The Last Of The Breed

Japan is a land of dreams – car dreams, that is. Visiting may give you a little taste of what this place is all about, but you could never really get a sense for how deep the culture goes, the fun you can have and the amazing people you can meet along the way, until you actually live the lifestyle here.

I receive messages on a daily basis from young, passionate people asking what it’s like to live in Japan, what the best way to move here would be, and how hard is it to land a job etc. For the majority though, it often remains nothing more than a dream; the realities of life seem to make it hard, and full commitment is required. But some do make it over, and once they arrive never stop enjoying it. Jon, the owner of this JZX110 Mark II, falls into the latter category.


Jon came to Japan many years ago via the US Navy (the ‘Y’ markings on his license plates give that away) and wanting to full immerse himself in the country’s car culture, he was always set on picking up an interesting JDM car for himself.


The JZX110 fit the bill perfectly; it’s the last in the breed of 1JZ-powered cars and the ultimate incarnation of the Mark II lineage before Toyota lost its way and introduced the Mark X. Oh, and it’s bright yellow, just in case you missed it…


Jon’s idea was to build the JZX up as a fun and powerful street car, something that could keep up with the sort of machinery one may run into on any given night out on the Wangan. As cliché as that may sound, when you live in Japan and have a car, you can actually get out and drive on the legendary stretches of roads you heard about while growing up or playing video games. Reality is, after all, what you make it to be.


The Toyota wears a Julius aero package, which turns what was in theory a comfortable sedan aimed at retired folks, into a mean-looking street machine.


Fender rolling, careful offset measurements and a 326 Power suspension setup allows the JZX to sit pretty aggressively on its black Stance Magic wheels. There are a few other touches that’ll have you making all sorts of other assumptions too, like the screamer pipe exiting out the driver’s side side-skirt and chunky UCF31 Celsior front brakes.


Pop the hood and all is revealed. You won’t be finding big top-mount turbos here; the whole idea behind the engine touches were to get the most out of the bulletproof 1J, but still keep things reliable.


Jon was happy he found a 5-speed manual version of the car, rather than the far more common auto, and to this he’s added a long list of supporting modifications ranging from the complete GReddy cooling package, with oil cooler, radiator and intercooler, through to sorting out the fueling with a Sard in-tank fuel pump and 555cc/min injectors.


Everything was fitted to support the Tomei Arms M8280 turbocharger, which has been converted to run an STF external wastegate. The 2.5L inline six was then tuned by Imai-san at Bee-R with the engine making a more than respectable 450hp.


The cabin is a comfortable place to be, but for spirited driving the stock driver’s seat was never going to cut it. An in-your-face red Bride Low-Max bucket was thus fitted, along with the requisite Nardi steering wheel to nail the details.


It’s been a fun and rewarding ride for Jon, making the most of a unique piece of JDM metal and getting to sample Japanese car culture the only way you’re supposed to – with absolute immersion. He’s toying with the idea of parting the car and getting into something more sensible, but I for one say he should hold onto the yellow 110 and keep that screamer pipe screaming!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

demmit.. Just perfect !!


Without the RED seat, the sidepipe and in a bit more sophisticated color, this would be perfect.


What colors are considered sophisticated? (Or do you mean pretentious?)

...Reasons why I love Japan Culture... they just do what they like... while others think it's child's play...



Well any color is fine for me as long as its not canary yellow, signal orange or light pink, really..


I can see your point but when you're surrounded by Black and Dark Grey cars all day in a highly "sophisticated" area... Audis , GT3s and M-Series...

It's best to show the world what having fun is truely about...

Different cups of tea I guess... I gave up the rat race years I just stroll around town shoving my obscene taste to those that think they are better than most. -[0_o]-

The Shade Reaper

Well, if the color combination suits Ronald McDonald...I suppose it has mass-appeal. Billions of burgers sold, after all.

It's not that much of a stretch to consider that an "unsophisticated" color. That yellow is by definition a PRIMARY what you will into that classification. Essentially, it's one of the BASIC colors used to create the others by mixing. So, maybe it'd be more aesthetically pleasing if it were a bit more nuanced? Even if it were a different yellow. Not going to debate color theory here, however. Heaven forbid I'm accused of being one of those (non-knuckle dragging) pretentious people.

We all know how this ends: everybody chimes in about how it's "his right to paint his car whatever color he wants, blah, blah, blah". Of course the argument sublimates the fact that the owner clearly chose the color to get the attention he's receiving.


but he's in Japan, so it is perfect :) hehe


Exactly! Anything goes in Japan.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Pretty much!


Lovely car, interesting to see he's not gone for a top mount. What turbo is it running to make 450bhp?

I really like car features like this, keep up the good work.


"Tomei Arms M8280 turbocharger"
reading is nice sometimes

Joe @ Drifted

Ah, my bad. Thanks!


I agree keep it and build another one if it will allow ^ ^ such a great mind ^ ^ definitely will make another great jdm metal as you call it.


well it doesn't get more sensible than this... viva japan!


Pleasant change from the sheer numbers of mercs, rolls', porsches and ferraris in Azabu.


Amen, brother. I was getting frustrated at the site''s content for a while, but now it seems that some cool cars are being shown here again. Cars built for instagram and over the top exotics are lame imo

Dino Dalle Carbonare

We do like variety :)

Tom Westmacott

Nice car, love the colour, not too OTT but 450hp seems a nice, sensible amount for a four-door ;-)

Fortunately for us gaijin, both the US and Japanese government sponsor official 'become a hashiriya' schemes, aka the US Military and the JET scheme respectively. I had a year via the latter route, which was the best year of my life :-)


The first time I fell in love with this car was when SH did an article on team magicians jzx110. I thought it was the coolest cars ever and then i saw drift works jzx110 and was sold. However, I live in USA and I gotta wait 25 years to own and operate one of these cars. Once I saw this article I fell back in love again. Someday I hope to have this car. Isn't it funny how someone can be so attached to a car they have never seen in real life?!?!?!?! lol great article dino!! you win my heart every time man!!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It is a very special car. Right about the time I bought the Legacy I was looking for one of these, but they were so pricey back then. Now they've come down but still fetch a premium over the 90s and 100s obviously


etcs-i and a power fc? How is this done people! Standalone ecu too much for me, this is within reach

Joseph McKinney

I wonder if he would sell the car as a whole.