Mark Higgins' Top Buys for Japanese Classics

By: Mark Higgins

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We asked our resident car nuts to nominate their top three choices of Japanese classics out there. Here's Mark Higgins' top picks...

 

1. Nissan R32 GT-R

Nissan -skyline 

What a machine! I reckon the R32 is by far the best of the GT-Rs. Devastatingly fast, agile, light and hugely rewarding to drive. I had a steer of one in the early 90s and was blown away by its sheer velocity. The horizon rushed at you, you didn’t chase it. And it stopped as well as it went, while its electronic and mechanical trickery meant it could attack corners at breathtaking speeds like it was welded to the road. If I could find a good one, I’d have it in a heartbeat.

| Read more: Nissan R32 GT-R buyer's guide

 

2. Honda S2000

Honda -s 2000-3

Although I could never get totally comfortable in the cramped cabin, I’d still have one.
It’s a classic. I spent a fair bit of time in S2000s when I was at Honda and loved the way it revved and revved, delivering its sizeable grunt in a linear way. And it boasts one of the best ever manual gearboxes made, of any brand. The pedal setup was right for heel-and-toe downshifts and its handling was more go kart than car. And being a Honda it’s as reliable as a Swiss watch.

 

3. Datsun 240Z

Datsun -240z -2

It started the Z car revolution that continues almost half a century on and when I first laid eyes on it I thought it a better looker than an E-Type Jag, though I had my suspicions it was a copy of the pommy classic.

A teacher, Mr Edwards, arrived at my school in his gleaming white example and immediately won kudos from every student with an interest in cars, of which there were many. After falling for its looks thanks to Mr Edwards (who on weekends raced a Bolwell Nagari), I had a drive of one and it didn’t disappoint. It had a good turn of grunt thanks to the twin Hitachi-carbed 2.4-litre six in its snout, did a reasonably good job of stopping and wasn’t too bad at scooting through corners. And I loved the sports seats, dash layout with the ancillary gauges having their own housing and the three-spoke steering wheel.

| Read more: Datsun 240Z buyer's guide

 

See more staff picks:

- David Morley's top three

- Cliff Chambers' top three

- Guy Allen's top three

- Glenn Torrens's top three

- Alex Affat's top three

 

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