QotW: Which JNC would you choose for surviving the zombie apocalypse?

It’s almost Halloween, a time for celebrating the spooky and ghoulish, and this year feels particularly endtimey. What if there was a different sort of pandemic, one where anyone who caught the virus turned into a brain-gobbling savage? There’d likely be a breakdown of civilization, and humans would be forced to survive on their own by any means necessary. You’d probably need a vehicle of some kind. Now’s probably a good time to decide what you’d drive, what features you’d find most helpful, and what scenarios you might encounter.

Which JNC would you choose for surviving the zombie apocalypse?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the greatest ‘normal’ JNC?

What we learned from last week’s question was that “normal” varied greatly depending on which part of the world you live in. For the US,  My_Fairlady_ZFG made a srong case for the Datsun 510 and Long Beach Mike did likewise for the Honda Accord. Both started out as economical family haulers but turned into tuner favorites.

If you lived in Japan, you had good reason to go with MikeRL411‘s choice of a Datsun 411 or Negishi no Keibajo‘s pick of an Isuzu Elf. Meanwhile, other parts of Asia voted for Angelo‘s Isuzu Gemini diesel, Dhana Putera‘s Mazda Astina, while in Latin countries it might have been Daniel‘s Isuzu Faster/Chevy LUV.

However, our favorite answer came from Ridgeway Burns, who painted a vivid picture of the plain old Toyota Pickup:

The greatest normal JNC has to be 88-97 Toyota Pickup. It’s so normal it didn’t need a model name.

Ubiquitous in the Socal beach towns I grew up in, the only modification it needed was removing the “T” “O” “T” “A” from the tailgate leaving only “YO”. I’m pretty sure that’s still the best car humor there is. Add a surf/skateboard in the truck bed and there was nothing cooler in my 10 year-old mind.

Age has only improved these pickups- they’re bulletproof and the almost unstyled bodywork is a brilliant counterpoint to today’s hulked-out trucks.

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

JNC Decal smash


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16 Responses to QotW: Which JNC would you choose for surviving the zombie apocalypse?

  1. Lupus says:

    Diesel powered Toyota Hilux. With russian DShK heavy machingun on turntable mounted on it’s cargo bed.

  2. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    Some kinda’ over the top Dekotora Hino Ranger but in flat black.

  3. Tj says:

    I might be playing a little fast and loose with the rules here but my pick would be a Yamaha TW200.
    They’re dumb as a rock, can be fixed with the aforementioned rock and some twine and will likely run on anything flammable and thin enough to flow through a carburettor.
    It will slowly trundle its way over any and all terrain, which will be handy since all the highways are going to be clogged with long abandoned cars.
    And if you head into the country you could just about guarantee that every second farm shed that you break into will have another TW200 that you can scavenge parts from (after flushing out all the undead of course)
    You won’t get anywhere in a hurry, but I’m certain even the most clapped out old TW could still out run the walking dead

  4. Ian G. says:

    Give me a Toyota FJ60 or an old school 4Runner. They are off road capable, fairly easy to work on and can haul a lot of gear.
    My current Honda Element is not a JNC yet but would depend on it to survive as it can haul bikes, camping gear and I can park and stow and sleep in it if I have to.

  5. Cesariojpn says:

    If a motorbike isn’t an option, I’d go for a Van.

    Timely enough with this Regular Car Reviews video, a Mitsubishi Delica. Just make sure it has the bullbars, the rack and ladder, 4X4, and a optioned interior.


  6. dankan says:

    The question to answer isn’t which is the most suitable to the role, but which is the most suitable which you can keep running where you live?

    A kei truck, Delica, or Hilux sounds great, but they’re useless to me here in Ottawa since I need something which I can keep running on the parts and stuff I can scrounge around me.

    Bikes sound great in summer, but -40c is not bike weather, so I need an actual car. And I think the ideal option is probably an old Corolla. No, it’s not going to handle the wildest of terrain, it’s not going to mount heavy artillery, and it’s not going to drive through a crowd of zombies. But it doesn’t have to. I will be surviving in the wreckage of a civilization, not the remote wilderness, so I need a car that handles awful roads, but I can easily find parts and tires for, while hauling 3 people and a dog. And that means I need to abuse the 15-year rule up here in Canada and go for an E120. The parts were common across multiple generations, they sold literally millions of them, and I won’t have to work hard to keep it running.

    Assuming I can luck into a solid cache of parts, a Tacoma or 4Runner are even better ideas, but they generally get driven hard with little left behind up here.

  7. BW says:

    A single-jingle EJ/EK Civic. Those things WILL. NOT. DIE.

  8. HotWheelsAndFriedChicken ! says:

    I’d have to go with the 1988 Toyota Hilux king cab with a camper shell. You can fit up to 4 people in it and have all of your possessions stored in the bed, protected by the camper shell. Add on the optional heavy-duty bumper and you’ll be able to plow through the undead with no damage to your vehicle. It’ll also run on just about any flammable liquid.

  9. F31Roger says:

    Being huge into the genre and for the longest time wondering what I would do and have.

    My vote goes to the Toyota Previa. I have a RWD version, but in the Zombie apocalypse, AWD would be the way to go to get into the terrain in some areas.

    My Previa video before all the YT car guys made them in the last 2yrs.

    Total downside to having a previa is 2 things:

    1. Engine – while “bullet proof”, it still needs to be maintained. And that accessibility for a mid engine van is horrible.

    2. The Previa whistle – Supercharged Previas have a distinctive whistle coming from somewhere in the exhaust system.

    Pros –
    – Previa has more power than a Toyota Van.
    – There are still a decent amount of Previas out there, so finding one in my area (Bay area) isn’t an issue if I needed parts.
    – Previas blend in very well, as they don’t attract too much attention.
    – 4 cylinder engine – decent MPG, but not 2020 MPG technology.

    The space inside is great. I set up a 8ft cot in my previa with no issues.
    – back row seats fold up to sides of the van.
    – middle row (mine are capt chairs) can be easily removed.


    Something I don’t tell people much, but I lived in my Previa for 6 months.

    My videos from back then.

    Back in 2015, I just finishing up with SF State and added that debt to my name. Fortunately I was still working. I read a book called Walden on Wheels and was intrigued.

    While I dreamed about it, I never thought I’d happen. Then my sister in law (in Vancouver BC) was finishing up her Pharmacy training and needed my wife to watch her son. Both of my kids were young enough to not be in school. My wife and kids stayed in Vancouver BC for last 6 months in 2015.

    I decided to take that opportunity to live in my previa. While I am no minimalist, during this time I was. Since I still had full time work and school, I didn’t “travel” around like those people on youtube. And while I loved my van, I didn’t want to convert it to a full on tiny house or RV. It was a great experience.

    AWD would be good if you are going through some terrain. I think most people would be fleeing cities and heading towards high terrain, so you’d need a good vehicle to take you.

    With the Previa, you can make it cozy as is and not have added weight as you would with an trailer RV. But cozy depends on how many people are with you right?

  10. Keith says:

    Landcruiser, reinforced glass, snorkel and high capacity roof rack.

  11. F31Roger says:

    To add more to Previas:

    I was focusing on the camping aspects of having a previa vs a survivalist’s machine.

    – In Australia, Taragos are often fitted with bull bars to help with impact of kangaroos and wallabys. I think that would be awesome for protection.

    When I compare it to today’s vans, there is only one sliding door, compared to two (could be good or bad for escape/entry point).

    Mid engine keeps the floor warm, for those cold nights.

    Dual sunroof – 2nd sunroof is big! They also have oem roof rack capabilities. Either a tent or even a hunter’s nest.

    Previa is spacious, take out the seats and it’s just a nice flat floor and so much space. While it isn’t like many of the upper class Mercedes camper vans… you can make the Previa amenities smaller, but they have been done. People have made sinks in Previas.

    As for bathrooms and showers… when zombies have taken over the world, I don’t think having the luxury is needed and gotta be done outside and quickly. lol.

    VS Delica or L300

    Besides the JDM Delica, how often do you see L300s? I’m a van person, so I always look for them… Not only that, where would you get parts.

    While the JDM Delica or even a Hiace would be nice… where would you get parts?

    As I said, Previas are still commonly seen and even if you check row52… there’s always a a few on there.

    Here was a thread a long time ago that I also loved reading.

  12. nlpnt says:

    First generation Matrix/Vibe. It’s on the new side which means parts should still be available in any junkyard or still-functioning auto parts store, but old enough to be relatively simple and analog. It’s basically a Corolla wagon so you get the combination of ruggedness and carrying capacity with good fuel economy.

    Runner-up would be a gen 2 or 3 Honda Fit with the gen 1 just barely not making the cut due to a short run in America making parts a possible issue – keeping any car running will eventually be a challenge, let alone a unicorn.

    • Ben Hsu says:

      It’s always been hilarious to me that in shows like The Walking Dead, they can come across a dusty car years after the outbreak, kill the zombie still gripping the steering wheel, and then start the car with no problems.

      • MikeRL411 says:

        Or like “Planet of the Apes” start a VolksWagen that had been sitting for hundreds of years on the first crank. Must have been some battery !

  13. Ellis says:

    This ones easy. Toyota Mega Cruiser. 16.6 inches of ground clearance. locking diffs. tire inflation/deflation system….it;s basically a Japanese Hummer. Which means it can spend all day every day running down zombies and because it’s a Toyota it will do it day in day out for decades to come!

    And despite it’s huge size it’s got an 18.4 foot turning radius. So it’s….somewhat maneuverable I guess?

    Did I mention it’s a diesel? You could probably drive the width of the country on a single tank (which would definitely come in handy when the local gas station has been overrun by zombies…)

    Either that or a 2000GT. Not because it would be good for surviving the zombie apocalypse but because that’s how badly I want to drive one!

  14. F31roger says:

    Aye!!! Thanks guys!!!


    I have a “zombie apocalypse” enthusiast near me. He has a Honda CRV with Umbrella corp stickers and has all the LED light bars… I don’t know why, but a lot of these guys really want bright lights. He even has a loud exhaust. LOL.

    For me, I need to be subtle, quiet and realistic (in this fantasy scenario).

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