QotW: What JNC is not being preserved, but should be?

Today is 626 Day, an occasion to commemorate a car that’s been largely forgotten though they were once everywhere. The Mazda sedan didn’t sell as well as rivals from Toyota and Honda, but it’s an interesting car nonetheless. It served as the bread-and-butter staple of the Mazda lineup for years, spawned sports versions like the MX-6, and even predates the Camry. First-generation models were rear-wheel-drive as well.

But as far as we know, Mazda does not own a 626 in either at its Hiroshima museum or its US headquarters. The European museum has a later front-drive 626, but we’re not sure if a rear-drive model exists. It’s not really the kind of car one would seek out and restore, either, unless you were some kind of Mazdafarian nut and already had all the rotary cars you could warehouse. History is littered with cars like this.

What JNC is not being preserved, but should be?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Do friends and family actually take your car advice?”.

Some of our dear readers clearly have more receptive friends than others. JJ, for example, was successful in converting his dad from a life long GM customer into a proud Nissan owner. streetspirit has swayed many to the charms of the Miata. And Fred Langille, offered some good general advice for anyone gleaned from his years working at a dealer.

On the other hand, we feel Alan‘s pain seeing family members continue to buy crap cars (especially when we then have to drive them around). Land Ark‘s similar tale would almost be comical if it weren’t so frustrating. Ben E has never successfully had anyone follow his one piece of admittedly very specific advice.

The roots of these problems were summed up fantastically by this week’s winner, Michael K.:

No. Friends, family and coworkers come to me all the time as their resident ‘car expert.’ I’m really not… I know how to turn a few wrenches and I can ID makes and models without reading the badges and I guess in their eyes that makes me an expert. What I do know is that only around 1/10 people actually listen to your advice.

Here’s some advice for the advice givers. Most people just want you to confirm what they’ve already chosen. Tell them they were so smart for figuring that out on their own. When you don’t, they get pissed and then usually go do what they were planning to anyway. That’s how they end up with a string of terrible cars. Numb SUVs or crappy luxury brands that will cost 1000s to fix after five years. Then they complain about the problems their cars have and ask me again. Rinse and repeat.

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 JNC is not being preserved, but should be?

  1. streetspirit says:

    the 7th and 8th gen Lantis/Astina/323F deserve better than they got.
    back in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s i saw so many of them, all with questionable stereo installs, lack of maintenance, big ‘universal wings’ and tribal stickers.
    for a little while they were the ballin on a budget cars for Dutch JDM enhousiasts along with the 100NX, too bad that budget did not account for maintenance.

  2. Fashion Victim says:

    The Mitsubishi Lancer Fiore II sedan from 1984 to 1988. It seems they are practically extinct in Japan, since it was nothing really special. Heck no one from the US even imports them.

  3. Fred Langille says:

    When I was stationed in Germany as a young 2LT, Ihad a Datsun 310 GX Coupe. Decking it out with a sunroof, Bose stereo system and sport slats on the rear window, it was a neat car in it’s silver over red. The red interior was sharp with the seats having silver pinstripes. Being a 5-speed, it was a decent car going around to both work and touring Germany. Where are these today … my classmate had a Datsun B-210 in yellow that he drove into the ground (I bought mine in Germany, he got his stateside). Where are these cars now?

  4. Alan says:

    I’m a bit early, but 7th gen Celicas.

    • Lee L says:

      I agree with this. So many have been bought and riced out, smashed up, or blown up. Rarely ever seen clean 7th gens anymore, at least where I live.

  5. Lee says:

    I’m gonna say the XV10/XV20 Camry and the E110 Corolla. Those things were everywhere and kept around for such a long time that you probably pass 30 of them on your commutes today. Across my extended family, there were 3 Corollas and 5 Camrys, all bought brand new and driven until it was too cost prohibitive to keep them running and passing California smog. It’d be kinda cool to see someone do a full restoration of either of these models and see if they can get another 25 years out of it.

  6. Jim Klein says:

    Hey, that was my first car, a first year 626 Coupe which is actually a hardtop without a pillar between the front and rear side windows and both went down. The 2.0 liter wasn’t really a revver but I made the most of those 80hp with 5 speeds, top speed is a self-measured 106mph. The one pictured is a facelifted ’81 and a non-US market one with the flush lights.
    Lots of good memories, even if it wasn’t the most trouble free car – Head gasket every 60k miles, a transmission issue, it ate brakes, etc but at least it was dead simple to work on and the local dealer usually had the necessary parts in stock.
    What it would do though is let the tail step out hugely with any hint of water on the ground, junior rally drive wanna-be Jimmy here had it wagging all over the place as much as possible.
    Good times. Heck, I nominate this for preservation, I haven’t seen one in years (decades?)

  7. Trey S. says:

    IDK is there a Honda Accord ‘day’ if there’s one for the/this 626; there certainly oughta or must be kid’s¡!

  8. speedie says:

    With the exception of the RX-7, and maybe the 323 GTX/GTR, anything made by Mazda in the 80s/early 90s. This includes: GLC/323, MX-3, MX-6, 626, 929, Millenia, and B-Series pickup. All of these are great vehicles that deserve preserving. Unfortunately Mazda has always been considered the “other” Japanese brand well behind Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. Perhaps their fault is they are great all around cars that just don’t stand out enough in styling (debatable) or performance (again debatable) from their peers. This is a shame because they are extremely well engineered and fun to drive cars.

  9. daniel says:

    to preserve a contender (at the time) for a large part of sales in the United States, which came to the rescue of emissions and started a new vision of what a pickup can be… in my view, the one that is ignored is the ISUZU Pickup from the early 90’s having been designed in the brand’s design center, produced the RODEO and PASSPORT version for Honda and then engulfed by GM in the next generation. I think the Nissan Hardbody is valued more and obviously the Toyota Hilux of a similar generation without very clear attributes that give them an advantage. I even have the impression that they were ignored by the mini truck fever at the time.

  10. Jonathan P. says:

    Late to the party, but my vote is for the first gen Toyota Previa. Mid-engined with a supercharger option? I’d say it’s worth preserving.

  11. Sherman Yee says:

    I own a 1982 – 626 in light blue with all power options, 5 speed transmission, factory cassette deck and even headlight spray washers. The body work is all restored, I just have to finish the interior. The vehicle is based in Vancouver, Canada and receives many comments of what is it or my grandparents used to own one.

    I had two running parts cars and gave them away for next to nothing. I have too many cars and considering to sell this 626. If the Hiroshima museum or its US headquarters is serious of wanting one, I would donate so this 626 has a long life. Reach out if they are serious.

    Of the RX7’s, 323 GTX, BMW, and pick up trucks, the 626 drives like a dream and simplicity.

    As for What JNC is not being preserved, but should be, my pick is the 1984 – 1989 Toyota Van. Rear wheel drive, sit on top of the engine, and the reliable 2.2L. I am on the hunt for one!

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