QotW: Which influential person in the JNC world, living or dead, would you like to meet?

History is full of influential men and women whose training, decisions, and determination conceived of and built the things we love today. Engineers, designers, CEOs, race car drivers, tuners, and so on. If someone had a magic  machine through which we could talk to these figures, living or dead, with no language barrier, who would you like to meet? I would love to be able to chat with Ichiro Suzuki, the father of the JZA80 Supra and Lexus LS, to ask what it was like to be entrusted with building not just a car, but a brand, that would challenge the world’s best (and also, you know, what he’d think of the new Supra).

Which influential person in the JNC world would you like to meet?

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 ultimate JCCS build?”

We thoroughly enjoyed all of your comments this week, and there were truly brilliant ones that we wished you would really make happen. We’d love to see F31Club founder F31Roger‘s ultimate Infiniti M30 build, for example, or Hachibrokeyou‘s Century V12-powered Z20 Soarer kaido racer. Manu almost won for his nobility in wanting to restore the Toyota 2000GT tragically crushed by a tree in 2014. However, it is returning champion Yuri who really takes the cake with his hilarious dream build:

It is the morning of JCCS. The dim red glow of the sun is just starting to peek over the horizon, haze grey gulls sail on the cool breezes over the city of Long Beach.

The calm silence is shattered by the rumble of a big diesel. Rainbow colored lights glint off the parked classics on the lawn, the ground rumbles and quakes.
Chrome, candy paint, airbrushed murals, and brightly colored lights all compete for the eye’s attention as a full Dekotora’d Hino heavy-duty flatbed rolls into the park, looking as if someone carved several square meters out of Shinjuku and dropped it directly into SoCal.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Riding on it like a misshapen mechanical jockey is an odd form under a tarp. The Hino rolls to a stop, its airbrakes hissing a great sigh, the Supras parked next to it looking on in envy with their puny blow-off valves.

The cover is removed from the flatbed. On it, yellow lights flashing, is a Toyota Hi-Ace Shuto Expressway recovery truck, it’s shiny yellow, white, and red paint recalling its heyday in the nineties, gingerly plucking the wrecked GTR’s, Evo’s, and Porsches of Wangan Hashiyara out of the concrete barriers of Yokohama. But that isn’t what is riding on its flatbed. Yet another tarp covers an odd form.

The second tarp is removed. Eyes dart first to an iconic logo, a geometric mother cat tenderly carrying her equally geometric kitten. They take in the sharply raked windscreen, and the teal and beige livery. A Kuroneko Yamato Toyota Lite-Ace truck stands resplendent on the back of the Hi-Ace. But this isn’t the typical box-version you see parked on every street in Tokyo. Like all the other trucks it sits on, this one is a flatbed. And it too is carrying a tiny bundle, like a mother cat carrying its kitten.

The third and final tarp is removed. Once again there are flashing lights, but these are red.
Balancing on the small flatbed of the Kuroneko Yamato Lite-Ace is a cute, tiny form, bright gold leaf details on a cherry red body. A joyful little Daihatsu HiJet Climber Firetruck sits atop the entire pile, like a puppy climbing its way to the top of its litter. Shovels, buckets, ladders, and hoses festoon the baby fire engine, making it look well prepared to fight the blaze of a tiny 3-seat Tokyo whiskey bar.

The imposing figure of the Russian nesting dolls of Toyota utility trucks cast a long shadow over the grass. Seagulls adjust their course away from the park, frightened off by the slow clapping of ones and even twos of people.

Omedetou! Your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop.

JNC Decal smash


This post is filed under: Question of the Week.

13 Responses to QotW: Which influential person in the JNC world, living or dead, would you like to meet?

  1. Bob says:

    Soichiro Honda. Mic drop. I can recount his life, but it’s all over the web. Lousy student. Started his own company at 22. Motorhead. Race car driver. Engineer. Private pilot. Fascinating guy who produced exceptional products. I’ve had a soft spot for Honda since my first CT70 mini and drive one today.
    Yup. He’s the man. I wish he could be cloned.

  2. Nigel says:

    Without hesitation the founder of Honda, Soichiro Honda !!

  3. Spirit Road says:

    I would like to sit down with Kenichi Yamamoto (aka Father Of the Mazda Rotary) and talk about ideas and solutions to continue development of the rotary engine. 🙂

  4. MikeRL411 says:

    Mr. K !

  5. Victor Martinez says:

    Mr. K, who I had the pleasure of meeting years ago.

  6. Michael J. says:

    I’m with Mike and Victor. Definitely Mister K. Thank you for bringing us the Z! Fifty years old, one month away from its golden anniversary!! A day I’ll be celebrating even if Nissan isn’t. (Or nothing I’ve heard about other than the BRE inspired Z34 stripe package!)

  7. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    Joe Isuzu (aka David Leisure).

  8. Daniel says:

    Shoichiro Irimajiri, a fascinating engineer, was in the development of formula 1 engines, the honda cbx 1050 engine, vt 250 and other wonders of the 80s, president of the honda engine of the United States, sega in Japan and then a mystery. I still hope that jay leno invites him to his garage

  9. pete240z says:

    Mr. Katayama and Mr. Honda. Can you imagine the company if they were on the same team?

  10. james says:

    Mr.K, Kenichi Yamamoto and I would also add Jujiro Matsuda, the founder of Mazda to my list

  11. Ken Lim says:

    When you mention influential person in JNC world, who else would it be other than Ben Hsu himself over here. The one who started this JNC website. Without Ben, this JNC website would not even be here and we’re probably not even commenting anything over here at all.

    It would be interesting to meet Ben and start a conversation about various JNC that can probably go on and on. Since Ben knows English too, it would be easier for me to communicate with as well. It would be awesome to meet you someday and learn more from you.

    Maybe you din’t expect yourself to be named, Ben, but certainly with all your effort and hard work placed on this website, you’re quite an influential person in the JNC world too. Educating and reaching so many people across the world about JNC is an amazing feat.

  12. dankan says:

    After some careful thought, I think I would like to meet Akio Toyoda. I would like to speak with him about his desire to build Toyotas which are not just appliances, and about how his intent has not always ideally matched the output.

    I think that with a bit of encouragement, the recent move from Toyotas being vanilla to crème brulée could be taken farther and at the very least, they wouldn’t be so goddamn ugly. Also, I would love to convince him to follow through on that GRMN Century idea, and ideally maybe see if I could get a test model to subject to Canadian cold-weather testing…

  13. robin says:

    I guess it must be nice meeting influential people who were at the forefront of bringing us all these “cool” products, but many are also attracted to these machines due to the customisation of these products due to the famous/infamous tuners/drivers.

    My list is long from legends such as “Smokey” Nagata to the inspirational Ichichima-San, I feel these are people that were really influential in showing the world how capable Japanese vehicles are and more importantly just how much fun one can have with minor to major upgrades.

    However after reading the comment section I have to agree with Kim Lim (not sure if her/his post was to secure the win, just kidding) but it’s people like the team of this website that we overlook and should be appreciating as it’s done out of pure passion and dedication, the people working for huge companies sometimes are only doing it because it pays the bills and their parents pushed them to study that field and they landed a job at places we could only dream to work for.

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