QotW: Do you treat your daily different than your JNC?

I have a confession to make: I treat my daily driver poorly. With my JNCs, cars I intend to keep forever, I park far away from other cars, institute a strict “no food or drinks” policy, and spend hours detailing them. With my daily, currently a 4-cylinder automatic XV10 Camry sedan, I park anywhere there’s a spot, let my son eat whatever he wants, and go months without washing it. It’s not a car I plan to keep, and the basic non-V6, non-MT spec means no one will ever care about preserving it. Its next owner will likely be a student or someone that just needs a reliable commuter with cold a/c. Should I care more? If I had a nicer daily like a Lexus LS400 or even a same-gen Camry Wagon, I might.

Do you treat your JNC different than your daily?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What car would you show an alien to help them appreciate cars?“.

The winner this week was returning champion Taylor C., not because he agreed with our pick (though that didn’t hurt), but because competition was scarce. Regardless though, it was a very good answer:

You already nailed it with the NA Miata. I have owned my Miata for over 18 years now, and it continues to allow me to appreciate the car, be it positively or negatively. The car, in its most traditional and simplest form, is going to be a mechanical system with a rear-wheel drive layout, and powered by an internal combustion engine that’s mounted in the front. The car builds speed through a transmission, and one that should be manual and mechanical so that the ET can understand how all the components interface. The alien will also see that the car spews dirty air, as it’s inevitably one of the consequences of driving an ICE car.

However, in choosing the Miata, the little green beings and their flying saucers now get to see what enjoyment one gets from the burbling exhaust, the slick transmission, the way the DOHC engine revs to 7000RPM, and how to heel-and-toe when diving for a turn. They will understand the enjoyment of top-down motoring, but this Miata will also have the removable hardtop so they can appreciate the added security over the standard soft top. They will understand the human factors the Mazda engineers implemented so that end user is not scraping knuckles while doing an oil change. There will be things to point out as compromises, like road vibrations, noise, etc, but you can’t have everything in life.

This car, in it’s completely stock form, allows the alien to understand how it has changed society as well as re-invented the way we think about cars (smaller, lighter is better). The purpose is not to showcase the latest technology nor the quickest acceleration, I almost feel that detracts from what I’m trying to share with my X-Files buddy. Rather, it’s to show all the different ways the Miata serves it’s owners.

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

JNC Decal smash

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8 Responses to QotW: Do you treat your daily different than your JNC?

  1. Ian G. says:

    I drive and maintain my daily. My daily is a 2006 Honda Element EX-P and it already has a JNC decal on it. However my ’86 MR2 and ’02 Miata NB2 just sit in the garage looking shiny but not doing much else but wait around for the next local Cars & Coffee (2 miles from the house). My MR2 deserves its retirement as it had a long career of cone dodging in the 90’s/early 2000’s and the Miata goes out from time to time for some spirited driving. But since life has taken priority over JNC’s, my poor cars just sit around.

  2. MikeRL411 says:

    I have only Japanese vehicles. My J30T and my RL411, I mistreat them equally!

  3. John S. says:

    I daily an 03 Highlander (just hit 300k) that’s been in the family since new. Pretty well maintained but the body is rough and the interior has seen better days. The a/c blows cold and it has cruise control so it’s fine. It’s a shockingly durable vehicle that still tows small trailers and gets used on road trips when I don’t want something nicer to drive. Compared to the 95 240sx that gets to live in the garage, it gets used pretty hard. To be fair when the 240 comes out it gets floored pretty much everywhere because it’s so slow- but using a tool for its intended purpose is hardly abuse!

  4. Fashion Victim says:

    My daily is a Honda EX5 motorcycle. In my country they are a dime a dozen. Nothing special. I just do minimum required maintenance so it gets me to work. My JNC on the other hand, gets driven weekly, covered from rain and sunlight for the 5 to 6 days it sits and gets all the love and care. The reason is simple, I simply do not have the time and energy to devote to my daily, and I also have alot of other interests and hobbies. The daily is there as a “sacrifice” to the elements.
    I am thankful to my daily, but it is what it is. We simply cannot devote too much time and energy on everything in our lives, we gotta prioritize.

  5. Sammy B says:

    Living in Cleveland, oh there’s a HUGE difference in how I treat my vehicles. My daily gets snow tires, parks outside, and gets whipped around on snowy days for fun (assuming I’m not fighting my way to work).

    My JNC gets to hibernate inside for 5-6 months and, as my wife somewhat lovingly and somewhat annoyed-edly terms it, is a glorified paper weight. I drive the old Van as much as I can when the weather is nice (sunny, no rain, and not after dark) since it’s such a limited window each year. But generally just around town…no highway driving and only on decent roads so it doesn’t get beat up too badly.

    I’m really jealous of you warm weather folks who can get year-round drive time.

  6. Bryan Kitsune says:

    No true JNC at the moment, but I read on the old JNC 25 year decal thread that JNC.com recognizes a whole generation as nostalgic when the beginning of the generation reaches the threshold, so I guess my 2002 Celica becomes nostalgic relatively soon. The 7th generation Celica began production & was sold in 1999 as 2000 model year. I don’t know if that means the 7th generation reaches JNC status in 2024 or 2025. (ie is 25 years production/sales based, or model year based?)

    Anyway, after wading through those weeds, I will say that I do treat my soon to be nostalgic Celica better than my poor daily driven Scion xA. I mean, I did get the xA some lightweight bronze wheels, but they’re Konig…the Celica got lightweight bronze wheels also, they are Volk. The DD is parked on the street, while the Celica gets the garage. The xA sees salt/winter roads, the Celica does not. The exterior of the xA is dirty most of the time. The interior is…dirty most of the time.

    The daily is also an automatic, otherwise I’m sure I’d bond with it more and have a harder time treating it like a daily, but also so my wife can drive it when needed…and well, it also helps keep me from wanting to install fun parts on it.

    I do try to take reasonable care of it, but it is a daily for a reason: to take the daily wear & tear that I don’t want to inflict on the Celica.

    That all being said, I drove the Celica to work this morning. The roads haven’t seen salt yet this season, and well…sometimes you just gotta enjoy the drive.

    • Ben Hsu says:

      We go by production, not model year, since that’s what they go by in Japan. You won’t see a model coming out in April 2023 being advertised as the 2024 Ford Brachiosaurus or whatever. So your Celica is technically a JNC next July!

  7. Taylor C. says:

    My daily / family car is a 2015 Mazda 6 Touring 6MT. Took a bit of time to find it, and it runs fine at 110k miles. I’m looking at passing it down to my kids when she’s old enough to drive next year, at which I’ll need to figure out what my daily will be.

    The 6 is slightly lowered and fitted with EVO X BBS wheels and 255 width Continental DWS Extreme tires, so you can bet I take the onramps / offramps pretty hard, even with family in the car. Mazda tuned that exhaust with a nice smooth growl, so it’s pleasant to unwind the motor up to the 6500 RPM redline. Car is maintained but sees winter salt, so I try my best to wash the underside come spring. I have the all-weather floor mats, so I don’t worry too much about tracking dirt / mud / snow / food inside.

    As for my JNCs, I drive the ’97 Miata hard, and (knock on wood) that engine keeps on asking for more. The exhaust snarls when you get past 4000 RPM, and you can floor it “all day long” since it doesn’t make any dangerous power.

    I drive the ’95 300ZX slightly less aggressive since it exhibits a very different personality than the Miata. It’s daily-able, but I try to limit the Z’s miles to highway instead of stop-and-go or city miles, it definitely thrives more as a GT car on the open road. Always stays garaged along with the Miata throughout the year, and I prefer that no one eats in this car, since the interior is near-pristine.

    The Prelude is the putt-putt that I use around town when taking kids to practice or meetings. Its B20 bastard engine that’s not interchangeable with any of the famous Honda “B” series engines means I try not to push the engine too hard, rather I just use momentum. The MAACO paint job constantly requires buffing, so I’m not as butthurt if the car gets dirty. It’ll drive fine on the freeway, but I keep it around 75MPH just because the average 1991 freeway speed is not what it is today.

    All my cars get the same engine oil: whatever synthetic oil change bundle’s on sale at Advance Auto parts.

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