QotW: What’s the best way to find your dream JNC?

It used to be very simple. If there was a JNC you wanted, you’d search its make and model on Craigslist. Either that, or hop on a forum dedicated to that model if such a thing existed. Nowadays, it can be a daunting task to find your dream car. Do you go on one of the newer sites like Offerup? Relentlessly prowl Facebook? Pay top dollar at one of the auction sites? With more and more people aware that Japanese cars are valuable, it’s a very different car buying landscape than it was a few years ago.

What’s the best way to find your dream JNC?

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 favorite Japanese luxury car?

The nomination of certain cars to answer this question was as reliable as a Lexus 1UZ V8. In fact, Toyotas were chosen more than any other marque. Readers such as Negishi no Keibajo and Speedie claimed the king of deluxe Nihon steel, the Toyota Century. But since those were only sold in Japan, readers like Lupus and Mazdafarian, selected the next best thing, the F10 Toyota Celsior/Lexus LS400. However, in true VIP spirit, Nigel came with an S130 Crown with Junction Produce body kit. cesariojpn went for the only car more exclusive than a Century, the Nissan Prince Royal. Meanwhile, Ellis defined luxury as something a bit more personal and sporting, a JC Eunos Cosmo. For something out of left field, crank_case picked the Ellica.

In the end, the winner had chosen probably the least luxurious car in the bunch. However, it was RX626‘s very personal story about the HE Mazda Sentia that secured him the win:

2nd Gen Mazda Sentia(929)
This car was one of my grandfather’s prized possessions.
At the time, my family’s company was doing well, and my family had always bought Mazdas, so it was inevitable that he would buy this car.

This car was the pride of my family.
After driving a Familia and a Capera, my grandfather finally got his hands on a top-of-the-line Mazda. It was a new car, in the higher trim level, with many dealer options.
The quiet sound of the engine, the majestic body design of a luxury car, the soft and comfortable seats that recline electrically. My previous Mazdas were memorable, but the Sentia was the first luxury car I ever experienced, and the one I spent the most time with in my life.

However, this car is no longer in my home.
My grandfather’s business could not keep up with the changing times, and as he aged, it was closed down.
And Sentia, too, had deteriorated over the years, to the point where it required a lot of money for repairs.
It was no longer possible for our family to maintain this car. I was told that this car was taken back to the Mazda dealership where my grandfather bought this car and it was scrapped.
After he quit his job, his current car is a cheap Kei car that he bought used.

The Sentia was a life achievement for my grandfather, and the last new Mazda he ever bought.
This car has never been highly regarded by auto enthusiasts or critics. But for me, it is one of the most precious memories of my childhood, and it is still the car I long for.

If someday, somewhere, I come across a silver Sentia just like the one I had back then, I am sure I will have it. To bring back the memories.

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

JNC Decal smash

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8 Responses to QotW: What’s the best way to find your dream JNC?

  1. Lee L says:

    The answer to this is obvious!

    So you’re going to need 1 of 5 things-
    A delorean
    a phone box
    a police call box
    a hot tub
    a klingon bird of prey

    You use one of these 5 machines to travel back in time with a wad of cash, purchase your car and a storage unit pre-paid for 20-30 years with your car.

    • Land Ark says:

      Agreed – a time machine is about the only way to do it these days.

      Unless you want something woefully unpopular, you’re going to pay too much.

  2. Speedie says:

    Its too late to find that 80s or 90s dream JNC. But hope is not lost. The sweet spot is the ten to 15 year old market where you can finds lots of decent cars for less than $10K. Do not look to BAT or Cars or Bids, these are where the speculators and those with money hang out. You can find lots of these on Craigslist, Autotrader, Autotempest, etc. I even still look at the listings in the local local paper every now and then. Lets pick 2005 as an example (leaving out the already collectable models like WRXs and S2000s, etc.). Perusing just Craigslist you can find the models listed below for anything from $5K to $10K depending on mileage and condition:

    Acura: TSX, RSX
    Honda: CRV, Fit, Insight, Element
    Infiniti: Q45, G35
    Nissan: Xterra
    Lexus: IS300
    Mitsubishi: Eclipse, Montero
    Mazda: Mazdaspeed3/6, RX-8
    Toyota: Celica, MR2 Spyder, Rav4
    Scion: tC, xB
    Subaru: Baja, Legacy 2.5GT
    Suzuki: Grand Vitara

    Plan for a JNC future baby!

  3. f31roger says:

    All my cars were from CL finds. But it’s true, with more people knowing how cool JNCs are, it has become harder.

    But that also depends on the car you are looking for. Some cars will always command high demand and will still need money to get them put together – unfinished projects like S13 and S14s.

    Luckily, I kind of go after obscure cars. I’m fortunate to have traveled to Japan and Europe as well as know people there. So depending on the car and condition, I could possible get what I want (emphasis on obscure cars). Knowing the people or community surround that specific car can give me a better expectation and history of ownership.

    I would love to get a Honda Vigor, Inspire, Rafaga, Ascot or Ascot Innova. I had an Acura Vigor back in the days and connected with many Japanese owners of the “Straight 5 owners club”. So it would be seeing who is selling and seeing what work that needs to be done.

    Importing JDM or EDM cars:

    Same with my dream Zenki F31 Leopard – in fact, i don’t expect a perfect car, I expect to get a decent one and build it up.

    My dream Mazda Lantis and 323 Neo coupe – they are common in a few European companies, so it’s just exporting them. Of course, getting the parts I want for it.. another story.

    Last is an A31 Cefiro – I personally think I will get a rolling chassis with drift damage (I would look for the least bit of damage if possible) and kind of build the car up from there. I am no drifter BTW. I just love the A31 because it was the 1st JDM I had ever drove. https://www.f31club.com/2017/04/22/1st-trip-to-japan-2001/
    Seeing how the A31 Cefiro is one of those platforms that demand money for subpar condition, I expect to build one from the ground up.
    Definitely imported from NZ or Japan.


    USDM cars

    the cars I am interested in that are USDM I can easily find on Facebook groups. Acura Legends and Vigors, Mazda MX-3 and G20s aren’t too hard to find… it’s find them in a condition that matches the price that makes sense.

  4. Ian G. says:

    Gran Turismo. They are all there! From the Subaru 360 to all the different Skylines, all the 80’s and 90’s classics. They are there. It doesn’t even take a lot of work to acquire them. Just find a friend with a cheat code or a big money race to keep repeating and boom… car and mod money! And you’re not even stuck with JNC’s. They have all the other manufacturers there. It truly is the best way to find your dream JNC or dream car!

  5. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    Found a nice car years ago in a used car lot full of Buicks. It was a consignment that they hated its presence in the lot. Offered an absurd multi multi thousands less. I was a little shocked when he figuratively threw the keys at me & told me he wanted it gone. Subsequently connected the dots on the title to a VP of a local corporation in a nasty divorce.

  6. Sturdy_S30 says:

    We got our celica off of Craigslist, and I like mindlessly perusing Facebook marketplace as much as the next guy, but deep down I know for a fact I’m not gonna pull the trigger in something fast enough to beat the other hungry searchers. My favorite way to buy a car is to make connections in real life and hope something falls into your lap. If it’s meant to be, it’ll be. That’s how I got my 240Z. My dads friend had one for awhile, and he was helping him with it, getting it started, etc. At a certain point, the friend wanted to be done with it. My dad asked if I wanted to buy it, because he knew I was really into old Japanese stuff. After deliberating for way too long, I decided if course I wanted it, and bought it. The car comes from a few miles from my grandparents houses, from an area where a lot of my family still lives. It’s special. One day I noticed a 240Z parked in my grandmas next door neighbor’s driveway. Talked with him for awhile about his car and about my car (his has a small block Chevy with where quarter windows deleted because race car). These connections I made were more real and personal than something I feel I have the capability of doing over the Internet. Spending time with real people has no comparison. I think s after a year of doing a lot of things “virtually”, many can agree with that sentiment.

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