QotW: Which JNC commands the most respect?

7536_Nissan Skyline GT-R KPGC10

Today is Respect for the Aged Day in Japan, so…

Which JNC commands the most respect?

With its racing provenance, menacing grille and the fact that its modern day successor eats supercars for breakfast, the Nissan KPGC10 GT-R seems like the obvious choice. Then again, few outside JNC enthusiast circles see it as more than an old Datsun.

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s winning comment regarding the news that JCCS is now screening entrants


Few JNC articles have caused more controversy. Heated arguments were presented by both sides, those pro-screening and those against. We even heard from conspiracy-theory nut jobs, but the most well-written comment came from Serg, who sayeth:

I think you’ve set the bar in the title to be honest.


1. judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.
“a classic novel”
synonyms: definitive, authoritative; More
(of a garment or design) of a simple, elegant style not greatly subject to changes in fashion.
“this classic navy blazer”
synonyms: simple, elegant, understated, uncluttered, restrained; More
2. very typical of its kind.
“Hamlet is the classic example of a tragedy”

Yes, I know passion for the cars is what makes the hobby a culture and the participants a community – but all of those aspects are appreciated and embraced in other places on other days, and believe me the culture and community will improve drastically by narrowing the fields into their respective sports. There is no better feeling then being at make or model specific cruise and looking across at the guy in the same obnoxiously loud and low car as you, while both thinking about the other guy “You f**king idiot”. That my friends is brother-from-another-mother-hood right there!

Nobody is saying the rat-rods, resto-mods, daily drivers or drift missiles are in any way unworthy of showing – I hate trailer queens with handcrafted turbos made from unobtanium and seats made from the skin of animals that no longer exist – but if you’re trying explain in one afternoon the decades of history and culture that make JN our passion, you need to design a spectrum that showcases the norm in order to explain the extreme. For that matter yes, a handful of alternative takes on the various styles should be present, but this show represents the industry and it’s history as a whole, not just a small cross section of one or two generations.

Every true car person is proud of their car, whether it’s a pristine MS75 or the CA Accord you bought from your parents and made your own, but at this show your car should make others proud – to have, want, or even just appreciate that old Japanese tin we’re in such a fuss over 🙂

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

JNC Decal smash

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28 Responses to QotW: Which JNC commands the most respect?

  1. cesariojpn says:

    Uh, did you guys forget about the other QotW for “What’s the coolest “chick’s car”?” two weeks back, or did I miss the winner in the JCCS firestorm article?

  2. dankan says:

    I can’t see any other choice than the 2000GT. Between it’s early image-making moment as a Bond car (Daniel Craig’s favourite!), the in-era competition use and enthusiastic reviews, and it’s contemporary reputation as a million-dollar rarity, it has history to spare. It also looks stunning and has tremendous “curb appeal” due to its visual impact.

    I can’t think of anything else getting the same kind of instant attention.

  3. Walter says:

    There can only be one (or actually two) that commands the most respect: the 1966 Nissan Prince Royal limousine for the Imperial Household of Japan.

    The Nissan Prince Royal project initially started under the Prince Motor Company in 1965 (they did all the cool stuff in the 60s!) to create a proper Japanese limousine for the Emperor. Previously only foreign cars were used and as Japan was quickly becoming the wonder of the 21st century the limousine of the Emperor had to be Japanese as well.

    This obviously should already command a lot of respect, but it doesn’t end here yet: it features the second V8 engine of Japan (Prince W64) and this engine was machined from a solid block of steel. Reportedly only 8 have been built and all 8 have been used for the royal limousines.

    In 2006 the two limousines were replaced by a Toyota Century Royal one-off, so a 40 year service is also commanding a lot of respect!

    • Michael McDonald says:

      I would think that the Nissan Prince Hearse used the latest time to bury Emperor Hirohito is certainly the rerest and most unlikely to ever be sold.

  4. Yuri says:

    In the US, it’s the Datsun S30. Why is this you ask? Why is a super common cheap sports car that everyone claimed to either own back in the day, or know someone who had one, worthy of respect?
    It’s because of this, it’s accessability combined with its E-type/275 GTB love child looks, that ingrained its image into the hearts and memories of enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike.
    Up until recently, it was one of the only Japanese vintage cars that you could pull into a gathering of classic American hot rods and musclecars, and instead of getting dirty looks, you would receive comments of “cool Z-car”, or “My buddy had one of those in High School, and he accidentally rolled it off a cliff after a party, but it so cool,” or even “Wow, I really miss mine,” from the guys with GTO’s, 442’s, and Super Bees.

    See, the thing is, everybody has a story about a Z. Whether it was theirs, or just a neighbor’s car they lusted after on their way home from school everyday.
    And being reliable, cheap, and fun, those stories were always good.

    Because to have respect, you have to be there for someone, whether you’re a family member or a friend. And the S30Z was always there for us in the US, since the beginning, giving us stories that we look back fondly on, and it’s those stories, those personal experiences, that mean more to us than a sexy curve of sheetmetal, or a room full of racing trophies ever could.

    • Jim Daniels says:

      You are absolutely right for the American audience without question. Is a 2000 GT a better car, more elegant, and higher valued? Yes, yes, and yes. Would I love to have one? Yes. However, most of America and the world still do not know what one is, which is why your statements are so accurate.

  5. GEN2TWINCAM says:

    Aged Day !?!
    Does this have something to do with Ben’s birthday?

  6. xs10shl says:

    Funny, in thinking about this question this morning, I ran trough the list of JNC I’ve had experience with, and I’ve concluded that almost all of them are polarizing in one way or another. Perhaps this is true of any make and model, but based on my experience, JNC are more so than other marques I’ve owned.

    I next attempted to segregate the audience ,and asked – “Respect” from whom? Fellow JNC enthusiasts? Non JNC enthusiasts? JNC neophytes? People over 50? People under 30? Number of “Thumb’s up’s” per mile? Results seem to vary greatly based on your target demographic – and to me, that’s one of the best things about JNC – no car seems to satisfy everyone, and there is always discussion about the styling, performance, amenities, and the like.

    But if I discount the haters, who will always see what they want to see, and hate what they want to hate, I came up with my unexpected winner: A Honda Accord, well regarded for what it was, and what it offered. Sadly, now largely gone. When was the last time you saw a mint 76-81 Accord with less than 50,000 miles?

  7. buzzbuzz says:


    Even non car people love these cars.

    2000gt and GTR are pretty good though 😉

  8. pstar says:

    I would say… 2-door Datsun 510. Almost everybody, who had some automotive passion has at one time or another wanted one. For some reason, nobody has ever said the 510 was just a ripoff of some famous European car, or that it had European stylists to thank for its existence (like 240Z and 2000GT- regardless of the veracity of those accusations). The 510’s respect was earned the right way, not from rarity or media hype (like 2000GT and GTR). The 510 was already desirable and sought after “old school” car during the 1990s. Its just widely recognized as a supremely well executed 3-box fun compact car. And its not an obscure or niche car like the Honda S cars or a Mazda RX, which are well loved by their devotees, but have little appeal to enthusiasts who aren’t necessarily fans of the brand. The 510 does.

    • CobaltFire says:

      When it was new it was widely considered a Japanese copy of the BMW 2002. The styling was more boxy (and honestly derived little from the BMW, aside from the requirements of the packaging), but the suspension, drivetrain, etc. were right on line. Some of the writings of Peter Egan dealt with that from the perspective of it as a new car, I seem to remember.

      This was not a bad car to be compared to, mind you. It’s also telling that Peter Egan bought the 510 for himself rather than the 2002.

      • pstar says:

        The 3-box 2 door coupe can hardly be claimed to be invented by BMW, or anybody. Its the better looking variant of the most archetypal of cars, the 3-box sedan. Its what every 2 year old draws as their first vehicle. I’ve seen a few references that the 510 “copied” somebody (BMW) but it is an even more ridiculous claim than saying the 240Z is a copy of an E type. Like, who actually sees either car in the other??? And, those references are rare, and getting rarer. Not that I’m disagreeing with you, hell the wikipedia article claims the 510 is seen as a BMW knockoff in its first paragraph… but that mentality is vanishingly uncommon in my experience.

        I want to bring up a car that is ALWAYS claimed to be a knock off of another brand, and totally isn’t, but I’m saving that for a future qotw, lol.

        Oh yeah, and Peter Egan is the man.

      • RainMeister says:

        I agree the 510 looks as much like a 1602/2002 as the latter does to an Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint 1600. If anyone “invented” this class of affordable sport coupes, it was Alfa, which debuted 3 years before the 1602.

        Interestingly, when the E21 (320i in the U.S.) series BMW appeared, I thought it mimicked elements of the 510 SSS coupe, from the quad headlights to the black garnish that connected the slim taillights,

        • dankan says:

          Depending on how far back you want to go, the Series 105/110 Giulias/GTVs were simply Giuliettas with bigger motors. I think the idea of a 2-door, 4 passenger practical driver’s car is a pretty old, core concept.

  9. CobaltFire says:

    In the US the Datsun 510 was a seminal vehicle, transforming the public’s perception of the Japanese brands. Given that and it’s storied racing history it is likely the most respected from a US point of view. As some of the articles here have pointed out, there were other vehicles that hold that place in other areas (the DR31 Skyline in Australia, for instance). This makes it difficult to pick one vehicle for the world.

    However, f I take the term “car” to mean any vehicle I’d say that the FJ series is that vehicle. More particularly, I’d have to bet on either the FJ40 or the FJ70. They are known and respected worldwide as working vehicles, they are rapidly increasing in value as collectors vehicles (if in the right condition), and even Toyota is acknowledging the popularity of the 70 Series with the one year only sale of them in Japan. Though other vehicles were more influential in their particular niches, that influence was often shortlived. The FJ series’ impact (particularly the FJ40 in the US and the FJ70 elsewhere) has been lasting and shows no signs of dying off.

  10. JHMAB2 says:

    I’ll nominate the Civic CVCC, the car that showed America that it was possible to meet the strict emission guidelines set forth while still being affordable and fun.

    Sure it didn’t have a turbo, didn’t have loads of racing awards under it’s belt, but it did many practical things right. Small, compact, yet plenty of room inside, great mpg and fun.


  11. Serg says:

    Thanks guys, going by the response last week I’d say there’s more than enough passion out there to support JCCS and quite a few other events, keep it up!

    As for the most respected JNC? I would lean towards the 240Z, just because of it’s broad popularity and proven performance over the decades (2000GT omg, many love, much wow, but they’re so scarce and high end that they’d all but disappeared into collections by the time I had walls to put posters on), but here in oz there’s probably only one notorious J car, and I think it only just squeaks into the nostalgic bracket; the Nissan R32 GTR.

    In Australia early J tin was regarded much the same as it was in the US, economical, disposable, vehicular appliances; Aus (GM/Ford) muscle was the meat of the car scene. There were a few exceptions, the corollas, the 240z, even the celica garnered some respect by being thrashed relentlessly across rally courses – but the 32 GTR was the game changer.

    I don’t need to repeat the story for everyone, even outside the US the GTR impact in aus has been well documented – the three championship wins resulting in the discontinuation of the series says it all. Down under the GTR will always be the car that was so good that the other kids had to start a new game it wasn’t allowed to play.

  12. wantyerknobbies says:

    definitely NOT the AW11 lollol

  13. buzzbuzz says:

    The question is a little broad, respect from everyone?
    respect from car lovers? or respect from JNC lovers?

    • pstar says:

      All of the above.

      For instance, my personal favorite car, the AE86, is not respected AT ALL by “everyone”, it has patchy respect from car lovers in general, but it is highly respected, even revered by JNC lovers. But I didn’t submit it for this topic because of its lack of respect among the first two groups.

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