Show Us Why You Love Japanese Cars And Why I Should Too

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Illustration: Patrick George/GMG

I’m biased. I grew up with good ol’ American muscle, all bright paint jobs, big tires, and even bigger engines. But that doesn’t mean I’m closed-minded. Very much the opposite. So help me out: how can I also learn to love Japanese cars?


Growing up in Michigan, there was plenty of Mopar muscle at all the car shows, and my dad had a TorRed 1971 Barracuda that taught me to love getting under the hood before I was tall enough to see into it without a stool. I’ve seen every episode of Dukes of Hazzard, had more Plymouth Superbird NASCAR models than I knew what to do with, and always thought Dom had the Good Opinions in The Fast and the Furious.

I know American cars can be pretty big and unwieldy, and I know they’re more brawn than brains—at least historically. A modern Corvette ZR1 or a Camaro ZL1 can take on pretty much anything the world has to offer, and they’d have a strong shot at coming out on top. I know mentioning NASCAR and the Dukes of Hazzard in the same sentence probably doesn’t buy me any favors, but I have a deep nostalgic love for the down and dirty pedal to the metal muscle cars all the same.

And it’s not that I have anything against JDM cars; I just know a whole lot less about them. I’m new to writing for Jalopnik, but one thing I’ve always loved about the place is that it’s a general celebration of everything at moves. Even when we’re dogging on Camry dents or overzealous Mustang drivers at Cars and Coffee, everyone’s tastes are welcome. So I figure I can learn as much from you as you can from me.

I’d love to expand my horizons. Where do I start if I want to appreciate Japanese sports cars? Teach me how to love a new thing.


Patrick George

I like anything that’s interesting and/or fast. But my personal favorites tend to be older BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes, and cars from Japan’s Bubble Era. It was the time in the ‘80s through about 1993 when they had more money than sense and cranked out insane stuff like the Autozam AZ-1 and Toyota Sera, to say nothing of all the turbo sports cars that we all lust after today.

As good a place as any to start!