These days if you look at a Japanese car company’s US lineup and the hometown Japanese lineup, there isn’t much overlap. Almost all the US models have been engineered for the US market, built in the US, and sold here with no counterpart in the motherland. The myth of Japan always getting the best version isn’t true either. During the Gentleman’s Agreement Era, for instance, our versions of Japan’s top sports cars were all rated (on paper at least) with higher horsepower numbers than their domestic counterparts. But answers for this week’s question don’t necessarily have to fall into these categories. Some cars, like an S130 or 4Runner, just feel more American. All is fair game for this week’s Independence Day-themed QotW:
What’s the most “American” JNC?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC is not being preserved, but should be?“.
I think we’re all in agreement that any car, even the cheapest and crappiest of the crop, should have at least one example preserved for posterity. Not surprisingly, a lot of Mazdas made the list. Jim Klein opted for the first-gen RWD 626, and streetspirit went for the sporty Lantis/Astina/323F that wasn’t sold in the US, but speedie just went whole hog and nominated any early 90s Mazda that wasn’t a Miata or RX-7.
Other readers went more for the once-common cars that seem to have fallen by the wayside. Lee suggested the XV10/20 Camry and E110 Corolla, cars that can evoke millions of stories. Fred Langille proposed the Datsun 310 GX, a car that’s hard to top in terms of sheer utilitarianism. daniel picked a good one, the 90s Isuzu P’up that underpinned cars such as the Amigo and Rodeo, and if anything needs saving its cars from a dead brand. Alan is a little early with the T230 Celica, but we’ll let it slide because it’s a totally worthwhile save.
Ultimately, the winner this week was Fashion Victim whose nomination was so obscure we had to google it just to remember what it looked like.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Fiore II sedan from 1984 to 1988. It seems they are practically extinct in Japan, since it was nothing really special. Heck no one from the US even imports them.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!