The Ultimate Wishlist for Japanese Car Lovers

For those passionate about Japanese performance cars, creating the ultimate fantasy garage is a tempting imaginative escape. Unconstrained by financial or geographic limitations, what machines from the land of the rising sun would earn a coveted parking spot?

Let’s indulge our innermost desires and assemble the ultimate wishlist selection of attainable yet extraordinary Japanese classics across genres and eras.

Daily Drivers with Personality

These enthusiast favorites promise smiles for daily commutes or weekend errands while asking little in return – the perfect complement for wilder mounts lined up beside them!

Daily Drivers with Personality

First Generation Toyota Prius (1997-2003)

The original planet-saving icon deserves a spot for making hybrid powertrains irresistibly cool through its spaceship styling. With its battery pack tucked neatly under the cargo area and sleek tapered nose, the Gen-1 Prius cuts a dashing sci-fi silhouette totally distinct from the rest of the affordable JDM cars for sale. It’s an outlandish yet sophisticated statement for eco-conscious driving if there ever was one!

Mazda MX-5 Miata NB (1998-2005)

No selection of charismatic Japanese daily drivers is complete without the beloved Miata roadster, pop-up headlights, and all! As the second NB generation, this iteration retains the original’s spritely flair with a smidge more power while adding a glass rear window. Zing down back roads with the top lowered on a sunny day – this plucky Miata perfectly bottles driving joy.

Honda Beat (1991-1996)

Completing our daily trio is one truly tiny treat – Honda’s adorable mid-engine Beat kei car. At just 126 inches stem to stern with 63 horsepower motivating its sub-2000 lb footprint, the impish Beat offers infectious tossability. Its jewel-like proportions, pop-up lights, and cheeky attitude never fail to elicit smiles. Let’s keep Honda’s perfectly pint-sized roadster smiling every day!

Unicorn Chasers – Lost Homologation Gems

These racing variants boasting competition upgrades tantalize collectors today for their rarity amid already iconic lineups. Just over 1,500 copies exist across our three homologation unicorn chasers here – who wouldn’t crave the spectacle pulling up in any of these fire-breathing beasts?

Nissan Skyline GT-R NISMO Z-Tune (2003)

If exclusivity stokes desire, it doesn’t get any more exclusive than Nissan’s Z-Tune – essentially a road-going Nissan-prepared GT500 racing car. Just 19 street-legal Z-Tunes were hand-built by Nismo from a used R34 GT-R chassis with a twin-turbocharged 493hp engine lifted from the LeMans GT500 racer mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission. Over $300k today, the Z-Tune represents the ultimate iteration of legendary GT-R pedigree.

Mazda RX-7 Type RS RB (1993)

Barely more than 1,500 special Type RS and Type RZ models of Mazda’s FD3S RX-7 sport the ultimate rotary tuning setup. For the lighter Type RS version, deleting the rear seats enables fitting RE Amemiya’s racing-tuned variant of Mazda’s 1.3-liter twin-turbocharged rotary packing 280 horsepower. With a 4 mm wider body, limited slip diff, adjustable dampers, louvered hood, and signature 3-color paint, the ultra-rare RS RB special edition looks and drives the absolute performance part.

Subaru Impreza WRX STI version I (1994)

Before the WRX STI became a performance mainstay abroad, Subaru’s very first winged and wide-fendered WRX variant saw a limited production run of just 424 cars for Japanese rally homologation purposes way back in 1994! Nicknamed “PL” for its Possum Bourne Motorsport tribute stickers, the Version I represented the most powerful sedan Subaru ever exported at the time – a 224 hp, AWD turbocharged monster signaling the birth of Subaru’s performance halo. As the genesis, we have to include this foundational icon!

Ultimate Track Day Fliers

Short gear ratios, sticky tires, and wings galore prime them for the circuit rather than grocery runs. Provided we have a track nearby, we’ll happily indulge this Japanese trio of apex shredders!

Ultimate Track Day Fliers

Honda NSX-R (1992)

In our fantasy garage, Honda’s supremely rare NSX Type R variant earns a trophy spot for its minimalist take-no-prisoners track approach. Deleting the radio, sound deadening, AC, and even passenger seat, the NSX-R shed 240 pounds over the standard model while gaining a titanium shift gate, aluminum roof panel, and new rear diffuser. Output climbs to 257 horsepower alongside even sharper racetrack reflexes and dynamics for supercar-stomping performance. With just 530 copies built for Japan, Canada, and Europe, the NSX Type R’s perky playfulness surely delights even today.

Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II Nur (2002)

Representing the last and most formidable version of Nissan’s R34 Skyline GT-R, the V-Spec II Nur (Nissan Ultimate Racer) pushes this icon’s performance to its extreme. Besides aerodynamic additions like its adjustable carbon fiber rear wing, front air dam, and vented hood, the Nur packs weight-saving upgrades, shedding over 150 lbs through aluminum doors alone. But the headline numbers come from the Nur’s potent RB26DETT engine output, now cranking 330 horsepower alongside high-end NISMO upgrades all around. Stunning streets and pulverizing tracks await!

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR FQ-360

Rounding out our fantasy track pack is the lighter, sharper FQ-360 version of Mitsubishi’s rally hero – the Evo 9. Cut down to its bare rally-bred essence, the FQ-360 borrows the paddle shifting 6-speed from a Ferrari while packing 362 turbocharged horses, motivating four wheels through its fastest reacting AWD system. That front splitter, extended flares, and massive rear wing scream track intent – as does the retuned Eibach suspension and Brembo brakes (good luck finding replacement Brembos!). Take the pesky rear seats out, strap in tight, and experience Japanese rally heritage at its apex-devouring finest!

Ultimate Unicorn – Mazda 787B LeMans Winner

We can think of no greater exclamation point for a fantasy dream garage than the overall winning car from the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans itself – Mazda’s gorgeous 787B!

Only one car has ever claimed outright victory at the legendary Circuit de la Sarthe powered by a 4-rotor Wankel rotary engine – Mazda’s airy Project 787 racer driven in 1991 by Johnny Herbert, Volker Weidler, and Bertrand Gachot. That lone rotary note remains unmatched in prestige and significance within Japanese motorsports history.

From our fantasy perch, peering through garage windows to glimpse the LeMans champ 787B sitting inside represents the holy grail for enthusiasts. Sure, we could fill our fantasy stable with countless other Japanese icons, but nothing tops watching the tricolor 787B fire up in a cloud of heat haze before heading out for a demo run. An impossible fantasy? Not in our dream garage – where even the mightiest unicorns roam free to be cherished!