QotW: What JNC tuning trend needs to stop now?


We’re headed to the SEMA show this week, and you know what that means. Insane amounts of customized cars, the latest auto fashions, and thousands of people shaking their heads muttering “money does not equal taste.”

What JNC tuning trend needs to stop now?

Oh, the sins committed to classic cars are legion. SBC swaps, too-large wheels, fender-bashing stance, overly sparkled paint, engines with more than three different colors of anodized accessories, the list goes on and on. We actually don’t hate the USDM Jam 510 pictured above, but only because there’s actually a pretty clean classic underneath its mostly reversible transgressions.

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Which non-sports, non-luxe JNC is destined to be a classic?” 


Though some though-provoking comments were made, such as Paul Brown‘s ode to the Toyota Tercel Wagon, or JHMAB2‘s paean to the Toyota Van, the victor this week is Hashiriya86 for the case he made for the C22 Nissan Van. We agree, there’s no chance of this playing out, but it’d sure be hilarious if it did:

This probably won’t actually play out like this, but I’d like to dream.

C22 Nissan Van with the 2.4L engine. Two factors come in to play here. The first being its sheer rarity. The vast majority of these things were recalled and crushed by Nissan after they kept catching fire. Those that were remaining probably didn’t get the care and attention needed to keep them from becoming heaps of rust.

But just because something is rare, doesn’t mean it’s any good. This is where Takara/Tomy/Hasbro comes into the scene. The Cherry Vanette was the mold used for the G1 Ironhide and Ratchet transformers. As a kid, I would have been over the roof if my family had the actual Ironhide van (of which I did have the toy).

Besides, the fire issue makes it have something in common with the modern self-immolating supercars from Ferrari.

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

JNC Decal smash

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67 Responses to QotW: What JNC tuning trend needs to stop now?

  1. msh says:

    Too large wheels just don’t belong on jnc cars

  2. cesariojpn says:

    Turning “pristine” original cars into modified whores period. There are still tons of clapped out hulks and base model clunkers out there to cut up and modify, why go and cut into rare virgin metal? The hakosuka done by Vildini Motorsports & the 240Z from Peter Brock seen in 2014 JCCS Part 1 is prime examples of cars that should’ve been kept original, but have been irreversibly altered forever. It’s original once, so why strip history like that?

  3. Alvin says:


    It does nothing for the actual performance of the cars and it makes them rolling time bombs until the tires slip off the wheels. The wheels don’t fit. Period.

    It’s dangerous to you and everyone else around you.

  4. mister k says:

    sticker bomb

  5. Sideglide says:

    Stickers. I’m not talking about the class of ’76 or JNC Inkans, I’m talking about the massive banner windshields and wiper blade area “Hide your daughters”, “Old Skool 4Life”, “Drift Jambros” and just plane plastering of stickers. They make a statement of “D-bag coming”.

    Classic J-tin has some elegant styling (thanks to relaxed safety standards) and the attention to this is destroyed because someone wants to make sure they have a shocker sticker on the lower rocker panel. Forget about the bumpers and hoods COVERED in crappy stickers. Some of that has even jumped across the waters and Japan-kids are doing it. Stop. Just stop. Keep the lines classic. There’s no need to make a beautiful piece of design your personal billboard.

    Stickers are like that awful tattoo on your body you got in college on a dare to impress the exchange student who turned out to prefer the female form over your man bits. Luckily, removal is a lot easier than 12 trips to the laser lab and $3000. Start the treatment today before your next of kin have to start unfriending you on social media.

    Long live clean and simple.

    • VincenzoL says:

      ^ I don’t know you, but based off that comment I want to be your friend. Lol

    • Serg says:

      Agree 100% – the worst is when it’s not a club or name but an actual brand.

      Why would you pay to advertise someone’s merch? Like this fatlace stuff – I love the cars but what the #$% do sneakers and hoodies have to do with cars?

      I once saw a stock AE92 corolla with a massive banner on the rear window that read “BIG WHITE STICKER” – legend.

  6. Phoebegoesvroom says:

    Stretched tires, huge rims, hellaflush, ridiculous camber, slammed, stickerbomb, modern-style wheels on vintage cars.

    • Steve says:

      All this and please add “rat rodding”… ugh.

      • AKADriver says:

        Yeah, of all things the “rat” attitude bothers me the most.

        Have a difference of style opinion, that’s one thing. Not everyone wants everything to look the same, fine.

        But the attitude that an irreplaceable old car is ripe to be neglected, smashed, rusted on purpose, that is just heresy to me. But where I come from these cars are so ultra-rare that it’d be like smashing Stradivarius violins for fun.

    • JDM only says:

      no stretched tires, no slammed…. bro u obviously not a jdm disciple…. i speak for most JDM lovers…. stretched and slammed is Japanese!!!

  7. Nigel says:

    The answer is fairly simply here, stop wasting fuel mileage with bike racks.
    That are on the car year round.

    • alvin says:

      OMG!!! winner. winnner. winner. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
      Love it. Cue, the “Hey man I actually use my bike rack!” comments

    • Serg says:

      Hey man, I would use bike racks but my NX has no roof sills….

      Fortunately the seats fold down and the bike fits in the back – it’s the budget nissan version of the motocompo!

      And before you ask, no my dignity does not fit in the boot as well, but being able to drop the car at a workshop and ride off into the sunset has it’s advantages.

  8. alvin says:

    Late model engine swaps. I mean, doesn’t that just like totally ruin the whole idea of owning a JNC vehicle???!!!

    • Yuri says:

      I used to think this too, but after having my S30 sit in my apt building’s parking structure for months because a rare 1.5 year only fuel injection relay keeps being put on back order by the manufacturer, a modern drivetrain is sounding better and better.
      Not being able to drive a JNC defeats the point of having one more than driving one with the wrong engine.

    • Coltspeed says:

      Wait a minute this can’t be the same Alvin who drives an SR powered Roadster?

  9. mideng says:

    any stickers at all or bompl….I second….jdm this and that…your dont have RHD and your will never will LOL

  10. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    Any tire less than 60 series. Any wheel width over 8 inches. Anything #%$@*! anodized. Yes those tow thingies (They’re for the disabled).

    • jonson says:

      Come now don’t be a sissy

      • Negishi no Keibajo says:

        …well OK. I haven’t joined the ranks of those who blew up their engines in spectacular style. Seriously, I actually like lower profiles. It’ just doesn’t look right on vintage tin I think. Having grown up in that era (60’s & 70’s), if I saw a 40 series tire, I would offer the guy a lift to fix a flat.

        Disclosure: I ripped out the oil pan on my lowered BMW 3… in a gas station decades ago. :-O

  11. KB says:

    rich kids building a classic just because it’s the “in” thing and they want the car to be featured…. but really hates the look of the car….

  12. Ryan says:

    Australian “sex spec” cars,
    Rotarys with simmons, leather interiors of ridiculous colours, massive 17X10″ wheels they it look like a 4X4.

    Also NZ cars with Modgies and eagers..and RX DX corollas.

    Cammo interiors.

    Ok, Im done.

  13. pstar says:

    Anything that can possibly be evoked by the phrase “tuning trend”. For one, “tuning” means the exact same thing as “ricing out”, only to some people I guess its supposed to sound more impressive or credible. (Its not) And idiotic trends, the bane of the true car enthusiast (as compared to shoe and baseball hat enthusiasts looking for another accessory for their sad “lifestyle”). Put the 2 together and there’s really isn’t any way for it to end well.

    A synonymous phrase would be “ricer fad”.

  14. JDMSeikoNeko says:

    Definitely overpowered drag machines, I mean the way people customize these things is just too outrageous and just defeats the whole purpose of the car. Seriously, have you seen that 1st gen. RX-7 shown on the 1320 YT Channel? It’s just too much. Also going back to over powered drag mods defeating the purpose…Most of these drag cars are cars that were meant for cornering and hooning, not getting a 7-second 1/4 mile time…I don’t know about anybody else but to me, it’s just too much.

  15. I am going to say any modification that doesn’t compliment the body. Sticker bombs and bike racks on 510s, rat rodding cars that areally in good condition (not a real rat rod mind you, rat rods compliment the natural patina of the car), stance with WAY too much camber and tsukiwaras on everything.

    I won’t lie I am much more accepting of modern trends. I feel like there is acceptable stance but it has to be functional. I feel like there are good rat rod projects but Minnesota is part of the hub of actual American rat rods so I understand the culture more than most here. And tsukiwaras belong on shakotan kuruma, not your 91 celica with xxr wheels and enough money invested in stickers you could afford bc racing coilovers.

  16. Troggie42 says:

    I’m going with Rocket Bunny and Liberty Walk stuff. I haven’t seen a lot of it on JNC stuff yet, but it will happen sooner or later. RB and LW are the 2014 edition of the old riced out body kits from the early 2000s, in my opinion. Z flares? A-OK, that’s period correct. Liberty Walk urethane angular craziness? No. Just no. It is VERY rare for me to hate on any tuning or customization style, but this one… Not my bag.

    • Serg says:

      Yep – I feel that. I mean I can appreciate the craftsmanship, but it is irksome how the same people who yak at the thought of widebody and neons on a civic drool over the exact same thing ten years later…

  17. Michael torres says:

    Boso pipes , yellow highbeam lights on 510 any sort of sticker that has jdm .cursive windshield banners that are applied above the windshield wipers, japanese team/crew stickers (the rectangle ones) that dont come from japan . Mounting stickers at an angle or in a row, flat paint, white wheels or any sort of neon colored wheels, modern wheels on a old car , any rim diameter bigger than 16in. Demon camber . Slammed cars, using the word vintage to describe a classic japanese car . Taiwan made colored woodgrain steeringwheel , painting your u.s.a plates to resemble the japanes temporary paltes , bending youre license plate upward. Gt style mufflers (fart cans) . Extra long exhaust pipes . Aftermarket steel wheels . Any thing Neo colored (burn titanium style). Yellow tinted headlights. Sleepy eye headlight mod. Smoked tail ligts. Duck tape or electric tape in a cross pattern on one or both headlights . Roof racks . Xxr wheels or any sort of knock off wheels. Stretched tyres . Option2 sticker mounted above the exhaust side of the rear bumper. Any sort of ratfink items on a japanese classic .

    • Serg says:


      I think you just listed every trend post 2010….

    • Well there’s my Subaru GL-10 in a paragraph lol but here is a break down of my defense:

      The 15×7 diamond racing steel wheels come from a lack of 4×140 lug pattern wheels in any modern size, which make finding a performance tire for a 13×5.5 impossible.

      Neochrome Hella Horns, Neochrome I have no defense for but the hella horns are because the OEM horns were so quiet and corroded that the mechanical fan would be louder than them when I had the AC on.

      “Slammed” KYB struts and stiffer lowering springs with Miata rear struts with groud control coilovers. The stock suspension resulted in the same body roll from a mid 90s buick, this suspension gives me about an inch of gap between the tire and wheel arch. Given that I autocross the car on occasion and do spirited driving on my weekend drives through country side roads this is purposeful.

      Bike Rack with Basket, use it to carry various items when going to a track day or camping without ruining my interior.

      Porter muffler with “Blast pipes” Not a fart can but often considered tasteless, I needed a small muffler that wouldn’t hang too low. The “blast pipes” or rather a 3 foot straight section of 2.5″ pipe coming from before the axle up to close to bumper height in a straight line. the anemic EA82 turbo engine that makes 111hp is marginally more fun to drive and sounds much MUCH better.

      Multiple stickers in back window. Okay I’ll give you that one, it can be considered tasteless. I am sorry for my:
      -made in the 80s sticker
      -JNC Red Inkan
      – Okinawa condom corp JNC logo
      -Equality “=” sticker
      -Wagon Mafia sticker
      -F#ck your prius sticker

    • Yoda says:

      Make that yellow headlights on any car at all that’s not pre-1992 and French (USDM Renault Alliance/Encores don’t count).

  18. Materia-world says:

    It HAS to be Oni Camber! 🙁

  19. Mr.Northcove says:

    What trend needs to stop now? Purism. What a JNC can be needs to be challenged or the car culture will stagnate and die. No,I’m not saying that you have to subjectively l like everything,just keep an open mind so that the culture for old japanese cars can grow and flourish.

  20. Justdrumin says:

    Phallic Shift Knobs.

  21. Serg says:

    I think Mr. Northcove has a point.

    We’ve always had a history of banding together to ridicule the styles we dislike, it’s not so much tall poppy syndrome as it is the clubhouse mentality; you can’t join in because if you did there’d be nobody left outside the circle, thus invalidating it’s exclusivity. And really that’s not what tuning culture set out to be, it was about creating your identity by demonstrating style and character in your ride; yes there’d be a lot of common styling cues, but as long as there was something unique about your design, something individual, you were part of that culture. Nobody has a car that’s 100% original concept; not for the last 100 years at least. Even kit cars beg, borrow and steal from the cars their designer idolised as a kid.

    That’s why I’ve never been huge on clubs or shows or “scenes” – I don’t find satisfaction in popularity. I don’t enjoy the approval of others because I didn’t buy the cars I own because they like them; I bought them because I like them – looking at them, working on them, learning about them, sometimes even driving them 😉 That was part of the allure of JNCs over other marques – they weren’t something many people around me liked or understood, much like myself LOL. By owning a JNC you’re unique without ever having to change a thing; anything you want to do should from that point come down to aesthetics.

    So while I concede that the chromed/slammed/hellaflush/hipsterisms that grace the pages of speedhunters are most definitely not my taste, as long as they are they way they are because somebody said “who cares, I like it so I’m gonna do it.” they have as much place at the table as the life size Ironhide. Because let’s face it, we’re here because we’re wide eyed little kids, engineering aficionados, art connoisseurs – drivers. I don’t want us to stop being drivers and become little more than curators. Nostalgia is why the wide eyed little kid is still alive within the driver today; the two people will coexist simultaneously as long as that car gives both of them reason to smile – and there exists my philosophy; do what you love for the reason you fell in love with it.

    • Serg says:

      The giant stickers however….I’m not saying don’t do it, just don’t expect me to give you a thumbs up at the lights….

    • JHMAB2 says:

      I agree with this 100%. I honestly hate the current trends these days, they’re overplayed and I feel like everyone’s cars look like clones of each other. I mean how on Earth can you get a little scooter (Honda Ruckus) to look like your unoriginal Civic? Slammed, stretched wheels, obnoxious colours, chrome, and loud.

      A the same time, isn’t that what we’re all about? Just doing your thing? Whatever that may be? Why judge other people’s tastes?

      In defense of stickers, me of all people who hated stickers on cars more than anything for as long as I can remember, has grown to like them, but only on certain cars with a certain style. For some reason I like the stickers that came with my RT4WD Civic, a giant Mario right in the middle of the rear window, a “Boo” on the passenger front fender. Why? I honestly don’t know. It kind of has that character and personality and I like it. That doesn’t mean you’ll start seeing stickers gracing my Preludes though!

    • Mr.Northcove says:

      Very eloquent,Serg! (y)

  22. Chris says:

    Intentional incorrect badges on a car. Is your car really a GT-R? No? Then take off the GT-R badge. Look. Your car doesn’t have to be the highest variant. It can still look amazing without pretending to be something it’s not. To me it seems as ridiculous as me hanging a sign on my wife that says super model. Nobody is going to mistake her for being a super model (GT-R), so the sign (badge) looks stupid. Take the sign (badge) away and she is still beautiful and others will agree that she is attractive, but that the girl a few rows down is a real “GT-R”.

    I’m really hoping my wife doesn’t read this website.

    • jivecom says:

      What about badging your car sideways instead of up? By that, I mean, instead of badging your car with a trim level that is high above what it actually is, you’re badging it with a name it has someplace else.
      For example, I bought Hilux badges for my ’84 Toyota Pickup because it’s called a Hilux everywhere except where I live. I think “Pickup” is only slightly less imaginative than “Van” for a name, and so I changed it (Also Pickups don’t have name badges at all, and simply say “4×4” where a Hilux would say “Hilux”). But it’s not really a lie, because the only difference between an ’84 Hilux and an ’84 Pickup is the name and maybe the location of the steering wheel. I’m not posing it as something it isn’t, and people outside the enthusiast circle won’t know the difference anyway. I now have exactly the truck I want, and everyone is a winner

      You’re more than welcome to make fun of me if I ever stick an SR-5 badge on it though. More than willing to admit that it’s just a base 4×4

      • John Roper says:

        I think this is more than kosher. Nothing wrong with putting Bluebird badges on your 510. Just don’t put SSS badges on it. 🙂

      • JHMAB2 says:

        I think you’re I’m the green with a hilux badge, I wanted to get a hilux surf decal for my 4Runnner. (Still kinda do) I’d get a Civic Shuttle Beagle sticker for my RT4WD! I don’t think it’s making it something it’s not as the original poster stated. That whole story about your wife was hilarious by the way, and your last sentence was exactly what I was wondering. Haha

  23. juppe says:

    There are modifications which are just unpleasant to look at, while others are actually really painful. I don’t care for the wheels, stickerbombs or any bolt on stuff. Stickers can be peeled off, and engines can be replaced if necessary. For me, a modification goes too far if original non-rusted metal needs to be cut. E.g. hacked up transmission tunnels and cut out firewalls. And yes, also cutting up perfect wheel arches to fit wide wheels and fender flares fall in that category. It’s just too painful..

  24. Kylezone says:

    the thing about most of these trends is that they can be reversed. Bad wheels can be changed, roof racks can be removed, stickers peeled, etc. What i
    I’m getting REEELY sick of is seeing people get really excited about “Patina”. Don’t get me wrong, real patina is a great thing! a few paint chips behind the wheels from spirited driving, a worn down wood steering wheel, fantastic! but RUST IS NOT PATINA!! it kills me every time i see a good car slammed with money obviously going int wheels, but with rust holes in the fenders. Take care of you’re cars people!! if you cant afford paint, even primer is better than something that’s literally eating your car alive!!

    • JHMAB2 says:

      Yeah, I don’t get it either. Last owner of my wagon decided the strip the hood and let it rust, decided he didn’t like it and just primered the hood red. Pisses me off, completely ruins the front end.

  25. daniel g says:

    you know what there is all this hate going around on all these different taste and style of what i call a life style and to be truthful i feel no style should end as it what makes this age grow and to other wise if there were nobody doing anything different what would make the age of classic jdm or any age apply to the new youth witch would evidently lead to the end of the car bread. i believe that why we are all here for the common love in cars. and i know this does not answer your question jnc but we should not divide. i was told when i was young that every one has put some kind of love in there car and it was fueled by the similar passion that you have so every style should be respected and not frowned apon. i live by that now so have a great day jnc and all my brother car lover were a rarity imbraise each other

  26. Chase says:

    My choice would be to end the plasti-dip trend. Nothing can radically change the appearance of a car faster than plasti-dipping the whole thing in a horrible shade of florescent orange or pink. And that’s why I can’t stand it. People think when they paint the emblems and hubcaps on their parent’s accord with the stuff it’s automatically a show stopping ride, and justifies bringing it to an event like Cars and Coffee.

    It’s ridiculous how many 100% stock econo boxes can be seen there with the horrible dip on a few things. Not only are they taking up space in the show, but the cars people actually build and work hard on get pushed out of the show and into the spectator lot. At that point it’s not worth waking up at 5:00am to make it to C&C.

  27. Maxx says:

    i am a huge old school toyota fan. if there is one thing that makes me feel sick to my stomach is when i see a Honda F20c in a AE86 or even worst… a TA22.
    toyota used to make pretty reliable and tuneable engines for their cars, i can understand the F20c has a lot of power for the bla bla bla VTEC magic crap more bla bla bla. seriously get a 3S-ge(or GTE) and stick with the toyota brand. i can respect hondas for what they are but toyota cars are too awesome to have Vtec unicorn magic engine out of a mystikal s2000.

  28. Loquendo says:

    What needs to start up as a trend is 13×8 wheels with 225/60/13 radial t/a’s. I would like to see some tires in size 13!!!!

  29. mikeyee says:

    prissy attitudes towards newcomers. and bully-like attitudes towards folks that are doing things “differently”, rather than letting them enjoy their cars.

  30. Jim-Bob says:

    Anything that is not clean, minimalist and functional needs to die. No over lowering, no stickers, no wheels that cannot fit within a stock wheel arch (or maybe a small tasteful flare where appropriate), and nothing that makes the car damn near impossible to drive on an every day basis. I have no issue with modern engine swaps in old cars, so long as the shell is not butchered to make it fit.

    If a car is rusted and incomplete to begin with, then I have less of an issue with cutting it up then I do with a pristine original. There are only a limited number of these old cars left and once they’re gone, they’re gone for good. Make your Frankenstein creation out of one of the junky ones and leave the nice originals for posterity.

  31. atx says:

    I’m gonna go a week late and suggest drifting. People that take the cheapest rwd japanese car they can find and wreck them and buy new ones every few months are rapidly dwindling our supply.

  32. Ah Wai says:

    i do respect everyone have their own taste but honestly to say that i dont recommend “Chrome” sport rims on JDM Cars,especially the toyota supra fast n furious 1,the orange supra come with Dazz/Racing Hart M5 Tuners rims and Bunch of Sticker that never suit the colour.

    The whatsoever call “pimp my ride” those style Really Not Suit For JDM Cars,which too fancy and chrome for me.We would like to keep it simple.Just make some example like us having a datsun should choosing the right rims like around 70s,one of the best style rims that suit for those cars is original black rims from nissan skyline GTR kpgc110.

    Just imagine this black rims not only suite the white,silver and red color depend what datsun cars we own but also looks simple and clear,if i not wrong those rims also come with reasonable price and easy to find ,depend what yours budget and what brand and quality you find.I think this is one of the simple but clean design we can find,just imagine the original nissan GTR KPGc100 ,beautiful design without any modification.

    My Best Supra Modification Pick:Orido Ridox Supra

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