QotW: What’s your favorite JNC underdog story?

Unless you emerged from a coma this morning you know that the underdog Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl last night. It was a fantastic close game down to the final minutes. Of course, JNCs often had their own underdog stories and a lot to prove, whether in motorsports, sales, or back street antics.

What’s your favorite JNC underdog story?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Which JNC introduced in 1993 is your favorite classic of 2018?” 

While we did get one surprising pleasantly unexpected pick of the Daihatsu Charade DeTomaso, it’s no surprise that most respondents chose top sports cars of the era like the Toyota Supra and Mazda RX-7. Out of the many comments suggesting those, our favorite comment came from MicaMiata.

During with the economic boom, Japanese makers fought over each other to showcase their newfound machismo through extravagance: Toyota had its fast, overengineered Supra; Nissan with the robotic, outworldy GT-R; and even the mostly grounded Honda shot for the stars with the NSX.

But the most impressive example is the work of the scrappy little Mazda company—using the most unique engine while holding onto that last bit of the pop-up headlights, and STILL giving us the most sophisticated body design unseen since the golden ‘60s.

Mazda showed that it didn’t have to beat the big boys at their game; it simply stayed true to the driving spirit, and that’s why even today, the 3rd gen RX-7 remains my favorite 90s JNC.

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10 Responses to QotW: What’s your favorite JNC underdog story?

  1. Sebastian-Ruediger Mueller said:

    Hello Mr. Hsu,

    please read my Comment at “Kidney, Anyone….”
    maybe you guess, which JNC Underdog is my favourite then…

    Kind Regards

    Ruediger Mueller

  2. MicaMiata said:

    Thanks, JNC!

  3. Jac Cottrell said:

    One time, this punk owed me a 10 second car. He brought me a burnt heap of a Mk IV Supra to my shop. After about 20 minutes – fueled by an amazing soundtrack – my crew had this thing all back together. We applied killer graphics over the chrome orange paint and took it for a shake down. At a stop light he complemented a local car owner on his ride…only to be told “More than you can afford pal, Ferrari.” I casually leaned over and said “Smoke him”. And, well, I guess the rest is history.

    – D. Toretto

  4. Scotty G said:

    I must be the only one who didn’t watch one second of the super bowl, even though I live in Mpls.

    I don’t know if this is a JNC underdog story, but my first car was a red 1971 Toyota E20 Corolla 2-door wagon and in the winter of 1981 I had it out on the ice racing track in Duluth, MN on the Lake Superior harbor. I noticed that two other guys, also in their late-teens, had a gigantic, old, beat-up Lincoln out there and of course they were stuck in a snow bank. They had taken their 3-wheel ATV out on the ice in the trunk of the Lincoln (!) to goof around on the ice with and now they were stuck with this 2.5-ton car. Being the gullible, nice guy that I was and that I wish that I would have grown out of by now, I went over to help.

    I was parked a couple of car lengths behind them and off to the side – I got out and we all futilely pushed this giant, heavy car with one wheel spinning one bald tire. The guy on the gas pedal had it floored as if one bald tire spinning even faster would somehow pull a 5,000-pound car out of its predicament. It didn’t, of course, but what it did do was to blow that single spinning bald tire, flinging it out of the now-dented Lincoln wheel well and, as often happens to a Good Samaritan, flinging it right into the RF fender of my beloved E20 wagon! NOOOO! I can’t believe that one of us wasn’t killed by that monster tire flying through the air, but alas, I now had my only dent. Sigh..

    What did I do with that freshly-dented Corolla wagon warrior? I gave those two guys a ride home in it, with the front wheel of their 3-wheel ATV up into the open rear hatch with one of them holding onto it so it didn’t fall out and roll back down one of the steepest streets in Duluth, where of course they lived. I wish that I would have had a video of that whole event and I wish that I had my E20 wagon back again!

  5. Jerry Harding said:

    Mazda winning Le Mans in 1991. They had a few good runs previously, but were never threats overall. That year ended up being the perfect storm for them to pull it off. The new WSC cars with the 3.5 liter engines weren’t all that fast or reliable. Jaguar and Mercedes had issues and Mazda was there hanging around the whole race. And if it weren’t for a preemptive driveshaft change, one of the sister cars may have been on the podium with them.

  6. I’m gonna phone it in and say any autoX day where a nearly stock Miata trounces a Corvette.

  7. ArcherOnCars said:

    No one mention Prince Skyline in 1964 Japanese Grand Prix?

    I’m pretty sure anyone know the details, Prince thought they create an ace by putting larger Gloria engine into smaller Skyline S54 and hastily created 100 units for homologation.

    But in the race day there is a surprise Porsche 904 GTS as an late entrant, a car that is like comparing WW2 fighter and Jet fighter, although the Porsche crashed during qualification. Last minute repairs allowed the 904 to get back on the race.

    904 lead the race easily, it seems that 904 would get pole to win, but slowly the GT-B catch the Porsche and overtaking it, leads the race for awhile before 904 takes the crown again. Although Skyline lost the race, it did create the original legends of Skyline. One that most people seems to forget.

    Postscripts: There are a lot of theories that 904 GTS importation was helped by cabals of large automaker in Japan, especially Toyota. And that Toyota crew apparently help the 904 after the crash and makes it ready for the race.

    There is also rumors that Sunako and Ikuzawa make a deal so that Skyline would allowed to overtake simply to appease Japanese public, remember that during this time Japanese public were recovering from defeat in ww2, and that nothing appease them than to see homegrown saloon beating purpose build, foreign sportscar.

  8. Frank said:

    John Surtees in the Honda at the Italian Grand Prix of 1967.

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