QotW: What JNC fun facts do you know?

Part of the fun in owning a JNC is researching it, how it came to be, some of its quirks, and so on. As a new series, we’d like to ask about some fun facts you’ve discovered. They could be on a JNC you own; or even just a fact about a JNC you thought was pretty neat.

For example, most people know that the Trueno and Levin names mean thunder and Lightning, but did you know that the J-spec Levin digital gauge cluster that was only available in Japan in kph has a hidden mph display that was never factory activated? So tell us:

What JNC fun facts do you know?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s in your JNC glove box right now?

We asked last week to tell us what’s lurking in the deep, dark depths of your glove box. Many who responded has the typical insurance and registration paperwork. A surprising amount of JNCs had actual driving gloves just in case the moment strikes.

A few commenters had a selection of tools, napkins and owner’s manuals but Dillan takes the lead with not only sockets, flashlights, sunglasses etc., his FC RX-7 seems to be prepared for just about anything the road or track can throw at him — even a track pass!

In the glovebox of my FC RX7 right now I have; the owners manual, reg and insurance, a pen, screwdrivers (flathead and phillips), a small ratchet with a 10 and 12mm socket, usb charger wires, sunglasses, electrical tape, tire pressure gauge, gopro mount and a speed pass for the track that I race at. When your car is completely gutted, your glovebox becomes your only place for storing things so I usually end up shoving whatever I need in there. FCs have pretty decent size gloveboxes so it works out pretty well, they also have little cupholders on the inside of the door of the glovebox which I have never seen before, I wouldn’t try to use them when moving though.

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

JNC Decal smash

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18 Responses to QotW: What JNC fun facts do you know?

  1. エーイダン says:

    In the best traditions of Sheldon Cooper, here’s a fun fact, did you know that the Isuzu Piazza/Isuzu Impulse had a Canadian-market exclusive model called the Asüna Sunfire, only branded as such for 1993. The front-wheel drive 4-cylinder Front-wheel drive coupe’s suspension was built by British sports car maker Lotus for the ultimate budget fun pack!

    Thanks goes to my Mum for this fact, her first car she owned was a ’93 Asüna Sunfire.

  2. Banpei says:

    Oh my, don’t get me started on fun facts! So many to share that I discovered over the past few years! 😀
    The best ones:
    1. During the early 80s Nissan invented the mirror wipers. On the first generation Nissan Leopard F30 you could order mirror wipers for the fender mounted mirrors. Obviously this was an absolute necessity for the upmarket Leopard drivers! They must have thought the exact same when they launched the Nissan Cima near the late 80s and offered mirror wipers as well.
    2. If you thought fender mirrors were a crazy fad: on the X90 platform Toyota offered a set of wipers that cleaned the small area around the side mirrors (I named them side-wipers). (1 and 2 were featured recently when various blogs picked up the story via Road & Track)
    3. Team ACP, a private Japanese rally team, took a bone stock new Toyota Carina AA60 to the Paris Dakar rally in 1981 and outright won their class when they finished the rally. They used it the year after as well but were less successful. Toyota used the Paris-Dakar connection to market the Carina A60. The Carina that finished Paris-Dakar rally was recently extracted from a bush of bamboo in the yard owned by one of the drivers.
    4. Japanese cars can have very long names, used to distinguish makes, models and trim levels. I did research by browsing hundreds of brochures and noted all these designations. For a long time I thought the “Nissan Leopard Ultima Grand Selection V30 Twin Cam Turbo” was the longest one, but I actually found out Toyota beat Nissan to the crown: “Toyota Crown Super Saloon Extra 2400 Turbo Diesel Ceramics Power” is only a tad longer! 😀

  3. Yuri says:

    1. Each major market of the AE86 received two-tone paint schemes exclusive to a single market. Examples include the Asia-only High-tech two-tone (panda), the North American market grey/black, light blue/medium blue; and the Euro market champagne/gold and light green/dark green two-tones.

    2. 1980’s Toyota windows were generally tinted to match the interior. An example that we got in the US was the MA70 Supra. Blue or grey interiors would have blue tinted windows, tan or burgundy interiors received bronze windows.

    3. When Nissan wanted to create the S30Z, they couldn’t build the composite headlight surrounds with their own techniques, so they contacted a Japanese park bench manufacturer to make them. Nissan found a way to form them out of sheetmetal, which is why later S30’s made the switch.

    4. Many cars, especially Hondas, have multiple position hoods. There are spots in the hood frame for the hood support to clip into. Many have a seldom known about “service position” that clips the support in much farther towards the cowel, raising the hood to up to an almost 90 degree angle, allowing unrestricted access to the engine.

    5. The main reason that cars that got multiple front ends in Japan only received a single front end in the US was because it was much easier to federalize the front end with retractable headlights, as it used a standard-sized sealed beam. Also, it wouldn’t be cost effective to create two different front ends to meet US crash standards. This is why our S13’s and AE86’s all had pop-ups.

    6. The AE86 factory aero side skirts have removable end caps at the leading edge. Many people complain when they find a set that are missing them. What they don’t realize is that many of the side skirts never had end caps to start with. The aero could be optioned with the factory mudguards, and the front mud guard would replace the side skirt end cap.

    7. Some JNC’s hide a surprise underneath the front license plate. Remove it on several Kei cars and you can have direct access to the oil filter. Remove it on an AE86 Trueno, and you expose a large duct that directly feeds the factory oil cooler.

    8. JDM 2.0L A70 Supras received narrower fenders so they could be classified as a physically smaller car for tax purposes.

    9. Official designations for the generations of Supra are A40,A60,A70, and A80. Referring to them by “Mk (pronounced “Mark”, NOT “Em-Kay”)” is a European naming convention and has never been used by Toyota in designating the cars. Not to be confused with the Toyota Mark II, which is an actual model name.

    10. The 1981 Celica XX introduced the first automotive navigation computer. It was extremely primitive, and had no screen.

    • Mark Newton-John says:

      Hate hate HATE the “Mark whatever” designation! Eff the “Mk. V Supra”! It will be a MA90, or whatever they decide to call that BMW motor they’ll be using.

  4. cesariojpn says:

    I’m gonna credit Noriyaro for this from his video on MOONEYES Street Car Nationals 2017:


    The Mitsubishi Eclipse was only made in LHD, and no RHD models were made since the Eclipse was assembled and made for the US Market originally. All Eclipses sold in Japan were LHD.

    Not in the video: Due to a generation refresh, the 2nd Generation Eclipse got bumped into the “Luxury Car” category under the Japanese Government’s Road Vehicle Act of 1951 for car taxes due to the redesign making the body larger (Width went 2 inches wider in the 2nd Gen (1,690 mm (66.7 in) with the 1st Gen vs. 1,740 mm (68.7 in) on the 2nd Gen) AND the offering of more powerful engine trims.

  5. Zuhair Ahmed says:

    The original Lexus GS was said to have the fastest shifting automatic transmission

  6. nlpnt says:

    1. The first year of GM’s multiple-captive-import program, 1985, the Spectrum (Isuzu Gemini) was offered only on the East Coast, the Nova (Corolla) only in the Midwest and as a sedan and the Sprint (Suzuki Cultus) as a three-door on the west coast. National distribution for all and five-door hatchbacks of the latter two came for the ’86 model year..

    2. I’m pretty sure the early Acura Integras were the lowest four-door cars ever, or at least the lowest widely available and really mass-produced ones. Wikipedia lists 50.8″ OAH for the first generation (3 as well as 5-door) and 50.6″ for the 1991-93 sedan with an anomalous jump to 52.8″ for the ’90 model.

    • nlpnt says:

      Adding in a couple more;

      – 1978 was the one year and one year only that you could get a gen 1 Chevy LUV with bucket seats in blue (in a blue or white truck). All other years for the option (1977-80) bucket seats came in red only with a black, red or .(from ’79) white truck.

      – Factory dual carbs on the Datsun 510 were never offered in any LHD markets because the rear carburetor occupied the same space as the LHD master cylinder.

  7. Mike in Long Beach says:

    Couple of quickies:
    1980 was the first year Honda installed catalytic converters on US Accords and Civics. The lean burn CVCC engine could pass emissions without a cat and was the last mass produced model to be able to do so. 1976 through 1979 models could thus run leaded gas.

    If you remove the climate control module from a first generation NSX and look on the underside, you will find printed there,”An Eternal Sportsmind For You”. Nice Easter egg.

  8. AccordTMI says:

    5th generation (1994-1997) Accord coupes were built in Ohio and exported to Japan.

    Most of the JDM export versions were RHD, but Honda also sold a left hand drive version in Japan for those customers who were feeling especially baller. It was essentially the USDM Accord with JDM lighting and a few other minor changes to meet Japanese regulations.

    Choosing LHD in Japan meant a lower-spec car though, as things like automatic climate control were never engineered for the LHD Accords. The H22-powered Accord SiR was never offered in LHD either.

    The 1997-1999 Acura CL was essentially a re-bodied 5th gen Accord coupe. The whole lower half of the interior is the same… except for 1997, when Honda created a one year only center console to differentiate the two. In 1998 the CL switched to the old Accord console (in classy faux woodgrain).

    • Mark Newton-John says:

      LHD drivers in Japan were baller? So does that mean the RHD Subarus in the US for mail delivery were for closet ballers?

  9. Scotty G says:

    … that nobody wants to pay more than $2,000 for what may be the nicest 1986 Nissan Stanza 4WD 5-speed wagon in the US..

  10. Mark Newton-John says:

    The 1974 USDM Corolla SR5 was they only year it was offered. It has exclusive fenders and (metal) flares (only called overfenders overseas) that make it easy to tell fakes from authentics. Red piping on the seats, and of course, gauge cluster and center console pedestrian Corollas did not have. Only a very few had factory Nippondenso air conditioners. Even fewer with the 704 code turquoise metallic paint.
    And even the shock absorbers were exclusive to the SR5, and of course the larger front anti-sway bars.
    And it was the only car with a five speed that wasn’t a Porsche or other sports car under $5000 in 1974.
    Mine came with a dealer installed Audiovox AM/FM stereo 8-track, which mean they had to take a hack saw to modify the dash to install it and cut holes in the doors for 4″ Pioneer speakers.

  11. Mark Newton-John says:

    I think the Mitsubishi Cordia and Tredia were named after tires…

  12. ArcherOnCars says:

    Somehow a lot of people missed this. Toyota Sports 800 according to it’s designer Tastuo Hasegawa was inspired by American Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. That is why the concept car has a silver paint and sliding canopy door.

  13. LB1 says:

    I’ll just do one that came to mind. The first and second generation Toyota Soarer follow a design philosophy. If you look at the car from the side, and visually project up the lines of the A pillar, B pillar and the C pillar, they meet at one point. That they say, is the key to their balanced, pleasing looks.

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