QotW: What are your best tips for managing your JNC life?

The JNC life is not an easy one. It starts with one old, temperamental, and rare car. Next thing you know, your savings, house, and free time are consumed by tools, parts, and perhaps even a spare donor car or three. Long-time JNCers probably have it even worse, because for decades these cars and their second-hand parts were relatively cheap to acquire. It can all get quite overwhelming.

Today, July 12, is Simplicity Day, created in honor of Henry David Thoreau, the poet who got rid of his worldly possessions and went to go live in a cabin in the woods. We’re not suggesting that, but we know it can be a challenge to keep your garage space work-friendly and your projects on track.

What are your best tips for managing your JNC life?

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 best way to find your dream JNC?

Lo and behold, there was some actual good advice this week, so if you’re in the market for a cool Japanese car, don’t give up hope. You’re probably not going to get that mint condition Series 1 240Z for a steal, but there’s still plenty of options. f31roger points out that you can still find less popular cars that are still reasonably priced. Negishi no Keibajo confirms a tactic we’ve used before, finding something in a sales lot that specializes in another brand. Speedie gave some sage advice, warning us not to sleep on 15-year-old cars that are at the lowest points in their value graph.

Or, you could go with Ian G.‘s suggestion to just build your dream garage in Gran Turismo (GT4 would probably be your best bet for JNC content). As a last resort, you could try Lee L.‘s time machine method. Results may vary.

The best advice we found this week was from Sturdy_S30, who says there’s nothing like good old human connections:

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.

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

JNC Decal smash

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6 Responses to QotW: What are your best tips for managing your JNC life?

  1. J says:

    “The JNC life is not an easy one. It starts with one old, temperamental…”

    Damn Ben, you scared me for a second, I started wondering how you knew me.
    I’ve been celebrating these cars since 1970 and seeing my first 240z. Bought my first RX7 in 1981. All have had their quirks but you’re right, like me things do tend to get worse with age.
    Still, I was just thinking that things were actually improving as the values of these cars have increased and they take their rightful place as “classics”. I can remember being refused entry to ‘show n shines’ because my FD was an “Import” yet when looking at the lot I’d see plenty of BMW’s, Volkswagens and MG’s. Thankfully those days have passed.
    As for tips…if absolutely necessary mechanicals can be rebuilt, not so for modules, CPU’s, relays and other electrical bits. Also true to a lesser extent on interior pieces. At least that’s been my experience. So when hoarding that tends to be my focus.

  2. Howard D. says:

    I have owned Mitsubishi Starion/Conquests since 1986. When I bought my last/current one (1989) new, I knew it was the last year it was being exported here to the ‘States. I have to say, I am surprised when I go to my basement JNC ‘parts warehouse’ I am amazed at all the new OEM parts I bought back in the day. New water pumps, oil pumps, body emblems, and other random parts.
    With the original 95K miles on my car, things are slowly starting to need replacing. I’m lucky I was squirrelling away parts from the early 1990s. I’d hit up all the Mitsubishi dealerships then and buy anything they had left over on their shelves. It got to the point where the local (and not) dealerships would call me saying they found this ‘new’, dusty old part “way in the back”. Of course I bought it in a second! I also kept all parts that I removed, to make way for the high performance parts.
    The flip side of the coin is, people are parting these cars out as soon as they have an issue! They realize instead of putting money into saving these rare cars, its more of a money making thing by parting them out to the chassis rails! I see this happen practically daily!
    Needless to say, the other side of my ‘warehouse’ has stacks of NOS/OEM parts for my 2006 Evo 9MR that I also bought new!

  3. Tofu Delivery says:

    my best advice is just to limit yourself to a manageable number of cars. that won’t be a problem today when japanese cars are super expensive but back in the day it was easy to keep surfing craigslist and getting more cars because they were so cheap. cars are big. they’re hard to store. they piss off spouses. your life will be much easier if you can limit yourself to a reasonable number of cars. now parts on the other hand….

  4. F31Roger says:

    It’s hard to simplify having an obscure car. A couple years back, I was content with having my blue M30 stock with some JDM highlights.

    Then I got an M30 convertible for free and so I had to search/save parts for repair(https://www.f31club.com/2018/12/03/emerald-city-prowl-m30-convertible) and when someone broke my window in Vancouver BC (https://www.f31club.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/20190804_110618.jpg)

    Knowing these are not common parts and knowing the pain of trying to get one.. when a convertible hits the junkyards, I must pull them. https://www.instagram.com/p/B-5fou-HSR8/

    Usually with many M30 specific parts, I try to pull
    Then the 2005 goals happened in 2019 to now….
    then the Project Leopard came into my possession (Project car – needs EVERYTHING redone/rebuilt/refreshed).
    then THE’ VIP kit came came and I couldn’t pass up ..

    It’s definitely not easy having a JNC, but helps if you have multiples of the same car LOL.
    I have a lot stuff, but what will help is getting my own space (as with anything).
    Organization and downsizing always helps.

    It does suck being a collector LOL.

  5. Ellis says:

    Be content with what you have. I know someone who wakes up just before sunrise on a Sunday once a month, and take’s his Italian unicorn out for an early morning blast around the hills and valleys. And after finding this out my first thought was, “wow, If I had one of those I’d do the same thing”.

    It took me a while to realize I don’t need a prancing horse on the hood to be able to enjoy get up and enjoy an early morning blast. Sure a Fairlady isn’t as exotic, it doesn’t get the heart racing quite as hard, but the smile on my face when I’m out there tackling the corners is just as big.

    So now once a month I get up extra early on my day off, go for a drive, get a coffee, come home and spend the rest of my day wearing a big grin.

    A hobby shouldn’t be stressful and it shouldn’t bankrupt you. Spend what you can afford, get something fun and go out there and enjoy it! After all, cars are made for driving.

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