QotW: What’s the one car you’d get from the year you were born?

JNC is proud to have readers of all ages, from teenagers just getting into vintage Nihon steel, to retired folks who remember these cars when new. Some of us were fortunate enough to have been born during golden years of carmaking; others came into this world when external forces like the OPEC oil crisis had dramatic effects on the automotive landscape. I was born in 1976, not exactly a year known for peak performance. Since I’d rather have Skylines and Celicas from headier days, I guess I’ll choose from the Malaise Era a Mitsubishi Lancer 1600GSR. It won the Safari Rally that year, and launched a legacy of rally successes for decades to come.

What’s the one car you’d get from the year you were born?

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 favorite car from Japan’s tuning era?

For many, the Tuner Era was what piqued our interest in Japanese cars. It was cars like the RX-7, NSX, and Supra that inspired a look into their histories and the companies that created them. The winner this week is Wing Ho, who went with a darling of the tuning age:

My first love and forever holy grail car will be the Nissan Skyline GTR (R32). Specifically in Gun Grey Metallic. This car appeared in Initial D, which is what brought me back to cars. Despite the hero car being the panda AE86, and the R32 relegated to a “villain car” early in the first season, I just couldn’t get enough of it.

Back in High School, when Fast & Furious 2 had just come out, everyone was buzzing about the R34, but I stayed true to my first love. I made it a point to correct my peers (annoyingly) that my favourite car was the Skyline. Of the R32 variety. Yeah, I was THAT kid.

Like the best things you grow up loving, but not fully understanding, I only found out much later that this beast of a car had a venerable history, destroying other cars in races, being called Godzilla, and just so happened to have its first production year that shared my birth year,

Even after 29 years, this car still takes my breath away, and it;s made me want to learn about cars more and more. The more I learn, the more in awe I become of this car. Plus, it’s got this timelessness to it, like all the best designed cars. It’s got the perfect mix of masculinity and elegance.

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37 Responses to QotW: What’s the one car you’d get from the year you were born?

  1. jamal mansour said:

    1963 Impala SS for an American car and a 1963 Prince

  2. Angelo said:

    I’d get a 1996 Nissan Stagea, and I’d purchase that when me and the car both join the 25 year club on 2021 lol

  3. buckedy said:

    1984 Suzuki Mighty Boy
    Front wheel drive, maybe 30 horsepower, and a ute bed that could barely even carry an esky full of beer. The Mighty Boy was the wrong answer to the question no one asked, and yet… wonderful in it’s ridiculousness.
    I wanted one as a lad, and I want one as an adult.
    Now, how do I fit a big, Mad Max style bullbar & halogen driving lights, without draining the tiny battery and weighing-down the little engine that could

  4. BlitzPig said:

    1953 Ferrari 375 MM.

  5. Howard Dreispan said:

    I was born in ‘57, so for Japanese steel, anything Mitsubishi, even a scooter. Would also love a Porsche 356 ‘tub’, a Chevy Belair, and a…

  6. BW said:

    Good thing you didn’t say “Vehicle”. The Space Shuttle took its first flight less than two months after I was born.

  7. Nigel said:

    Nissan C10 Skyline (1968). All I can buy is 1:24 versions !!

  8. BW said:

    1981 was not extremely kind (though sitting in a DeLorean made the same month *and* year as me was kind of interesting).

    My votes would either be an FB RX-7 with some Campagnolo mags or a DR30 RS-Turbo Skyline

  9. Jim Simpson said:

    1955 Nardi Blue Ray 1, which I actually owned for 29 years

  10. Mike in Long Beach said:

    1949 doesn’t provide a lot of Japanese choices but I will pick one to stay true to the JNC spirit of this site. Around 1945, Toyota began development of what would eventually become the model SA. While the SA was ready for production by 1947, post-war red tape delayed full production until 1949.

    The SA looks a lot like a Volkswagen Beetle on the outside but it was a very different design under the skin, with a water cooled front mounted four cylinder engine driving the rear wheels through a three speed manual transmission. The SA fully independent suspension featured unequal length A-arms and coils in front with the rear leaf spring suspension utilized semi-trailing arms and Panhard rods connected to swing axles. Front and rear suspension subframes were tied together using a backbone chassis layout, rather than the more conventional ladder type frame.

    Toyota only produces around 200 of the little SA’s from 1949 through 1952 so this is a very rare car, with only a handful of examples out there today. I would love to have one in my garage, in spite of the obvious issues with parts availability. I would simply have to find a good machine shop.

  11. James said:

    1977. The Toyota Land Cruiser J40 medium wheelbase. A vehicle I have dreamed of owning for many many years.

  12. dankan said:

    1980 was not the best year for JNCs. The best of the 70s were behind it, but the best of the 80s were a long way off.

    I think my smart-ass answer is that I’d like a Ferrari 512 so I can sell that and fund everything else in my life indefinitely.

    In my JNC garage, I’d likely have an RX-7, a Honda City with matching Motocompo, and maybe a Subaru Leone hardtop to get me through the winter.

  13. Don said:

    Year of birth?
    Not too sure anything memorable came out in 1943.
    Maybe a personnel carrier or a Sherman tank.

    • dankan said:

      At the risk of being a smart ass, Mitsubishi and Subaru were making some fine machines in 1943, although they weren’t cars…

  14. ROW wins this one for me: I’ll take a 1975 Lancia Stratos. If constrained to Japanese only, I’ll go with a Mazda Cosmo.

  15. Banpei said:

    As my favorite car from my birthyear already has been mentioned by Citizen Patrick, I have to go for the next best thing: the least sensible car ever: the Mazda Roadpacer!

    The Roadpacer was a Holden Premier with a Mazda 13B rotary engine. It was like someone overlooked the 1973 oil crisis and thought that that a not-so-torquey rotary engine would be a perfect fit for a heavyweight full size sedan! Or maybe someone high up at Mazda tried to prove the rotary engine was versatile? Or maybe my choice in cars says more about me than about my birth year? 😛

  16. Saii said:

    1992. All that screams at me is a R32 GTR. Would probably prefer the a80 supra but production didnt start untill 93. Also a contender would the the NSX, if price wasnt an issue of course.

  17. Styles said:

    For me it has to be the 1979 C210 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-EX “Skyline Japan”. The first Skyline to have a turbocharged engine, the first Japanese turbo production engine (in the Cedric/Gloria first). I love the sloping back of the coupe. We don’t have any of these in NZ, as far as I know, so I think that the rarity factor is a big part of my desire, lol!

  18. Daniel said:

    my choice would be a big one ignored: 1981 Mitsubishi Sapporo (aka Plymouth Sapporo, Mitsubishi scorpion) predecessor of Mitsubishi starion. much comfort, great mechanics, accessible in price and with a lot of space for any motor that want to place it. besides you do not see many out there.

  19. TheJWT said:

    ’95 NSX. Any year NSX, really.

    When I was in college in NY, I worked as an intern at a members-only car club who had a ’91 NSX in black. It was the best car I’ve ever driven. The very first time I drove it was only my second week or so there, and I had to pick it up from a shop uptown. I was so nervous and excited the whole way there, and when I had to wait for them to finish fixing the A/C, I took a picture of it on the lift to prove I wasn’t out joyriding it since I was going to arrive back later than planned. Once I got in it and pulled out onto the street the nervousness dissolved; it was such an easy car to drive. Being the first “supercar” I drove, it felt faster than anything I’d driven, and anytime I would floor it on the FDR I would just laugh.

    Luckily I got to drive it more often than most other cars there (I’m gonna call it fate).One of the most memorable times was driving it to Astoria, Queens to deliver it to a member. I was driving with a Yamaha R1 up until the Triborough bridge, weaving through traffic and being irresponsible like a 20-year old in a mid-engined car should be. Going through the toll booth, the car felt like it truly belonged to me, and it always kind of felt like that from then on.

    Life got in the way and I ended up leaving that job after about a year and a half, but my love for the NSX never went away. I’d driven cars that were faster, or better looking, or more comfortable, but never one that did everything together as well as the NSX.

  20. Josh said:

    I’m not going to overthink this one and go with my gut: 1981 Mazda GLC Sport. Not the flashiest choice but this Great Little Car did win Japanese car of the year in 1980 and it has some serious nostalgic value for me (this is Japanese NOSTALGIC Car after all). My dad was driving an RX-3 when he and my mum were first married, but it wasn’t conducive to a baby seat so he sold it and replaced it with a brand new GLC; the first brand new car he’d ever purchased. We went everywhere in that car for the first 10 years of my life until It was written off in an accident on some particularly bad winter roads. Had that not happened it probably would have become my first car. What might have been…

  21. Tim said:

    1984 was a decent year for cars – Group B rally was still a thing. Lancia 037, Audi Quattro Sport, Renault Elf 5 Turbo, and of course the Porsche 911SC RS, which would be my choice in a heartbeat. But this is not a European car site, it’s a Japanese car site. And unfortunately, Japanese cars in 1984 weren’t the greatest.

    The Series 3 RX-7 isn’t a great car by modern standards. But I think it’s probably the best I could do for a JNC from 1984. Lightweight, a fun engine, small, and toss able. If non-USDM models are allowed, the Savanna Turbo would probably be my pick. Sure, the US got the 135HP 13B, but the 12A turbo had 162HP, and turbos + rotaries go together oh-so-well.

  22. エーイダン said:

    Oh, jeez…where do I begin? I was born in 1999…..

    The Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R seems like a too-obvious choice, even though I’d LOVE to own one. As does the Toyota Supra Twin-Turbo….but, for 1999…..and for Japanese cars….The Nissan Silvia S15….too obvious as well….

    Since ‘t would have to be a practical car,,,,,but fun at the same time….Toyota Caldina GT-T with the AWD setup and the turbocharger. The reason for choosing this over the Skyline is simple: it’s an estate car. I can actually use it, whereas the Skyline, well…less practical, but fun as old hell.

  23. nlpnt said:

    1974. The Mazda rotary was available in one of the widest choices of vehicle it ever would be – I think I’ll bypass the REPU and go for an RX-2 as the smallest and lightest body.

  24. Erik said:

    1980 SA22C in full IMSA spec with tartan seats.

  25. Kats said:

    1969 .This is fun , and this is the biggest problem for me . I was
    born in 18th of June 1969 , as I am a Z fanatic , it is my dream to own a Z car which was made exact date of my birthday, maybe month and year . But it is impossible to own
    June 1969 Z car . According to the production data of Nissan Shatai which
    I was given from the gentlemen years ago , in June 1969 , there was only one Z car which was made in that month . That was the third S30 which was given a chassis number , PS30-00001 ( Fairlady -Z432) . By the way , the first one was S30-00001 . The second one is HLS30-00001 .
    Here is the link of a discussion of the production in early days .
    https://www.classiczcars.com/forums/topic/6707-production-number-for-1969/?page=5

  26. Fozzy Osbourne said:

    The only way to properly answer this question is through Haiku.

    Since I was born in 1984, this will be my Toyota MR2 Haiku…

    Mid-engined go-kart
    Feather-weight and fancy free
    Duran Duran please

  27. Ryan said:

    As much as I like the shape of the Mitsubishi Celeste or the Datsun 280ZX, 1979 was not exactly a great year for cars.

    That said, I’d take a very utilitarian FJ40. I wouldn’t be afraid to take it on a world-wide trip, because i doubt it would break down, and if it does break down, it’d be easy to get parts.

  28. Ant said:

    I remember one of the Gran Turismo games – maybe GT4? – used to give you a car from the year of your birth on your birthday.

    Being 1985, that could be a real range from cars featured in the game, up to and including probably the best from that year, a Peugeot 205 T16 group B car.

    But since this is JNC, it’d be one of the others: the cute little twin-cylinder Honda Today. I’m sure I could pick something more sensible built through 1985, but where’s the fun in that?

  29. Negishi no Keibaja said:

    Hands down a 1958 Okamura Mikasa roadster. I like it for the design but it was also an innovator as Japan’s first car with an automatic transmission. They built a 2 seat airplane a few years before the Mikasa. Now their office furniture is everywhere in Japan. There’s a Mikasa on display in their museum in Akasaka.

  30. Kyle Soler said:

    1999 Mitsubishi Legnum VR-4 Type S preferably in Trigger Mauve pearl,

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