabulary decided to decommission it and I lost interest in trying to re-register it by fixing faults such as “sun visor clip to clip in” and “seat to have no play in recline”, stuff that’s fine when it’s your build and you throw money at it, but by then I had three Toyotas and the trusty rusty commodore just didn’t inspire the same affection. After another year sitting on the verge I finally gave it up and a local rally driver and mechanic turned up to buy it – I’d met him out at an event where they’d run an earlier commodore as a rally / khanacross car, so I’ve no idea if they ended up restoring it or stripping it and hitting the gravel. As it was, I saw it as time for it to move on and give somebody else some great times so that I could give another old rust bucket some glory days again….

  32. Gerka said:

    My second car is still my current car. My daily 1977 Ra29 Celica. Here is what it looked like when I found it

    http://i.imgur.com/Hhb561G.jpg

    and heres how it drives now

    http://i.imgur.com/Dt7ZEh6.jpg

  33. Ian Gopez said:

    2nd set of wheels was an Electric Blue ’91 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST. Pop-up headlights, FWD, 200hp turbo! Other than getting an annual speeding ticket, being the king of understeer and unreliability issues, this was the car I saved up for while working at Disney and became my ride in college. I miss it. I had a 89 Mirage and thought I’d follow the lineage.

  34. Ryan said:

    Well, because my first car was an FC3S RX-7, I soon learnt about the intricacies of turbo rotary ownership and wasted no time deciding that I also needed a daily driver. I initially purchased a 1980 Isuzu (Holden) Gemini for peanuts but due to complications with interstate registration transfer, I moved it on after just a week, without even having transferred it into my own name; so I’m not certain it really counts as my second car. I then procured a 1990 U12 Nissan Pintara (Bluebird) from a friend which turned out to be a great daily driver, despite being wrong-wheel-drive and powered by the lethargic CA20E.

  35. Yoda said:

    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.

  36. George said:

    My second car was really an example of my terminal case of automotive indulgence.
    I found a 1991 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser wagon for sale cheaply and I bought it right away.
    It was the antithesis of a Japanese car. But I still loved it.

  37. austinonevia said:

    When I was 16, I bought a ’97 4Runner. I drove it for about a year and at the time, I was obsessed with the 240SX. I found a stock ’93 S13 coupe SE on the local 240SX forum for $5000 and asked the guy if he wanted to trade. I was naive and my mind was set on getting the car so I didn’t even think about how much more my 4Runner was worth. I’m 23 now and still have the S13. I’ve had many problems with it, blown a motor (my own fault for negligence), been through 2 sets of coilovers, broken 2 diffs, and i’m about to rebuild the motor again along with the countless other little issues I need to fix. It’s been painted at least 5 or 6 times, driven into a ditch, and been thousands of miles across my home state of Texas. Even though I got the terrible end of the trade, I wouldn’t have it any other way. That car has been a major part of my life and I won’t ever sell it.

  38. Max said:

    My second car is a gold on tan 1985 Nissan 300ZX slicktop NA 5 speed. I was looking for a winter beater to save my beloved MK5 VW GTI from rust and damage after moving from Florida to Rhode Island, had about $2K to spend and had resigned myself to a rusty Civic or older GTI for a winter beater I would like but not love. While back in Florida visiting family last Christmas this car appeared on Craigslist in Orlando with 88K miles, I drove up to see it the next day and after the test drive fell in love. The AC didn’t work, it was repainted and the paint was badly sunburned on the roof, and the alternator was bad and killed batteries but I didn’t care. I bought it on the spot and took it on a road trip through Florida before shipping it up to Rhode Island. This past winter I slid at low speed into a guardrail on black ice, and fortunately it only needed minor body work and paint, but I felt so guilty for hurting it for weeks. After fixing the mechanical issues it’s been rock solid and even replaced my VW as my daily driver for a few months when that car started misfiring. On paper the 300ZX is objectively worse than my GTI in every way, but I prefer driving it daily for feel and sound alone (and pop up headlights!). Before this car I was only into the “bedroom poster” Japanese classics, but my Z31 has really opened my eyes to the world of JNCs. The only problem is I like this car way too much for a winter beater, and now I’m looking for a Suzuki Samurai or X-90 that will handle snow better.

  39. psyaddict said:

    my second car was an 89′ mazda rx-7 turbo with a 6-port engine, first was an 87′ usdm n/a rx-7 🙂

  40. Lance Dill said:

    1973 Mercury Capri 2600 V6, 4-speed 🙂

  41. ray pulis said:

    my second car was a ford escort mk1 which now are very popular and making big money.now if somebody knows something about that corona mk11 wagon in the junkyard that is in the photo near that corolla ae 86 please let me know i could use some parts cheers. raypul.

  42. Lee Ratcliff said:

    My second car was a 1984 MA61 XX Celica P-type (Supra) 5M-E and a 5 speed. I bought it after my 84 RT142 Corona (22R-E and five speed) died. It was approx 16 years ago. Man I miss that car.

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