QotW: What’s the worst JNC decision you’ve ever made?

They say hindsight is 2020. It’s also the year 2020, so it’s time to reflect on some of the mistakes we’ve made and save others from the same fate. Is it getting in over your head in on a project car? Or perhaps letting that rare car/part/collectible get away? Or maybe the time you forgot to fully remove the jackstand from under the car before lowering it and denting the rocker panel (you know, just as an example).

What’s the worst JNC decision you’ve ever made?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your greatest JNC dream?

If there’s one thing we learned from last week’s answers, it’s that many of you are dreading a future in which JNCs are no longer viable, whether due to pollution rules, a lack of petrol, or a lack of vision from automakers. It’s a thought on the minds of many enthusiasts these days, which makes us want to enjoy our cars even more while we still can — such as completing our dream garages, or taking an epic road trip.

One respondent in the latter category is the winner this week. We sometimes take for granted our exposure to JNCs, because we get to attend a lot of fantastic shows, meet great car people, and go on wonderful road adventures. However, Kev reminded us such opportunities are not so easy from some corners of the globe, and his vivid recollection of attending JCCS inspired us to take a pause and appreciate it more:

Not sure if this is a dream or a goal. Although they say a goal is just a dream with a deadline. My JNC dream is to enter my JNC at the 17th annual JCCS.

I live in Ontario Canada. I made my first solo trip vacation in 2014 to Long Beach California. The main reason was to attend the 10th annual JCCS. I stayed on the Queen Mary hotel (Yes its haunted). I still remember that sunny Saturday morning perfectly. As I entered the gates to the park, “Anyway You Want It” was playing at volume 11 on the PA system, and my jaw dropped as I was greeted with green grass and a sea of Nihon steel, tucked into every square inch. The people were so chill and eager to tell me the history and personal stories about their prized possessions. I even got an autographed poster by John Morton, which I have since framed on my wall back home.

Before I left the show, I knew I would one day be back with my own JNC. At the time I had my ‘85 Celica Supra, which I regretfully sold 2 years later. But fear not! I have been resto-modding a little JNC nugget for the last 4.5 years (mainly on summer weekends). Me and my girlfriend, who greatly supports this obsession, recently discussed the idea that 2021 is the year to go back, and I cannot be more excited. We have many more late nights of work still ahead, but I know we can do it! If you’re wondering if we will make it to the show, just look for the Canadian flag ?

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

JNC Decal smash

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22 Responses to QotW: What’s the worst JNC decision you’ve ever made?

  1. CobaltFire says:

    Both buying and selling my S30 Z.

    The buying was a mistake because I didn’t own a garage, didn’t own any tools, and it needed everything. It was also six hours from where I lived, parked in a barn.

    The selling was a mistake because I was attached to the car. If I bought with my heart, I sold with my head. Work is moving me to Japan and I had nowhere to store it, so I let it go to someone who I hope will get it back on the road.

    The upside is that I’ve rekindled my love for old J-tin and that I’m moving to Japan. I’ll find something to own for the long haul there!

  2. Lee L says:

    Definitely selling my first Z31. I had a beautiful silver 86 Z31 N/A GLL. 5 speed car in great shape, essentially rust-free. Good interior, 2 previous owners and had been babied for all of its 200k miles. I spent countless hours polishing and cleaning every bit of the car, replacing small pieces, doing small dress-up mods, and driving it as much as possible.

    I got greedy and decided that I wanted another Z31 so I bought an ugly, red 85 turbo with tons of issues. I wanted money to fund the 85 and I was a broke college student so I sold the 86 to a close friend for the same that I paid for it. He loved the car and I thought him how to drive a manual in it, as well as doing basic maintenance. He took care of the car much like myself, babying it and keeping it looking as clean as possible.

    One day it took a turn for the worse and he was t-boned, totalling the car. He was not at fault and the car protected him, as he walked away basically unscathed. We were both deeply saddened by the loss of such a great car. I had hoped to buy the wreckage and salvage what I could but I was broke at the time. I was able to grab the “3000” plenum cover, which is hanging in my garage to this day.

    I miss that car. The first car I bought on my own, the first car I was proud of, and honestly the only car I’ve really felt a connection to. I ended up trading that red 85 Z31 but it recently ended up in my possession again. Maybe one day I’ll paint it silver in memory of the 86. RIP 86 Z31 GLL

  3. Jan van Kleef says:

    A year after my marriage I bought a new red Suzuki LJ80. A wonderful car, very reliable. After twelve months and 30.000 kilometers, I exchanged it for a Jeep CJ2A. It was a bad choice, The Jeep was utterly unreliable end needed expensive restoration. Eight years later I bought a used white LJ80, a car that served as third vehicle in my household. Without any problems it did al lot of work, was used to transport debris from rebuilding my house, about twelve tons in a small selfbuilt trailer. I should never have done away my first Lj80, a very bad decision !

  4. charlie says:

    best and worst were the same car for me… 1975 Celica RA25 liftback.. first car I ever got a bank loan to buy.. a real deal JDM model, 18RG/P51 car.. poor paint job but otherwise really good condition.. zero rust. like an idiot I traded it for another car I really wanted.. not once but twice over ! to a “friend” always with the caveat that I would be notified if he EVER wanted to sell it… well he traded it away and now its been repainted, crashed and now languishes rusting badly… very disappointing .

  5. Steve says:

    Most of the time, the QotW requires a little thought. But this one is a no brainer. It was the worst JNC decision I ever made, and in real time…

    In 1999, I was looking to buy a new car when I found a brand new, leftover (’97?) Supra sitting in my local Toyota dealer’s lot. Looked like they had just found it and pulled it out of some deep, back corner of their lot and were prepping it to sell. Looked at the MSRP, which was around $30k, IIRC. Pearl white, black leather, non-turbo, solid roof, and M/T. I should have bought it, then and there.

    But I convinced myself I wouldn’t qualify for a loan so, I PASSED ON IT. Stupid, stupid, stupid…

    A week later, I received a letter from my credit union that said I was pre-qualified for a $50k auto loan. Rushed to the dealer but, of course, the car was gone. I did buy a 20th Anniversary Miata, a little later, for about $28k. It’s a fun car and all, but I STILL wish I had bought that Supra…

  6. pete240z says:

    Not buying a few of those $1,500-$2,500 Datsun 510’s that were always advertised in the Five and Dime newsletter.

  7. Bert says:

    In 2003 I owned a black bone stock 86 Toyota MR2. AWESOME little car! Faster and more capable than the stats suggested. My girlfriend at the time had a little baby boy about 6 months, and she was always asking me where the baby would sit. Apparently in the “frunk” was not an acceptable answer! I loved this woman. I wanted to marry her, and raise her son as my own! But it was obvious that my little hot rod told her that I was not responsible, mature enough, or ready to have a family. The Mr.2 had to go! So i did the responsible adult thing, and traded it in for a brand new 03 Honda Shadow 1100 motorcycle. She asked where the baby was gonna sit. I said “sidecar?” We broke up. I lost everything that year. Girlfriend, baby, job, car, bike, house. I ended up homeless and broke for a little while, sleeping on the floor of anyone who’d let me, and riding the bus all day! 17 years later, I’m happy to report that I reconnected with the girlfriend, and we’ve been happily married for 14 years, and we’ve added a sister and brother for her baby to lord over! But, sometimes, when I’m staring at the driveway, I imagine a black 86 mister two where the ginormous Sequoia suburban family attack vehicle sits.

  8. Banpei says:

    Not buying a rare Cressida wagon RX35. I wasn’t particularly looking for a car, but this one got offered with some mild damaged front end. The ad was placed by the daughter of an old man and after his last adventure she deemed him unsuitable to drive again but was get father bought the car new and loved she hoped a new owner would pick it up.

    Fixing the car would have been relatively easy and cost maybe around two grand. This was about 12 years ago and nobody loved these first generation Cressidas. The damage was uneconomical to repair and I feared for its fate. Unfortunately I didn’t have money not a garage to put it in and never bought it. I’ve never seen the car again not seen another one…

    • Banpei says:

      I pressed a bit too quickly on submit…

      Also if I would have owned it, there would never have been the necessity to buy that bloody ford focus wagon that kept breaking down on our 3000 kilometer road trip.

      (Also my phone corrected two times “nor” into “not”)

  9. eric says:

    About 25 years ago i let go of a 72 corolla(HUGE mistake) I kick myself almost every day!!! I did end up with a 85 ae86 coupe with 73k on it…..for FREE!!!!!!!! That has made letting go of the first corolla a little easier.LOL

  10. Ant says:

    Not fitting any security measures to my ’91 MX-5, and discovering that made it all too easy to steal, ranks pretty high on my “worst JNC decisions” list…

  11. TSLegendary says:

    Not switching sooner to Hagerty for classic car insurance.

  12. Kev says:

    Thats awesome! Thanks!! How do I claim my decals from last weeks question?

  13. Angelo says:

    Using the old girl as my daily, though it can get thrilling when nothing suspicious is happening.

  14. Jared says:

    Selling my 1971 ke26 wagon, light yellow with original rims, loved that car.

  15. ACSK says:

    Passing on a hakosuka twice. First was a genuine GT-R a long while ago for around $28,000. I wound up moving to Japan, and later Korea, before returning to the States. I did enjoy the best time of my life, and learned several languages, so as mush as I regret not buying it, I do not regret what I did with my life.

    The second was much more recent, where I had to pass on a short-nose for around $30,000. My wife absolutely refused. She hates old cars, and things I’ll die if I don’t have something new, large, and air-bag laden. I will probably regret this the rest of my life, but no alternatives are pretty either…

  16. RoryBeasley says:

    Hi. Nowadays, I’m all about appreciating my JNCs and making the most out of them before they become classics.

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