I’ve requested and been accepted for authorship here on Oppositelock, so I guess that means I should author something. As this is my first post, the formatting is most likely going to be annoying or broken. If this upsets you, my response is succinctly summarized via this video:
I used to spend a lot of time on the JNC forums, but through a series of events that left a bad taste in my mouth, I no longer visit the JNC blog or forums at all. The result of this was that I was left wandering aimlessly through the murky cesspool of the internet looking for a good place to share car stories and pictures. Well, since I’m not good at navigating cesspools (I’m an anti-social by trade) I ended up just posting stuff on my Facebook, which can be the biggest cesspool of all. Fortunately, my good friend Flavien Vidal called me an idiot and told me to post here. So, here’s my story in super short form:
I lived in Japan for about seven and a half years and moved back home to Texas about two years ago. During my time in Japan I amassed a weird collection of cars, some of which gained a bit of notoriety on the internet. So, here is my current collection by year:
1967 Mitsubishi 360
This car I chronicled extensively as I went through the restoration process. It ended up on a few sites like Jalopnik, Speedhunters, BuildThreads, etc. Recently, it got sent to LA for something very fun, which I will divulge more info about as I’m allowed to.
1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport
I chronicled this car pretty extensively as well as I was building. However, I didn’t finish the build before we moved back. Now, it’s sitting here waiting for me to handle my business so I can get back to work on it. It would be in the garage right now, but a blown engine on my daily driver has delayed it yet again. Soon though, soon.
1971 Nissan Fairlady Z
I’ve had this car for like 12 years or something. It’s just sitting in the garage waiting for me to do something with it. It saddens me that I haven’t gotten around to it yet as it has a neat story. It’s a 71 model that was purchased brand new by the previous owner’s father in Japan. He brought it back in 73 and drove it for a long time. He then gave it to his daughter, who drove it until the fuel pump went out and then it sat for 10 years before I got it. It has since sat for another 10 years.
1973 Isuzu Bellett
I chronicled the build of this one pretty extensively as well. In short form, I summarized it on Drivetribe (back when I thought DT would become a thing). You can read the story on it here: DriveTribe
1978 Isuzu 117 Coupe
This is my daily driver and one of the best cars I’ve ever owned. I took it on a wicked road trip through the south of Japan which we documented really well and posted on the JNC blog before I took my leave. You can read that journey here (there’s 10 parts, this is just part 1): JNC Blog
Unfortunately, she’s had a penchant for consuming coolant, and with our most recent freeze, it went from annoying to alarming. So the head came off and was discovered to have a massive crack in it. I pulled the bottom end too and the bearings were well past there use by date. So, lots of work to be done there.
1988 Nissan 300ZX SS
I’ve had this car since I was 17, it’s been just a wonderful constant in my life. I bought it with 70,000 miles on it and it now has over 180,000 miles. The engine still runs strong, but everything connected to it (in particular the entire vacuum system) has started to deteriorate. So, it’s time for the engine to come out and a VG33 with a new turbo to go on. The goal is a modest 300 non-intercooled horsepower. We’ll see what I can do.
1991 Honda Beat
Last year my wife and I went back to Japan for three months for business (that’s a long business trip). So, we needed a car while we were there. Why buy something boring, when you can buy something fun and bring it home with you. I also chronicled the entire ownership and importation process in a series of Youtube videos you can see here: Youtube
I also currently have two cars for sale (sold?)
1979 Mazda RX7
I bought this car as a rotary learning course for the Cosmo. I rebuilt the engine and played around with it a bit and now it’s time for it to go on to its next owner in life. This is fortunate, because this was a junkyard car, destined for a lonely death in the pick and pull. With some good luck, the new owner will be taking it home tonight!
1984 Isuzu Impulse
I really wanted to like this car. I even flew all the way to Monterey, CA and drove it all the way back with the worst “stanced” suspension in the World. It never really hit home for me though. I think the big USDM bumpers and quad headlights didn’t help, and the G200Z engine just didn’t fit the character of the car. Now, a Japanese Piazza with a 13B-REW swap, that’s something I can get behind! Hmmm. I posted this for sale and immediately got a bite from a potential buyer who promised me he would have the money by March. It’s March and he’s promising me he’ll have the money by May. If he makes another promise in May, we’ll have to post it up for sale again and search for a new buyer.
My father also has two pretty cool cars that I have become the caretaker of in recent years.
1947 Ford Super Deluxe 8
We’ve had this car since before I was born. I drove it in high-school for a bit and it’s just a big, lovable, machine. The flat-head V8 sounds like an angry watch and the steering wheel has so much play even the dirty ladies get flustered.
1967 Austin Healey 300 Mk.III
Saving the best for last, this thing is brilliant. Everything about it is fantastic (with the exception of all the parts Lucas touched). We’ve also had this one since before I was born and it’s just been one of the greatest sports cars and driving experiences of my life. I’ve driven a GS-F around Fuji Speedway, an LC500 at Dubai Autodrome, a Porsche 911 at Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, and none of them compare to just opening the taps on this little thing.
That’s my car life! I’ll post more pictures as things develop and I take cars out and about.