QotW: What do you want from Japanese Santa Claus?


Well it’s that time of year again, when we gather with our loved ones, reflect on the last 12 months, perhaps drink some hot cocoa, and tear into colorfully wrapped boxes like feral dogs on a holiday ham. And if you were really good all year, one of those presents might just be courtesy of a jolly, red-suited sumo wrestler from the northernmost tip of Hokkaido.

What do you want from Japanese Santa Claus?

It could be anything, a real KPGC110, a set of 11-inch-wide zokusha barrels, or that super-rare NOS trim piece that’s been out of production for 40 years. Our wish might be an obvious choice, but with its rarity, beauty and prices climbing ever beyond our reach, our wish from ol’ St Naoki is a 1967 Toyota 2000GT, in Pegasus White plz.

What say you, dear reader? Since the next two Mondays will be holidays you have extra long to answer this one and the winner will be announced in 2013. Click through to see the winner from last week’s question, “What modern car provides the most JNC driving experience?” 

2002 Mazda Protege

We had pretty much lost hope for the auto industry when we posed the question last week. However your brilliant answers have helped us see that the world of modern motoring isn’t quite as bleak as it seemed. Everything from AndyB’s nomination of a first-gen Scion xB to knoonz’s suggestion of a 2004 Hyundai Accent made sense. The Mazda 2 seemed to be the runaway favorite, but in the end it was another Mazda that took top prize thanks to The black CRX:

Since you said car and Japanese, I’ll cross off the 2002 Toyota Tacoma (whose general mechanical configuration and driving experience is not much different than a Corona Mark II of 1972) and the Kia Sephia (whose recycled NA Miata engine and minimal technology gives it the honest feel and surprising durability of an early-80s Corolla, 323 or low-trim Sentra in a generally inoffensive design).

Limiting myself, therefore, to actual cars that actually came from Japan, I’ll nominate the ’02 Mazda Protegé. It was relatively uncomplicated, attractive, reliable, efficient and had an oddball use of English for its name (down to the missing accent on only one of the Es) — but most of all it was fun to drive. To me the nicest feeling of the best JNCs (and what made me love Hondas in the 70s and 80s) was that you didn’t feel punished for buying a small and inexpensive car. You actually felt like you bought the car you wanted, not the only car you could afford, even though it was near the end of its lifecycle. It wasn’t super quick, luxe or stylish, but it was easy to own, easy on the eyes, and easy to enjoy on a fun road. The sedan’s styling was reminiscent of its own predecessor from two generations earlier, so it had a retro flair even when new. Or you could be a little more individualistic and get the new Protegé5, which was not quite wagon, not quite hatchback, just something different, useful, fun and clever — just like the best JNCs.

Omedetou! Your prize from the JNC gashapon is a Hot Wheels Super Speeders mystery pack Mazda RX-7!



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45 Responses to QotW: What do you want from Japanese Santa Claus?

  1. Taylor says:

    One of the presumably destroyed 16 S30Z marketing cars.

  2. Nigel says:

    A 1/24 Toyota Starlet from Tokyo Marui.
    ( A full size one is good too !!)

  3. James Eades says:

    A Prince skyline GT-B (S54) No. 41 that was raced in the 1964 Japan Grand Prix. The won which won the hearts of Japan’s automotive lovers after passing the Porsche 904 as an underdog, competing against a car made for racing, versus the Skyline which was made for street use. This car is one of great historical significance, not only to Japanese car lovers, but also people around the world, like myself, who even today are captured by its small victory in 1964, which ultimately led to the creation of the GTR series of Skylines, all of which are still highly regarded today as fast sport cars, from the Hakosuka with its glorious S20 engine to the modern R35, which overcame its Porsche rivals to gain a faster lap time around the Nurburgring course.

    This age old battle will continue into the future, a healthy rivalry between two of the best car manufacturers in the world, which stemmed from a single lap in a race almost 50 years ago on a circuit which still exists today.

  4. dear sante, please find a NOS complete rear panel for the 240Z for me 🙂

  5. Eljay71 says:

    Oh,I’ll have the Pegasus White 2000 GT with Zooey Deschanel in the passenger seat and “just married” written on the rear window.

  6. S30BIZO says:

    I’d love to find some Epsilons under my tree.

  7. jivecom says:

    some mikuni carbs. don’t care that my car’s fuel injected. i’ll make it work

  8. dankan says:

    Since it went out of production last week, I think I would like to ask Santa for a Lexus LFA. In whitest white with the red interior. Ok, not so nostalgic, but as both the heir to the 2000GT and as the absolute high-point of Japanese auto-oktau culture, it is simply unparalleled. Yes, it’s ridiculously expensive and yes, you would be faster in a GT-R, but screw it, nothing else is built with the same love.

    I’d take it on a road trip involving all of the great roads in the Toyota “Togue” series of commercials for the 86 and then cap it off with a collossal burnout in front of Dazaifu temple in Fukuoka on New Year’s Day, just for luck…

  9. The black CRX says:

    Arigatou gozaimasu again, guys! Think I need to stop peddling Mazda goodness so I can maintain my Honda cred. 🙂 As for Santa, he’s already bringing me two cool diecasts from JNC in the same year, so what more could a good boy ask for? (OK, maybe a new ’83 Honda Civic Wagon.) Happy holidays to all of you.

  10. Toyotageek says:

    Dear Santa-san,
    I would like a Mazda T2000, just like the one you use to deliver toys to all the good little boys and girls.
    If that is asking for too much, I’ll take a Daihatsu Midget just like the ones used by your work force of happy little elves.
    Thank you Santa-san.
    p.s. I’ll leave some Edamame and Saké for you.

  11. Rayson says:

    The 1971 Hakosuza GT-R that was driven by Motoharu Kurosawa in Fuji speedway. My all-time favorite JNC ever.

  12. |2ustrocket says:

    Dear Santa,

    All I want for christmas is a working Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection system. I miss driving my S30.

  13. james says:

    the only thing I’d want is a mint Mazda Luce(RX-4) coupe. Please Naoki-sama, make that happen.

  14. Brandon says:

    What I would like for Christmas is for Mazda to announce a follow up to the rx7 and rx8. It’s so sad that there are no more rotaries on the market. The car world is lacking that signature brap brap of a rotary at high rpms. I hope that the oddball out rotary sports car lives on and if mazda would confirm that on Christmas that would be an awesome gift.

  15. Pete240z says:

    I wish Santa Nissan would bring me that retro Datsun 2-door 510 – RWD, 5-speed, revvy 4-cylinder engine for $19,510 along with a completion catalog full of go-fast parts.

  16. forevernostalgic says:

    I wish Santa would give me a Datsun 610 or a Toyota Corona. I owned both of these cars back in the 80s.

  17. grandtouring says:

    Only Santa, using his kringle-fu, could enter the depths of the yakuza and bring me a LY crossflow head for my L series engine this Christmas. Maybe he could throw in a OS giken TC24-B1Z head as well since I’ve been especially good this year.

  18. Tyler says:

    An orange Z432 on Fujimi Kaido, just like I had on Forza a couple days ago. Dream!

  19. J.A.C.K. says:

    yayoi sakura rims in 14×12, -infiniti offset, 114.3×4. gold or pink face, doesn’t matter. i don’t even have a car that would fit this but i’d either widebody my AE86 or start a whole ‘nother project car around these, the holy grail of japanese wheels. they are my dream

    one of the members on hachiroku.net pranked everyone on the site by creating a fake craiglist posting selling some sakuras. he created a whole backstory that was supremely convincing to us with just enough to not set off our bullshit detectors. oh man, sooo many of us fell hard for that one. haha!

    oh santa, i’ve been a good boy! er, my lawyer has advised me to stop speaking now…

  20. Nakazoto says:

    Mazda Cosmo Sport. Simply the best Mazda ever made!

    • Ben says:

      Don’t you already have one on the way? Come on, aim higher! 🙂

      • Nakazoto says:

        Haha, alright, you caught me, the Japanese Santa Claus didn’t disappoint this year!
        In that case, I’ll wish very hard for a CSP-311 Silvia to be parked in my driveway inside a huge stocking. Hand built sexiness on top of one of my favorite roadster chassis ever!

  21. angeloalvarado says:

    I’d really appreciate a DISM 1/24 Toyota Corolla Levin AE86 Zenki(white/black)

  22. Damian Solorzano says:

    All I want is my ’85 Corolla GTS …..Again.

  23. Raleigh Smith says:

    There are two or three options from which I would be happy to receive from the man in red. A 1970 Datsun 510 sporting the heart of an F20C, or maybe a TE27, but ultimately there is only one car of JNC status that ranks above them all for me, and that is the Honda RA272. That car marks the moment that the world had to take the Japanese seriously in the automotive realm. They beat Ferrari, BRM, and Lotus at their own game in the grandest of technological stages.

    The RA272 gave us Japanese car lovers our first F1 victory, as well as the one of the most beautiful shades of color ever slathered on a machine, Championship White. On top of it all both drivers of the car were from the United States.

    Sure the Toyota 2000 GT is rare, but I’ll take the seductive growl of a 1.5 liter V12 making 230 hp at a 14,000 rpm redline Mexican Grand Prix winner above them all.

  24. ACSK says:

    1971 KPGC10. Actually had the opportunity to buy one a great many years ago for under $30K, and instead blew all my money living in Japan and Korea for 3 years. Well, that opportunity will never present itself again… but hey, both were once in a lifetime opportunities. As much as I regret not buying it, I have no regrets about my decision to live, study, and work abroad. It was an unfortunate trade-off.

  25. xs10shl says:

    A hot-rodded s20 2.2, with dry sump and fuel injection. Oh, the things I could do, the places I could go, the sounds I could make . . . .

  26. AndyB says:

    Well Santa, the first thing I wanna ask is how soon can I get off your lap?? I am not accustomed to sitting on the knee of strange men, and your suit smells like you haven’t washed it since before I was born. But before I go, I will try my luck and ask if you could please bring me a set of Enkei Apache 2’s with the black trim for my 1984 Supra Mk2 P-type? (Which was literally on my wish list this year!) And I hope you don’t scratch the finish as you try to cram them down my (non-existant) chimney. Fullfil this one Christmas wish and I will make sure that you never leave my house without a stomache full of cookies and beer.. I mean milk. And I will come back to the mall every year to sit on your unpleasantly warm lap and say thank you!

  27. RdS says:

    dere santa

    i wud liek some HKS 5A-GX cam covers.
    ..Failing that, a full collection of HyperRev books.

    Aim low.
    All joy.

  28. John M says:

    4 valves per cylinder
    3 carburetors
    2 overhead cams
    and a five speed in a Fairlady Z

    (Feel free to sing along)
    Happy holidays to all the JNCers!

  29. jkg says:

    All I want for Christmas
    is a 13B,
    a 13B,
    a carbureted 13B.

    Gee, if I could only
    have myself a 13B,
    then I could wish you
    “Merry Christmas!”

    It seems so long since I could say,
    “My RX-7 is running smoothly!”
    Gosh oh gee, how happy I’d be,
    my FB would go like a missile (brap, brap)

    All I want for Christmas
    is a 13B,
    a 13B,
    a carbureted 13B.

    Gee, if I could only
    have myself a 13B,
    then I could wish you
    “Merry Christmas!”

  30. kris says:

    a 1979 Datsun B310 2door with an a15 with dual mikunis, cam and headers, dogleg 5 speed, lowered on minilite wheels.

  31. GEN2TWINCAM says:

    Santa in the “Home Alone” movie drives a 2ng Gen Civic, so…

    Dear Santa,
    A B-Series for my ’82 Civic
    And a blue ’72 Z600 to replace the one I had to give up so many years ago

    Simple huh?

  32. Nate says:

    Dearest Japanese Santa,
    This year I’ve been fairly good. I’ve fixed or upgraded a bunch of your favorite Japanese autos. So taking that into account, I’d like to humbly ask you for a 1988 2WD regular cab manual transmission Mitsubishi Mighty Maxx pickup truck. It may sound a bit odd, but it’s the first vehicle that I ever owned, and probably the best. It was the vehicle that really cemented my love affair with the Japanese car companies and made me see them for more than sports cars and econo-boxes.
    Thanks a bunch.

  33. toyotamohiro says:

    Dear santa
    This year I’ve been fairly good. I got some certificates from he school and increase my toefl and sat score guraduately,,,,,, and draw many pictures of nosuhiro (nostalgic hero) so please please give me the electric Daihatsu Midget.

    but i am sixteen , i do not have lisence

    Do you guys know ELECTRIC DAIHATSU MIDGET?
    I am sorry I saw old midget mp5 electric car in japanese magazine old timer, please excuse me this mad daihatsu midget2…….

  34. Bart says:

    If Santa was real, then I guess it would be OK to ask him for the also imaginary 1/24 scale 1st gen Trooper model kit that never was…

  35. Censport says:


    I would just like to have the parts to rebuild the engine in our Sports 800. Oh, and airfare for another trip to Japan, ください。 Really missing that gyoza shop in Koto-ku. And the Yamanote Line.


  36. The white convertible Toyota 2000GT that Sean Connery was in one of the old school James Bond flicks….’nuff said!!

  37. Moominsean says:

    Going to work on importing a Hakosuka sedan this year probably. I don’t think Japanese Santa is going to help me with that!

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