Help with identifying precise Eunos / Mk1 model

Hi there, I’m a new member so, apologies in advance if I contravene any protocols.

Despite owning my Mk1 / Eunos import for some time, I am in real need of some help, perhaps surprisingly, to identify precisely what model I have.

About all I can be reasonably sure of is that it’s either a J limited or J2 limited edition.

Although faded in some places, most of the sticker near the door striker bears out that it is a J2 Limited edition. Indeed, this is actually quoted under ‘Grade’ on the sticker. It also quotes the correct HZ paintcode for Sunburst Yellow; CE04D16 engine code, denoting an 1800cc engine; and 5MT under the ‘Transmission’ legend, which I assume corresponds to the car’s 5 speed manual transmission. It also has the black windscreen surround indicative of a J2 Iimited edition.

Interestingly, there is merely a dash under the ‘A/C’ legend on the sticker, although the car does have air conditioning. It also has a CD player and stainless steel kick plates, which I believe were options on the J2.

However, probably the most significant query is regarding the VIN number quoted on the driver’s door sticker, which certainly does not follow the international standard 17 character format. It clearly states an11 character code in the following format: NA8C – 107xxx. Likewise, the same number is stamped on the engine bay bulkhead, where the standard 17 character VIN would normally appear.

A red coloured ‘dymo’ tape sticker on the A pillar at door level simply states: ‘7 7 60700’.

Apart from the VIN issue, the other surprise is that the car is equipped with the 7 spoke wheels that are typical of the earlier J Limited edition.

So, my queries seem to boil down to: ‘Why would the car be fitted with the earlier style wheels, unless these were changed by a previous owner – even though I understand all 800 of the J2 limited run were sold out on the first day of release?’

Secondly, and more significantly, why does the vehicle NOT carry a standard 17 character VIN number. One thought is that the car is possibly a pre-production J2 Limited edition, which just happened to be fitted with the earlier style wheels (possibly as a disguise), while the model undertook road testing / proving mileage prior to the manufacture of the 800 cars for the ‘J2 limited’ model’s run.

Clearly, any assistance would be most welcome in helping me to resolve the mystery.

Thanks in advance.

All J-Limiteds were 1.6
All J2-Limiteds were 1.8

There is no mystery.

Your VIN is a perfectly normal Japanese market VIN for the era. Japan never followed an international standard for the home market.

The wheels that should be fitted are wheels common to all 1993-1997 1.8 Eunos Roadsters;

There might be a date stamp on the wheels proving your car has had second hand wheels fitted.

Most Eunos Roadsters don’t have Aircon indicated as fitted on the driver door sticker, when in fact they do.

Thw J2 Limited appeared well into NA8C production; there were 6000+ Eunos Roadster 1.8s made before yours was made… The early wheels you have have been added sometime during the car’s 20 year history. The most common reason is by the UK importer, using what spare wheels they had to had, either because it came with a damaged aftermarket wheel that could not be replaced, or, as some dealers I know did, return modified cars to a “standard spec” to make it easier to sell a car on, or make more money on. After market modified cars tended to be worth less than standard cars.

The J2-Limited is just a trim special; its a mechanically standard car, and most markets, with the exception of the US market, got a yellow 1.8 special edition. There was no “secret testing”.

You have to be careful about claims of a special edition selling out in one day, when in fact, its reregistered dealer allocation.

Do you have the auction sheet or auction grade? Many cars imported were grade 3 or 3.5 when imported, ie they had suffered some minor panel damage in Japan, mostly already attended to, allowing for more margin by the importers. There was a degree of risk in imports; until the car was landed in the UK, the importer wouldn’t really know how much work was needed on a car that needed a fast turn around (on account of capital being tied up at sea for 6-8 weeks).

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The J2 Limited, as already described, had the later style 7 spoke wheels and the windscreen surrounds were always black with the yellow body colour.

Thank you for your prompt and very comprehensive response to my queries.
Clearly, it was easy enough for someone to have fitted the car with the earlier (Daisy?) style wheels at some point, but it was the VIN number issue that was my main concern. I thought that the 17 character system was pretty well adopted universally on all cars built after 1981, so it was a surprise to learn that Japan had its own home market format for at least some time after that. Thanks again for the info. Rob

Thanks for your reply Paul. I was aware that the the later style wheels were standard on the J2, so was surprised that it had been fitted with the earlier (Daisy ? )type versions. Clearly, these could have been fitted at any point prior to me purchasing it. Cheers, Rob

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