QotW: What’s the best US-built or US-market JNC?

The conventional wisdom says that the best Japanese cars were reserved for the home market, but that’s not always true. We may not have gotten the Skyline GT-Rs and triple-rotor Cosmos, but there were cases where we Yanks got more unique or better versions. From Honda N600s to VG30-powered S12s to 2.8-liter Cressidas, there were plenty of cars a Japanese otaku would want to repatriate. And that’s not to mention the US-built cars that were either imported back to Japan to be sold, or never offered there, like Honda Coupes and Camry wagons. In honor of the 4th of July this week, we ask:

What’s the best US-built or US-market JNC?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW,”What non-car item is essential for your JNC life?

Well, in retrospect the answer was pretty obvious. The one essential item is the smartphone (surprisingly, no one said anything about vise grips), but it was Max who provided the most entertaining spin on the situation, and is thus crowned the winner:

Being a fan of simplicity and pursuing the low tech lifestyle, it can be easy to forget how technology can make things so easy sometimes. The one thing I always like to have is a phone with 100% or close charge.

Navigation, speed camera detection, music, windscreen HUD if you want to go retro futuristic, being able to call for help in the case of a breakdown, searching old car forums on the internet because your too stubborn to call for help in the case of a breakdown, eventually giving up and just getting a tow truck so you don’t have to tell your friends your car broke down again…

All possible with even the cheapest smartphone!

Omedetou! Your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop.

JNC Decal smash

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7 Responses to QotW: What’s the best US-built or US-market JNC?

  1. Banpei says:

    There can be only one answer to that: Lexus LS400!

    Toyota was determined to sell a luxury flagship car abroad to match the luxury, status and quality by Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar. Even though these three cars are European cars, the target market to sell to was the US: leather interior, standard adjustable power seats and standard air conditioning. Back then Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar offered either an inline 6 or a V12 as the engine choice. Toyota aimed higher than that and installed the now legendary 1UZ-FE V8 in the LS400. Apart from that Lexus a high quality service that was exceeding that of the competition. The sales of the LS400 blew away the competition and it proved this was exactly what the US was waiting for…

    And apart from that: Matt Farrah’s million miles Lexus proves that they are almost indestructible! 😉

  2. Troy says:

    It’s got to be the Mitsubishi Eclipse.

    Only the 1st and 2nd gen models were imported from the US to Japan to be sold at select Mitsubishi Car Plaza dealerships. And only with the first gen (1G) could you get the top GSX model (called the GSR-4 in Japan). You also could not get Spyders or a 2G GSX, making them extremely rare in the Land of the Rising Sun.


    • iceman says:

      Correction- 2g chassis Spyders were in fact imported to Japan. Not great numbers (and I cannot recall exactly anymore), just two model years if I recall correctly, and in limited colors. They were all LHD, as were all Eclipses made.

      • Troy says:

        Ahhh got that one past me, so few were impoted, should’ve REALLY got my facts right before posting. Thanks for the correction.

  3. Lee LeTourneau says:

    50th AE Z31. The Japanese Z31 fans long for them and import them back to the homeland,

    Here’s one in Japan with the very rare JDS (Japan Datsun Service) wheels


  4. gregorymazur says:

    1976 Mazda Cosmo, LHD for US. multi link rear suspension with 2 ft long beam trailing
    arms. Roof center front to back frame rail. A,B,C and D pillar 2 door coup. Floating
    caliper discs, Twin section driveshaft, Radio antennae in the glass, wood steeing
    well on and on.

  5. ACSK says:

    B13 Sentra SE-R. I don’t think anywhere aside from the US got a Sentra with the SR20DE. Super lightweight, great drivetrain, and can still hang with some modern entry level sports cars. Mine was built in Tennessee, so it’s both US-built and exclusive to our market (double points?) It has 250K on it, so I’m rebuilding it this summer. Bumping up the compression, and replacing the stock viscous LSD with a mechanical one.

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