5 Japanese cars we’ve never dared to modify (and 5 cars that make excellent projects)

The Japanese make excellent technical products, displaying a level of quality rarely seen in the world of mass production today. This precision extends to their auto industry, where Japanese companies produce some of the best cars ever built.
JDM Cars, while masterfully manufactured, are usually so over-engineered that the full potential of a car cannot be unleashed without the help of a few modifications. Take the Toyota Supra MK4 for example. The new owner can get about 600 horsepower from the stock engine with relatively easy modifications, which makes the stock Supra MK4 extremely rare. While it’s fun to modify, customize and install a car with an amazing body kit, bigger turbines, and generally irritating with changing parts, some Japanese cars simply don’t need modification. This is because they are really good, or have become so legendary that the cars are worth a lot of money in factory condition.
So, while it’s fun to match your Japanese car with big wings, silly wheels, and Bosozoku exhausts, some cars just need to be left alone. Here are 5 Japanese cars we didn’t dare modify, and 5 that would make excellent projects.

10 Will not dare to modify – Toyota 2000GT

The Toyota 2000GT is one of the coolest cars ever built. This was Toyota’s first attempt at building a sports car, and it was the formation point for all the legendary coupes that graced the Japanese brand’s dealerships. The 2000GT wasn’t fast, but it had great personality and a 2.0-liter inline-6 ​​lifted from the Crown sedan. The 2000GT produced 148 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque, with power transmitted to the rear wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission, and a top speed of 135 mph.

The greatest thing about 2000GT was that she starred in the James Bond movie. Everyone got the go-ahead, but when Sean Connery arrived in Japan for filming, he was too tall for the car. Then Toyota cut the roof off from two cars and called it the 2000GT Roadster – of which there are only two. We would never dare to modify a single thing on a 2000GT.

9 Will not dare to modify – Lexus LFA

The Lexus LFA has been touted as the best sonic car on the planet, with some claiming it is the best car ever built. While the second statement may invoke some argument, the first is certainly true. The entire LFA experience has been rigorously designed and tested to deliver the great sound it does.

The LFA is not the fastest, not the most agile, and not the most beautiful supercar ever, but it is one of the most perfect. Yes, it lacks cup holders, the infotainment system has a lot to be desired, and seat belt placement is oddly complicated, but the rest of the car is custom-built – built specifically for the LFA. It’s a supercar that doesn’t need anything extra to make it perfect because when you drive it, all the little hits become just afterthoughts alongside the V10 rocket.
Related Topics: Reasons You Should Return The Lexus LFA

8 Will not dare to modify – Toyota Century

Toyota Century is a car that many people have probably never heard of. It is the most luxurious model of the Japanese company, even more luxurious than any Lexus, and it contrasts with most other luxury sedans from Germany, Britain and America. It’s the stark contrast to every other Toyota on the market – built with no expense spared.

The Century is a unique car, as the second generation was the first Japanese production car to be powered by a V12 engine and so far only. The latest generation ditched the V12 in favor of a hybrid 5.0-liter V8, which produces 425 horsepower, paired with an eCVT engine with power going to the rear wheels only. The second generation of the century was the only model that was sold outside of Japan. However, the current model is only available at select dealers within Japan.

7 Will not dare to modify – Honda S800

The Honda S800 was a precursor to the legendary S2000 and was produced between 1966 and 1970. As the name suggests, it was a small sports car with a 0.8 liter engine producing around 70 hp. The party trick in the S800 was that it could hit 10,000 rpm – in 1967! The S800 was Honda’s first car that could do 100 mpg, all while returning 35 mpg.

When the car went on sale in Britain in 1967, Honda re-engineered the car with regular transmission parts, rather than using motorcycle chains and suspension. The S800 was a success and best of all, it was cheaper than the Mini Cooper and Triumph Spitfire. The S800 is a classic car that doesn’t need to be modified because it’s really cool.
Related Topics: These are the best features of the Honda S800

6 You dare not modify – Mazda Cosmo

The Mazda Cosmo – also called the 110S – was one of the first Japanese cars with a rotary engine. It was equipped with a 982cc (60 cui) twin-rotor engine producing 110 hp. This was specified on the rotary engine because it produces more power than the equivalent inline engine but negates the higher Japanese road tax on engines larger than 1.0 liter.

The original Cosmo was updated in 1968 to the 2 Series, which included a longer wheelbase to improve interior space, retuned suspension, and 20 more horsepower. The front end has also been improved for better cooling. Cosmo Series II is also equipped with a 5-speed manual instead of the 4-speed in the first series. The Cosmo is a unique classic car because it looks like a spaceship and looks like a racing car. Definitely not a car that needs any modifications.

5 That would make a great project – Toyota Hilux

Toyota Hilux is one of the most popular cars on the planet. Known for their reliability and durability, they are used in anything from luxury transportation to working horses on the farm. The older generation Hilux makes a great project vehicle as it has many aftermarket performance parts to choose from.

Several owners have swapped engines from Hiluxes, replacing them with Lexus V8s. Doing so improved the truck’s overall performance, but it also required some boost to the drivetrain—and this could easily be done with aftermarket tuning. The Hilux is a versatile pickup truck that feels as at home in the city as it is in the great outdoors.
RELATED: This Secret Toyota Hilux Kit Makes Our Marty McFly Proud

4 That would make a great project – Nissan 300ZX Z32

The Nissan 300ZX is one of the most popular Nissan sports cars in the JDM world. 300ZX Z32 Available in the US is a 3.0-liter V6, either naturally aspirated or twin-turbocharged – one producing 222 hp and the other 300 hp.

Like many other JDM vehicles such as the Toyota Supra Mk4, Mitsubishi 3000GT and Subaru Impreza WRX STI, there is a whole host of upgrades available for the 300ZX. Common improvements include a sportier body kit, a retuned ECU, larger turbochargers and a better clutch. The 300ZX is a great sports car and represents one of the coolest eras for the JDM market.

3 That would make a great project – Lexus LS400

The Lexus LS400 was the first model to be launched from Toyota’s new luxury division. It was powered by a 4.0L V8 engine – one of the most reliable V8s in existence and undermining the competition in the luxury sedan segment, while still offering most of the same features and options.

The LS400 is a great vehicle to buy as a project or for everyday driving. The LS400 started and built Lexus’ incredible customer service and trusted reputation, which means that when the car is taken care of, it won’t let its owner down. It’s also part of the old-school luxury class, and it certainly holds up better than comparable German cars.
Related: Here’s Why the Lexus LS400 is a Great Drift Platform

2 That would make a great project – Honda Accord Coupe

The Honda Accord Coupe may not seem like the most customizable car, but surprisingly there is a market for it. The Accord Coupe is a slightly more luxurious version of the regular Accord sedan, but mostly because it’s in a different body configuration.

The Accord Coupe, like most other Japanese cars, has plenty of aftermarket parts available, from new steering wheels with carbon studs, to the chassis and forced induction kits. Accord Coupe makes a good project car.

1 That would make a great project – Toyota Celica

Toyota Celica can be considered the smaller and cheaper version of the Supra. The sixth and seventh generation were the most famous of the Celica generations. The sixth generation is famous for its racing history – despite cheating from Toyota. The seventh generation was completely redesigned and was only available with front-wheel drive and a 1.8-liter engine.

Celica has some great aftermarket upgrades available, from brutal rear wings to forced induction kits like the turbocharger and supercharger. Many owners also go for the rally look with the classic Castrol livery, or give it a body kit, massive wheels, and a stunning color change to make it stand out from the crowd. The possibilities for customization are endless.


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