QotW: What’s the last car you will ever own?

This week’s QotW can be read any number of ways. Our younger readers will likely witness the dusk of the traditional human-driven car in their lifetimes, or at least the end of the internal combustion engine. Older ones are paring down their collections and thinking about how to pass what they have on to posterity. Sometimes though, it’s hard to let go. What will be the car that you drive till your dying day (or until the robots take over), and why?

What’s the last car you will ever own?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Share with us your JNC selling stories.

Last week we received stories that evoked all sorts of emotions. Sadness for Negishi no Keibajo‘s 240Z, joy for F31roger‘s journey with his Infiniti M30, and delight in Kev‘s tale of a wordless rejoinder to a couple of FX16 buyers. However, the winner hailed all the way from South Africa, and it was robin:

My story is bitter sweet.

A sunny truck just happened to pop into my life, yep I know many people dream of having such luck however I live in South Africa and these things are everywhere and the chances of this happening is fairly high.

When I purchased it, the sunny truck craze was not a thing yet and definitely not even a thought in my country , a place where lets just say the thinking is “bigger is always better!” and also a place where people rather spend the same money on replica parts rather than used authentic items (as an example to paint a picture) is the norm.

With my Girlfriend being a huge Japanese car enthusiast she emails me pictures of tastefully modified Nissan Sunny trucks in Japan, and from that moment I was purchasing parts from Japan. I was creating something unique and something that was a blast to drive and very much a conversation starter at every stop. There were times i would end up late for an occasion because a conversation that starts off with ” Nice Nissan!” ends up with me knowing that persons whole life story and that was the joy of owning a classic Japanese vehicle for me.

We would go everywhere in the little Nissan and when i say we , it was my Gf; our Doggo and myself and for a few years it was perfectly fine and the Nissan was you know… part of the family i guess one could say.

The truck handled amazing after i added a properly setup suspension but i would end up on the passenger side from sliding due to it having a bench seat, so only solution would be to add some bucket seats. I tend to sometimes do things without thinking about how it could affect others and this time I did not realize or think that adding some much needed buckets seats would be the reason why I can tell you a fitting story.

I found some awesome Kameari seats and now the truck was looking like a snack, and now not only did it handle amazing I actually came out of a corner still positioned in front of the steering wheel which is very useful at times and as you can tell I was very happy and I was having the time of my life and I this and I that and yes I was thinking of myself in this moment. However my Gf would now have to fight with our Doggo when he wanted to put his head out of the window and Shiba-inu’s are very stubborn which made it really difficult and cruises now became more of a game of twister ,you know that game where humans have to bend and twist into positions humanly impossible, now try playing that with a canine. The nail in the coffin was when I had to do an evasive maneuver due to an inconsiderate road-user jumping a red light and our Doggo lost his footing on the bolsters of the cool bucket seats and almost hit his head against the dash. We tried compromising but this would always end up in our trio being split and that just did not sit well (see what i did here) with me.

I got to work one Monday morning and reluctantly posted an advert, the kinda advert you type that you hope would chase a potential buyer away. Unfortunately my phone blew up and the Truck now resides with someone else.

The end…

of the truck that is, a car i always wanted even before the truck was a KE70 and in SA we did not get quad light version. We managed to find a good condition KE and as they say, the rest is history. My little Family still cruise in a JNC and we can now enjoy every moment of it.

Well Doggo still thinks the front seat is his, so i guess the fights will never stop… I cant imagine what would happen once a kid comes along, good thing I now own a four door JNC. However I will update in a few years if there is another thread like this, because playing twister with a kid; canine and two adults can’t be fun surely?!

All i know is, it will be a 7 seater JNC, Hi-ace maybe?!

I do miss the truck but I still have all the memories we created and I have one my bucket list JNC’s now to create more memories. Win win situation i say.

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

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19 Responses to QotW: What’s the last car you will ever own?

  1. Tim said:

    Life is far too short to dedicate it to just one car. I will likely continue buying old clunkers every 3-4 years because I want to try something new. I’ll tinker, I’ll swear, I’ll fix, I’ll smile, and then I’ll sell.

    That being said, I have a strong urge to pick up another S30. I sold mine about 15 years ago, then bought another a few years later, then sold it about a decade back. Something about the way the dash looks, the way you sit on the floor, the way the door handles are at the bottom of the door, the song of the L28, the sexy silhouette, the knowledge that every piece of rusty metal around you is thinner that a soda can… Out of every car I’ve ever owned, they seem to stick in my mind the most. They’re incredible.

  2. Lukas said:

    Thankfully, I dont know, which car will be my last one. And I don´t want to know, yet.

  3. Tim Mings said:

    Probably American Honda’s first race car. Apparently it’s sell proof…….

  4. Jeff Koch said:

    In late 2001, I bought a brand-new 2002 Subaru WRX Sports Wagon–the first new car I ever purchased with my own money. A rare and lucky opportunity (back in ’96) to drive a then-new WRX sedan on American soil convinced me that my next new car would be a WRX, and I had to wait four years for it to arrive on American shores. I went with a wagon because it held more stuff and managed to be $500 cheaper; I chose WR blue because black, white and silver were boring to my eye, and the cinnamon red they offered didn’t look right to me. This is the car I waited four years for. This is the car that moved me cross-country (and back again) when different career paths came calling. This is the car that reliably got my wife to work for a decade. This is the car that took my son home from the hospital. This is the car that has brought me more joy, even in its stock form, than any other I have owned (and I have an R32 GTR NiSMO in the garage). This is the car they will bury me in. (Kidding: I’ll be cremated, so I’ll occupy the ashtray.) Two hundred thousand-plus miles later, I get behind the wheel, and it feels like home.

    • ahja said:

      You. Hey you. Please get with Mr. Lentinello and the rest and resume making what was THE best car magazine ever in print: Hemmings Sports & Exotic. PLEASE. The revamped HCC is just a sad shadow of HSE. Even Camaros and Zcars and GTRs took a hiatus, but then its time to get back to it. Respectfully – a most avid HSE reader.

  5. Ant said:

    I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot recently. A bit fatalist, perhaps, but what would I like to end up with when driving becomes a very occasional luxury rather than something we take for granted? There are a few factors in it for me.

    Firstly, it has to be engaging and enjoyable to drive. For me personally, this probably means relatively few driver aids (or at least, not ones that make themselves felt too often), not much in the way of sound insulation (so I’m connected by noises as much as controls), almost certainly a manual transmission, probably naturally-aspirated for the best responses, and probably quite lightweight for agility.

    Secondly, it has to be affordable in almost every respect – to buy, to fuel, to fix. I’d want to be able to use it as much as time, money and the law allows, and I have to be able to buy it in the first place; lovely though it might be to say a Hakosuka is the last car I’d ever own, it’s fairly unrealistic due to the prices they now command.

    Thirdly, there has to be some kind of intrigue to it. Anything fairly mechanical is a good start. The way I frame this one is, “could you show your kids how it works?”. If it’s fairly basic you probably could in a way that even something like an NSX or Skyline GT-R might not be so easy. That said, historical significance is welcome too: did it make an impact? Is there a story behind it? In 2050, is there an autonomous electric version of it running around that could trace its history back to this particular car?

    Fourthly, and this kinda ties back to the cost thing: If and when private cars are banned entirely, could I afford to have this thing sitting around as a glorified paperweight? If its value is only as an object that can be driven, I’d be much happier owning something cheap because I’d have less to lose if it became worthless overnight. It helps, too, if I like the look of it there, sitting motionless in my garage.

    The answer I keep coming back to?

    Miata, MX-5, Roadster, first-gen.

    It’s fun to drive – back-to-basics, top-down, jinba ittai. I could buy one today, they don’t cost much to run, and I can fix them myself. If and when I ever have kids, I could use it to teach them about cars, and why people used to get a thrill from driving. It certainly has historical significance, and there may well still be new MX-5s being sold in two or three decades time that could trace their lineage back to the original. And if driving is ever banned, I could afford to leave it there, and enjoy just sitting in the garage looking at it.

    The answer isn’t always Miata, but I can’t think of a better answer to this particular question.

    • Larry Simmonds said:

      Ant: You have just described the perfect vehicle that allows a rare glimpse of the past with flavors of precision and magnatism to the hands and eyes. Even Tom Matano, the chief designer has kept his original NA Miata in favor of his rare De Tomaso Velalunga. With all of the autonamous features on so many cars today, how refreshing it is to have the availability of manually operated Miatas. Only one or two cars out-of-one-hundred of all makes has a manual transmission. So many will not be experiencing the joyful long way home on a twisty back road.

  6. Foghorn Leghorn III said:

    Is this macabre Question of the Week a thinly-veiled cry for help.
    If so, please request more digital hugs.

    xxxxxxxx

  7. RayZ said:

    My 1970 Datsun 510.

  8. ZN said:

    It might be a bit early for me to answer this question seeing as I’m only in my twenties, but I want to try to hold onto my second gen MR2 as long as I can. I don’t have any good reason other than I just really like the car, maybe its a side effect of me not having been able to drive very many other cars yet, and the MR2 being the first “fun” I’ved owned. But unless something drastic comes up I plan to have this car for a long while.

  9. Socarboy said:

    As a now 60 year old I must say a Toyota 4Runner Limited will be my last vehicle

  10. Angelo said:

    In my case, I’ll hold on to my current car, my B12 Sunny, for as long as I can keep her on the road.

    Is she fast? No. Is she the prettiest car on the road? No, but I love all her flaws, her tantrums, and despite her age, the attention she gets gives her a plus from my book.

    Here are all the reasons as to why I can’t lose the car.. she gave me a lot of memories. She was the car where I learned to maneuver through horrible Manila traffic, the car in which me and the folks took to family outings and gatherings, the car that crossed off a lot of stuff from my SO’s bucketlist( like getting locked out of the car lol ).

    Lastly, she was with me when I needed to cool down from my problems or just general stress, regardless if she was running or not. The time I spent sitting on the driver’s seat trying to calm down was soothing.

    She was like my home on wheels.

    Now, I have to admit, she wasn’t my first choice, but she’s like family.. So, she’s staying, despite the endless opportunities that a new car will arrive in our lives. You just can’t beat that feeling of sitting in a familiar place.

    My mom is probably laughing at me again right now, because she too, also learned to love the car.

  11. Jayrdee said:

    Easy. My AE86.

    Its a 1984 Levin GT-Apex I imported in 2017. Prior to that, I spent years flipping cars on craigslist and eventually scrounged up enough cash to import/flip a Silvia S13, an FC RX7, and then got my AE86. This was all while I was in college too so I only had a part time job.

    My diet consisted of PB&J sandwiches and those $1 flavored tuna packets. There was also this little chinese buffet joint on campus where the food only costed a dollar a scoop. I would go in there with quarters and chow down. Any other dollar was put back towards getting an AE86 from Japan.

    I’m 24 now, but I’ll be taking this thing to the grave. I’ll be 90 years old still crawling in/out of my Bride Zeta I bucket seat and ripping it up around town.

  12. ahja said:

    If reason and righteousness prevail (not too likely in a society consumed by an ever dropping lowest common denominator), then the future COULD be a glorious feast of non-scarcity. In an optimistic version of the future, I’d be able to have an aerial-lift-sized 3D printer whip me up, say, a brand new Toyota Sports 800. Or 2000GT. Or a Toyota 7. And we’d be able to drive them on the lightly travelled roads, because supposedly this current crop of teenagers has very little interest in driving, content to stay home and be online.

    The dystopian future is much more realistic though. The mayor of Honolulu, where I live, openly calls for an end to gas-powered cars, is trying to sue “the oil companies”, and top senate democrat Schumer has also called for an end to all IC cars within 3 decades. These people think oil is bad, just wait until they find out what goes into mining the materials and manufacturing EVs. Their jihad won’t stop at “fossil fuels”. So who knows, but like Ant said, I’ll always have a paperweight, but mine’ll be an AE86 instead of a MX5.

  13. Steve said:

    I currently own 6 cars, ranging from a 1971 240z project car I purchased a month ago, to a 2016 FRS. I don’t plan on selling any of them but I do plan to buy 2 more cars in the future, though. One will be a pre-1976 chassis to put my 18RG in and the other will be the last car I plan to buy, a Lexus LSxxx (whatever the designation is at the time) or equivalent.

    Why an LS? I figure by the time I’m ready to buy a new car, there will no longer be any interesting, small, MT, RWD cars available.

    So, my last car will be the one(s) that survives until I’m ready to give up driving…

  14. dankan said:

    I currently don’t have room for a JNC in my life, and live in an area where JNCs have it rough (Ottawa, Canada and our heavily salt-filled winters). I have been thinking about the collector car craze taking many of the desirable cars out of affordable range, and also about the way the response to climate change will eventually likely take the ICE off the menu of toys which can be enjoyed. And I’ve been thinking that with the 15-year rule we have in Canada, a Honda e or Sports EV might be quite easy to import in a few years, and there are ways to tweak electric cars the same way we tweak conventional ones.

    So, it’s got me thinking about how nicely a set of Watanabe 8-spokes and a decent suspension could provide some RWD JNC fun long past the point where that ICE would have been taken away over my dead body…

  15. Streetpunk64 said:

    Not sure what my last car will be. Don’t want to think of that. Three years ago it was pretty shaky as I had cancer. I am currently a survivor and live for the day I want to live and have as many experiences and cars as I can.

    The car that means the most to me is the every day driver. Although my wife has a new Outlander Sport. I have a Toyota truck we always fight over to bomb around in our 2004 Hot Lava Scion xB.

    Performance cars aside getting from point A-B is what it amounts too mostly. I have several show cars and way too many JNC projects but if there is one car I don’t ever want to be without is a Scion xB. I hope I live long enough to bring in a bB to the US. Here is hoping.

  16. thefiscoproject said:

    I’m in my 20s still but I think it’s safe to say that my 1978 280Z will be one of the last internal combustion engine vehicles to be with me. I can make an easy case for it: the Nissan S30 holds an immense amount of significance in the JNC world and will forever be known as an affordable, reliable, fast, and all around amazing car to drive and own.

    However, for me it’s more personal than just that. When I bought the car in 2017 it was an absolute heap that I picked up for $500. It definitely didn’t run as the Bosch EFI was a mess and the exterior/interior was just atrocious as the car basically sat in a swamp for a decade. One could easily write it off as an unfortunate S30 that was destined for the scrap heap (the guy I bought it off of was actually going to scrap it if I didn’t buy it) but I picked it up and towed it home. It took about two years of weekends and weekday nights to get it running as I faced setbacks and went through moments of weakness where I thought maybe the car was beyond saving.

    The day finally came though in May 2019 where this sad Z that had been off the road since probably 2002 rolled out of the garage under its own power and saw the pavement once again. That was the moment I truly found out why this car is so revered. I’ve never had so much fun driving a car. Ever. This 40 year old thing brings about a joy that I have personally never felt in any other car.

    There’s still plenty to be done, though. All I’ve done so far is make it mechanically sound to drive on public roads. There’s still the rusty floors to fix, the interior is still a mess, the wiring is a bit wonky, and the Z could really use a paint job.

    But that’s why it’ll be one of the last cars I own as it deserves to be finished. If the internal combustion engine has to die then it shouldn’t die without me having the Z completed. I believe cars like the S30 will be revered and talked about long after the robots take over or whatever so I see it as my duty to make sure there is at least one person driving a Datsun Z before it’s no longer possible.

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