QotW: Which car should automakers make reproduction parts for next?

We learned last week that NISMO is going to start making brand new parts for the R32 Skyline GT-R again. This is great news for enthusiasts, who will be able to restore and drive their cars, and also great for the automaker, who can feel good about supporting enthusiasts while keeping examples of their best creations on the road. Perhaps other Japanese car companies will take a page from Nissan’s book and do the same.

Which car should automakers make reproduction parts for next?

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 greatest Skyline?

While we at JNC are partial to the Hakosuka, Tom Westmacott‘s R32 response was the best this week, a sentiment echoed by the many commenters who supported him. He makes a compelling case:

This is a tough question since the Skyline has been a prince among cars since its birth, and is perhaps the best-loved domestic nameplate in Japan. Since JNC focuses on the overseas appreciation of Japanese cars, I would nominate the breakout global hit of the Skyline line – the R32 GTR.

In the mid-80s Nissan decided to reinvigorate their legend, investing it with ‘hypercar-level’ technology with four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, active diffs, and the RB26DETT engine. First it won over Japan, dominating both circuit and touge, before heading to Australia to do the same, beating Ford and Holden on their own turf. From here, the Skyline went on to win fame at the Nurburgring and across Europe, before finally cracking the USA.

The R32 was the pivotal car in the Skyline’s global fame; our knowledge of the classic Skylines springs from the impact made by the ‘new GTR’ in the 90s, while equally Nissan’s ability to sell the range-topping R35 GTR around the world today stems from the image the R32 forged in competition. This includes competition both of the organised circuit kind and the, shall we say, unofficial flavour where innocent traffic lights become nocturnal zero-yon countdowns or the road up to a mountain village turns into a special stage.

The R32 GTR is a legend in all its forms, but I were to pick one car it would be the first-year 1989 car, in classic gunmetal with those lovely five-spoke alloys.

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

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41 Responses to QotW: Which car should automakers make reproduction parts for next?

  1. Gary says:

    Ben – I had to be the first to comment…

    For Toyota’s my business picked up the opportunity! Couldn’t wait for TMC to do it themselves…there’s also a chap doing the AE86 stuff competently too!


    Note to TMC execs – am happy to join forces!

  2. Mercilessmings says:

    Obviously it should be the HONDA N/Z600 series, arguably the most important Japanese Nostalgic cars.

  3. j_tso says:

    Not a car in particular, but it’d be awesome if Mazda made new 10A and 12A rotor housings

    Nowadays with tech like the 3D printing it’s easier to remake interior and exterior trim, and a lot of piston engines can be machined and cylinders sleeved. A few have tried, but no small manufacturer has been able to refurbish or make new housings.

    With Cosmo Sports and pre-7 RXs being collectible now, having a supply of engine parts will encourage owners to drive them, or better yet, race them because historic racing requires cars to have their engines in period form.

  4. David says:

    Te72 or ke70 would be nice

  5. Skyler says:

    I would love to see Toyota do this with the 1st gen celica. I pick the celica for a couple reasons 1. I’m biased I own a 77 myself. 2. Because i think there’s enough aftermarket support for cars like the ae86. Unfortunately I can’t see this happening. Every time i go to a Toyota dealership to ask for something as simple as a bolt they sigh, groan, and get put out of shape everyone there including the managers will often times glare at me. I remember one time I was looking for a clip or maybe just a bolt and the parts guy couldn’t find it and brought the manager, manager says “it’s impossible to find such a thing for such an old car” I then say “It’s a pretty basic bolt anyway you can just grab a bolt for another car and we’ll use that”? Nope I guess that was to hard to achieve he says “There are thousands of parts back there I’m not going to just go and look for you”. You could argue that if it’s such a basic bolt why couldn’t I just go to Home Depot? Well, I like buying Toyota parts if I can. The reason why I bring up my parts encounter is to show how little Toyota of America cares about their fan base for “such old cars”
    Mazda will most likely be the next company to this

    • Legacy-san says:

      Parts counter guys typically aren’t fans of what they sell, they just want to sell the most expensive thing they can, since most are paid on commission.

      • Jayrdee says:

        I work in the parts department at a Toyota dealership, and own an AE86 so I get to see both sides of this situation. Its frustrating going to a dealer and then leave empty handed.

        … on the flip side though, when you start dealing with older vehicles things get really confusing. Not only are the parts diagrams super confusing to begin with, but older models come from paper manuals, with HAND DRAWN diagrams, that were scanned and uploaded so they aren’t very good quality. Part numbers are often discontinued, or have changed 10 times, etc.

        To make matters even worse, whoever names parts for Toyota totally suck. Its not like going online to CarQuest and typing in whatever you want. For example fuses, the database we use literally just call them “fuses”, whether its a 10A, 20A or 150A fuse, its just called a fuse. Or relays, doesn’t matter if its a Power Relay, Fuel Pump Relay, Blower motor Relay, or whatever, on the diagrams they’re just called Relays. o2 or knock sensor? Nope, to Toyota they’re just called “Sensors”. No descriptions. (Those are easy stuff, but you get the idea) Newer vehicles are a easier since things are more detailed, but old vehicles are a nightmare to deal with.

        Bolts are a pain to look up for older vehicles too because not only are the part numbers often discontinued, the diagrams don’t reflect their sizes, don’t mention any dimensions, etc. Its often just a generic hand-drawn picture of a bolt with a random part number off to the side.

        Anytime I get into a situation like this I usually let the customer look at the diagram (or email them while on the phone) and let them try and tell me what they need. 20000% of the time they’re like “I have no clue what I’m looking at”.

        So … combine that with having someone’s Aunt Carol on the other line trying to buy a Drive Belt but can’t tell you how many cylinders her car has, and then yell at you for not knowing how to do your job, things can get annoying Lol.

    • Gary says:

      Skyler – we’re working on all the pre 1985 Toyota models as fast as we can.

      First generation Celica’s are on the hit list!


  6. Nissan Stanza Wagon! Duh!

    • Scotty G says:

      I never thought that I’d see that here until I posted it, Ryan! I applaud your good taste in vehicles, sir.

      Second, but a close second, just because I don’t have one (yet), is the Subaru XT. A few key Subaru 360 pieces would be much-appreciated, too.

  7. Legacy-san says:

    How about the redheaded stepchild of the Japanese autoworld…Subaru…SVX’s, 1st gen Legacy GT’s and Impreza’s…

  8. エーイダン says:

    Jeez, what a question, I’ll sort this by brand:

    First and foremost:

    1993 Asuna Sunfire (Canadian Isuzu Impulse coupe)
    1991-97 Suzuki Cappuccino
    Mistubishi Starion
    Suzuki Jimmy
    Nissan 240SX
    Toyota Supra from the ’70s and ’80s (The one that in the ’70s the old ads I have seen said ‘The car of the ’80s’)
    Nissan Patrol
    Toyota Celica -all of them, I love them all
    Honda Accord-first-gen model
    OK, so I love so many JNC”s it nearly kills me, hell make parts for them all!

  9. Jim Simpson says:

    Would love to see parts for the 80’s Celica’s and Supra’s

  10. Randy says:

    Well THERE’S a question that’ll lead to scattered answers!

    Probably most votes will go to the AE86, since that seems to be THE car that everyone drools over, but howzabout them Celicas from the ’70s?

    I have Starion/Conquest leanings, as well as mid-’80s 626es, but hey, let’s not forget the Swift/Metro (and first-gen-in-U.S. “Chevy Sprint”)! Honestly, if I had 2 of each of those, It’d be pretty good starting point for the stable – as far as J-tin… Eh, lets throw in a couple of the aforementioned Celicas, as well; 1 coupe and 1 hatch. Maybe one of those converted into a convertible!

    I was reading a couple articles the other day – that I’d forgotten ENTIRELY about – about both Ford and Holden shutting down production in Australia, and Toyota said they really can’t justify keeping the supply lines open, based on operating costs, SO – MAYBE – if someone’s enterprising, there are at least 2 manufacturing plants coming available! I’ll bet they’re pretty big! Australia could become the “resto capital” of the automotive world – at least for the Japanese manufacturers! Odds are the market’s immediately stronger there than in the U.S., but they could always ship to U.S. and Canada! Let’s just not make the shipping charges insane, huh?

    Way too much excitement for a Monday morning…

    • Gary says:

      Hi Randy,

      The Ford and Holden ‘stuff’ (aka IP and some tooling etc) is with Rare Spares – nobody else gets a look in, even if they wanted to.

      We’re working on the Toyota stuff!!!

      • Randy says:

        That is awesome! Nice site – EASY TO NAVIGATE!

        So is Rare Spares looking to acquire a factory?

        Either way, it’s great for the old car people, and honestly, more importantly, for the jobs!

        “[N]obody else gets a look in.” You mean nobody’s allowed into the factories? Might just be an insurance thing, or they don’t want to risk vandalism by some understandably upset former employees…

  11. Mark Newton-John says:

    Hey, I found a couple old TRD catalogs, one from the late 90s and and one from the early 80s with part descriptions and part numbers. Any interest in scanning and uploading it?
    It has part numbers for KP61 Starlets and TE and AE Corollas.
    In fact, does TRD still have old unsold parts in some warehouse somewhere?

    • Jayrdee says:


      I highly doubt any of the part numbers will work, but it would be still interesting to see! I can go through and check which ones still work and/or where they’re located in the US next time I am doing a shift at the dealership.

  12. Mark Newton-John says:

    Off-topic, but relevant, here’s a link to PDF files for the 1997-1998 TRD Sports Parts Catalog.
    It lists parts for most Toyota from mid-80s. There are TRD parts for AE92 Corollas, body kits for ST204, AE86, and a wide-body kit for the JZA80. Of course, not sure if any part numbers are still valid.
    It’s on my Microsoft OneDrive. Now for the next 30 days.

  13. Banpei says:

    So far I found the supply of AE86 parts to be okay. Or let’s say better than I thought/expected. I’m still very unhappy with the supply of parts for the Carina TA60, but I think that would apply to any 30 year old Toyota. They just don’t keep their parts after 30 years.

    If there was one it that is truly in short supply for the AE86, it would be the head lights for the LHD Levin. They were only available in most European countries and it couldn’t have been more than a few thousand sets in total. This means currently all stock has dried up and only old, used and worn units are available. So Toyota, please start reproduction of this part!

  14. Stuart Kayrooz says:

    I’d love to see a TRD back catalogue of parts across the range, for those hard-to-get, period-correct accessories.

    Even more than that though, would be Plastic exterior trim pieces, across most 80’s and 90’s cars. they get obliterated by the Australian sun, and end up bringing the look of the entire car down. Specifically though, the AW11 is in very bad need of C pillar trim pieces and eyebrows – even taking them off a donor car is like a game of operation, trying not to crack anything, and any NOS have people asking ridiculous prices.

    “Toyota Plastics” sounds like a potentially booming business…

  15. ahja says:

    I want AE86 parts. Despite what some have claimed here, there is not at all a decent supply of NOS or reproduction parts whatsoever. Nobody even makes an oem-quality complete dash for them! Let alone all the less glamorous interior and exterior trim and panels and fabrics. And driveline parts. And body parts. And electrical components. Compared to something like a 240Z or a classic English roadster, there is NOTHING for hachis.

    Realistically, I don’t think we are going to get restoration parts for AE86s just yet. But hopefully and probably in 5-10 years. Zs, 1st gen RX7s, and Datsun roadsters have substantial restoration support. I would think A20 Celicas would have the increasingly thick catalogues printed for them next. FC RX7s would be good too. Even though that model has become startlingly rare. Hopefully there are a bunch tucked away waiting to be resurrected.

    • Banpei says:

      I said so far it was okay and better than I thought. The items you name are indeed out of stock for the past five to ten years.

      Body parts were already scarce ten years ago, but some reproductions have been made in the past (rear quarters in Ireland and rear section by Impulse in Japan) and there are a lot of FRP copies available. FRP may not be the best replacement tbh, but at least it is better than nothing.

  16. Phil says:

    Datsun 320 – and save me the effort

  17. PDXBryan says:

    I can’t believe I’m the first to vote for the 510! We all have our favorites and I know folks are often wanting to look for the more esoteric and rare but seriously, name another JNC that’s had more influence than the good ol’ five & dime? Even though we think of the 510 as being unchanged through it’s 6 year run, there are many differences between the model years that can make restoration difficult. Try to find a dashpad for a ’69, I did, but I was very lucky! Futofab and Datsport have done commendable work reviving some important pieces but they’re small companies. Imagine how many decrepit Dimes could be revived with help from Nissan? For evidence of their value look at the prices stock and nicely modded 510s have been fetching on Bring a Trailer. The love for these little guys is not dwindling and folks are willing to put their wallets where their nostalgic hearts are.

  18. Scott says:

    Celica and supra upto 1985.

    I am trying to get from corner indicators reproduced.

    • Will B. says:

      What year are you looking for? There’s an 83 here with a clean set in a local yard; having had to source a set for an 85 I know your pain

  19. BW says:

    The answer is, as always, Miata.

    No joking…parts for the 1.6L cars are starting to become harder and harder to come by. We’ve hit that point where all those whackos charging $20k for a cherry ’90 (’89) Miata aren’t so crazy as they once seemed.

    • Randy says:

      A neighbor was telling me that a relative of his has a Miata, and the ONE part he needs doesn’t seem to be available: Headlight covers!

      You would think, that with all the racing and hoons out there, that if companies are making front bumpers, hoods, and misc. other front end parts, they’d make the headlight covers…

      Almost makes you want to do a mild custom on it immediately, just to be able to put the parts away for the future.

      • BW says:

        Spec Miata has single-handedly doomed the Miata spare parts bin. At the very least it caused the hardtop market price to absolutely skyrocket.

  20. ahja says:

    Hey Ben, what car did your wife end up getting? Did I miss a post about it?

  21. David says:

    I agree with BW that a steady supply of Miata parts is a great idea. Unfortunately I know nothing about the financial viability of reproducing them, but I hope that Mazda could manage the task. Perhaps someday complete bodies can be made. My research has found that British Motor Heritage Limited manufactures MG bodies (among those for other British sports cars), so maybe, someday, Mazda could create a similar business. If Mazda can maintain its connections with Toyota, the costs of basic materials might be easier to bear. Excuse my hopeless naiveté, but could the Japanese companies work together to re-manufacture parts and still realize individual corporate profits? Of course reproducing parts can only happen if the market is big enough…

  22. Leslie Henderson says:

    the next car that should be in the restoration programme is the 1989/90 n13 nissan sunny zx hatchback

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