QotW: What’s the most impressive JNC restoration job you’ve seen?

Patrick Ng TE27 Corolla Levin before & after

Since it’s Easter this weekend, let’s talk about resurrection. It wasn’t too long ago that Japanese cars were considered disposable and unworthy of restoration. In our opinion, that only makes you crazy JNCers even more heroic when you put your blood, sweat, tears and hard-earned money into a restoration knowing full well that mainstream auto enthusiasts will assign it less value than a ’69 Camaro.

What’s the most impressive JNC restoration job you’ve seen?

The photo on the above left was Patrick Ng’s TE27 when he first acquired it from Antonio Alvendia of MotorMavens fame. It’s now a SEMA show car and JCCS Best of Show winner. We know there are similarly jaw dropping builds out there.

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining or inspiring comment by next Monday will receive a toy. Click through to see the winner from last week’s question, “If you could have one JNC as your only car, what would it be?


This week’s winner was Danny, who declared the following manifesto in favor of the Mazda RX-7. If William Wallace had delivered this rousing speech while charging into battle in a rotary-powered Maz, King Edward I would have been the one lying on the quartering table at the end.

If I had to live with just one JNC, I’d move somewhere that doesn’t use salt on the roads and continue to drive my FB RX-7. The OMP works sporadically at best so that I have to run premix, the header-back exhaust is noticeably loud with that unmistakable chainsaw 12A wail, and the Mikuni sidedraft (soon to be Weber IDA) is notoriously cold-blooded, but practicality is for suckers!

For every Camcord/Kia Sorrento/(insert uninspiring commuter here) there is me, holding a heat gun to my intake runners while cursing the weather, and ripping through second gear as the neighborhood receives an audio-assault of Hiroshima Screamer soundtrack.

As JNCers we provide a public service, an audio-visual reminder to other drivers that they don’t have to shuffled around in high belt-line electrical nanny sitting rooms on wheels. So next time you’re frustrated that this is the 3rd time this year you’ve had to synchronize the carburetors on your triple Mikuni setup, just smile, because your neighbor drives a Ford Fusion, and we should all be so lucky as you.

Omedetou! Your inspiring comment has earned you a Hot Wheels Super Speeders mystery pack Mazda RX-7!


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16 Responses to QotW: What’s the most impressive JNC restoration job you’ve seen?

  1. Michael says:

    If your looking for a story of resurrection look no further than gypsy build thread in the mazda garage, what he has done to a rx3 coupe that was in most professionals opinion not even worth scrap metal is beyond belief. Take a couple of minutes or if you are a true JNC fan a coupe of hours and look through what is a remarkable journey. People please keep in mind gypsy has no formal training in any automotive trade and wears a suit and tie to work every day. A man with a vision, patients of a saint and a can do attitude. By far the best resto I have even seen amature or pro.

  2. victor says:

    Mr. Glenn Roberts restoration of his 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport was a very amazing transformation. For those of you that havnt seen, it is on RX7club.com in the oldschool section.

  3. dickie says:

    does antonio crap himself when he sees the car now?

  4. dickie says:

    I may be showing my Toyota bias yet again, but I nominate EITHER of the Group B Celica Turbo restorations being handled my Makela Auto Tuning. I defy anyone to show me an example of a restoration where attention to detail borders on obsessive the way these do. The ticks on the gauges are HAND PAINTED.

    A lot of restorations are performed on junkyard heaps by caring owners, and there’s something to be said for someone that find a spot in their heart for something cast away, bringing it back to life with lots of love and sweat. But this is another level entirely. These cars are warriors, driven in anger and retired exactly as were when they rolled off the course and into the transporter. Thanks to the guys at MAT, they have a new lease on life. Instead of static display in some spotless museum exhibit or rotting away in the dark corner of some dusty garage, they will again terrorize the eyes and ears of bystanders and competitors in their element – dirt, mud and tarmac.



    The links will take you to the galleries for each project. Be aware, the process was documented extensively and you WILL kill at least a couple hours perusing them

  5. Beans says:

    My vote: gypsy Rx3 as mentioned above. The most informative and detailed build and blog I have come across to date, and it’s not finished yet!!!

  6. Tally says:

    Gypsys RX3 resto, hands down!

  7. Adzmax says:

    How can I not say, my own C110 Restoration 🙂

    It will be better than factory when complete.


  8. Ryan says:

    Has anyone got a before and after-ish shot of Gypsys RX3?

  9. Rear



    Alt front


  10. Ben Davis says:

    Either Gypsy’s RX3 or David (Nakazoto)’s Mitsubishi 360 restoration do it for me.

  11. James says:

    My vote goes to Ando-san from T.A. AUTO (TEA ALTERNATIVE AUTO).

    When looking at project cars, a rusted out carcass does not seem to be the best place to start, and yet even through all the peeling paint, rust holes and missing body panels, Ando-san manages to see a final product. These cars, destined for scrap metal are restored to utter perfection, with no detail being left remiss. He returns the life to cars which were destined for death.

    Whilst Ando-san and his team at T.A. Auto may not be a may in a shed fixing the car alone on a measly budget, he purposely chooses cars which no longer exist if it wasn’t for him. Rather than taking an car which another auto enthusiast might want, he only takes what would be destined to die.

    This is why his restoration jobs, in my opinion are the best of all JNCs.

  12. Drive510 says:

    My inspiration and vote for most impressive build is a toss up between “Nakazoto’s” Mitsubishi van and “MiguelSSS” and one of his 12 Datsun 510’s in Portugal.


  13. longboy says:

    This one has stuck with me for a very long time and I think I stumbled upon it whilst browsing in these forums many many moons ago:

    Link: http://studiotimecapsule.com/aluminum_fabrication

    Shin Yoshikawa’s 2000GT, I’m not sure if its restoration when almost EVERYTHING had to be fabricated, never the less this is what I found to be truly inspiring.

  14. Nakazoto says:

    Holy crap! I never thought anyone would have picked the little Mitsubishi, haha. Thank you so much, Drive510 and Ben Davis!

    My vote though goes for Gypsy. He single handedly made me feel like I was doing a complete hack job on my Bellett. I’m really going to have to step up my game on the next build I do if I want to keep up! What an inspiration!

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