QotW: What car must be saved before they’re all gone?

As much as we love Skylines, Zs, RX-7s, Supras, 2000GTs, and so on, perhaps there really isn’t a need to rescue them all, since there are so many well-preserved examples out there already. Or maybe there is, if it’s a particularly rare version. Then there aree the cars that no one ever thinks to save, which we will sorely miss when they’re extinct.

What car must be saved before they’re all gone?

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 best advice for a JNC road trip?

The overwhelming consensus from last week seemed to be what many said: drive your car as much as you can before going on a long trip. It will help work out the kinks and build confidence when you’re in unfamiliar territory. Other words of wisdom included Jeremy‘s advice of turning on the “Avoid Highways” option on your map app and discovering some of the great B-roads. Or Banpei‘s advice to not stop and take pictures of every rusty unicorn you see. However, the winner this week was Martin, who reminds us to visit the places you normally wouldn’t and to meet some fellow JNCers along the way:

Best advice for a rad trip with a JNC would be the same as a road trip with any other car. Do a tune up and make the car happy to be running, ensure that your brakes,wipers, lights, tires and wheel bearings are in good shape. Next make sure you have a spare tire, jack and tools to change it if needed. Bring a set of jumper cables and know how to use them. Don’t forget your cell phone, be sure to bring some cash and coins for tolls and parking. Never underestimate the value of a playlist, a working radio, and the all important aux cable.

But what you really need for a JNC in particular would be time and an open mind. Don’t give yourself a deadline to be anywhere important beyond where your sleeping if its an overnight trip. Realize that the journey is just as important (if not more so) than the destination. Plan a route that allows you to stop and take pictures with backdrops you don’t normally get, to enjoy the road, and eat at places where you can see your car from the table. If you can mange to meet up with others that have JNCs all the better as you can convoy for a bit, play cat n mouse, or getting those elusive rolling shots.

We all keep JNCs so that we can enjoy them and the road trip is one of the many ways we can do so. So have fun, get lost, take the route less traveled, and enjoy the adventure.

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

JNC Decal smash


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15 Responses to QotW: What car must be saved before they’re all gone?

  1. Banpei says:

    If a car is popular enough, like the Skyline R32 or Supra A80, it is bound to be saved. Even the lesser models will still attract attention and people are willing to preserve them for the next generation. It’s the unexceptional that seem to be the endangered species here: the front wheel drive Nissan Sunny B13, the Nissan Maxima PU11, the Toyota Camry V20 or even the Mazda 121 (Autozam Revue).

    Some weeks ago I even found out someone imported the least preferable R30 of them all into my home country: a Nissan Skyline 1800 TI Automatic! After importing the car got a thorough cleanup, refurbished and NOS parts and looks immaculate. It probably would make a great entrance to the Festival of the Unexceptional!

    I had a similar case when I bid a few years ago on a unbelievably clean Toyota Carina SG Jeune AA60 at one of the Japanese auctions. You could consider this to be an unexceptional car, but given the awesome features and branding of the car it’s a true unicorn! Unfortunately due to a bidding error I didn’t win the car, but I would have cherished, pampered and preserved it for future generations.

    I know one person who has a thing for the first generation Hyundai Pony. A few years ago he bought every single one that became available. In the rustier ones he swapped crazy stuff like the H200 turbo diesel engine and Pajero axles (the Pony was based upon Mitsubishi technology) with locking diffs. Crazy stuff and yet he preserved and cherished the good ones for future generations.

    Even the cars that I personally don’t see as valuable or worth to be saved will steal someone else’s heart. That person probably will save it, cherish it and preserve it for future generations and that person could be you!

  2. CH9 SiR says:

    Here in New Zealand we get to see interesting grey imports. While I agree that preserving undesirable versions of popular cars is an interesting idea, it’s the cars that were moderately popular but now completely obscure that interests me. Seeing them disappear from our roads and end up in wrecker yards makes me kinda sad.

    How many people have seen a Mazda Persona? Eunos 500? Efini MS8? Mitsubishi Emeraude? Toyota Exiv, Ceres…The Japanese had a thing for sleek sedans that were mildly innovative in the early 90’s.

    Another category is the weird and wonderful hatchbacks. The March Bolero used to be everywhere and now are all but gone. The tallboy Honda City, Familia Interplay, Charade GTTi, heck, my newly acquired Starlet Canvas Top should belong here too? Guess I’m doing something right…

    Bonus section: sports cars that are very close to becoming JNC’s: Curren, AE101/111, FTO, Lantis, things that are not well known on an international level.

    Nowadays they don’t make those mildly interesting but sleek and handsome cars anymore. The early to mid 90’s was a special time. People had a somewhat reserved but very refined taste and preferred individuality. As a result we got the peak of variety, all sorts of obscure cars from the JDM land, a celebration of the bubble era and a realization that every blessing is not supposed to be permanent.

    • Styles says:

      I was fortunate enough to work at an import yard back in 98-00, and man, did we see some stuff through there. I definitely agree with all of your picks. Guess what I saw just this morning? A tidy P10! When was the last time you saw one of them!

  3. Nakazoto says:

    I’ll throw my hat in the ring.
    The Isuzu Bellel – the first fully in-house designed and built car from Isuzu. The Bellel in japan served mostly as taxi duty, which presents and interesting problem. Japan doesn’t resell vehicles that have been used for public transportation within Japan. Some local Meitetsu Busses around Nagoya from the 70s can be found still in operation in countries like Myanmar, but you’ll never find them in Japan.

    Which means I’m probably answering the wrong question, because I’ve been hunting for an RHD Bellel for sale for about 5 years now with no luck at all, which lends a whole lot of credence to “they’re already all gone”.

  4. MikeRL411 says:

    Save almost any entry level 1960 or 1970 era vehicle. Nostaglia will eventually beat raw horsepower. “My mom took her driver’s test in one of those!”

  5. Han says:

    In my opinion, a car goes extinct when there is no longer a following for them. There is a quote by Banksy, “I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time”. Substitute “stop breathing” with “stop firing” when referring to JNCs. I like to think of it as this, “When the last example of a car dies, it is only truly dead when people stop caring”. If people cared hard enough, any car can be ressurected. Hell, you can practically build first-generation Mustags from the ground up with mail order parts. So, to answer your question: I don’t know, I’ve never heard of it. And, that’s why it must be saved.

    • MS says:

      the best and most sensible thing i have heard all year. yes sir you get my vote!

    • speedie says:

      I was going to offer a response until I read Han’s. You box up the issue perfectly. A neighbor of mine inherited a 1972 4-dour Corolla with only 50K miles about six years ago from his wife’s grandmother. I had not seen one in a very long time and thought now there is a car to save. Unfortunately my neighbor did not see it that way and drove it for three years while the road salt ate it away. Definitely not a car with a following.

  6. cesariojpn says:

    The Toyota AE86. Or hell, any popular “Tuner Car” like the Honda Civic EK, etc.

    Most of the examples i’ve seen of many “popular” tuner cars have been modified to death, are race cars, or “not stock” even thought it’s claimed to be stock (I can tell, so don’t lie to me. Same goes to “reversible mods,” no it’s not). The only ones i’ve seen that are “Stock” are either beaters driven by some “low income” person and is in horrible shape, or rotting in someone backyard, under a pile of bird crap and dead leaves that would take 15 times it’s original MSRP to even get it back to stock state.

    And frankly speaking, you can only modify so much till the available shells out there aren’t worth modding anymore (or there are no more “granny driven” survivors) and people go to the “next big thing” to modify.

  7. Sam says:

    I was wondering the same thing today, as i saw a 2nd generation Mitsubishi Mirage station wagon rolling down the road, which would make a perfect candidate. Same could be said for the Mitsubishi chariot aswell. Nether are the most desirable car in the mitsi fleet,with even RVRs receiving more love. But both were quirky looking cars and it would be a real shame if they all disappeared. For me the 7 seater chariot was a great boozer cruiser for all your mates going to a party.

  8. CobaltFire says:

    his is really two questions, neither with a simple answer.

    The first question is really “What should I save?” For most of us, this means that we will have to focus on one, perhaps two vehicles due to limited time, money, and space. Do you pick a car that you put on your wall as a child? Do you pick the car you lusted after as a teen or young adult? Or do you pick a car that you had many fond memories of being in? Choosing a car because the community pushes you to save something that has no intrinsic meaning to you is a recipe for disaster. We give too much of ourselves to our vehicles to choose that way.

    The second question is “What should we, as a community, save?” This has an easier answer: generally everything that isn’t being saved by the community organically. These are the cars that help put our hero cars into context. A Skyline GT-R is an awesome car, regardless of era, but to really understand how awesome you should be able to drive something else from it’s era back to back.

    This is something I’ve often thought about, and I’m close to a personal answer. I grew up in a Honda family, riding in early Accords and Civics as a child, learning to drive in a 1987 Accord LXi 5 Speed (Black over Purple/Black cloth), my first new car being a 2001 Civic Si, etc. I now have the means to buy a hero car (Integra Type-R is the current front runner) as well as perhaps a couple of context cars from the same maker. A larger, more community driven answer would be perhaps creating a startup that seeks membership (like a golf course) to collect, maintain, and allow members to experience these context cars. Something like a living museum. The logistics are difficult, but not insurmountable. Maybe I’ll give it a go; I need to come up with something for my next career!

  9. Max says:

    The front wheel drive, (usually) manual four cylinder sports cars from the 90’s are receiving little attention from people who would preserve them, and most of the attention from people who would destroy them.

    For example:
    Toyota Celica, Mitsubishi FTO, Honda Prelude, Mazda MX-6, Nissan NX2000.

    All of these cars were designed as well built, stylish and economical commuters, which put a smile on your face when you go hit some back streets for fun, but I’m seeing a lot of these cars become youtube/internet influenced no compromise track monsters and I feel they are losing the soul of what they were. I guess in a way all Japanese coupes are being seen that way, the Japanese legends can be built to be beasts, but before that they were nice, easy to drive cars as well and that seems to be undervalued in car culture.

    I have a bit of a history with the Honda Prelude, and have bought another one as I realised if I did not buy one soon, they will all be gone.

  10. Sebastian says:

    Well known cars have an established following and are safe from extinction. It’s the low-volume special, but largely forgotten cars that need attention. Years ago, I owned a 1989 Honda Accord Aerodeck CA5, which I eventually sold to buy a BA4 Prelude. Ever since then I have tried to find and buy another CA5, but to no avail. They became unobtainium without anyone else noticing. Limited in numbers from the start, these shooting brakes have diminished to a point where it is extremely difficult to find bad one for restoration, let alone a good one to enjoy as a reliable daily in the summer months.

  11. Streetpunk64 says:

    With the scrap prices in the toilet I am taking advantage. My interest is mainly old school F&F builds and not limited to just rice. 70’s -1990’s models and special models from 2000’s.

    Like it or not the cars and parts will not be recreated. I frequent tow yards, recycling centers and junk yards, Driving down some not so safe areas. I have made some fantastic (to me) rescues. My goal is to re home them. Not interested in parting out. I know it isn’t optimal for everyone but do what you can now

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