Buying the JNC of your dreams can be a harrowing task. We all know the heart flutter we get when the proper model, trim level, condition, color, and optional equipment shows up in an ad. We also know the gut-wrenching disappointment that can ensue when the we discover that the car has been repainted, had a “little fender bender,” or a cascade of rust under the wheel well. No matter how great a car is, there are some things that make you walk away.
What’s your dealbreaker when buying a used JNC?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s was the moment you fell in love with JNCs?”
There are many ways to fall in love, and you guys have experienced them all. Often, it was a family member, like Chris‘ parents, or Ian and ra21benj‘s older brothers who turned them onto special cars. For others, like Howard Drespain, it was a magazine article. For some, like Don it was a chance encounter on the street (with a Prince Skyline, no less!). There were even former muscle car owners like W Drew, Jeremy and Speedie who became converts after their encounters. And of course, there were those, like Brandon and Yuri, who became converts after Gran Turismo. However, this week the winner was Angelo, who had this heartwarming tale of conversion by diecast car.
I remember the old, orange Tomica Cedric taxi my mom gave me as a two-year old. It was because of a simple reason: she was trying to make me behave as I was in a tantrum because of a doctor’s appointment.
And seeing one like that roll down the street, while me and my mom was on a bike going to a park in Chiba back in ’98, made it for us, as my mom saw my eyes shine as it passed us.
That was the moment that brought me into admiring, daydreaming about, and finally owning a JNC, and it is why they see me as that 22 year old kid who acts like a ‘tito'(uncle) in the family. It’s because almost all the cars I dream about are older than me.
My mom would certainly agree, and is probably laughing at me.
Omedetou! Your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop.
Whoa, I won last week’s QoTW. Didn’t really expect that but thanks a lot, JNC team! 🙂
Well, dealbreakers.. When I bought mine, it had a ton of issues. The door’s won’t open easily, the interior was shot, and the suspension sagged like a water bed.
Typical issues, really. But these are easy fixes.
What breaks it for me would be.. the lack of legal papers for the car. That would make the deal too risky for me to bite. I wouldn’t mind spending a lot on fixing and making the car drivable, as long as it’s legal and registerable.
Having spent a chunk in the car business, what breaks it for me is what breaks it for most people…sellers that lie. Lie about condition. Lie about history. Lie about mileage. Try to tell you that the knock in the lower end and horrendous clutch slippage is because it’s been sitting for awhile. Oops. A chunk of Bondo fell off. No rust here.
I have to totally agree with you on this: the only times I walked away from deals was if the seller was telling lies.
I bought a1990 Mitsubishi Colt for way to much money, but it was well kept and reliable. I bought a rusty AE86 in 2005, but the seller told me about each and every rusthole. I bought a mint Carina Ta60 and I was very suspicious on the seller because he only told me good things about the car but the car was genuinely clean.
The only times I walked away from cars were the ones where the seller put too much effort in polishing the engine bay or the bodywork showed recent repays while the owner ensured me the car was never in an accident. And of course the famous clutch slippage is readily fixed by adjusting the cable on a car with a hydrolic clutch line… ?
The JNCs I’m interested in are usually 30+ years or older. Most are utility vehicles or sports cars; They did not live easy lives. So while many people may answer rust, or damage, I know that’s going to come with the territory. For me, the main dealbreaker is going to be paperwork. “Lost title”, “No title but can provide bill of sale”, “Bill of sale only”, “Title lost a while ago but you can apply for a new one.” Any of these in correspondence with a seller makes me turn around and walk away. Not just because of the massive headache that this incurs, having to track down a chain of ownership to the last individual to have registered the car (No title cars tend to bounce between owners who give up on the search), but because there’s the specter of having a theft on my hands.And not a recent one; It is easy to imagine, that in 1989, somebody’s 1985 300ZX was stolen, and was handed around from person to person, until 30 years later, nobody knows it was stolen, only that its missing paperwork. I would not enjoy finding a car I love, doing the legwork and then being told it was stolen, and seeing it go away; It’s my understanding, that the car would go back to its original owner, which is great, that would be an amazing story. But it would also be a whole lot of hassle, a whole lot of headache, all for something that could be prevented by making sure the car has a valid, transferrable title.
Rust. That’s it for me.
Since middle school (2007), I was looking for a good candidate to restore, and always loved datsuns prior JDM boom; near my city, a lot of 510s saloon was used and abused as a taxi, in addition of a humid environment and poor care of those little cars in Mexico, is very difficult to get one in fair condition. Most of time searching was the same situation, guys trying to sell rust buckets as “nunca taxi” (no used on taxi service) and even with the ID number of service painted on them! At least here, that´s my dealbreaker.
From my experience, anything without a title is just a pile of parts. Anything with rust is an expensive indulgence. I will no longer buy a JNC with either.
I owned a 10th AE RX-7 for a while. Well, I SAY I owned it, but in reality, the guy two owners back still owned it. See, the guy I bought it from never registered it in his name. And the guy HE bought it from moved away and couldn’t be contacted. So getting the vehicle registered in my name meant that I had to drag the guy I bought it from down to the courthouse, where he signed a piece of paper stating that he had no illegal intentions (despite driving it for years without registration). I then had to pay for HIS last several years of registration, just to give him a title in HIS name, which he could then turn around and give to me. Oh, and did I mention the vehicle was purchased in a city two hours away? I’m never doing that again. Clean title, in hand, in your name, with a matching VIN to the car, or it’s not worth it. I ended up selling it soon after I got the title in my name. The car just wasn’t “fun” anymore. It represented DMV wait times, paperwork, and strife. I DID get to hear the 13B sing a time or two, though. So at least there’s that.
I learned how to weld thanks to a 280Z. Or rather, how to blow holes in incredibly thin sheet metal. I learned not to trust a “clean” body thanks to a 240Z – It had over 100lbs of Bondo due to bad repairs years ago. Literally two inches thick in one place. And the rear wheel arch on one side was made entirely of the stuff. I probably wouldn’t have known were it not for a ding in the quarter I tried to fix. My 240SX taught me that, a decade later, bodywork is still incredibly dirty and not fun at all – And the end result looks like crap. So these days a nice shell is the #1 thing I look for in a used car. It’s worth bringing along a magnet to make sure that there’s nothing hidden. In a city of half a million people, it’s almost impossible to find a shop that’s willing to tackle rust repair. The one I found, their first question was “What year Mustang is it?”. Their next was, “Are you okay waiting 9 months before we begin?” So yeah. Screw rust.
In Dec 2016, i viewed a Z10 toyota soarer which the owner described as restored. When the time came to view the car, what a dissapointment.
The car had been left in the hot tropical sun for wayy too long. The headlights were clouded and the rear lights had minute cracks and faded badly, np doubt the paint job was good but I didnt like the colour he chose. The seats were destroyed by the sun’s rays, the power windows were weak, the AC panel did not work, but needed to be turned on by 2 knobs under the steering wheel. The rubber seals around the glass and doors faded and hardened. Front right wheel was leaking fluid. And the cake was, he used a Z20 meter set that did not fit well into the Z10’s bigger binnacle, showing huge gaps on both ends of the cluster.This happened because the engine was swapped over from a Z20 1G GTE so rather than cut and splice the wires so that it will work with the Z10 cluster, the electrician cum mechanic just plugged in everything from the Z20. I walked away.
My deal breaker isn’t any one single thing. Depending on the car, and how high on my dream list it is, I would be willing to jump through some hoops. Rust can be repaired, Parts can be found or made, paperwork can be sorted out(I’ve had had to do lien holds on a few) and elbow grease can be applied. What really makes me walk away is when there is a combo of these items and the seller is really pushy or just seems like they are hiding something.
We all know the type. They talk up the good points and gloss over or straight up lie about the bad ones. Saying its never been in an accident when there are clearly signs of rear end damage in the spare tire well or body panels that are massively mis-aligned. Paper work that is water damaged and not in their name but they say ‘its good, thats my cousin’.