QotW: What’s the sportiest Japanese nostalgic sedan?

Nissan Skyline KPGC10 GT-R hakosuka 08

Last week Nissan announced it was bringing back the 4DSC moniker for the new Maxima. Japan, however, has been making 4-door sports cars from the Prince Skyline to the Lancer Evo.

What’s the sportiest Japanese nostalgic sedan?

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’s the best JNC for NYC?” 

114-JP4470_ Century

From the Mitsuoka Bubu to the Subaru Justy to the AW11 MR2, you guys had no shortage of runabouts that could part the yellow cab seas thanks to their diminutive sizes. However, the winner, returning champion dickie, went with opposite approach and described why gaijinshogun’s choice of a Toyota Century made the most sense:

The BEST car to drive in NYC is a car that you don’t actually have to drive.

Pop the passenger seat open to stretch your legs while enjoying a chilled Asahi from the icebox, secluded from the ubiquitous city noise by the bunker-grade sound insulation. don’t want the plebes to get too nosy? pull your doily curtains shut with the flick of a switch. speaking of flick, why not take one in on your small, grainy CRT television? mute it to take some imaginary calls on your Yakuza boss car phone.

the driver can exit on the curb side of the car, meaning less time to get to your door, open it and grant you a most excellent entrance to whatever event you happen to be attending.

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

JNC Decal smash

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14 Responses to QotW: What’s the sportiest Japanese nostalgic sedan?

  1. Kurt says:

    It’s hard to go past a Skyline S54 GT or C10 GT-R for thoroughbred performance and immortal classic Japanese flavour. Hrmmm how about the forgotten Toyota Carina GT 4-door? In saying this I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Mazda fan so the Familia Presto TSS deserves am honourable mention as an equal companion for the easily recognisable sporty ‘R100’ 2-door. One could say that the Capella/RX3-Savanna/RX4-Luce sedans to follow weren’t really marketed as ‘sports cars’.

    Now that vehicles of the 1980’s are well and truly classics in their own right what about the Toyota Carina/Corona GT’s or turbo models? Skyline DR30 RS-X or R31 GT Passage? Mitsubishi Sigma Turbo? Isuzu Gemini ZZ’s? Just too many! What about the 90’s?! Sedans are great for cruising with your mates.

  2. banpei says:

    If you think about sporty Japanese sedans the first car that comes into every ones mind is the Skyline. Yes it has been a sporty lineup since the early 60s, but don’t forget there was the Corona GSS and the Galant as well. But all those cars were not much more than the regular model with a preppy engine.

    I could also name the Carina GT models but as an owner and Carina anorak that would be to predictable I think.

    A far better example of a true sports sedan would be the Toyota Celica Camry RA45. With its roots taken from the four for Carina, improved with the two litre 18R-G dohc engine, mated with a W5x gearbox and driving the rear wheels through the all new IRS setup with LSD and then sold through the Celica supports image. The added Camry was a phonetic transcription of the Japanese pronunciation of Crown indicating it was the top of the line spec.

    The Celica Camry itself never became a bestseller but it became a template for the next generation Corona and Carina GT models. The Camry spilt itself off the Celica model to become about the dullest least exciting car in the Toyota lineup without any performance models at all. How strange things can be when marketing is involved…

    • banpei says:

      I forgot that recently Toyota tried to improve the image of the Camry and joined Nascar with a racecar that kind of looks like the Camry. So maybe the Camry will return to its origins now… 😉

  3. Will B. says:

    Rather than the obvious 510 sedan, how about the Toyota Cressida? They are relatively popular with tuners because of their shared parts between them and the second-gen supra, with transmission, rear axle, and engine swaps all available and very popular. Their prices on the net are relatively cheap from people who are just trying to sell an old toyota, and if that doesn’t sell you on the idea, then this video of one drifting the nurburgring should seal the deal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HtvobObrEc

  4. Steve says:

    For us, the poor, unwashed masses here in the US, deprived of all the great 70s and 80s J-tin, I submit the first and second gen Datsun 810 for consideration. Based on the 610 with a stretched nose, styling was a little bit clunky, kind of like the first gen Celica/Supra. But it did come with a fuel injected L24 engine and, unlike the Cressida, was available with a 5-speed manual transmission and IRS.

    Swap in an L28 block, lower it a bit and you have a truly sporty JNC sedan.

  5. M1abrams says:

    Perhaps the question should be “What’s the sportiest Japanese nostalgic sedan – besides the Datsun 510/Bluebird?”.

    I’m having a hard time coming up with other nostalgics with the lightweight packaging of front disc brakes, independent rear suspension, overhead cam engine, etc. that clearly qualifies it as a sports sedan (not to mention the decent aftermarket race goodies that were available during its day). The only caveat being that the typical 510 was not that impressive out of the dealer lot – It was left to the buyer to bring out it’s sporting potential. (There was, of course the SSS model with the twin SUs, etc.)

  6. Pete240z says:

    It’s NOT the Honda Accord 5-speed I drive to work…….

  7. pstar says:

    5th gen Toyota Mark II (X70) hardtop. With the turbo i6 and 5 speed. I much prefer the fascia, greenhouse, and taillights of the Mark II over its stablemates.


  8. Mazluce says:

    The Mazda Luce Royal Classic. Who wouldn’t want the last rotary powered sedan with 13b turbo engine screaming at full song. BRAP brap brap.

  9. Kuroneko says:

    At least in Japan, the answer appears to be the S54 GT… Putting aside its near-Porsche-beating series debut, recognition on the streets is greater than even a Hakosuka. Hako I suspect are diluted with their relative commonality, and the unfortunate number of fake GT-R HTs about. The S54 though, is rare and has a much broader recognition factor as a sports saloon. I’ve driven both, and while the Hakosuka gets recognition, the S54 gets the ‘wow’. Neko.

  10. Aaron says:

    It’s a 510… duhh

    What do I win?

  11. Peter Q says:

    Isuzu Bellet GT

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