QotW: Take the JNC Challenge, Part 02

Last week, we introduced a new challenge segment for QotW. In fine fashion, JNC readers came up with some amazing answers with links and fact checking to prove it! The staff here were blown away by the amount of creativity and dedication for the challenge. Some felt it was difficult to be locked in with a budget of $2,000. Others found out clever ways to save money by selling parts off their purchased chariot or get help from friends and family, all in the name of meeting the second half of the challenge; a running and driving JNC.

This week, we continue the challenge by taking the winning vehicle from last week and asking:

“What enthusiast scene do you enter your JNC into?

Do you enjoy taking it to a track for some hot laps? Join a local club for midnight cruising? Destruction derby? Whatever the choice, remember that this is still your daily driver. Whatever happens, it still needs to be available 5-days a week to take you to your 9-5 job. Anything beyond that, and we mean anything, is up to you. Keep it fun and creative as always to see where this story goes next!

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize.  Scroll down to see the winner and vehicle of last week’s QotW: What JNC would you buy as a daily driver with a budget of $2000 USD?

Let me be clear, we had some superb submissions. So much so, that we are going to tuck some of them away for future challenges. So if your suggestion was not picked this time,  there is a big chance to see it re-appear in a new story line.

That said, last week’s winning comment came from Bob who suggested an EF Civic Wagon, or Civic Shuttle as it is known in Japan. The choice to go with it was a mixture of other suggests for bullet-proof Hondas and the capacity, literally, for hauling anything on a daily basis. Also, gas mileage that stands ready for another OPEC crisis be it rears its ugly head again. Bob’s comment earned him a set of decals from the JNC Shop, congrats!

EF Civic wagon. Proven reliability, excellent parts availability, great chassis, and a WAGON that can carry things… like bicycles and assorted junk, carry people when needed, parts everywhere, a design that’s aging well (clearly dated, but without being a joke), great gas mileage… what is there not to like?

Now then, using the EF Civic wagon as your challenge vehicle, what direction do you take it? What scene would best fit this wagon to enjoy it on the weekends or free time? As far as budget, I would say after the purchase, you would have some pocket money, say $300-500 to do as you wish. I shy away from assigning a budget but I can also see how it can be difficult to judge where the limit is.

Condition of the Shuttle is fair, 120k mileage, with a cloth interior and paint beginning to peel. There are no known accessories or upgrades except bare minimum maintenance.

JNC Decal smash

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12 Responses to QotW: Take the JNC Challenge, Part 02

  1. robin says:

    Congratulations Bob, and Thanks for putting us in a granny mobile… haha.

    I am a bit confused. Do we find our own Shuttle, or do we get a shuttle due to Bob? If the latter what condition is the shuttle in and what is our budget (i assume $2000 again) to transform this into something amazing or not for the specific scene we have chosen?

    Sorry for the questions, some other readers might also be asking this? Or I might be mis-reading the new challenge

    • Brandon Kelley says:

      Hi Robin, let me clarify a few points. The Shuttle is now the vehicle to be used in this story. Imagine that you purchased a Honda Shuttle, and see where your story takes you.

      The winner of part 2 can be anyone, and the story will start with the winning suggestion so everyone else must take the same starting point. This is like a choose-your-own-adventure where we get 20+ adventure suggestions.

      I added some points to the original post to help with some of your questions, thanks for helping me clarify 😉

  2. Ant says:

    A Shuttle, eh? That screams one thing to me: road trips. Seems like the perfect vehicle not for shows or track days, but to gather a group of like-minded individuals and head off for an impromptu JNC weekend excursion. No need to bring a tent either – I expect there’s enough room to crash out in the back. For myself, anyway. Everyone else will need to bring their own sleeping quarters – I’m thinking Nissan Prairies, Toyota Space Cruisers etc…

  3. banpei says:

    I’m not sure there is an enthusiast scene for what I like best. Maybe the closest description to it would be the normal “motorcycle maniac”. I know there are some people in Japan who love to do the same as I do, but I’m not sure what their scene would be called…

    Let me explain it a little bit: when I owned my first AE86, the engine was very healthy and my 4AGE revved all the way up to 8200 rpm. Every day when I returned home from work I would drive 35 minutes rush hour traffic (read: half the travel doing less than 50km/h on the highway) before merging on the circular road of Amsterdam, heading to the north side and shortly after merging meeting a 1 kilometer long tunnel. This section was always a bit less dense in traffic doing about 80km/h. Normally I would drive on the left most lane and while entering the tunnel shift down from 5th to 4th, 4th to 3rd and 3rd to 2nd ending right around 6000 rpm. For some mysterious reason all traffic from the left most lane would merge into the middle lane and I could have a clear run through the tunnel, exiting the tunnel around 8200 rpm while still being within speed limits! This is what normally motorcyclist do and not car nuts.

    I don’t think the standard Shuttle is able to rev to 8200, but surely there are quite a lot of Honda engines that can. So if I would be dailying that Shuttle, a swap with a B16A would be a viable option for me. 😉

    • Randy says:

      I don’t remember if they even HAD a tow-rating, but if they can do up to 1,000lbs (450kg), hook up your small trailer to take the bike(s) wherever.

  4. Randy says:

    Show & Shine/Cruises/Car Shows. Wouldn’t want to risk tearing it up on the track.

    If Bob found the AWD version: skiing. It’s an enthusiast activity; just not a CAR activity.

    Messing with the driveline could too easily affect daily-driver reliability – still job #1.

    Let’s say $100 in detailing supplies at this point.

  5. Nathan says:

    A tight budget and the need to be at a daily driver level of reliability eliminates track days, autocrossing (with any degree of success), and destruction derby, the last of which should earn a ticket straight to Automotive Hell, which, in case you’re wondering, like Robot Hell, as shown on “Futurama”, is located in New Jersey.

    I’d say a good weekend activity for the car would be day trips and small vacations. It’s spacious enough for a few passengers or belongings, but it’s no grand tourer or luxury ride, so long trips might be a bit harsh on one’s spine and it isn’t exactly big enough to sleep in comfortably, so camping is a stretch, too.

    Car shows might work, too, but it’s not exactly a mint Civic Si or a Type R, so it would only attract JNC Junkies who love simple cars, not that there’s anything wrong with that at all, of course.

  6. Sedanlover says:

    Alright… So the new daily driver is a Honda. I totally agree with Randy in saying that detailing supplies would be first on the list. The first weekend of ownership is usually a good clean up of the car and maybe some small personal touches, like a pair of JNC stickers.

    After that, I’d want to get it serviced (if needed) and start gathering spare parts for known issues.

    Considering this is the daily driver, I wouldn’t be spending a heap on mods right away. It’s all about making in reliable and comfortable. I’d love to make it more practical, by adding roof racks and a basket. In terms of social outings with like minded enthusiasts… this could be good and bad. Great for sourcing parts and making friends, but I guess you always need to be telling yourself, “it’s just the daily driver and doesn’t need more power”.

  7. I’d set it up for car shows, occasional autox and some trips to mexico for testing for the potential output amongst other internal combustion powered vehicles. First on the list is a engine swap, Comp 4242 turbo on an F22A6 from a CB Accord tuned for E85 on an H2B kit with a CRV transmission with a GSR gear set.

    A set of BC Racing coilovers and some old school Gale wheels on Dunlop Direzza ZII Star specs for the footwork. Exterior would consist of an Osaka JDM wing and a SiR front bumper complete with J’s Racing lip.

  8. Bob says:

    Hooray I win! Nobody has contacted me about stickers yet though- my original post used a fake e-mail address, I corrected it underneath but no one has reached out yet. Do let me know, I’ve put my correct one in this post as well!

    Also, I like that you’ve masked the gorgeous Bisimoto Wagon in the initial picture- the wheels and hint of teal give it away, haha.


    In the real-world of me buying such a car, I’d likely just clean it really thoroughly, take it somewhere and get it undercoated and rust proofed in every cavity imaginable, wax it judiciously, do some mild tune up things on it, and leave it be- *MAYBE* toss a set of my existing 4×100 wheels on it- either VW P-slots or my Ronal Turbos. And drive it!

    Why don’t I lower it? I drive around Detroit, and we have some incredibly poor condition roads here- I have damaged bumpers on stock ride height cars because I had to drive through alleys and fell into massive pot holes. My current daily driver’s wheels all have bends in the lips from pot holes and have been straightened repeatedly. If it wasn’t going to be my main source of transportation and I could be more selective of where I drove it, it would be lowered.

    In theoretical dream land however? I’m hoping on the local car forums and looking for civic drop springs or coilovers and whatever other suspension goodies I can find cheap, I’m putting on my Ronal turbos and polishing the scratches out, and I’ll grab myself a header and exhaust cheap (maybe get another muffler welded in, I’m not a loud car guy, there’s a really good local exhaust shop that does excellent work for little cash), clean it up and go cruising around the state. I’ve long envied Neko’s explorations and weekend trips in Japan and I think the wagon/shuttle would make a great weekend exploration vehicle. Cruise into local towns with bicycles and camping gear, wander and explore, see local shops and attractions, take pictures of the photogenic Civic near buildings, and share with others.

    This is also partially inspired by a trip I took many, many years ago in a friend’s ground-scraping EF hatch across Michigan to a car show (which turned out to be Euro-only, so he wasn’t able to display it and was bummed). The strut towers had been raised up to allow for nearly full length struts to slam the car to the ground, and it rode maybe 2 inches at most above the pavement- on smooth freeway, it would scrape every half mile or so, but the ride was comfortable. He overfilled the oil by mistake before we left, and blue clouds and occasional misfires followed us halfway across the state before it sorted itself out. We snuck into a small replica Dutch town on an island on the other side of the state where there was a wedding and I got this fun shot:


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