QotW: Which JNC are you never sellin’?

14 Alfred Morris 1991 Mazda 626

Maybe it’s your first. Maybe it’s got some uber-rare option combo. Maybe you put your blood, sweat and tears into building it exactly way you want it. It might note even be that special to anyone else but you, but you’re keeping it forever anyway.

Which JNC are you never sellin’?

Look at the story of Alfred Morris. He kept and restored his beloved Mazda 626 5-speed, even though he earned $2.2 million with his NFL contract last year. How many JNC readers would do the same in his situation?

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 JNC for a new driver?” 

1991 Honda Civic CRX Si

We had an amazing number of top notch, laugh out loud comments this week. If you need a good chuckle, check out what torture dickie plans to put his kid through with an X80 Cressida, AndyB‘s love-hate relationship with his Subaru Loyale, or cesariojpn‘s hilarious yet somehow completely reasonable nomination of the V20 Camry. On the other side of the spectrum, 15-year-old Mason relayed an inspiring tale that proves there is indeed hope for the next generation.

However, the winner this week was Jason, and his story about how his own experience with a gen-two Honda CR-X Si shaped his formative years.

To find the best new driver JNC one must dive deep into the mind of a 16 year old boy (or tomboy, as any 16 year old princess is only interested in a shiny new BMW or Mustang convertible). It was many, many, years ago, but I seem to remember lusting after the second gen CRX Si, a car which I eventually bought. As a new driver it taught me many important driving skills, understeer, tragic understeer, and catastrophic understeer. The last of which required a new front bumper, radiator and hood. However, with a solid 130hp on tap, it was by no means fast, but quick enough to develop driver skill.

Now from a parental standpoint it was a great car. There was no back seat, which I’m sure was a relief to my girlfriends parents in high school. This also limits the amount of idiots, i mean “friends”, that can fit in the car. Nothing like the 1984 Caprice Classic my buddy had, leading to many late nights and lots of toilet paper spread across lawns. In addition, when the little tike goes away to college, anything able to fit in a dorm room will fit in the back of the car. It also works great for beer runs, as I’m certain a keg can fit in the back, two once he turns 21 and doesn’t need someone to buy it for him.

Add to all this that most of these cars routinely make it well past 250,000 miles with little work needed, they get a solid 38+mpg on regular fuel, low insurance cost, and they’re a great choice for a new driver.

Now lets just hope you can buy one for little tommy for less then what they cost new in 1988…

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

JNC Decal smash

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30 Responses to QotW: Which JNC are you never sellin’?

  1. WTFunktion says:

    I am not selling my 89 240sx. I tried, but no one else thinks it is special just because the vin is 000035. So I guess that means I need to start saving up for my future restomod project.

    • Yuri says:

      A super low vin # and factory two-tone to boot? Restore that thing, don’t resto mod it! The vast majority of 240’s have been hacked into drift cars, don’t make the same mistake I did.
      Regardless, I too am never selling my 89 S13 green two-tone coupe, with factory HUD and power moonroof. Despite the fact it is now wide-body and SR-swapped.

      • WTFunktion says:

        I really like when other 240sx/ drift enthusiast hear about my car and say restore it rather than make it a missile car or something. So far all I did to it was enough to keep it moving while I did have to daily the car, but I still have every stock bit, except the stock blue front seats lol.

        If I can convince my self to not swap the transmission, I will probably restore the car to be as show room quality as possible, but if I do swap the trans, I may swap the engine for a while. I will probably keep my single cam though. To my understanding the first like 10k single cams have slightly higher compression than later ones, so might be a fun build. I have finished school for auto and I am anxious to build any engine just to keep learning on my own since I have not found a good auto job, and SR’s are so cheap now when they have spun bearings.

        Though really I would like to get a VQ35 that I could smog in California as the biggest restomod I would do. And the only way I can change the body to a Silvia front or any other bumper set is if I still have my stock piggy ready to put on when I need to stare at it for a while, so that means I will probably keep it a piggy fo life!

        I need to step my job game up before I can step my project car game up LOL! Then maybe I can pick up a hatch to beat on, since thats what I am most nostalgic for anyway lol. I say I am addicted to S13’s, but really I am addicted to piggy faced hatches and two-tone coupes xD

      • Randy says:

        Hey Yuri,

        So is yours too far out to be restored, or still a possibility?

        BTW, I could swear I saw a 2-tone green one on SOME page – maybe here. I don’t absolutely recall.

  2. cesariojpn says:

    Why is my link above going to another persons posting?

  3. rotate says:

    My 79 Savannah Rx7 of course, bought in 91 and never selling
    even the wife wouldn’t let me sell it.

  4. r100guy says:

    My R100! Celebrating a love/hate relationship of 31 years. 1983 is when I found her neglected little self parked under huge billboard covered in white paint. Filthy dirty and not running, I managed to slowly bring her back to life. Every part of that car has a story behind it. Selling it would be like selling part of the family.

  5. Sammy B says:

    Never selling my 84 Van LE. We got it when I was a little kid, so I’m VERY attached to it. Like most JNC, around northeast Ohio, these have become exceedingly rare. Mine is in very, very good condition….no rust, body & paint great for age). Rare 5 speed transmission. And since it took so long to be delivered, my dad was able to get the dealer back then to put in the nicer stereo (digital tuner/cassette and graphic equalizer). So that really might make it a 1 of 1 [unless somebody else put one in after the fact…but they likely went with aftermarket stereo, not sticking w/ toyota].

    It’s such a goofy vehicle that it certainly gets lots of looks. And being a minivan, it never gets driven hard anymore [or in the rain….certainly not snow!]. Maybe in southern california this wouldn’t be so special, but I really love having one of the nicest first year Vans in the region. I’ve already told my 8 year old he’ll get it one day 🙂

  6. Derrick says:

    I’ll never sell my 1969 Datsun 1000. It is still a project but is going on a 4 year project because it is my first restoration and only took 3 years to find a parts car that was 1300kms away. So for the amount of time I’ve put into the car I’ll never get it back and the antisipation of wanting to drive it is killing me

  7. Kev says:

    I don’t think I will be allowed to sell Project Hakosuka 🙂

  8. I bought my 1967 Datsun RL411 new and have been defending it against nature and careless drivers ever since. Definitely a not for sale.

    • Scott says:

      WOW. Just wow. Well, if you find yourself changing your mind, I’d be willing to consider taking it off your hands and continuing your tradition. 🙂

  9. Greylopht says:

    I will never sell my 83 BRAT. I have allot of history with the car. First off, I got it for my Mother in 1996 for the sum of 2000 cash. At the time the little car had only 100,000 miles on the clock. Now many years latter it has over 245,000 on the clock. It had served mom well until she got a Legacy. Well now what 18 years latter Mom gave me the BRAT in trade for a Lifted and done up Leone III (Loyale). I am happy to have it back and currently she is still in original condition sitting in the corner of my shop. Plans are for a reversible resto mod here in the next two years. As anyone can tell you, getting parts for BRATS can be hard, so we are into year three of parts accumulation. The car will be restored to stock, and then a modern EJ22 dropped into it, in place of the carbed EA81. The original EA81 will be rebuilt and shelfed so that at any time the car can go back to 100% bone stock.

    The car is black on gray interior, with the GL package, and air con with T tops. It also has the Made for Subaru smooth top snug top camper and the jump seats and original carpet still in the back and in great shape. (We have never had the camper off).

    I am the second owner, the original owner was a little old man from San Bernardino so the car has been in the dry and has no rust on it, save some surface rust on a quarter panel. The body is very mint and is something I work to keep that way. Park near cars? HA! NEVER!

    I have had allot of offers over the years, lots of low ball 500 dollar that little car does not run to. (It sat for a few year under a car cover at one point while Mom was out of state and I was out of country) . I have 5 grand cash on the hood. I turn every one of them down, as my mom has as well. Sorry the little BRAT she is not going anywhere.

    Pic of when I got it out of storage several years ago.

    See me in two more years, it should be done.

  10. RonRonThePizzaGuy says:

    1984 Nissan Datsun 200sx 5-speed Turbo hatch

    It was not the that the car was slowly becoming a rare vehicle to see on the road or the fact that the original owner is still currently alive and occasionally drives it, but the moments of growing up in it that has kept me from selling her. Every time I step into the cabin and start the engine, I am flooded with the memories of my childhood. Embed in her are the Sunday drives with the family to a local chinese food joint and those gloomy days watching the rain drops slide down the rear windshield of the hatch.

    She is surely not in pristine condition, there are sun spots on the driver side when she was out of commission for five years and a huge dent on the quarter panel of the passenger side caused by childhood antics from my brother and I. Restoring her crosses my mind everyday, but I think I will be keeping her with these minute imperfections because each dent, scratch, and sun spot tells a story of my childhood. As farfetched and cliche as this may sound, I hope one day to pass her on to my child as my father had done with me.

  11. dickie says:

    Miata all the way. Have you been to a spec race recently? The field size is pretty big in my region and it’s bumper cars every lap in the more challenging corners. Buy your ideal NA6 now and hold onto it for dear life; they’ll be extinct before too long if the club racers and flushtards keep buying and binning them at the rate they’re currently going.

    • Yuri says:

      I had thought this too, but when I had the chance to trade my ’97 M-edition straight up for an ’85 AE86 GTS coupe, I couldn’t pass it up.

      • dickie says:

        having driven both side-to-side, i’d pass on a corolla every time. it might make more sense as a short-term investment because there are far fewer left and values are artificially high for that and other reasons.

        not going to argue personal preference, but there are a ton of reasons i’d choose the mazda – one of them being the fact that i’d never be able to come close to my friend’s corolla build and i have no desire to repeat all of the extensive work he had to do to compensate for the chassis’ weak points.

  12. townofsorrow says:

    I’ll never sell my 1976 Mazda 929 Sedan, I rescued this from an old mans garage fixed a few things to it and now it’s my daily drive, it has taken me everywhere.

    Selling this to someone will most probably result it in being turned into a RX4 and I can’t have a piece of Japanese history be destroyed by some rev head hoon who doesn’t understand the word nostalgia.

    Ill keep it forever until I am that old man and will wait for another 23 year old to come rescue it from me, it will live on forever.


  13. redma61 says:

    recently I have been thinking what if I sold my 1969 Toyota corona because I have officially moved here to japan and started a life here with my new wife and importing the car just doesn’t seem to make much sense when the are readily available here. on top of that the cost and complexity of it all is a bit much for me. however through the willingness and power of the jnc gods above I have very much coincidently met a man who has shipped several coronas and has connections with his company witch Is only 20 minutes from where the corona is now in the states and one of my new English students is a famous pinstriper hear in okazaki and has many connections here with the custom culture and shops. I told myself years ago I would be driving my corona near the coast line here in aichi with my girl to my right my dog in the back seat and the ocean just ahead.

  14. eric says:

    I will never sell my 1976 corona rt105, fact is i’m rebuilding my 20r for another 38 years of life. I love my corona 🙂

  15. Darryl says:

    Don’t see how I can ever part with my rotary Mazda’s. Too hard to locate/acquire. Well, I could see selling the 83 Rx7, but the Rx2 and Rx4, no.

  16. Jim-Bob says:

    The Japanese vehicle I am not selling isn’t quite old enough to be a JNC, but I love it just the same. It’s a 1998 Nissan Frontier 4×2 King Cab pickup with a KA24DE/FS5W71-C (4 cyl/5 speed) combo that I bought new. It’s the newest vehicle I have ever owned and is also the one that has the most miles on it-382,000 when I parked it. I bought it with pizza delivery in mind and used it for that purpose until fuel prices drove me to buy my 2 Geo Metros. It’s my favorite color combination for a daily driver too-white (paint code QM-1 “Cloud White, to be exact) with a gray interior. I even restored it once already, giving it new paint, a new set of foam and upholstery for the driver’s seat (from Nissan!), a rebuilt transmission and some minor trim parts. At that time it only had 250,000 miles on it and the original engine still had great compression. Heck, the original clutch had gone 200,000 before it finally failed and the original starter would go on to 320,000 miles-delivering pizza and starting every 10 miles or so. (The original clutch also withstood towing a Mustang and a Taurus, being run at the local 1/8 mile drag strip with 170,000 miles on it, off roading through sugar sand, etc.)

    As it sits, the truck still runs and would drive if I would replace the wheel cylinder that failed. Incidentally, the failed one is an aftermarket unit and the one that still works is original-as is the master cylinder, all of the clutch hydraulics, both drums and one front caliper. The problem is that it has a lot of problems. The engine has a failing head gasket that only causes trouble once in a while when it runs on 3 cylinders. Rev the engine once and the problem goes away… I would just change the head gasket but the engine new smokes a bit, has lower than factory spec compression on all cylinders, KA timing chain rattle and is just generally shot. But… it still runs and starts every 2-3 days when I run my unused cars. It’s had another transmission since the last time and another clutch, new front suspension, hanger bearing, etc. too. It also needs a steering box, P/S pump, A/C compressor, A/C evaporator core, 4 tires, the windshield leaks into the car and a bunch of other stuff. Also, it has a curious problem with the A/C wiring where the compressor only turns on as soon as the ignition is off and then turns off the moment you turn the key. It seems to be in the computer. Since the computer runs the engine just fine I plan to rewire the system using a 10k NTC Thermistor, a solid state relay and an Arduino- eliminating the ECU from the loop in the process. It also has a wonky gauge cluster (a common problem on early D22s), but I have a replacement from a later truck that fits the dash and was supposedly made better and came from a different supplier. This too requires wiring about 100 connections, but I can do it. Luckily though, there is no major body damage or rust as it has always been a southern truck.

    Why keep it though, you might ask. After all, it’s just a basic 4 cylinder Japanese truck from the 90’s. There isn’t really anything special about it. That’s the thing though, to me there is. There’s lots of memories to go along with it. I remember pissing off my parents (who had co-signed for it) when I threw a dead Chevy 305 in the bed and scratched up the bedliner with only 600 miles on the truck. Then there’s the time I installed a new JVC CD player in it in the parking lot of a Wal Mart at night, during a thunderstorm because they were the only place that had the installation kit in stock. Another time, while on the way out to the local street races, a cop pulled me over to scold me for the way I was driving while I was playing around with friends in the car in front. To this day I still chuckle when I remember him saying “The badge on the truck says Frontier, NOT FERRARI!”. Then there’s the countless Ford 302’s, small block Chevys, and AMC 360’s that wound up in the bed, as well as the remains of a Sawzall’d 5.0 Mustang body that had been a friend’s daily driver but that we rebodied as a convertible. I can also remember going to buy fireworks at the tent in the parking lot of the shopping center where the pizza place was and the lady at the tent greeting me by saying “Oh! You’re that crazy pizza delivery driver!”. (I was then and am still today one of the fastest driver’s in my town.) Yes, cars create memories and even the most pedestrian of vehicles can create their own legend. The Frontier’s legend is that it took all of the hard driving, power shifting, jumping, cargo hauling and such with nary a whimper, and we all saw it as being virtually unbreakable. How could I get rid of something that has been such a part of my life for so long? I can’t. So, I WILL rebuild it. I will find an engine, buy a gallon of white paint, fix the issues and keep it for another 16 years…or longer.

  17. Troggie42 says:

    Mine’s my 1984 RX-7.

    It’s an oddball euro spec model, which is rare in the states. It has the 12a engine with all the GSL-SE drivetrain goodies like the LSD and 4 wheel discs. Sure won’t help the resale value that the speedo reads in Km/h, though. I got this thing a few years back while stationed in Germany. My dad had an 84 he let me drive a few times while I was in highschool, and it was an absolute blast. Really my first love for a car, and what sparked my interest in the much-loved and much-maligned rotary engine. The way it revved so smoothly and effortlessly was amazing to a young me, and that feeling has continued in to my adult age.

    I went through a few early 90s BMW 5 Series cars (E34 generation if you know the numbers) and a 7 series of similar vintage while I was over there, I had gone over with an 08 Mazdaspeed3, but the insurance demands of German roads got the better of my paychecks and I had to let it go. I had a few friends with S13s over there, and they were all trying to convince me to get one so I had something to toy with since the BMW mods were prohibitively expensive. I didn’t really want an S13, so I decided to look for an RX-7 like my dad had. After about a year of searching and a bit of a setback after I had to spend my saved cash on another E34 after I casually put one in to a guardrail after being a bit overzealous with the brakes around a turn, I managed to find and buy the one I’ve got today.

    I bought it near Frankfurt, and drove it back to Ramstein, and of course on the way the gasket blew for the water pump. I limped it back with the help of my friend who drove me up there and it sat in my garage, waiting on new gaskets. After that was done, I did a bit of tinkering here and there to get it declared roadworthy, and then it was time for a field trip.

    My S13 buddies (and one guy with an R32 skyline) went to the Nurburgring for some laps. The whole way up, they were ribbing me that it was going to blow up, that my apex seals would be littered on the caroussel, all the usual rotary jokes. Well, after the first glorious lap of that hallowed ground, I managed to beat them back to the parking lot somehow, and waited for them to return. It turns out that both of their CA18DET cars had the identical problem of the turbo backing off of the manifold. Strangely, my little wankelmobile had zero issues making it around, so in true Top Gear fashion, I left them behind and went for another lap.

    While I was out there, I got passed by everything but a Diesel Panamera, but I am proud as hell of my slow 12:36 time for a lap, because that car followed me back home to America, and is currently sitting outside my house, waiting for its hibernation to end. The coolant seals finally decided to give up the ghost after I worked out all of the other issues with the cooling system. It sits, waiting for a rebuild of its little tired 120k mile 12a so that it may fight another day. After that? Well, let’s just say that the gods are going to bless that wonderful little car with another rotor and a turbine some day, and it will be reborn as the touge stormer it deserves to be, rather than the tired old sports car it currently is.

  18. Nik says:

    Mine would be my first ae86. The car I learned to drift in plus the motor (head) was built by a close friend who past away in a car accident. So it has (the motor) a lot of sentimental value to me.

  19. njccmd2002 says:

    my 1972 mx12. they are rare, only a few have survived. Even tough restoration has not started, i am the second owner, bought from the original owner…. And featured in BAT.

  20. Dutch 1960 says:

    I will never sell my RX3SP. Back when I would buy RX3s out of people’s yards for $50 a throw, and then autocross and regional race them, the SP with all the visual goodies was the one to have. The mechanicals were basically the same as the rest of the RX3s, but the SP was the one trashing the racing fields in IMSA RS and SCCA Showroom Stock racing in the late 1970s and early 1980s, to the point where they were rule booked out of the racing classes to get them out of there. I was like a Mustang owner pining for a Shelby GT-350, which was kinda-sorta the same car, but with the dominant racing history.

    Now the RX3SP, in full striped, spoilered, and louvered glory, was a bit ridiculous looking, like the most bizarre costume at a cosplay convention. But similar to a certain prototype Le Mans racer, which was dressed up like an orange and green ugly Christmas sweater contest winner, you can dress out the visuals anyway you want to, as long as you have the racing chops to back it up.

    I looked off and on for a car for ten years, from the early eighties to the early nineties. This was pre-internet, so finding was not easy. I found a few “pick your part” wrecking yard SPs, but they would not sell me the cars, as their policy was parts only, no exceptions. So I bagged piles of interior and trim pieces, so maybe I could build my own replica someday.

    I finally found a stripped out and dinged up SP about 1992, halfway built as an SCCA race car. My hoard of interior and trim parts built the car out nicely, and it got a 1974 13-B engine from a donor RX4 (40k miles Grandma car!). So it was complete, but scruffy, and it made a great drive-to-work car for a few years (don’t know how I didn’t lose my license in those days). It has all the smog controls, but once California went to tailpipe sniffers, it wouldn’t pass. So now it is safely tucked away on non-op status, original blue plates and all.

    Maybe someday I will get it clean enough for the JCCS. Or in 20 or 30 years, my kids will pull it out of the garage, on four flat tires, and somebody will score a nice car off of E-bay. But that’s OK, because, in the meantime, it makes me smile every time I’m around it, as it is the JNC I always wanted, it took ten years to find, I raised it from the dead, and I drove it like a madman when I was young and crazy. How can you sell that?

  21. ACSK says:

    My 1992 B13 SE-R – I know I’m jumping the gun, but give it a little time and it’ll be a JNC too! My wife isn’t fond of it, but I can’t part with it. A shame, because it’s going to cost a fortune. Have to fix the transmission leak, tachometer, get an OEM fender, body work, paint, etc.

  22. Louis Fong says:

    Mine would be my weekend car, a 1978 Toyota Trueno TE47.
    It’s not a GT version (it’s a ST) but it does have a 2T-B engine & a T40 transmission & everything is still mostly stock. Even though it has a lot of problems i.e. leaks, holes etc. but it doesn’t down my spirit to keep repairing it & really satisfy when I bring to the streets & people keep staring on my car haha

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