QotW: What’s your greatest tale of JNC acquisition?

It’s getting harder and harder to buy a JNC for a song, but not impossible. Even as prices and general awareness about the value of old Japanese cars rise, once in a while you can still find a good deal. You just have to be quick, clever, or able to pull of miracles. It’s rare, but sometimes you still see an AE86 advertised as an old Corolla.

What’s your greatest tale of JNC acquisition?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “How safe do you feel on the road with your JNC?” 

Last week we learned that our readers are mobbing around is some serious deathtraps. There’s Sammy B‘s no-forward-crumple-zone 1984 Toyota Van, Lupus‘ fatalistic Daihatsu, bryan kitsune‘s “death spear” Datsun Roadster, and Joe Musashi‘s semi-threading Miata. Please be careful, everyone — we can’t afford to lose any readers. The winner this week, however, was Yuri, who broke down each one of his different approaches thusly:

With each of my JNC’s I have a different train of thoughts running through my head, and different plans of attack.

S30Z: I’ve got a lot of car in front of me, but not much behind me. The doors are flimsy too. I’ve addressed the safety shortcomings of the sides and rear by installing an autopower half cage though, so if I get hit from the side or rear, my head will hit the cage first and probably kill me instantly rather than getting crushed by a lifted bro truck.

AE86: Any thoughts about my personal safety are overtaken by the fact the most expensive parts on the whole car are the first things to be taken out in an accident. If I get hit in the front, I’m losing a JDM bumper and zenki lip spoiler. If I get hit in the side, I’m losing the JDM GT-APEX side skirts. And heaven forbid I get hit in the rear, where I’d lose the JDM zenki rear bumper, zenki Trueno coupe taillights, rear garnish, and JDM trunk spoiler.

S13: I’ve seen enough of these crash to know to be extremely careful where my feet go, since often times the front wheel will intrude into the passenger compartment flattening the footwell into the pedal assemble. And then the automatic seatbelt will find a way to choke you anyway.

MA70 Supra: It has ABS and an airbag, but really that doesn’t matter, because it’s built of two tons of Japanese steel so thick, you’d swear Toyota had master swordsmiths folding and hammering the fenders like katana of old. It’s a car you feel safe in traffic in because in world of box-like crossovers, you’re piloting a Shinkansen forged from depleted uranium. Sure it has a soft urethane nose, but it’s like taping a cotton ball over Mjolnir, Thor’s own hammer.
All this mass is propelled by a massive chunk of iron, the 7MGE, 200hp of potential headgasket failure.
In a streetscape of modern cars that use layers of protection, the MkIII Supra takes the “If you’re riding inside an armor piercing round, what gets split apart around you can’t hurt you” approach.

Omedetou! Your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop.

JNC Decal smash

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11 Responses to QotW: What’s your greatest tale of JNC acquisition?

  1. Martin said:

    I was going through 1st gen Rx-7 ads, when I suddenly noticed ad for 85´ Luce Van.
    I have immediately called the seller for more info. He said that he had her reserved for guy from Slovakia for over 1 month and he never came to see her, or even called back, and if I want she can be mine for 30,000 CZK (around 1,400 USD).
    But there was one tiny complication, the pre-sale technical inspection was valid only until the next day. Getting it renewd would mean towing her to the nearest technical inspection station and paying for new inspection, which would add another approximately 200 USD to the price.
    I skipped the school the next day only to get on the very first morning train. At 8AM after 250 km and 3 hours on the train I was standing in front of DMV waiting for the seller. After that she was officialy mine. Next weekend she arrived on trailer and was pulled under my shed.
    The rest is in future.

  2. Ben E said:

    Last fall I was looking through Kijiji ads for “Supra” with no intention to buy. Just being nosey. I came across an 88′ Turbo for 2000$. I figured it was a rusted out hack job. I called the guy anyway. He assured me it was in great condition even though the inspection had run out and he stopped driving it. Even claimed it had never been winter driven.
    So my girlfriend and I decided to take a trip up (about 300km one way) to go see it. After a quick look over I immediately decided that it was near-mint condition apart from a few paint chips and a rip in the driver’s seat. The guy said he liked Camaros. He also informed me that the head gasket had been replaced at about 140,000km by the local Toyota dealer, but that the coolant leaked out slowly if driven hard. He was convinced that the head gasket had failed again. I told him to take the sign down and that I would return the next week with cash.
    I got my dear mom to come with me the next time to drive my poor beat up 97′ Acura CL home. I drove the Supra. No inspection. No speedometer. Coolant slowly leaking. Front end vibrating badly(scalloped tires). After dark. A short ferry ride and 300km later I was home with no trouble.
    I brought it to my mechanic to check over, it needed front break pads, 2 tires, and the short lower speedometer cable to pass. That was it. The coolant leak turned out to be a 4″ length of hose which I promptly replaced. The car runs and drives as smoothly as the day it rolled off the assembly line I’m sure. I think I lucked out.

    Too bad it’s an automatic!!!

    • Ben E said:

      I also only now noticed that last week’s reply goes on about my MA70… and so does the photo. 🙂 fitting!

  3. Tim Mings said:

    Just purchased American HONDA’s first race car. 1970 N600 prepped for the Baja 1000.Driven by Bill Robertson JR, and Dave Ekins. Car went missing after the race, and somehow wound up at an independent HONDA, ACURA repair shop in the Pacific Northwest.

  4. Negishi no Keibajo said:

    My 240-Z years ago was a hand me down.I was a senior in high school driving a Chevy LUV.. I don’t even know what precipitated my mother purchasing a brown metallic 240-Z. A few days after the purchase, it became evident why it was sold. It was like the old VW commercial of a bunch of young men picking up an old couch by the roadside. In a few miles, they realized it smelled “FUNKY”! As the family mechanic, I dove in, stripping the entire interior to realise a German Shepard had ripped the interior apart. We just figured the was using the thing as a pick-up. With a whole bunch of elbow grease, soap, baking soda & patience (which I’m not known to have), I got mom’s car respectable again. She redid the upholstery by hand beautifully. Fast forward to college day, she handed over the keys to me so I’d have a proper car.

    That car was with me for 3 cross country moves & career changes, stolen 3 times & recovered 3 times. The last theft finally did it in but that car will be in my heart along the memory of my mother forever.

  5. Ruediger Mueller said:

    …still my Toyota KE 70 waits for a lucky new owner….

  6. Tyler Roland said:

    A few months ago, searching for my first car, I found a pristine 1989 Nissan S-Cargo on the Duncan Imports website. Flew down there with my dad and bought it just before they were going to take it to a show to try and sell it. Only had it three days and it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever owned. Couldn’t have asked for a better unique, cool first car.

  7. Dutch 1960 said:

    How about the acquisition that didn’t happen? Early 1983, I am a starving college student, no cash and a beat up RX3 to my name. A classified ad turns up in “On Track”, a newsprint format sports car/IMSA racing magazine.

    A photo of a certain RX2, repainted in a different white over yellow color scheme, but I knew the car. The caption read:

    “Mazda RX-2 $3,500 For complete roller with spares. Ron Nash built. ’82 SEDIV champ GT3, Ex-Bohren IMSA RS champ. Track records Charlotte, Daytona, Palm Beach. Also race ready. (904) 378-xxxx”

    No money, I couldn’t call. That car was the Car & Driver IMSA RS number “00” Mazda RX-2, white over blue. The one that had been written up in Car & Driver magazine. The one now in Mazda’s Irvine basement collection. I knew what it was, even though the ad didn’t say it. I wanted it, with the heat of a thousand suns. Couldn’t swing it, no cash.

    I have the ad to this day, I saved it. For all the cars I have acquired, and all the ones I haven’t, this one is the biggest one of all, the one that got away. At least it found a good home.

  8. Nar said:

    Bought my 1990 CRX Si in 2010 for $2,070. It’s probably the best thing i have ever bought when broken down to utility, efficiency, ease of ownership (maintenance and reliability) and straight up smiles per gallon.

  9. Luke said:

    My little ’84 Mazda truck was in a wreck and I was looking for a new ride that would fit a growing family. One day I spotted a beige ’84 Mazda GLC sedan in a mall parking lot. I peeked in the window and it only had a little over 68k on the odometer. I left a note on the window asking them to contact me if they wanted to sell the car. The lady that owned it did contact me and said she had been thinking about selling it because she was trying to move to Germany; if I remember correctly. Her plans changed and she needed to keep the car. A few months went by and she called me out of the blue and asked if I was still interested in the GLC. Of course I was. She sold me the car for $1,300. I have had it for over eight years now and it has been truly a great little car…some of you might catch that. Unfortunately, a few parking lot dings have been added in that time but so have a lot of modifications. My daughter really likes the car and laughs with excitement when I give it some gas. She named it Cheesey because of the color…it fits.

  10. Andrew said:

    In September 2017 my brother-in-law was at my house and mentioned his boss owned a “right-drive” Datsun….he is totally not a car guy but obviously my interest was piqued. I started asking him what kind of car it was and started listing names, he wasn’t certain so then I started pulling up google images and he gave me an 80% sure nod it was a Z…he also mentioned it had been sitting and they wanted to let it go cheap but to a good home. Because I am such a Datsun nut he spoke up when she mentioned it and said I would be the perfect person, my bro in law also mentioned he thought like 2500-3500…..sure..yah right!!! When he gave me that price I thought if it was what he says it was it would probably be post 76 and needing to be smogged.

    I urged him to get me pics and he said he would. A few weeks went by and nothing….a few more weeks nothing…I kept bugging him but he said his boss hadn’t been at work. I started to lose faith and he kept promising he would get them to me…then came December 23rd…

    I woke up to four terrible pics sent to me 1145pm the night before…I became so giddy because I could tell it was RHD…no way was this happening.

    So of course I immediately responded to my brother-in-law the morning when I saw it…..I sent him some pics of my past cars to hopefully give her peace of mind on selling it to me. Obviously it was not as cheap as he mentioned but cheap enough that it would be stupid for me not to do whatever it took to get the car. A couple messages back and forth and she agreed that I could call her. So a few hours later I was in my car doing some last minute Christmas shopping for my wife with my two kids (4 & 2) and had her on speaker phone. I started asking questions to twin details when she had her husband jump on.

    He went on to mention he bought the car BRAND NEW while stationed in Japan for the Vietnam war. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing… I told them to take a ton of pics (didn’t get the best but saw all I needed) of the problem areas and to have a great Christmas and that I would call them Tuesday once I checked with the wife and bank…

    SERIES 1 What?!?!?!?!?!

    Needless to say I borrowed, cheated, and stole and picked the car up that week. The kicker was once I got it home I found the original bill of sale (order form), receipt for payment, and importation paperwork to California in 1972. I am still in shock to this day that I own this car. You can check it out on ratsun searching “S30 LDY”

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