QotW: What’s the best way to introduce someone to the world of JNCs?


There’s a certain segment of self-proclaimed car nuts convinced that latest equals greatest. Of course, JNCers know that they’re wrong. Dubs aren’t better than a set of 14-inch vintage barrels. A powerful AWD machine isn’t better than a lightweight RWD . Computers aren’t better than carbs. The problem is opening the eyes of noobs to these truths.

What’s the best way to introduce someone to the world of JNCs?

There are many ways, but one that’s worked well for us is showing people that their beloved models go back farther than just a generation or two. The original Skyline GT-R isn’t the 1989 R32, but the 1969 PGC10. The first Corolla Levin isn’t the AE86 but the TE27. And the Silvia name can be traced way back to 1965 with the CSP311.

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining or inspiring comment by next Monday will receive a toy. Click through to see the winner from last week’s question, “What’s the most impressive JNC restoration job you’ve seen?

1973 mazda rx-3 shell

The winner this week is Michael, who nominated Gypsy’s 1973 Mazda RX-3 as the most inspiring restoration. Sure there have been masterpieces professionally remade from an one molecule of steel and a VIN plate, but this is one guy doing it in his garage. We’ve even featured it on the main page before.

If you’re looking for a story of resurrection look no further than gypsy’s build thread in the Mazda Garage. What he has done to a RX-3 coupe that was in most professionals’ opinion not even worth scrap metal is beyond belief. Take a couple of minutes, or if you are a true JNC fan a couple of hours, and look through what is a remarkable journey. People please keep in mind gypsy has no formal training in any automotive trade and wears a suit and tie to work every day. A man with a vision, the patience of a saint and a can do attitude. By far the best resto I have even seen amature or pro.

Omedetou! Your inspiring comment has earned you a Hot Wheels Super Speeders mystery pack Mazda RX-7, but this week we’re going to send out two prizes so that gypsy can get one for himself!


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23 Responses to QotW: What’s the best way to introduce someone to the world of JNCs?

  1. Ben Anderson says:

    Ive introduced alot of my close friends to old school jdm goodness. One thing that blew some minds was the OS Giken TC24-B1 head developed in the 70s on a na motor producing 420ps.

    Cranking the video of Office Tomitaku’s Z on youtube causes pants explosions all round.

  2. Nigel says:

    Grassroot motorsports like an autocross is a good start.
    At an autocross you can see how a Miata is just as quick as an STI Subaru.
    Or 280Z go faster than a new Corvette.

  3. DerrickS says:

    This one is easy. I pull out the ole’ smart phone and bring up japanesenostalgiccar.com

    All of a sudden, it’s like whole new world is opened up to cars that people never even knew existed.

    That’s how it happened for me 🙂 Thanks JNC!

    • E-AT_me says:

      Booooo. brown noser. hehehee.. but it’s true. i love old hondas before this site was made, but it helps to explain the whole “movement” and love of JNC’s. it’s why i rep the sticker on my 91 Si.

      with JNC’s though, if they don’t “get it” they never really will.

  4. DirtyRice says:

    The answer is history. It’s the story behind these great cars that give them meaning. Knowing the context of the times and discovering how these older models transformed the automotive world, giving us the beloved cars we have today is really amazing if you think about the journey. If enthusiasts of modern cars can make that connection between the old and the new, I think their appreciation of the past will grow.

    And all it takes is that one car to create that spark. For me, it was the popularized Nissan S30 line. The beautiful body and scooped headlights really resonated with me and I started researching. I read about the differences between the 240Z, 260Z, 280Z, and the Fairlady Z. Then I began reading about the history of the Datsun brand. And all that led me here to the JNC website where I learned about other classic models.

    If I were to introduce someone to this JNC world, I would share its rich history, but also look for that sparked interest to ignite their starting point. And hopefully the appreciation for these beautiful cars would grow within them just as it has for me.

  5. SeattleO says:

    I think showing someone the cars in the real world might really work. At least it did for me. I thought I knew quite a bit about cars, but then I started visiting car-spotting sites like Old Parked Cars. Here were old Japanese cars, still being driven and parked in the U.S., that I had never heard of or knew existed. It was fascinating, and my eyes were opened to a new world of Japanese Nostalgics. Once I discovered these awesome cars, I started to notice them on the streets. I still don’t know much about Japanese nostalgics, except that these cars are totally awesome.

  6. indy510 says:

    I think you’re all crazy to want, or to think that the younger generation isn’t beating down doors to ruin these classic rides with their “low budget/brained” ideas

  7. cesariojpn says:

    Show them Initial D or Wangan Midnight. Then crush that dream as I tell them the star cars are expensive and hard to find.

  8. jivecom says:

    Easy. ITBs in a pretty, old car
    one second of that noise will convert even the most bigoted, closed minded muscle enthusiast you could possibly imagine, especially if it happens to be from the moon japan camp (smooth transition and all)

  9. pete240z says:

    You can’t introduce them to it. It’s either in them or not – don’t waste your time. I have tried over and over but if it is horses or Mustang’s – they laugh when you start talking about old Datsun’s……..

  10. Oven1111 says:

    Why should we convet peoples way of thinking? I say let the heathens continue to think the way they do.
    Eventually most car nuts go digging around for the history of the the marques they love and will be blown away by the rich history the Japanese car manufacturers have created over the decades.

    Another problem with introducing people to something is that they sometimes don’t necessarily fully undestand or respect what it is. I am tired of seeing fantastic nostalgic cars being destroyed by younger drivers either through neglect, cheap/bad modifications or worse.
    Wing mirrors are awesome and if you must install some on your ride please delete the door mirrors or just leave things how they are, chrome 20’s wont look good on a S800 no matter what the guys in the Macca’s car park say, no a Subaru Brumby (Brat) won’t make an excellent drift car and no you shouldn’t put a 2J in your SG Civic.
    I for one would rather see an R32 or Evo destroyed instead of an RX3 or MA61 Supra.

    It’s one thing to introduce someone to something but its hard to make them understand it. Nostalgics are just old cars to most, but a way of life for us.
    If you are after power, speed and refinement stay away form old cars, but if you want headaches (points ignition and multiple carbs), musty smells and bad ergonimics then maybe a nostalgic old car is for you, and I whole heartedly welcome you to the fold.
    I’m all for sharing the knowledge and passion but only if it’s used for good and not evil.

    In closing, I am more than happy to share my knowledge (however limited it may be), passion and experiences with others, and instead of trying to introduce people to the world of classics let them discover it for themselves, like an automotive history treasure hunt. The best way to introduce people to the world of old J-tin is for people like us to continue restoring, driving and being open and friendly to inquisitive passers by.

  11. grandtouring says:

    Have them drive one.

    Its the feeling of the wood steering wheel in your hands, the sound of a tuned motor on side draft carbs throughout the rev range, the nimbleness and feedback you get when you push these little cars to the limit, and styling that has only gotten better with age.

    Thats the best way to introduce J-Tins.

  12. On antecedants, when thinking Super Sport Sedan most would think that the 510 was the ancestor. No, the RL411 was the original Super Sport Sedan and was preceeded by the JDM 411 Sport Sedan which had a twin Hitachi “SU” and a J1300 or J1500 engine. Upgrade to the modified roarster type R engine turned the SS Sport Sedan into the SSS Super Sport Sedan.

  13. xs10shl says:

    Start casual – you don’t want to spring it on them all-of-a-sudden, but rather ease them into the mood. Invite them out for a drink- perhaps you’re “wanting to go see a new pub” you’ve heard about, and maybe “they’d like to tag along?” If things are going well, mention you’re grabbing a bite of dinner. Work at generating a rapport. Tease them a little with a little banter: “Yeah, I dig the Italian stuff”, and “Love the Germans” – things that they are familiar with, and will make them feel at ease.

    Mention you’ve recorded the Vintage Le Mans series at home, and you just going to “crash on the couch and watch it”. If all goes well, they’ll follow you home. After a while, when the mood is right, start being a little more agressive – “Hey, you like Porsches? Check out this recording of the 1966 Japanese Grand Prix I dug up. What a trip! And man, the 904 looks good, but boy that R380 sure is sexy!”. Ease them into more risque Japanese racing events- push the boundaries! They might resist a little at this stage, but trust me, if you’ve found the right person, their curiosity will keep them planted on the couch. Pretty soon, it’ll be 1AM, and you’ll both be watching hard core videos of straight-up vintage Japanese Touring Car racing. Oh Yeah- mission accomplished!

  14. Harrison says:

    Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6hi6orsiBU

    Rinse and repeat until satisfied.

    • jkwade says:

      Yes. God yes. There is nothing like an old school I6 through triple carbs. The GTR is right up there with the Toyota 2000GT, Maserati 3500GT, and Jaguar XKE.

  15. Juppe says:

    Simple, I just show them my project I’m working on; a ’75 TA22. She’s still in bits ‘n pieces, but people love her instantly.
    Within 5 minutes, “What?! A Toyota?” changes too “Wow, great car! I never knew they made cars like this!”.

  16. Zak says:

    Whilst some of the above comments are truly inspirational, I think the best way is someone to be introduced to the world of JNC is for them to grow up in one!

    I grew up in my uncle’s K10 March which gave me the love of Japanese cars and fender mirrors. These came stock with fender mirrors and just looked awesome in black! The very roomy interior and the versatility + fun times had was second to none. From then on, I’ve always longed for a Nissan – ultimately leading to getting me an s13 as my first car – and this love shall always continue!

  17. ACSK says:

    Easy! Buy one, and take them for a ride!

  18. E-AE says:

    Introduce them to Japanese culture first. To really appreciate a car, you need to know where it comes from. Sadly, where I live the only thing people know about Japan is that asian looking people live there. So when they look at a classic Japanese car, it doesn’t really evoke an emotion because it is so unfamiliar with them and doesn’t tie in with any imagery in their head. That’s what it’s all about I think, the associations you have with a car.

    Nostalgia is one such association, when you grew up in one of these cars seeing one will bring back warm feelings and memories. To me personally, it’s a mixture of nostalgia and daydreaming about driving in a japanese cityscape like Tokyo (I visited twice and still dream). Japan is very fascinating to me.

    Anyway, sometimes people like JC accuse japanese cars of being ‘soulless’. I can understand that with his frame of reference, he feels nothing when he sees a japanese car . He probably daydreams of driving in the british countryside or the old days where everything was all gentelman-y. The japanese cars don’t give him nostalgia or any other feeling because his brain simply has no (positive) references to those cars. So I think soul is a very personal, subjective thing. Unconsciously, whether you like a particular car or not depends on whether it reminds you of something good or something bad (or nothing).

    The driving part is ofcourse also important (a good reason why these cars are awesome)! But to truly make someone love these cars is to make them feel a ‘background’. Introduce them to Japan, if they like that (there’s a good chance) they will almost certainly fall in love with these cars.

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