QotW: What’s the best second JNC for your garage?


So you’ve got your dream JNC sitting pretty in your garage. Your holy grail. Your 2000GT, street fighter 240Z,  Fuji GC RX-3 replica, whatever. What do you get next, a SR20-swapped Datsun 510 for daily duty? A bosozoku Mark II sled? A FJ40 in case of zombie apocalypse?

What’s the best second JNC for your garage?

If you can’t decide, allow us to proffer a solution: the exact same car that you already have. That way you can modify one guilt free while knowing you have a numbers matching gem tucked away for posterity. OCD, yes. But your grandkids will thank you.

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining or inspiring comment by next Monday will receive a toy. Click through to see the winner of the last QotW, “What new cars on the market are the most JNC?” 

Mazdaspeed 3

Though we had great contenders from Turbo Pete‘s Subaru XV/4WD Leone comparison to Mike‘s left field pick of the Nissan Juke, we think the most well reasoned comment goes to Victor, who distills the JNC formula to its essence when describing the MazdaSpeed 3.

MazdaSpeed 3 is going to have to be my pick. While I find that the gear ratios in the transmission are too close together for my taste, and I’m not a fan of FWD, it’s still a fun car to drive that can be enjoyed by anyone. If you don’t know what you’re looking at you would never suspect that the Japanese hatchback is actually a quick little sleeper. The Speed3 is pretty popular now, but like most Mazdas I’m sure they will start to disappear over time, but those that had one will remember all the fun they had stop light to stop light, scaring their friends, and racing Mustangs. This all adds up to a car that will become a desirable JNC when its time comes, and I’m sure that like the rotaries from the 70s the Speed3 will become scarce and sought after by the future JNC crowd.

Omedetou, Your comment has earned you a rare Hot Wheels Super Speeders mystery pack Mazda RX-7!

Thanks to Patrick S. for this week’s question submission!


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24 Responses to QotW: What’s the best second JNC for your garage?

  1. Tyler said:

    After I get an Autozam AZ-1, the next best would probably be a Honda S800. Maybe even a Coniglio S800. It would look very nice next to my future Saab Sonett V4, and my current ’65 F-100 can handle the parts hauling duties. (Of course daily driving will be via an electric car)

    Best of all, all three- the Autozam, S800 and Sonett- would each easily fit in my truck’s bed, making a trailer superfluous! And yes, when I finally acquire a kei car I will take photos of it riding in the bed!

    • Tyler said:

      It is worth noting that although close, my current daily driver EG would be about two inches too wide to fit in the truck. Oh, well. Time to downsize.

  2. xs10shl said:

    IMHO your best bet is having a second car which is exactly the same as your dream car. That way, when someone comes up to you on the street and says “Wow! Is that your awesome 240z/2000GT/RX3?” you can lift your nose and say in in your best smug voice “… One of ’emmm…..”.

    You’ll be making friends in no time!

  3. dickie said:

    I think the *best* option for a second JNC is any car that you intend to radically modify. Having two cars (for most of us, anyway) means one is your driver, the other is your project. Assuming the one already parked in your garage falls into the former category, you’d probably want something that you’d have no issue cutting into – Craigslist basket cases and “hopeless” barn and field finds apply here.

    Rusted out wheel wells? Nothing an angle grinder, cutoff wheel and some ZG flares can’t fix. Trashed interior? Perfect justification for racecar cockpit with buckets and a roll cage. If the engine was seized, don’t waste your time looking for NOS parts to rebuild it – there are plenty of worthy transplants and you have a perfect swap candidate.

    The “second car” status means there’s no pressure to maintain originality, and you can operate without the compromises inherent in a single car build. Fuel economy, creature comforts, amenities and accessories don’t have to factor at all in your decisions.

    Just about any make and model applies; as long as it’s certifiably nostalgic you’re good to go. I’d start with the basics, 20v 4A-GE Starlet, BEAMS or 3S-GTE RWD Celica, 1UZ Corona, any flavor of an SR in some form of early S or Z chassis and work my way up to anything crazy enough to be dangerous. That means F20C-powered Z600, 4G63 AWD Colt, maybe a Datsun roadster packing twice as many cylinders as it left the factory with.

    brb, looking for 5th gen Colts and DSM drivetrain donors…

  4. Patrick Strong said:

    I’d take what may be the exact opposite approach from that suggested by our esteemed editor. I lean slightly toward the “curator” school of car collecting, and since my primary JNC happens to be my daily driver and weekend canyon carver, my hypothetical second car would be for preservation and display (though be assured it would still get driven!) The first generation RX-7 has special nostalgic resonance for me, so I’d seek out the cleanest, lowest mileage, most original and unmolested version I could find, and then I’d basically leave it the hell alone.

  5. Mike said:

    I have two options, and given the choice I’m not sure which way I’d go. I’m lucky enough to have a company car, so I don’t have to daily my current ride, and the same would go for a second choice. So, what are they?

    1. Toyota Century or Nissan President.

    I’d love one of these, because as I get older it would be nice to include my family in my hobby. I have a baby on the way, and while a car seat will probably fit in the back of my Celica XX, I don’t rate the chances of fitting two comfortably when number two comes along. A Century or President would allow far more room for now and in to the future to take the family cruising in style!

    2. A race car. I know I’m getting a little ahead of myself, as thye’re not a JNC YET, but my fiirst car was an ST162 Celica, and I’ve always thought they’re fantastic cars. There is a race series here in NZ, the All Classic Japanese Series (http://www.acjs.co.nz/) and I’d love to strip out an ST162 to ue in that.

  6. artferrer said:

    i would love a dome zero whoooo!! that car on gran turismo thats so hard to get

  7. acbpanda said:

    Well, I can’t comment this week.

  8. Nakazoto said:

    I don’t have a best/second best. All I got is a list of JNCs I would like (read: must) own. I’m just working my way down that list. The best second JNC in your garage is the next one on your list!

  9. pstar said:

    If you only intend to have 2, you’re doing it wrong. Beyond that, I can’t see any rules or reason why you’d have to build your fleet in a particular order. Personally, I DO happen to have 2 of the same model. There’s a part of me that wants to have a purebred fleet of nothing but the “same” car. But then I’d miss out on my other favorites. So while I have 2 of the same, it could easily have gone differently, and theres no telling what my next one might be. Mazda, Toyota, Nissan, Isuzu… just depends what surfaces when I am ready to buy. And isn’t that how so many of us find our 1st, 2nd, and other cars?

  10. Sammy B said:

    As the proud owner of a 1984 Van LE (5MT), I gotta say a stickshift van should be in everybody’s garage. Do your top-down cruising, crazy modifying, drifting, etc in your other vehicle. The Van is all about being practical and taking the crew out for ice cream

  11. DerrickS said:

    My vote goes to a Toyota 4×4.
    Everyone needs a truck for daily driving duties, and to bring home all of that stuff you need to keep your house other JNC in shape. Those early 4×4 trucks were do-it-all machines. They were small, economical, could go anywhere, were dead simple, and tough as nails. And It’s so much easier (and cleaner) to haul a transmission in the bed of a truck, rather than in your wife’s Mazda3 GT. As an added bonus, if you live where it snows, you can spend those months pulling full size American trucks from ditches.

  12. Dutch 1960 said:

    The second, and third, and fourth cars are what happens to become available, in the right condition, at the right price. Keep your mind open, and something unexpected turns up. Be prepared to act on it when it does. It might be saving a rare car from further rot and degradation, or a car in perfect condition driven for decades by someone’s grandmother, or an old racer full of rare vintage parts. All offer their own pleasures and satisfactions. With cars, as in life, opportunity knocks now and again.

  13. Victor said:

    I <3 winning haha. I didn't get an email from you guys though. =(

  14. gold28 said:

    I have to say that, I already have the perfect JNC garage. But it takes 3 cars to do it.

    The daily is a 75 TA22 Celica. I guess you could call it a resto mod. Classic JDM white, factory red GT stripes, racing jacket, GT vents, grill, bob tail etc. Sitting low over a set of Bilbo’s. Motivation is the unbreakable 4A-GE. Enough motivation for a daily with fuel economy figures to match many new cars. Even on a stinking hot Aussie summers day, I still get out of it grinning like the village idiot. Why use a classic for a daily? for the simple pleasure of enjoying the drive.

    Car 2 is a 74 TA22 Celica, just about to undergo a full factory spec rebuild. Back to the original metallic purple with beige trim, single cam, carby, hub caps and whitewalls. All as Mr Toyoda intended. The perfect bit of JDM nostalgia for the Wife’s sunny weekend cruising.

    Car 3 is a 73 TA22 Celica, factory 707 turquoise, similar build as the white car but staying true to it’s JDM heritage with the venerable fire breathing 2T-G. Just thinking about the induction noise sends a shiver down my spine. This is the car to have for those sunny weekend drives blasting along your favourite winding road, windows down and that glorious noise reverberating off the valley walls.

    So what’s the best second JNC for my garage you ask? I’d have to say another TA22 😉

    Though I am not sure which is first and which is second…

  15. mr2_ftw said:

    I have had my supercharged MR2 for 5 years now and I just bought an MX72 Cressida Wagon as a second car/project. It’s getting a manual swap and the engine is getting refreshed, and it will be a nice practical stuff-hauler to complement the MR2’s more hardcore nature.

  16. jdmrx2 said:

    I am lucky enough to already have the best second JNC for my garage. My number 1 is my 71 RX2 Coupe……still in the build, but looking beautiful in her factory Herschel orange, factory steel wheels, fender mirrors etc.

    My second JNC is my 82 series 2 RX7. Sunrise red, sitting low on polished factory alloys.

    The perfect pair for me as neither is a daily driver.

  17. j3wman said:

    Currently have an AW11, i get a 300zx with a digital dash for a daily, lowered with some deep wide old skool wheels. that would be so dope to drive around and build

  18. slade said:

    A secondary would have to be a wagon
    They are insanely useful and many of theyre incarnations were more vusually appealing than theyre sedan counterparts.
    Id go with the mx72 cressida
    A te38 corolla
    Or an rx3 wagon

    The fact that i already own the two toyota versions doesnt make me biased at all lol
    But in all honesty the te38 with its 2tc is unkillable,great on fuel,great for picking up parts,sleeping/road tripping in.
    Just go wagon.I mean….it would be rude not too;)

  19. Louis Fong said:

    To me, it would be a Toyota Corolla KE70 wagon. Parts are easy to find, it’s tough, durable & lots of space in the rear to carry parts that I buy/get for my weekend JNC ride. 😉

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