QotW: What’s the rarest special edition JNC?

The Japanese love their special editions. Whether it’s celebrating an anniversary, a final run series or just some odd color combo, JNCs have a lot of bizarre option packages on their cars.

What’s the rarest special edition JNC?

In 1975 Dodge introduced the Carousel Colt. The rebadged Mitsubishi Colt Galant featured white paint matched with a light blue vinyl roof, and a blinding white interior with blue and red upholstery. These Colts, especially in two-door form, are already nearly impossible to find to begin with. Are there any Carousel Colts left?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What are you most thankful for?” 

The winner this week was Brendan, who wrote a humble, touching essay about his cars, his childhood dreams, and some general life stuff. It also never hurts to thank us profusely.

Aside from the usual things I’m thankful for (family, friends, my health, and a means to financially move through life), there are actually a couple big things I’m thankful for that more closely align with JNC and those of us showing up on this site. I’m thankful for the stars aligning over the years, and slowly but surely placing the two lovely pieces of Japanese automotive history that I own in my possession.

To get the opportunity to purchase my RX-8 3 years ago was to fulfill the near miss I had when I was 16, when a white-on-blue FC3S GTUs was sold out from under me. To row through the 6 speed gearbox, hearing the turbine-like whine of the 13B RENESIS climb to it’s 9,500RPM redline is to feel the history of Mazda, and the history of the rotary, come alive each time I drive the car. Rotary Mazdas feel uniquely Japanese to me, in the way they’re engineered like a fine watch and never cease to amaze me. It may not be the same machine that the GTUs was, but it elicits all the pleasant feelings I can imagine the FC would have given me. It’s a special car, emphasized all the more by it’s current absence in Mazda’s lineup. It also gives me endless joy to tell people about the car, and be one of the few “samurai” who truly understand and want to be stewards of the rotary revolution.

In addition to my RX-8, I’m thankful for the other car that fell into my lap this year, which is slowly becoming a more and more rare piece of Nissan’s history. When hunting for a car to help take some of the strain off of my Mazda, I came across a car that really struck a chord with me. The car had many similarities to the U12 1991 Nissan Stanza my father owned when I was younger, that I had many fond memories of. The automatic shoulder belts, the old style buzzer for leaving the key in the ignition or the lights on, and the same style of velour-ish cloth interior. While it wasn’t a Stanza, the B13 1994 Sentra Limited Edition that I came across was incredibly special in it’s own way: it only had 43,000 original miles, and one owner. Since purchasing the car, I’ve returned the paint to it’s former glory (as best as I could), cleaned the interior up, and have fixed some of the broken “repairs” the previous owner had made. Every day when I leave work, I hop into the Sentra and am reminded of a time when I was very young, riding in the U12 with my father….a time of simpler cars, and mechanical controls. Experiencing the simple joy of hustling the B13 through corners feels like driving a gokart to work every day, with other sentimental memories of the U12 making me smile as well.

So, what am I thankful for? In 2014, I’m thankful for being able to fulfill the childhood dream of owning some quirky, rare Japanese cars, and being able to work on them. I’m thankful for the opportunity to experience and appreciate first hand what I had only wistfully read about on JNC and in Japanese car magazines in the past. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a steward of two J-VIN cars, which are are dying breed in the United States. I’m thankful for what JNC stands for, and how each of us relates to each other’s story. We all appreciate and honor Japanese culture, most of which being the massively car-crazy mentality of Japan, and I’m humbled and thankful to now be a more integral part of it.

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

JNC Decal smash


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15 Responses to QotW: What’s the rarest special edition JNC?

  1. Serg says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂

    And as a fellow B13 aficionado I feel it is my duty to nominate the Nissan Exa N13 Sportbak.


    I remember numerous times when my dad would pull up at home in his Exa, minus the roof and hatch, with some oversized bookshelf or bicycle sticking out the rear. “See, it’s like a ute, but better because it’s faster and you can put the hatch on.”

  2. Brendan says:

    Arigatou! I never thought my short essay would have won…but I’m very humbled that it did :]! How exactly do I go about claiming my prize/proving my identity? I can’t wait to give the B13 a JNC Inkan!

  3. IncorpoRatedX says:

    Last year I rescued a 74 Colt GT from getting scrapped. It came with factory Carousel seats from a long since dead Carousel model. We named the car “the junkyard coupe” because it was headed for the yard and because it was 4 different colors due to being patched together from other long since dead cars.

    The car started it’s life as an scca car out in Washington and slowly worked its way over to Michigan. you can see pictures of it in the Mitsubishi section on here. Now it’s flat black with diamond racing wheels and a 2 liter from a car I drove cross country years ago.

  4. Kuroneko says:

    My vote would be for the most incongruous, the Mitsubishi Debonair V 3000 Royal AMG:


    If just for the brochure alone! Easily the most standout mis-match of ideas. While denim seats are perhaps the 1970s standout faux pas, body kits & color-coded wheels are definitely the 1980s worst gag-fest. Neko.

  5. Brendan says:

    I’m going to have to go with a couple of cars that JNC mentioned at one point in time: the M2 1002 and M2 1015. I believe they were both around 50 units produced, and were exceptionally rare trims.

    One that I’d really like to see JNC dive more deeply into, though, is one of Nissan’s most unknown, rare trim levels: the A’s “Almighty” trim level on the S13 Silvia, that only appeared for one year. There are conflicting reports of whether it’s a stripped down J’s, a mildly luxury J’s that sits between the J’s and the Q’s, or a “purist special” model (although supposedly all came with the NA SR20DE, and a 4 speed auto). Would love to hear more about them, as it’s always been the mysterious part of the S13 lineup in my eyes.

  6. gaijinshogun says:

    This is too easy! A one-off Toyota joint venture that would blow-away the minds of JNCer’s AND the general public: The 1977 Star Wars Celica. With a total production of 1, it doesn’t get rarer than that.


    If this car was found in a time capsule, it would be mainstream news especially with the new movie coming out. A special edition Celica that would get more interest and publicity than any 2000GT or GT-R could!

  7. MainstreaM says:

    While not touted as a limited edition, I would have to give a nod to the Starion GX. It was a first year stripped down version of the Starion and rebadged Conquest. The major things car was lacking from its fully featured counterparts was the independent rear suspension, turbocharger, and fuel injection. Whilst most consider this to be a unicorn that no longer exists, an example showed up for sale in New Zealand recently to prove they were indeed manufactured since production numbers are sketchy.

    Here’s what wikipedia has to say:

    “A naturally aspirated version known as the GX was offered in the Japanese market, with production ending in 1983. The Starion GX was offered without power windows, air conditioning, independent rear suspension, fuel injection or power-assisted steering”

  8. KFD says:

    I think another rarity worth mentioning is the ’78-’79 Dodge Challenger Technica. As far as I know, it’s the first Chrysler-branded product with an all-digital dash, long before the Conquests and Crystal hood-emblemed Imperials of the mid eighties.

    What am I most thankful for? Folks that can appreciate someone’s passion for old rusty cars. I spent six months deployed to Okinawa last year, and while my friends bemoaned their life o a tropical island, and kept themselves sequestered to their barracks room playing Call Of Duty and drinking themselves into a stupor, I combed the island in search of rusty JNC gold. I found out that a little enthusiasm and broken Japanese (and Google Translate) went a long way.

    I found a tuner shop in Chuo, ran by a gentleman named Tetsuya. He thought it was the funniest thing that this round-eye Gaijin wasn’t all googly-eyed over the R34s like every other kid on that rock, but fascinated by the old rusty stuff. I got an 18RG over there for my Celica here, located an carb plenum airbox in Australia, and had it sent to my shop in Okinawa. It was in sad shape, missing the air cleaner element container. I the pieces to him for tinwork, and between his limited English, and my Limited Japanese, I ended up in his Honda kei in search of the missing air cleaner element container. We arrived at a pile of rubble, and after a few minutes of kicking around in the mud, Tetsuya pulled out the missing part of the air cleaner setup! The funniest thing was him emulating my excitement by pointing his finger like a tach needle bouncing off the rev limiter! Tetsuya gave me a few other things off a rusty old RA40 Carina he was about to destroy, a tool roll and these crusty old mirrors danglng by the wiring.

    Kinjo-San was another character I met out there. Living in the office of his two-car cinderblock shop, he had a smattering of forgotten Levins, Truenos, and Starlets scattered about the hillside behind his shop. The old man only knows the English words “Whiskey” and “Snake”, (this is Okinawa, and Habus are srs bznss out there!), but again, he was bewildered that this American kid wanted to go climb in the jungle braving snakes to look at the remnants of his rally car racing past. Oh yeah, and I did score some 14″ Wats and a Nardi wheels from him, but a steady flow of American Whiskey for a few months might have helped!

    I found a few folks out there that were beyond surprised that this American kid (well, compared to these grey-haired Ogee-Chans, thirty is a kid!) was nutso about old Crowns, 330 Cedrics, and other forgotten automotive relics.

    So, I guess the long and short of it, I am thankful that some of these older cats were appreciative of that younger round eye with his horrible Japanese that had this (for them) strange penchant for these rusty old clunkers. These guys saw my excitement, and I think the coolest thing about that experience was seeing their reactions to me, and knowing that there are still people that are passionate about a thing these guys were and still are.

  9. ewokracing says:

    I came across a Colt coupe in a wrecking yard over a decade ago, manual, green with a white vinyl roof. A little bit tired but complete apart from the wheels missing. Clearly it was someone’s pride and joy and they had died or it had been abandoned etc and got towed away.

    Could not get anyone interested in it and the last I saw of it was when it was about 3 feet high under a mountain of cars. Such a good looking little coupe too.

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