Technical Articles 2019-05-03 196

A more appropriate title here should be "The NC1 And The Undeserved Hatred".

Or Apples and Bannanas - just dont compare.

But please read below.

It was the nineties, when Toyota, having the Lexus with the LS, decided to step into the mass production of the premium automotive segment and gave the same team, who created the AE86 the job, to strasight copy the direct competition these days. But of course - make it better. There was so much to be improved on the E36 (and BMW knew that well, as we saw with the E46). However by improving lets be polite - a car with lots of faults, Lexus ended up slightly better than ... this. This is how the IS200 came to life, trying to compete with the E36 — a car, in despite of despearate measures to improve rigidity, bringing to overweight (1400kg at the times of 1100 cars) never got position different than worse in a crash test (weak chassis), with limited interor room, not effective engines (poor 2.0 R6) and and and. So Lexus went for a final touch to the details to beat BWM in its own market — the "Klarglassleuchten" (clear glass lights), popular these days in the German people's car scene (Golf 3). The first IS200 was a flop, of course because of the obvious (and as stated above), but for many because of the introduced to the public clear lights (sadly named after Lexus and not VW Golf afterwards - sure, even VW wont make such mistake). A piece of plastic, that hardly appealing to teens, but meant to sell in adult car segment - what did they think?

Strange enough however, even after years Mazda decided to Zoom-Zoom its new-from-the-roots roadster with the same piece of transparent plastic, which had proven to be dead born years before. The reactions (to the ones of us, who remember) were pure hatred to the model for its weight (looked fat, although not that much at 1150kg), but mostly for the look. The NC1 /early MK3/ was simply wrong from the front, front the back and in the height. Facts check — only 3 years later Mazda too desperate measures to correct the mistake and the facelift got normal rear lights (of course different ride height, front lights, bumpers) - hoping to save the roadster legend and a cash cow.

Now 13 years later — in 2019, there still isn't alternative to this puberty touch they dared to the NC1. And while at todays very low price levels for the early NCs people are keen to adapt, ignore the look for the rest of the car, the pure facts are still unchainged.

There is a third way next to the adaptation or ignorance. Just change it.

This is where the story gets personal. There is no way I could drive a car with clear lights (one reason, why avoided the RX as family car option) and kept away from the MK3 for too long, even after they got cheaper than MK1s. My instant search for solution for the rear (AND the front!) lights came too few builds online, which had the MK1 rear lights on MK3. Which meant — they are pretty close as shape? Having the MK1 rear light covers, it was a 1-hour job to prototype and fit them on a MK3.

Did this sort out the clear glass lights issue? Not fully. But the puberty look is now covered at more than 80%. The car looks different (it's certainly a head turner!) and to me being kind of old school car lover (and guy as well) — I kind a like this nostalgic classic TVR look of the rear. Can they be improved — well yes, the clear parts can be covered with the slightest darkening foil layer, which will fully hide the awesomeness underneath.

To summarize and put things into context — the Jass Performance rear light covers for the early Mazda MK3 /NC1/ are not out there to compete with time pieces such as the old skylines, FD, Aston Martin, Alfa etc. lights. The Jass Rear Light Covers are the easy, effective and possibly only (known to me) alternative to the Zoom-Zoom Lexus lights the car came with the model.

Disclaimer: This is just an opinion and respectively (as just talk is cheap) a solution. Sure there are people out there, who love the Lexus rear of the MK3. But I dont have the ears for that. The MK3 is a very good car for who can look under the skin and simply does not deserve the hate it is exposed to. Instead, Lexus-lights-lovers, just go out there and justify the love to the clear lights or fight the undeserved hatred to the model in your own way. Keep positive!