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.