QotW: What’s your favorite JNC tuning style?

Mazda Carol

From bone stock to bosozoku, there’s a wide range styles for nostalgic cars. Crazed pimp van, Mooneyes hot rod, Fuji racer, high-society VIP, Resto-mod, nisei cruiser, rally racer, it’s a blank canvas out there.

What’s your favorite JNC tuning style?

We can’t pick just one, so we’re just going to go with shakotan. Sure, a lowered car is a cop-out answer, but Japan’s massive infrastructure and pride in craftsmanship results in mirror-smooth roads, and that has been a key factor in their tuning culture. But this QotW is for you guys, not us.

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a toy. Click through to see the winner of the last QotW, “What’s the best 1960s JNC for vintage racing?” 


Despite great answers ranging from a Mazda R100 to an S41 Gloria, contest rules state we pick the most entertaining answer, not the best actual car for the job. That’s why this week’s winner is Tanner, who nominates the Suzuki Fronte 360SS.

Definitely the Suzuki Fronte 360 (LC10). Just look at this amazing list of specs for the SS version:
-36 Crazy horsepower
-A mere 1000 pounds of weight
-A stout 77 inch wheelbase with width and height of 50 inches; Onle ten inches taller than the GT40
-Rear wheel drive with the engine in the rear; nothin’ sportier than that
-And best yet, this isn’t just some Passenger Kei car; Used by both Sterling Moss and Mitsuo Itoh, a high speed rally was taken along the Italy coast, from Milan to Napoli, with and average speed of a blistering 86 MPH.

Car used by Moss:

You don’t need to think twice about the choice; it’s obvious.

Omedetou, Your comment has earned you a rare Hot Wheels x JNC Super Speeders mystery pack Mazda RX-7!


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33 Responses to QotW: What’s your favorite JNC tuning style?

  1. Alexander says:

    What make/model is that blue car?

  2. Colt says:

    Wangan Style Tuning. Extreme Power, amazing style, everything to the limits. Wangan cars are crazy modified but still look great. They show what the cars can really do when they are pushed to the limits.

  3. Andrew says:

    Definately Shakotan. As beautiful as say a Hako or a Z10 is in standard form, there is just something about wide vintage barrels, overfenders and lowered suspension, as well as a bit of camber, that really sets off a car. I also love the paint schemes, with all of the brightly coloured stripes and angular designs, giving off a classic vibe, as well as letting people know it’s best not mess with the car. Should you be lucky enough to hear a Shakotanned car, the exhaust note of an old inline 6 on straight pipes will definately get you excited, so much so that you will be forced to put straight takeyari pipes on your own car.

  4. acbpanda says:

    Favorite type of JNC tuning?
    A simple Restomod.

    Leaving the car’s body unmodified, adding some mods to the car, but relatively just restoring it, and adding a few nifty features along the way, it also looks the best, they don’t lower the cars too much or anything like that, just some updated paint, updated rims, and maybe a new engine if the old one was trashed. Restomodding allows a look similar to how they came off the line.

  5. dankan says:

    For me, definitely either resto-mod or fuji/rally race. Either make it quick, or make it practical. I find the whole bosozoku/shakotan thing a bit lame, since it renders cars only semi-functional. Much like the idiocy of hella-flush…

  6. Gene says:

    Shakotan definitely, unfortunately super lowered cars don’t get to well with the roads we have here (Philippines), the PO of my Corona obviously went for the shakotan look and the under carriage of the car paid the price.

    • angelo says:

      yeah, the roads here suck, full of potholes and the unnecessary “humps”…

      well, i’d go for a resto-mod i guess…

      • Gene says:

        But I do love the looks people give me when I attempt to go over a “mountainous” speed hump. Doing an S curve while car gives off a little “scratch” sound from the underside. I get reactions ranging from amazement to annoyed.

  7. Dave says:

    The lowering is the best modifying which can happend with a japanise car. (I think :D)
    In Hungary, the roads condition is not good enought. Because this the cruise can be complicated. It’s not interested the mens, they built a great Shakotan style cars. 🙂

  8. justin says:

    Restomod is how I do things. I love the look and the sound and the feel of old j tin but there are things that could be made better and that’s how I do them. Weld up the chassis where it’s weak from factory, lighten the car as much as possible and take care of the body. The engine is a bit tricky because I try to stay as original look as possible but get better reliability. I prefer Restomods on j tin because it allows you to keep the style and feel of these cars but allows you to be very creative and diverse on how you build your car.

  9. Nigel says:

    Touge / Road race, a slight power upgrade with a bit of extra cornering ability.
    (Some cool wheels thrown in). Balance.
    Great for some side road “time attack”.

  10. Oswald Zelaya says:

    For me styles like RWB are some of the best, it somehow enhances the personality of the car and makes it feel more Porsche, but it also makes it stand out there. Minimal modifications to the exterior of the car but in the right spots, wheel arches, Old school car, with new school mods, like newer engines, Fuel injection, suspension systems, brake systems, but make it look like it was originally designed that way. One of the best in this is the Porsche Singer. Surely is the most expensive, lengthy and laborious.. but that is usually how great things come to be.

    I am an aircraft mechanic, i am currently restoring or trying to restore an AE86. People usually laugh when they see me looking around the aircraft scrap box, but the idea of putting aircraft parts in my car is too good to pass haha.

  11. Gino says:

    I don’t know if it can count as a JNC style yet, but I’m a huge fan of the kanjo racer style you see on EGs, EFs, and even EA-Ts. There is an inspiration from shakotan styled cars, with cues taken from Japanese race cars outfitted to street cars. But the effect is much different. Shakotan cars kind of exist to make a statement. Low and slow, yet radically styled. But kanjo tuned cars have a purpose: to tear apart the highways of Osaka. Lowered, but actually tuned to corner well. Mismatched wheels wrapped around with semislicks. Basic bolt ons to the motor to squeeze out some extra power out of the little four bangers. Of course, the type of driving they do is very dangerous, and even idiotic, but it’s what these tuners grew up around.

  12. Styles says:

    OK, so it isn’t related to cars, but Dekotora is the craziest thing to come out of Japan. Just look at some of those mad, chromed up muraled creations, it’s just crazy, like a cross between a truck, a gundam roboot and a pachinko parlour! Nothing shows the mad undercurrent of Japanese culture that hides behind that conservative veneer better then these.

    Now, if people only started to make Dekotora-styled cars…..

  13. john says:

    “Kaido Racer” is my favorite to build.

    But “Kyusha Kai” is my favorite to look at. 🙂

  14. Tanner says:

    Hey, thanks for pickin’ my nomination! I read about it recently, and I couldn’t resist putting it up!

  15. Broseph says:

    Shakotan seems to be the fan favourite, but I think that’s also due to the younger generations discovering the world of JNC’s. I’d take a restomod any day of the week. I think most people forget the fact that you can mod as much as you want…as long as it’s period correct. Here in the states a shakotan build would be condemned to live the life of a trailer queen due to our horrible roads, which I you’re a true car guy…you’d understand that cars are meant to be driven and not tucked away.With a restomod you have all the aesthetics of a period car with the benefit of updated performance. I myself am doing a build on an S30 with a VQ swap. I know some people look down on restomod for not being numbers matching but I’d rather see a JNC with serious rust issues and no engine get a swap done rather than go to the crusher.

  16. pstar says:

    Japanese performance aftermarket. HKS, Tein, Jun, Greddy, Tom’s, Sard, Tomei, ARC, SSR, Work, Tokico, Apexi, Yokohama, Tanabe, Bridgestone, RE Amemiya, Spoon, Mugen, Toyo, Autobacs.

    Ok, the parts selection for the older classics is limited. Hopefully it’ll grow. Probably not, but we can always hope. But once you get into late 80s to 90s cars (which aren’t considered “nostalgic” or classic by the editors of JNC, but I do) then its just total richness of quantity and quality.

  17. Richie says:

    As far as tuning styles go I tend to lean more toward a lighty modified with period correct pieces. Take my personal S30 for example, factory paint, lowered by old race springs by the original owner who auto crossed it and a set of 14 inch Watanabes complete the exterior for me, and it’s beautiful. The engine is a L26 with SUs and stock exhaust and a Koyo radiator. Sure, I may end up doing more but in all honesty to me that car is my idea of a JNC and if it stayed that way forever I would still be satisfied with it. I do enjoy all tuning styles for looks and functionality because I have a passion for these cars and seeing them loved and kept on the road instead of rotting somewhere is way better for everybody who appreciates them. The different styles are just different ways we all show our taste in a shared love for vintage steel.

  18. Clark says:

    Kyusha Kai or Shakotan. Bosozoku is nice to look at and always different but not my thing. I’d like to keep it a little less crazy

  19. Dave says:

    Tasteful period-correct racer, with restraint, is the ultimate for me. The ideal is reasonable performance mods for street use. That Carol in the photo, for instance, looks awesome, but I’d trade the shakotan thing for more track-tuned suspension and wheels (Carol was raced in its time). Boring and not very creative, I know. I love to look at all kinds of JNC/JDM tuning styles, but this is my favorite and what I’d apply to my own car.

  20. j3wman says:

    There is not a lot i love more in this world than a quality shakotan ride, not the over top ones are great from japan but the american, i guess, rendition of shakotan where it is a little ratty but beautiful. I love a car that from afar you are like “woah badass” then you get to its rather used exterior and you are pleased to find all sorts of vintage goodies. Classic wheels, Bilbos, Techno stars, sakuras any of them with suspension that is custom made to make the car lower sometimes with no after market (I have a Subaru GL with CRX coilovers i made fit). Then the car is personalized you do mods you find cool. Put all of that together and you have made yourself the perfect daily driver and the perfect car to mindf#ck car show judges with too.

    But i also love Kanjo Style cars which are close to Wangan Street Racers but are more handling based. I love them because they get used, you build a bad ass 87 Civic with a B16 with 200hp only then sort out the footwork, get your team livery on and tear up the highway in a kubuki mask. That is exactly what this culture is about, motorsport, appearance and functionality. These cars have scratches, dented quarter panels and are the stuff dreams are made of.

    Im tied so those are my 2 favorite styles, i like ridiculous cars that get used regularily. Shakotan DDs and EF Civics made of dents and scratches with $5,000 in suspension work tearing up highways.

  21. j3wman says:

    zokusha i guess is the proper name upon further research

  22. ready says:

    Restomod with OEM body, I say OEM aside from stock because doing things like putting the widebody stuff on a narrowbody celica supra is OK to me.

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