QotW: What car do you wish you hadn’t sold?

Whenever the topic of classic Japanese cars comes up, one of the most frequent refrains we hear goes something like, “I used to have X car. I wish I had never sold it.” It seems that no matter who you are, there is a car in your history that you wish you’d kept. We definitely have a few regrets among JNC staffers: an S13 240SX, CB7 Accord, FD RX-7, BB6 Prelude, and so on. Misery loves company, so tell us about your tragic mistake.

What car do you wish you hadn’t sold?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your must-see Japanese automotive destination?

If we were judging on sheer effort, f31roger would win by a mile because of his epic dissertation on the topic. We’ve never been to Suzuka Circuit, but that got nominations from both Land Ark and dankan. On the other hand, j_c chose Fuji Speedway but a very specific aspect — the NISMO Fest bus tour that takes place on the track while race cars zoom by. Unofficial gatherings were popular too, with Lupus choosing Daikoku Futo and エーイダン going for the Wangan or Mt Akagi. However, the most touching answer this week came from Toyotageek, whose heartfelt answer won the day:

I’ve been fortunate to visit a number of automotive places in Japan, especially Toyota related, from AMLUX, Megaweb and the History Garage, Toyota Automobile Museum, Sakichi Toyoda Memorial House, Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, and the Toyota Kuragaike Commemorative Hall, to other venues like Twin Ring Motegi and the Honda Exhibition Hall, to the eclectic Ikaho Toy, Doll, and Car Museum.

But my favorite must visit destinations are the homes and garages of my friends….

Michimoto-san’s and his 2000GT – where else can I can out with his fellow 2000GT owners and cruise the Tokyo nights in a 2000GT?

The Maehara brothers where Toyota runs in the veins of several generations – where else can I visit the family museum Maehara 20th, have a BBQ with friends and sit in a Toyota Origin?

The garage of Makoto Dohi, Yotsuba Auto – where else can I visit and hang out with the maestro of Sports 800’s and drive the coutryside of Utsunomiya with a small band of “Yota-Hachis” feeling the open road beneath us, and enjoying the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of rural Japan?

The list goes on, but I’m sure you get my drift.
Those corporate locations and museums are great, but the best destinations are the ones where memories are with friends. Those are the true must see and do destinations for this Toyotaku. 🙂

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25 Responses to QotW: What car do you wish you hadn’t sold?

  1. Jan van Kleef says:

    My Toyota BJ40 and my first Suzki LJ80. Wonderful cars!

  2. James Boice says:

    In 1970 I was a young Sp4just out of VN. The money I had save from a few months in Nam was enough to use for an over 50% down payment on a 1967 S-800 Coupe. the car was full American specs and was American Left hand drive. Okinawa was at that time still under US Trust Territories Pacific, Used US Dollar, a Orion Large Beer was 75 Cents. I had the car for the year I was there and sold it at a gain to and American Major for more than I paid for it. That little car was fast, I cut the Exhaust just behind the trany and put an extension to out the side behind the drivers door. No mufflers! It could be heard for miles working the gears down the winding mountain road to /from my GF’s house. Every MP on the island knew my car and I could have shipped it back to the states. I always have wanted to find one just to keep as a toy and fun car to go with my Vette.

  3. jim simpson says:

    Probably most regret selling my Lamborghini Miura, but as far as JDM cars I regret selling my 1971 Skyline.

  4. Ray Raible says:

    1970 240z

  5. I owned one of the last nice and rust-free 1989 Honda Accord AeroDeck CA5 in Germany. 15 years on I would be in the position to buy a really nice one again… but they are all but extinct now…. or horrible rust buckets with missing trim pieces that are equally considered to be unobtanium.

  6. MikeRL411 says:

    Break in the family, my 1955 Chevy Bel Aire 2 door that I left in Fussa Machi Japan. Salmon pink with Grey roof. V8 of course with 3 on the stalk. I was trying to buy a Toyota Land Cruser and ship it home but Uncle Sam had frozen shipment of all foreign vehicles that year. I bought a Corvair delivered in Wyoming instead [toyed with opting for the Right Hand drive and metric option but decided no].

  7. Yuri says:

    Growing up, I would always hear middle-aged people talk about how much they regretted selling a particular car. So I vowed I wouldn’t do that. If I had a car that I loved, I swore I would hang on to it, or at least one example if I had multiples. And this worked out for me for the most part. Or so I thought. It’s how I ended up with hanging onto an AE86 GTS, S30Z, factory green two-tone S13, and 4(!) A70 Toyota Supras. But there are always exceptions that can come back to bite you. With a new car you usually think, no problem, I can always get another later. In 2004 I bought my first ever new car, a 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII GSR in Blue-by-you. Two years later I sold it to buy a different car. The new owner totaled it on the way home. I never bought another Evo, because they never depreciated beyond what I sold mine for. Looking back, whenever I see an Evo on the street, I think how cool it is, and I miss mine. So I told myself I wouldn’t make that mistake again. And I might be making it right now, because this weekend I started thinking about selling my 1-of-104 Crystal Black Silica 2018 Subaru BRZ tS. The only other car I’ve ever bought new besides my Evo, and hunted down every rare dealer option Japanese market part I could for it. It’s almost like this question of the week is a sign that I’d be making a mistake….

  8. Mark F Newton-John says:

    Nope, not me. In October 1974, the family went to Frank Motors in National City, CA, and in the showroom was this little blue green car. So as a 14-year old car kid, I sat in it, rowing through the 5 speed transmission which other than Porsches, no other car really had.
    The salesman came up to me and asked if I liked it, and unbeknownst to me, my dad was in the process of purchasing it. This would be our second Toyota, since my dad had a yellow 1970 RT40 Corona. Turns out that we ended up with a new 1974 Corolla SR5 in the rare 707 Metallic Turquoise
    314,000 miles and almost 47 years later I still have it, almost sold it once, and it awaits resoration…

  9. BlitzPig says:

    Overall is was my 1970 TVR Vixen 2500. Fabulous car, way above my skill level at the time, ran it as a daily driver for three years in the Midwest. It was becoming obvious that I needed a “real” car as a daily, so when someone offered me more than I paid for it, I let it go.

    As for Japanese cars, hands down it was my 1988 CRX Si. As I have said about it before, it really was the perfect car. Economical to operate, utterly reliable, nimble, quick for it’s day. It was equally at home getting groceries, taking long freeway trips, and tearing around Mid Ohio showing it’s taillights to a lot of much faster cars. I could almost cry when I tour the local Honda dealer’s lot and see the new 3000 lb. Civics.

    Three thousand pound Civic.

    Let that sink in for a bit.

    Death, where is thy sting.

  10. bugeye says:

    2001 Subaru Impreza RX 2.0 NA with 250,000km

    Im pretty sure it would have done everything my 2014 Forester could do.

  11. Lachlan says:

    My 1987 N13 Nissan Exa. I had the standard back, soft top, and the wagon “canopy” back.

    What a fun, economical, little unique slice of JDM, complete with targa roof and pop-up headlights!

    (I also wish I’d kept my 1982 Datsun/Nissan Stanza and 1976 120Y with factory AC, but the Exa is the one I really miss)

  12. socarboy says:

    1986 Nissan 720 regular cab short bed RWD 5-speed I beat on it 11 years from new regretted selling it

  13. Lupus says:

    I really regret selling my previous daily-driver, the Subaru Legacy BH (2,5NA, AT, wagon).
    I just wanted to try something new, tryout the limo/VIP feel of Lexus GS/Aristo, and be able to say that at some point in my life i’ve drove a 2JZ powerd car. Not that the JZS160 is a bad car, its’t just… totally unpractical when compared to AWD wagon by Subaru. Legacy wasn’t affected by any wheather, had a huge boot. It was also a equipped-with-all version. The car was in overall great shape, i’ve mede some upgrades to it, i. ex. swapped the pneumatic suspension (yeah, factory bagged Subie 😉 ) to JDM sourced Bilstein+Eibach set from GT-B E-Tune, mouned JDM low-profile roof rails, L7 front grille, installed (fake) air scoop on the hood and added USDM front bumper from Outback variant that i’ve modded in a “TBK-Style”.
    I’ve sold the car for dirt cheap to a fellow from Polish Subaru Forum, I know it’s in good hands, but i it was big mistake on my side. I’ve listed it for to low money, just to get my garage clean for the newcommer, vide Aristo. Should’ve keep it, but the obligatory insurence in my country is the biggest problem. Even when a car is not in phisical use, f. ex is fixed after crash, or it’s a classic that’s beeing restored, or just some “in case of emergency” vehicle kept under the shed – the owner needs to buy the insurence. And they aren’t cheap here, ’cause in most cases they are calculated by the age of the owner (the the younger – the more expensive), and engine displeacement (not actual power, fuel type, etc. – so insurencing a old, big, 2,8 diesel with ~90HP is several times more expensive then insureancing a hot-hatch with 1.0 turbo engine with 150HP).

  14. Toyotageek says:

    YAY! I won something! Dōmo arigatō!

    • f31roger says:


      It was a great comment. I feel that those experiences shared with friends/family always make a trip better.

      I always tell people my trips to Japan wouldn’t be as cool if it wasn’t for my friends there.

  15. Rick Moore says:

    Both of my first cars in high school…1974 Mazda RX2 and 1972 Celica GT. Loved both of them but was to young and immature to see the future of both.

    I have a 2005 Scion xB with 181k miles (all but the first 35 are mine) that I am holding on to, though. I think it’s a future classic. Great little car.

  16. Keith says:

    My hand me down 260z with Dad’s L24 in it. Chassis was irreparable. My EP3 civic Si. not the nicest or the fastest but I miss that car,

  17. Ian N says:

    My sweet little Honda Z 360. An early air-cooled, it revved through the gears with a marvellous growl and went just about everywhere. Preferred it to the water-cooled “Hardtop” Z, which always seemed to be breaking down, accelerated slower (or seemed to, as it didn’t have that lovely little growl) and just didn’t feel as sporty (BTW, did you know the panels will not swap over between each of those variants?). Haven’t seen either version on the roads here for years.

    But the biggest disappointment was when my Brother sold his Datsun 240Z. Sad day. At least his son has a 260Z 2+2 project car waiting in the wings for a full resto, so all is not lost!

  18. Bryan Kitsune says:

    Pretty much all my 80’s & 90s Toyotas. But most of all my ’88 st165. I flew from Ohio to Kansas City to purchase in 2003. It was rust free. I put in an st185 RC intercooler and a few other small touches. I sold it for only around $4k about 15 years ago. I saw it a few years later, someone had painted it flat black and blown the engine (or maybe just the head gasket, memory is fuzzy.) Judging from the “care” it was receiving it probably wound up in a junkyard. Ugh.

    • Bryan Kitsune says:

      The worst part is (and this is embarrassing to admit), I basically sold it because of an ex-girlfriend and thinking I needed to display to her that I was growing up & ready to be responsible. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

  19. kikiichiban says:

    I’ve had quite a few Japanese and JDM cars and in almost every case, regret selling them. Often because of the ‘it would be worth XYZ now’ conversations but one sticks in my mind.
    My 1992 FD3S Type R RX-7 that was previously owned and built by ODULA in Japan as a demo car. Sadly the person I sold it to (in my opinion) ruined it by taking all the genuine parts off it and planned to build a fake re-amemiya / feed car like everyone was doing then. He never finished it and the car was left abandoned. No idea where it is now but that was definitely the one that got away from me.

  20. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    I regret selling my Gen I Scion Xb. It was a fantastic car for a Daily Driver. I drove it off the dealer lot with all the TRD bits. Pulled more G’s than I probably should have. Fun & crazy utilitarian. At the time, I was caring for my late mother with Parkinson’s & her wheelchair would fit in the back without even collapsing it. The lowered suspension made it easy for her to get in & out. I sold it for sentimental reasons. Big mistake. I subsequently bought a Gen II Xb which was a major fail. The motor didn’t make it to 100K due to a design issue.

  21. Ellis says:

    The best car I ever owned, which also happened to be the first car I ever owned. A third generation 1987 JDM SI Civic on Mugen CF-48 wheels. Not the coolest car in the school parking lot circa 2002. But a whole heap of fun to drive. It revved hard. It handled superbly. I’ve owned a lot more expensive and certainly a lot faster cars since then but I don’t think anything has put a smile on my face quite as big as what that little Civic could.

    It also led to some great friendships, many of which continue to today. It took us on some fantastic road trips and made so many amazing memories.

    Sadly it was stolen in my final year of school and although it was eventually recovered it was a write off. Cars came and went after that but every now and again the thought of that Civic will cross my mind and put a huge smile on my face for the rest of the day.

    I haven’t looked at what third gen Civics are going for lately, and I don’t even want to know how much a set of CF-48s fetch. But it was never about the money. It was about what a fantastic car it was. Could I build one now? Probably. But it wouldn’t be my first Civic. It wouldn’t be the car that made all those memories. And sadly that’s the only place it exists now.

  22. Antonio Sanchez says:

    There are a Handful of Cars I am on the edge of regret. 1990 Mazda Miata I picked up at My first Dealership I had been at for my 4yr anniversary. Bought for $500+TTL and 103k miles in 2014 and sold in 2016 for 3k. 2006 Mazda RX8 I finance from my Mazda Dealer I worked for after in 2016 for 8k with 64k miles and sold in 2020 at 100k for 3k (bleh rx8 depreciation).

    The one that hurts the most is the 1990 Mazda 929s I got in 2015 with 210k miles for $250. That car was the most Random find and it needed my love. It was parked under a tree in downtown Austin, Tx (east side) for almost 10yrs before I bought it. Trailered it home with high hopes of getting it back to its glory and maybe even put some rx7 rear end goodies for some fun driving. Got it to my Mazda Dealer shop, put a battery in it and found the Auto Trans to be shot, V/Cs leaking, Heads starting to leak oil and Power Steering leaking like a siv. Searched for a year to put a Manual in it but alas I had to settle for a low miles Auto. Once it was running it seemed really happy. The DOHC V6 had so much torque and the used but newer tires I slapped on to make it safe couldn’t hold traction if I snapped throttle while cruising just in 2nd gear. Eventually the car got hit a lot while parked at work and the Driver’s side mirror was lost and eventually the Head Gaskets gave out before I was able to have time, money or space for it next to my FC and NA Miata at the same time. I sold it off for what I bought it for $250 :[

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