Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«155 »
  • Post
  • Reply
KakerMix
Apr 8, 2004

8.2 M.P.G.


Top Cop



My wife and I operate a JDM-import dealership here in Florida. Limerence Motor Company This post is a compilation of lots of things that we've figured out and learned as we've done this, and it's put down here to help anyone else that is interested in importing something themselves.

Japan and Exporting Vehicles: Shaken
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor...pection_(Japan)
There is a lot of weird misinformation and legends surrounding Japanese used cars. Here is the facts:
In Japan when you buy a car you have 3 years from your first inspection before you have to have another inspection done. Your first inspection is done when your vehicle is first registered meaning you have to have an initial inspection done on a brand-new vehicle. After this, every two years regardless of age you must have another inspection done. Because of this (and other cultural quirks that I'm not at all qualified nor familiar with to understand or state) people in Japan tend to give up on their cars earlier than most people in the world which probably gave rise to the incorrect rumors about older cars in Japan. They have strict inspections and they don't give any lenience to older cars so that naturally culls older vehicles from the roads. There seems to be less appreciation for older cars in Japan vs. in the USA but as I don't live in Japan I can't say for certain. I do know that there are lots of people in Japan that appreciate Honda Beats like anyone though.
Because of this massive amount of used cars vs. the population to buy them Japan has a huge and sophisticated export mechanism with lots of businesses that operate within it. Most buyers being from those nations with more relaxed import restrictions like the UK, Australia, various European nations and places like Africa, Russia and India. Those of us in the United States, however, have some of the strictest rules on importing a vehicle not originally meant for the United States under the guise of "safety".
Note that with typical vehicle importation it's done with the Roll-on/roll-off system which means that the vehicle you buy will typically be running and can't have any major leaks. It also means that your vehicle will arrive fully drivable with the battery connected and fuel in its tank.

The 25 Year Rule: gently caress you I won't buy what you tell me
https://one.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/im...ml#Anchor-28852
The United States is strict compared to most places in the world when it comes to importing vehicles that weren't originally meant for sale here. The '25 Year Rule' is ironclad. The proposed vehicle you want to import *has* to be 25 years or older from date of manufacture going by month. The first of every month 'unlocks' every vehicle that was made 25 years ago in that month, and not any sooner. They can't even enter the country until then.
"But I know a guy with an R34 Skyline that is state legal" yeah and federally it is, and always will be, rolling contraband. There is no way around this rule (outside of the very very few legal Motorex Skylines, loopholes involving museums and specific dealership-owner rules). If you are a person that wants an imported car from any country you are going to wait 25 years to the month, or you are going to risk having your Land Rover crushed by the feds and there is nothing you can do about it because it is rolling contraband. Even if your vehicle turns 25 years old while in the US it is still illegal in the eyes of the law.
There are various places in the US that will get vehicles newer than 25 years and play the 'state legal' game where they act like state legality somehow overrides federal law. This is not true in the automotive sense and at any time you can be caught and your car taken from you with zero recourse. Some people run that risk get away with it for a while, others get their cars crushed
https://youtu.be/4l7JCb3RDqQ
Dumb as gently caress but it's still the rule. The guy who owned the Skyline in this video getting crushed knew is car was illegal thus I blame him.
*Special mention for California:

astropika posted:

The issue with California is that direct import vehicles have to pass FTP (federal test procedure) driving cycles, just like a manufacturer does type certifying a vehicle. The testing is several thousand dollars by itself, without considering modifications to bring the vehicle into conformance.
For an R32 GTR it costs something like 12-15k to modify and certify as CARB legal, which completely destroys the value of the car, you could be looking at 40k for an r32 skyline and you can buy much faster cars for 40k
I was quite set on getting an R32 GTR, the performance and buildability is difficult to beat at even the inflated 20-25k you can get a decent one for now, but when I weighed up the hassle and uncertainty of having to register out of state or paying close to 40k for a 25 year old car, even one as cool and evocative, I decided against it and bought a 911 turbo instead.



Reselling Imported Vehicles From Japan In the US: Why?
If you are anything like me you will browse craigslist and motors.ebay like you might have browsed the toy section of those giant Sears catalogs when you were a kid. I'll spend lots of time simply sifting through various search terms, years and models just looking to see what is out there. When I saw that tiny van for sale I was so interested that I started to determine exactly what it was. I found out that it was probably an Indian-market rebadge of a seventh-gen Hijet which lead me in the direction of kei vehicles. So interested I ended up buying my first real import, a 1990 Honda Acty Street G from Japanese Classics in Virginia. They are a dealer in Richmond Virginia that focuses solely on importing legal Japanese cars into the US and selling them as titled and legal vehicles. They are good people and were a pleasure to work with. However, once you peek into Japanese Auctions you quickly see the amount of profit they make on every vehicle. I paid $6200 for my Acty but I estimate that Japanese Classics paid probably $700 or so for my van at auction. Even with transport and registration fees that's a hell of a profit percentage. I'm not upset or think that Japanese Classics is taking anyone for a ride, far from it, but I use this as a comparison to the amount of money you pay for the convenience of "I want that car" and simply buying it without drama. Since I fantasy-browse anyway, have extra capital that I can play with and like a wide range of vehicles especially the kei-class ones I decided to see about reselling vehicles I import myself. The reasons are, as the title suggests, for fun and profit.

Japanese Auction Houses: 5 Skylines and a few Land Cruisers Please
The import business is growing pretty fast in the US and lots of copy-cat mom-and-pop style operations are up and running already, to that end there are lots of ways to get access to the Japanese auctions and Japanese used car dealers. You can window shop at places like http://www.goo-net-exchange.com and https://www.tradecarview.com. Every vehicle I've imported has been bought through Yoshi at Japan Car Direct. I can't recommend anyone else at JCD, but I can and do suggest Yoshi since he's rad as hell.


Japan Car Direct is an export brokerage in Japan, and Yoshi is an agent there. He was born in California, lives in Japan and is an actual car guy himself. I like him a lot and very much like the way he does business.
You browse, find a car you like. You send them a $500 dollar deposit via Paypal and then they will send out third-party inspectors to personally go over the vehicle you are interested in. After the inspector delivers their information, Yoshi will give his opinion on if you should go for it or pass, and suggest a bid amount. You decide your bid and then wait for the auction results. If you win they JCD possession of the vehicle and start going through the export process. I am not sponsored by Japan Car Direct, I just had a nice experience with Yoshi and now have a rapport going. There are countless other export houses in Japan and ways to access the auction system, this is just the way I am doing it. Just avoid Pacific Coast Auto, they act like the third-party inspections don't work and that is bad for you.


KakerMix posted:

I've also found out that the independent inspections that Japan Car Direct does? That's unique to them, as in most places don't have those inspectors and that poo poo is dangerous. For instance the first Crown Wagon we looked at? Had white smoke in the exhaust that didn't dissipate in a few minutes and the coolant overflow tank was empty. The auction sheet didn't mention any of this and instead talked about how it just passed it's inspection a couple months earlier. Guessing that the owner blew the headgasket, went 'o fuk' and then put it up for auction and the auction inspectors simply don't take the time to look at that stuff. Having a third-party inspector go out there to futz with the car for a bit shows things like that. If I didn't go with Japan Car Direct and didn't have the independent inspector go out there and start the car and let it idle for 10 minutes poking and prodding at everything I wouldn't have known about it. Then I would have bought a car with a blown headgasket.


The kinds of vehicles you can buy via auction or essentially limitless. Cars sure, but forklifts, lawn mowers, motorcycles (also subject to the same 25 year rule) and heavy industrial equipment. Tow trucks and flatbeds too but I have no idea about the commercial licensing or CDL requirements to try to get a Japanese 50 ft flatbed truck registered here in the US. Each vehicle at auction will have an auction sheet. They will have an overall number on a scale from 5 to 0. Don't bother with anything under 3, 'R' ratings are a wild card. Is it an accident victim? Did someone JDM it hard with aftermarket parts? Did an old car simply have some panels replaced?
The auction ~flow~ swells on Wednesday and has its lowest point on Saturday. Wednesday will have 80k+ vehicles up for auction while Saturday will be a third or less that.

*Tradecarview and goo-net are not auctions but 'windows' into dealerships within Japan. While the best deals are always to be had at auction you shouldn't overlook seeing about buying wholesale from a dealer. Benefits are that the vehicle is expected to pass it's inspection and should be in excellent condition. Downside is that the dealer might not want to sell to you 'wholesale', that is, without the assorted fees that normally follow buying a used car within Japan tied to registration, inspection, road tax and the like.

Something I've learned as time has gone on is the auction houses themselves. On the surface they kind of look the same but here is what I've found (with other goons giving their opinions as well):

USS: The largest auction house operating and what I would consider the base line for grading. Will tend to be where you find popular things like Skylines and Land Cruisers. Their grading is done as you expect from how the numbers are supposed to be, grade 3s here will be like Yoshi says, generally good shape with some minor cosmetic issues. Interiors tend to follow suit, C grade interiors here will be generally in good shape with some cosmetic issues. Prices tend to be higher for no reason besides USS is a popular place to buy. Not bad, but because of the cost associated I've found myself not buying from them and sometimes avoiding them. Out of all the cars I've bought a minimum have come from USS auctions.

TAA/KAA/JAA/CAA/KM AA: There might be more *AA houses, not sure. These guys are smaller, will tend to have cool and interesting things. Grades harshly, which is to say what would be a 3.5 or even a 4 at USS will be a 3 here. Interiors are the same, a C grade at USS will be a D here. Prices will be lower as it isn't as popular as USS and will have less eyes on the auctions. Most of my stuff I've bought have been from these houses, and all of my killer deals as well. I've had excellent luck. Both AZ-1s are from AA houses and I paid far lower than I would have at USS. These are my favorite houses as the harsh grading and lower prices means nicer vehicles for me, and maybe, you!

MIRIVE: Will have more interesting things than USS. Grade the same as USS but prices will also be lower. Smaller than even *AA houses so will have less inventory during the week.

ARAI: Grades easier than USS (as in a 3 in USS might be a 3.5 here, same with interiors), prices tend to be all over the place. Unique compared to most other houses as they seem to do all of their auctions on Saturday (or Friday for those of us in the USA). Grading is similar to USS, prices can be all over the place. Some good deals to be had here, but you have to watch like a hawk if you are after something specific since auctions will be listed and go live in a very short amount of time. Seems to be a large house with lots of trucks, 4x4s and vans with industrial stuff mixed in.

Manufacture-specific houses like Isuzu or Honda: Grades very harshly, very little inventory but can get some killer vehicles. I scored my 1985 Hilux Surf from an Isuzu Kobe auction that graded it very harshly. Good for me since when I sent the inspector out there he turned around and said the truck was in great shape. Got it for a really good deal because of that. Not much attention for these auctions since they are few and far between but can hold great vehicles. Tiny in size and scope, might not see an auction from them for weeks at a time.

A two-way swingin' mouse bought a Cappuccino from Yahoo auctions in Japan (Yahoo Auctions is what they use instead of eBay in Japan) and has this to say:

Fievel Goes Bi posted:

So buying on yahoo auctions is pretty much like buying on eBay. Only real difference was like the auction houses is that you can win for less then your max bid. JCD asked any questions I had and translated the answer back. As well as translating the item description. It was all super smooth I just told JCD what my max bid I wanted to put on the car then just waited it out.

I think that going the private sale route is more risky. Can't have a inspector look at it. No auction grading system (not that always is accurate anyway). You really are at the mercy of the seller listing the car correctly and honestly. Luckily my seller was always quick to respond to any questions I had and the extra photos they posted seem to back up how they described the car. If it wasn't for that I wouldn't have even bothered bidding. So if you're gonna go the private route I would keep on your toes and really do the legwork in making sure everything is repped correctly. But JCD made it super smooth and overall I�m really happy how it turned out. Once everything is finalized I'll list the costs involved in buying off yahoo.

and later...

Fievel Goes Bi posted:

Continuing adventures with yahoo. So buying through a private party is the same world wide lots of shady people. Won the auction but the seller won't turn over the registration so we can't verify the cars information, miles, accident history etc. I just want to commend JCD on being on point and keeping me in the loop and backing out of the sale unless the dude turns over the info and it looks truthful. Oh well back to hunting the auction houses.

People can be lovely no matter where, this is why all the checks and forms and poo poo are important, to avoid getting burned.

Kei Vehicles: Tiny but Serious
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kei_car
The kei vehicle class is a hyper-specialized Japanese-for-Japan only class of vehicle. Originally meant to jumpstart the Japanese automotive industry by creating a class of vehicles that were more than a motorcycle but not as expensive as a normal full-size car. A kei car can only be so long, so high and so wide, and has strict limits on engine size and later, horsepower. The benefits for a Japanese driver is that you don't have to prove you have somewhere to park in in various rural areas which is a normal requirement for any passenger vehicle in Japan. You pay much less in taxes and registration fees as well.
Check out this cool chart that I stole from Wikipedia for the requirements and how they've changed throughout the years.

The newest kei vehicles we can get will be under the 1990 requirements when the engine size was allowed to go to 660cc but engine power was capped for the first time at 64 hp.
While kei vehicles are tiny and easy to make cute noises at they are 100% capable and serious vehicles. They are size and displacement restricted but they are still relied on, beat into the ground and responsible for untold amounts of commerce within Japan. They come in all sorts of variations from trucks and vans to the short burst of sports kei cars in the 90s.

The Import Process
This is how my experience went:
I found a 1983 Daihatsu Hijet at auction. They translated the auction sheet, went over the details on the sheet then asked if I wanted to go ahead. I wanted to put in a bid so Yoshi sent an inspector. They came back with a report detailing the condition of the vehicle, how it runs, leaks, condition of hinges and doors, if the heat (and I imagine AC if so equipped) worked and work needed to make it safe for transport. In my case the Hijet was leaking oil and the tires were in poor shape. Yoshi then gave me an estimate of what the repair costs would be from a garage he had close to the port and I approved the cost for the repairs. Put in a bid, won, Japan Car Direct took possession of the vehicle (as they are the actual owners from this point until the vehicle is exported). The van was sent to the garage, repaired, tires installed and total cost determined (which was almost exactly what Yoshi estimated before hand). After this was done I then had a final amount that I wired.
Then you decide if you want to work with an import broker. I chose to use one, Yoshi suggested Great World Logistics, originally Henry but now I'm working with Dusten which simplifies the process a lot and ensures that you won't make any mistakes trapping your vehicle at the port. Even though I've imported so many vehicles I still use an import broker because goddamn does it simplify so much. Once the vehicle is on the ship you will get mailed a packet of papers which include the original Export Certificate (fancy colored paper, little doilies on the outer edge, covered in Japanese), and English translation of the export certificate, an invoice with signature of the person you bought it from which will match the name on the export certificate, and various other papers relating to the transport company, transport insurance and other details. The Export Certificate is critical as it shows that the vehicle is legally being exported by Japan and it will be used as the title in determining if it was brought to the US legally.

An Export Certificate

Since I went with an import broker you first give them power of attorney for details relating to U.S. Customs and Transportation of Cargo. Each brokerage will have their own forms but this simply means that your import broker speak on your behalf. They will send you a DOT declaration form (which declares the vehicle is over 25 years old) and an EPA declaration form (declaring the vehicle is over 21 years old). The import broker then works with the authority at the port where your vehicle is going to. My van was transported by Höegh Autoliners, on their vessel London.

A roll-on/roll-off vessel named London.

The representative for Höegh was a woman with Norton Lilly International, the shipping agent that operates in the port of Jacksonville that Höegh operates from when in port. I spoke with her and my import broker at various times about various things, each with a purpose. My import broker was Henry from Great World Logistics and was extremely helpful. He would answer any questions I had and gave me clear instructions for what I needed to do and at what times. He worked with the Norton Lilly representative separately from me as well, along with the Dept. of Homeland Security and the EPA. I then paid him after the vehicle and all its paperwork were squared away. The van was then delivered at port but I had to wait for about three days for it to be released by Homeland Security. Once that was done I waited until 'Telex release' had been confirmed which is as far as I can tell a streamlined way to release an imported vehicle from the shipper to the port. Otherwise there is a convoluted bill of landing system where you have to sign originals and mail them which eats into your free storage time. Once it was confirmed that Telex was release I then wired Höegh their money. About three days after it arrived at port I was able to pick up the van.
Depending on what international port it lands you have some complications to deal with. First, you typically get some time before they start charging you storage fees to have your vehicle picked up (I received 10 business days from Norton Lilly as they aren't open on weekends). The other point is that it is an international port, meaning whoever you have go get your vehicle needs to have the proper passes in order to access the port to pick up your vehicle. Not all transport companies and drivers have this required pass so when you are shopping around be sure to mention this. If you want to go get it yourself you can either get the pass yourself or make an appointment to be escorted. I worked with a delivery broker (that I sourced myself, the van was in the US now and is my sole responsibility) to get a driver to go pick it up from port and then had it brought to our home. It took almost two months from when I won the auction to having the van but it's finally here. Just like when I had my Acty delivered I had a hell of a time backing off a kei vehicle from the truck's trailer. The wheels are so close together in width that you have to be extremely careful on typical trailers that have the two tracks with a space in the middle. Backing off the van from a transport trailer with the wheels right on the inside edges of the tracks is how both my driving experiences with these vans began. It sucks.

Vehicle Delivered, How Can I Show Off My Tight JDM??
First, we called to get insurance on the van. We work with an independent agent to insure our imported vehicles as our ~glorious Nippon~ vehicles don't have the correct amount of numbers for a typical VIN. Our agent will put the (much shorter) set of numbers known as "Maker's Serial Number" in the system with a bunch of zeros, wait a day for the system to accept this vehicle on our policy, then go back and delete those zeroes leaving the shorter number which becomes the VIN on the policy that matches the one on your vehicle. Both of my kei vans are insured as normal through Progressive.
Next, title and registration. To title an imported vehicle here in Florida requires the Entry Summary form you will receive completed by Homeland Security from your import broker.

A blank Entry Summary, the very important document for getting your vehicle a state issued title.

With this paperwork you have to contact a specific office that deals with import vehicles in your area. I am in Sarasota and my area office is in Palmetto. Lucky for me they have mobile inspectors. Call the office, made an appointment on Friday, mobile inspector showed up at my home on Monday morning, looked at my van, my paperwork (really just the Entry Summary form), says "I don't know why the state of Florida requires all of this" then gave me the required paper with their stamp and signature. Take that to your DMV of choice, a couple hundred bucks later walk out with a new plate, registration, and knowledge that you have to drill a hole in your new license plate to fit the screw holes of your JDM ride as they don't match up with US plates. Normally at the DMV the person you are working with has to come out to look at your vehicle you are titling but with import vehicles and the mobile inspector that came by the form they give you becomes good enough to not have to bring the vehicle to the DMV.

My whole experience was smooth, there was never a time where I felt that I didn't know what I needed to do as there was always someone I could ask. It took a while but it was the expected length because of the repairs on the van that were needed. In all it took me about two months from winning the auction to having the van sitting in my driveway.
I worked with two people at Japan Car Direct, one person as my import broker here in the US and one person that represented the shipping company. One more person as my transport broker for getting the van from port to my house, and one more person that drove the actual truck that carried my van from Jacksonville to Sarasota.
Seven total payments made: Purchasing the vehicle itself (with the included repair costs and export broker's fees), the import broker's fees, a fee to Höegh, a fee to the transport broker and the final amount of that fee to the driver himself. A payment for insurance and finally to the state of Florida for registration and a new plate.

What About Parts?
It isn't as bad as you'd think. You pay for shipping of course, and have to be patient because of shipping times. These are the main resources I use to locate parts.

PartSouq
The very first place I will look for parts every time. They way the site is organized, the database they have, it's just very nice. I sometimes will buy from here, if they show they have something they actually have it in stock and you'll get it in a few days. As a result they don't have near as much inventory as other places. The best place to get OEM Toyota keys though, cheaper that Amazon by far.

http://partsfan.com/
Has a whole shitload of part lists with included diagrams that are extremely helpful but a little clunky to use, good to use for things like Daihatsus which are missing from PartSouq.

https://www.amayama.com/en
This is where I buy all my parts if I'm able, the prices can't be beat and everything I've ordered for everything has been through here, from OEM trim pieces to water pumps, belts, wipers, decals, everything. Find the part you need with the above sites, pop in the number in Amayama. Go through the order process and relish in your cool OEM Japanese parts.

http://jp-carparts.com/
Another find-parts-with-pictures site but this one you can actually order parts from. I normally don't order parts from here but the option exists.

https://www.megazip.net/zapchasti-dlya-avtomobilej
And another site that has a bunch of diagrams for vehicles with included part numbers. Also sells parts directly. Will typically be the least expensive because they are always running coupon deals. 10-20% off everything sort of things.



http://yokohamamotors.net/index.html
This is a more specialized option, these guys have new parts for various vehicles but they specifically cater to US-based customers. They have a large used parts inventory for those hard to find parts.

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/tkojames
Ran by Yokohama Motors this place lists all of the English-translated service manuals they've made. I own the Honda Acty one they wrote and it's been very nice to have. They aren't as detailed as I imagine the real-deal factory repair manuals are but they are in English. You can usually find them elsewhere on the internet, I ordered mine off Amazon for around $30 bucks.

https://www.rhdjapan.com/ (thanks Lord of Garbagemen)
Another site that leans performance but also has OEM parts available. Genuine OEM and speaks English.

There are other ways too, some places will act as an agent to buy things off Japanese-only sites like Yahoo Auctions (which is as big as eBay is here in the US). I've never used them.

MY STUFF

I've got an instagram where I post cars and auction photos if you guys are into that

And I also have a YouTube channel where I post walk-around POV videos and long drive videos. Very dry one-take type deals but super informative if you are trying to get an idea of what it would be like to live with one of these cars.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?li..._BSigwTvcmlhdAL




Here is what I currently have:


1993 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado EX, top trim for the year and with every option including rear diff lock but sans the in-bumper winch. This is the Prado we've been after for a couple years now, one just like this. One previous owner, non-smoker, fantastic shape, 130,000 km. Sunroof, suspension seats, heck even came with BF Goodrich KO2s pre-installed with white letters out. 5 speed manual of course. Deep dark green metallic paint, previous owner went ahead and replaced all the amber lenses with clear ones with amber bulbs which I feel looks fantastic.



1993 Toyota Land Cruiser J70 soft top convertible. 5 speed manual, diesel, convertible. It is incredibly badass.



1984 soft-top Daihatsu Rugger, chassis ID F70-000258. Extremely early Rugger with an excellent list of rarities: Soft top, fold down windshield, turbo AND air conditioning. As is standard I've decided to keep it for a bit. Already replaced the entire suspension, wheels and tires.


1995 Mitsubishi Pajero Mini VR-II. Kei class turbo charged 4x4 micro SUV. This guy has a 4 cyl, twin cam, 5 valve per cylinder turbo charged engine along with a 8000 rpm redline.


1993 Toyota MR2 GT SW20, revision 3. 242 hp (because JDM) snap-oversteer 4 cyl turbo charged monster. 62,000 km.



1988 Toyota Soarer 3.0 GT Limited. It's a 3rd gen Supra in a fancy suit. Automatic (yeah..), rear wheel drive, 2 door 'executive car' with a 3 liter turbo charged straight six in the form of the 7M-GTEU under the hood. TEMS, auto height level adjusting suspension, digital dashboard, winged lion emblems. 32,500 km.



1985 Toyota Corolla II SR, the hottest hatch Toyota made in 85. Equipped with "TWIN VCARB". All original, clean, one owner, just so freakin' rad I mean LOOK at this thing.



1995 Nissan Rasheen. A strange Pikes-like design (think Nissan's Pao, Be-1, Figaro) compact AWD wagon. Take a B14 Sentra, shove some Pulsar AWD gear underneath, make it look weird as hell, you get a Rasheen. Somewhat special being that it has a 5 speed manual and big funky panoramic sunroof.



1995 Suzuki Alto Works RS/Z, AWD tiny hot hatch kei from Suzuki. Modified.


1994 Daihatsu Rugger Marine Runner. Our fourth Rugger and let me tell you, Ruggers are great. 2.8 turbo diesel body on frame 4x4, similar in size to a Bronco II. Marine Runner package and I don't know what that means!



1986 Toyota Blizzard. It's a Daihatsu Rugger that has a Toyota engine and transmission it in. By all accounts the Blizzard is not as good as it's Daihatsu brother but that's ok! I love all small turbo diesel 4x4s! Especially when they are so desperate to let you know that they are TURBO.


On the way


1994 Toyota Hilux LN106 pickup. Single cab, 5 speed manual, 4x4 diesel pick up truck. AC, vinyl bench seat, roll up windows, and quite clean! 110,000 km. Former construction truck, sure to be a hit here in the USA.


Sold



1983 Daihatsu Hijet. Sold on Bring a Trailer.



1983 Honda Acty Street L with A/C, look at those stripes. Sold to a Porsche mechanic.



1985 Daihatsu Rugger DX. 2.8L turbo diesel 4x4 compact SUV. Sold to a Duesenberg enthusiast.



1990 Honda Acty Street G, has air conditioning. Sold to a gun shop owner.


1991 Toyota Land Cruiser, 3.5L non-turbo 5 cyl diesel. 5 speed manual with A/C. Short wheelbase model, two doors, white. Sold to the same guy that bought the Acty above for his son.



1990 Toyota LiteAce, 5 speed manual 4x4 van. Sold to a GWAR enthusiast.



1990 Toyota Crown Royal Saloon, 1JZ-powered rear wheel drive wagon. Sold to a rad grandpa in Georgia


1985 Toyota Hilux Surf, 2.4L turbo diesel 5 speed manual with AC. Sold on Bring a Trailer



1992 Autozam AZ-1, heavily modified. Sold to a guy in Ohio.


1992-1993(?) Autozam AZ-1. Sold to a guy in Louisiana.



Sold and exported to a man Puerto Rico because of course.



1989 Mitsubishi Pajero, sold to a guy that is going to take it all the way up to his home in Connecticut, road tripping up the east coast the whole way



1991 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 5 speed manual short wheelbase 2-door turbo diesel SUV. Sold to a young guy that's going to restore it.



1991 Suzuki Jimny, sold to a young kid to enjoy immensely.


These next four all went to the same two guys to Puerto Rico:

1991 Mazda Bongo.


1992 Suzuki Jimny WILD WIND.


1993 Honda Acty Street G ~Limited~.


1991 Suzuki Jimny Convertible.


1990 Mitsubishi Pajero. Went to a guy out in Virginia using it as a start to see if he likes JDM offroading enough to get into Land Cruisers.



1993 Daihatsu Rugger, sold to a retired naval engineer that was stationed in Indonesia which is THE place if you are into Daihatsu. Left quite an impression on the guy.



1990 Subaru Domingo GX, sold do a young couple that drove this thing all the way back to Michigan!



1993 Toyota HiAce Super Custom Limited, sold locally to a guy planning on taking his parents out west on a cool road trip.



1994 Mitsubishi Delica Super Exceed, sold to a guy in New York that's been looking for a nice StarWagon for a while. Turns out the Delica USA forum was started by a mechanic in Ft. Myers (about an hour south of us) so he came and checked out the van for this client. Mechanic (his name is Kellyn, pronounced "Kellen") said it was one of the best he's seen. Excellent contact to make because he's a master mechanic with his own shop that LOVES JDM and will tackle then all. Hells2theYeah.



1994 Toyota Land Cruiser J70 LX, sold locally to a Jeep guy that wanted to make the change to a 70 series Land Cruiser.



1982 Honda Acty kei truck, sold to a couple to be used as an advertising piece for their plant-based business.



1992 Toyota Land Cruiser HDJ81, sold to a guy making it a gnarly overland rig.



1991 Suzuki Every Turbo Aero Tune, sold to a tattoo artist in San Antonio Texas. Dude flew in with a buddy, they hopped in it and drove it all the way back home



1988 Mitsubishi Delica. Turbo Diesel, sold a guy that sells electric bicycles in St. Pete.



1991 Suzuki Carry kei truck. Send up north to be used as a hunting truck in the woods.



1991 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado EX5, shipped all the way to the owner of an insurance company in Long Beach, California.



1993 Suzuki Every Joy Pop. Sold to a company here in Florida that is going to dress it up like their fleet of big-boy USDM vans and stick a 4 foot ladder on top to match.



1994 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado SX, didn't even get a chance to get this one listed before a couple local came, looked, and bought. The husband loved it because it's Toyota. She liked it because, and I quote: "The new TRD Sport 4Runner is so big on the outside, so small on the inside, and is sixty thousand loving dollars and I can't figure out why"


1994 Daihatsu Mira RV-4, sold to a dude that's REALLY into plants.



1980 Suzuki Carry 2-stroke. Sold to a local(ish, he's up in Tampa) guy during this whole quarantine deal who was stoked to find "a nice one". After he got home he sent a video of his 8 year old son driving it around a grass field.



1993 Toyota Land Cruiser. Sold to a local dentist who himself is originally from Columbia.



1990 Suzuki Carry kei truck. 4WD and excellent AC. Was formerly our truck, sold to a multiple-repeat customer in Puerto Rico.


1993 Honda Beat, yellow. Sold to a dad in Orlando, kid kept calling it 'the banana'.



If anyone has any questions about any of this , some other goons have already taken the dive and imported things of their own and maybe you should too!


KakerMix fucked around with this message at 04:41 on May 20, 2020

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

KakerMix
Apr 8, 2004

8.2 M.P.G.


Top Cop

Show Me The Cool Cars, Idiot
Like a true AI poster I'm the sort of person that likes brown diesel wagons with manual transmissions. If this is your stereotype Japan has untold riches for you to discover. Here are some that are now (or will be very soon) legal to import. The titles are links so be sure to click on them to be taken to the world of Wikipedia to read up on each of these models.


The kei ABCs, the 90s kei-class sports cars everyone loves. Then Japan's economy tanked.

AZ-1, by Mazda's now-defunct Autozam but manufactured by Suzuki. Also known as the Suzuki Cara later in life.

Mid-engine, turbo, gull-wing doors, 5 speed manual. The very first ones become legal in October 2017 and I bet you they are going to command silly prices. Right now the typical AZ-1 is around $13000 with variance depending on mileage and quality. Flawless ones with low miles can command $25000 or more.

Beat, by Honda.

Mid-engine, individual throttle bodies for each cylinder (all three), convertible, stock white tiger print seats. The least expensive and most manufactured of these three the Beat is a neat car. Think of it like a tiny S2000 that happens to be mid-engined. Aftermarket hardtops are available. Has 'Honda' badge. Pristine models can be bought at auction for $9000 or more, good ones for around $6k or less.

Cappuccino, by Suzuki.

Front engine, turbo, convertible, t-tops and targa. It has a standard hardtop set that you can change into any of those configurations. This car is essentially the poor-man's AZ-1 as it shared the power plant until an update later in its run, just has it mounted in a different place. I've never seen one in the flesh but it's my least favorite looking one out of this group. Like the Beat these command around $10000 for perfect low-mileage examples but can drop down to $4k or less.

Other keis

Suzuki Alto Works, the tiny tiny hot-hatch. Twincam intercooled turbo and AWD. Those hood scoops are functional.

Second gen


Third gen

Honda Acty, the coolest kei truck/van because it's a mid engine rear-wheel drive Honda. All kei trucks and vans typically look the same with the front seats on top of the front wheels but Honda chose to mount the engine in front of the rear wheels. This means you don't get as hot, the ride is quieter, you get more space in the front cabin and the rear seats can fold flat into the floor. The downside is the rear deck is higher than other vans.


Suzuki Carry/Every, the best looking on account of the Aero Tune version that came out in the late 80s. You sit on top of the engine while driving. Available in all sorts of variants including turbo and intercooled versions.

Areo Tune, is this not rad as hell?

Daihatsu Hijet, ok so if Suzuki has the best looking kei van then Daiahtsu has the best looking kei truck. Similar to the Suzuki in that you sit on the engine, available with 4WD. and kick-rear end stripes.

Stock paint, wheels and decals

Suzuki Mighty Boy, the tiniest 'ute. Handsome little trucks sure to please all who see it.


Suzuki Jimny, the kei-class offroader. This did come to the USA as the Samurai but with various modifications. Available with intercooled turbos and wicked sick decals.


Non-Kei Neat Stuff

Toyota's 'Ace' trucks and vans


Toyota Sera


Toyota Land Cruisers of the J70 type


Nissan was cool as hell in the late 80s with their 'Pike Cars'

Nissan Be-1


Nissan Pao


Nissan S-Cargo: double entendre the car


Nissan Figaro, may be responsible for the retro-future thing that hit a decade later


Mitsubishi Delica



KakerMix fucked around with this message at 19:43 on Dec 27, 2019

InitialDave
Jun 14, 2007

I want to believe


Will be following along with this, as you could be a useful contact in the future!

With the Cappo, it's the early ones where the engine is the same as the one Suzuki supplied for the AZ-1, it was changed later on in their run. Also I think the Cappo is closer to the S2000 than the Beat, which I would say is more like the Mk3 MR2, though I'm not keen on the Beat myself, I feel it always has this rather unfinished look to it.

How much risk is there that, with the restrictive 25 year limit for the USA, all the good stuff is already in the EU or Canada?

Do "show and display only" type clauses help you at all?

KakerMix
Apr 8, 2004

8.2 M.P.G.


Top Cop

InitialDave posted:

Will be following along with this, as you could be a useful contact in the future!

With the Cappo, it's the early ones where the engine is the same as the one Suzuki supplied for the AZ-1, it was changed later on in their run. Also I think the Cappo is closer to the S2000 than the Beat, which I would say is more like the Mk3 MR2, though I'm not keen on the Beat myself, I feel it always has this rather unfinished look to it.

How much risk is there that, with the restrictive 25 year limit for the USA, all the good stuff is already in the EU or Canada?

Do "show and display only" type clauses help you at all?

I lump the S2000 with the Beat simply on badge alone. I've had various people (usually older white men) come up to my Acty with this face like they want to be upset at this thing they don't understand but then they see the 'H' on the front and I can just hear their thought
"Oh, Honda, one of the good ones". Whatever that thing is seems to be a fixture here in the US.

I can't really say for certain if all the good stuff is taken but I do see lots of cool stuff still flowing through the auctions. You could always double-import something from the EU or Canada

AFAIK the 'show and display' clauses have fairly strict rules to them. Either raw numbers or third-party verified rarity. You could probably get a Japanese firetruck or funeral car imported under those rules but you'd then be restricted on insurance and how you can drive the thing. I'm fairly certain that's how the 3 or 4 AZ-1s already in the US were imported but it's still 'wrong' if the feds ever cared to check. I'd rather patiently wait and do it purely by the books so I can hoon around in my tiny rocket like a true American.

Powershift
Nov 23, 2009



In canada the limit is 15 years, and there was a huge boom around 05-06 once R32s and FD3s and soarers became available and all of a sudden a pile of importers/dealers popped up. within a few years there were trashed soarers and aristos everywhere for peanuts and all the importers started disappearing.

There are still one or two around, and we're starting to get neat poo poo like elgrands and stageas, but for the most part the novelty wore off. I personally looked at a few that came over, and this may surprise you to hear, but none of them really accommodated a 6'9 ogre.

What always amused me were all the base model poo poo skylines that came over with nismo clusters, "26,000 kms!!!!!!" and completely worn out steering wheels and shift knobs.

Also note that a lot of places have laws against selling vehicles for a profit without a license. Dealers will rat on you if they see you selling multiple vehicles at a time.

There are a couple good used car sites in japan for window shopping, http://www.goo-net-exchange.com and https://www.tradecarview.com . there are some dope rear end little cars. https://www.tradecarview.com/used_c...19880973/?sp=20

good thread and thanks for the info!

e: Also worth noting the 25 year thing doesn't just mean japan. for used cars classifieds, there's https://www.pistonheads.co.uk and https://www.mobile.de in germany with some interesting cars coming up on the 15/25 year limit.

Powershift fucked around with this message at 07:26 on Aug 4, 2017

DefaultPeanut
Nov 4, 2006
What's not to like?

This is going to spur me on to find and import a TDR50 to match my 250. The import RHD craze has come and gone in BC for the most part and what is left locally are cars in good condition that will be around for a while or, on the other end of the spectrum, complete garbage with the worst hack poo poo you have ever seen "because JDM." The local government run insurance monopoly , ICBC, tended to undervalue and preferred to write off right hand drive vehicles for smaller than normal claims, while doing so not allowing them to be repaired with a salvage or "rebuilt" title, but given a death of "dismantle only". Meaning it can only be sold through the ICBC auction site to authorized wrecking yards to be stripped and sold for parts.

Mr-Spain
Aug 27, 2003

Bullshit... you can be mine.

I have a co-worker that does this and is driving a pretty sweet 3rd gen Supra with a 1JZ in it right now. Great post!

Suburban Dad
Jan 10, 2007



Thank you for this write up, very cool and interesting to see the process. I went through and looked at what's out there and holy poo poo there is a lot of modified garbage if you want performance cars. All the good stuff probably already left to Canada or you're going to pay out the rear end for it.

KakerMix
Apr 8, 2004

8.2 M.P.G.


Top Cop

Powershift posted:

In canada the limit is 15 years, and there was a huge boom around 05-06 once R32s and FD3s and soarers became available and all of a sudden a pile of importers/dealers popped up. within a few years there were trashed soarers and aristos everywhere for peanuts and all the importers started disappearing.

There are still one or two around, and we're starting to get neat poo poo like elgrands and stageas, but for the most part the novelty wore off. I personally looked at a few that came over, and this may surprise you to hear, but none of them really accommodated a 6'9 ogre.

What always amused me were all the base model poo poo skylines that came over with nismo clusters, "26,000 kms!!!!!!" and completely worn out steering wheels and shift knobs.

Also note that a lot of places have laws against selling vehicles for a profit without a license. Dealers will rat on you if they see you selling multiple vehicles at a time.

There are a couple good used car sites in japan for window shopping, http://www.goo-net-exchange.com and https://www.tradecarview.com . there are some dope rear end little cars. https://www.tradecarview.com/used_c...19880973/?sp=20

good thread and thanks for the info!

e: Also worth noting the 25 year thing doesn't just mean japan. for used cars classifieds, there's https://www.pistonheads.co.uk and https://www.mobile.de in germany with some interesting cars coming up on the 15/25 year limit.

Stole some stuff from you and put it in the op.

The upshot to importing directly from Japan is they are quite strict on things like mileage and modification. While anything is possible generally you won't have any sort of mileage fuckery unless you get a 'mileage unknown' car which will show on the auction sheet. Since the inspections are so restrictive generally the only 'engine' mods you'll get are going to be exhaust related and the only destructive mods is when someone drills a turbo timer right into the dashboard
Here in the US dealership requirements is determined by state.

Florida posted:

You must obtain a motor vehicle dealer license if you will be:
Buying, selling, leasing, or dealing 3 motor vehicles or more within a period of 12 months.
AND/OR
Displaying 3 vehicles or more for sale or lease over the course of 12 months.
Between my wife and I that's 6 cars here in 2017 to try before going down the dealership route and by then I should certainly determine if it's working or not. I don't have a place to store these besides my home which puts a limit of two for sale vehicles I can have at any one time without inconveniencing us. I'm not against becoming a dealer but I'd like to know if this is a thing I enjoy doing before I make the jump.


Larrymer posted:

Thank you for this write up, very cool and interesting to see the process. I went through and looked at what's out there and holy poo poo there is a lot of modified garbage if you want performance cars. All the good stuff probably already left to Canada or you're going to pay out the rear end for it.

You're welcome. A few people asked about it in the post your ride thread, it is good to write it all down also to help solidify memories and ideas floating around in my head.
It seems most stuff ends up in Europe before Canada gets a hold of it. Once things hit legality in the US though prices seem to shoot way up. United States is a huge market to sell to and the prices seem to reflect that with popular stuff like Skylines and Land Cruisers. Nobody ever seems to give a poo poo about kei cars though.

Olympic Mathlete
Feb 25, 2011



Thread is rad, your taste in cars is rad, this is just rad and I hope poo poo really works out for you on this so I can learn more about it all.

Lord of Garbagemen
Jan 27, 2014

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!

A site i have been working with for my rb25 parts is rhdjapan, I cannot recommend them enough. They would tend to be a bit more pricey but the parts are brand new, and they can find the most obscure poo poo.

KakerMix
Apr 8, 2004

8.2 M.P.G.


Top Cop

Lord of Garbagemen posted:

A site i have been working with for my rb25 parts is rhdjapan, I cannot recommend them enough. They would tend to be a bit more pricey but the parts are brand new, and they can find the most obscure poo poo.

These guys?
They look to be a performance-oriented shop which is cool as heck.

EDIT
Here are some cars that sold over the last 24 hours at auction


1988 Toyota Soarer GT Twin Turbo, $1740.


1984 Nissan Skyline RS, around $5600 as it was sold by negotiation. This can happen if you were the highest bidder but didn't meet the reserve you can negotiate with the seller to buy the vehicle anyway.


1992 Toyota Town Ace, $4100. 4WD.

Here are a couple of neat things coming up for auction


1992 Daihatsu Hijet JUMBO CUSTOM. 4WD, average price for one like this is $400. Looks like it could hit $800? We'll see.


1976 Toyota Hilux

KakerMix fucked around with this message at 15:19 on Aug 4, 2017

Wrar
Sep 9, 2002



Soiled Meat

If anyone has trouble with US customs my old man is an independent customs broker. He's based out of Miami but has a national license.

savesthedayrocks
Mar 18, 2004


Super cool stuff. Good luck with your venture! You've said you don't take your kei van on the freeways, do you have another car or is this your daily and just change your route?

Lord of Garbagemen
Jan 27, 2014

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!

KakerMix posted:

These guys?
They look to be a performance-oriented shop which is cool as heck.


The main site is performance, if you use the drop down they have an auction site, OEM (which is where i got the brand new transmission), and a wheel and tire one. They also speak english which is helpful.

scuz
Aug 29, 2003

You can't be angry ALL the time!






Fun Shoe

This thread makes me happy/sad in that cars from Japan are awesome/something I can't afford. Following with great interest and I'm glad it exists.

KakerMix
Apr 8, 2004

8.2 M.P.G.


Top Cop

Wrar posted:

If anyone has trouble with US customs my old man is an independent customs broker. He's based out of Miami but has a national license.
If you'd like I can add his info to the OP.

savesthedayrocks posted:

Super cool stuff. Good luck with your venture! You've said you don't take your kei van on the freeways, do you have another car or is this your daily and just change your route?
I still don't take it on freeways no. There are lots of ways to get around here in Florida without hitting them so I do just fine, went all the way down to Key Largo and back taking as many back-roads as we could.
We have a 95 sc300 as our 'serious' car but it still has a 5-speed. Wife has her Tracker and I my van(s). We're seriously considering selling the sc300 and upgrading to a Land Cruiser or LX470 so we have the ability to drive to Jacksonville ourselves and trailer back whatever we buy. It would serve it's purpose of being the 'serious' car while also having more capability to serve our needs and I've always wanted a Land Cruiser anyway. Don't *really* want a giant SUV but what can you do?

Lord of Garbagemen posted:

The main site is performance, if you use the drop down they have an auction site, OEM (which is where i got the brand new transmission), and a wheel and tire one. They also speak english which is helpful.
Awesome, added to the op.

DogonCrook
Apr 24, 2016

I think my 20 years as hurricane chaser might be a little relevant ive been through more hurricanws than moat shiitty newscasters


This is a really great post. Whats the classic market like over there? Ive always liked the way the early toyota centuries looked. It sounds like classics would be rare or maybe prohibitively expensive if they have high maintenance requirements to stay road worthy.

You also mentioned part of the import reqs you went through required it be a running example. Is there a process or way to bring a rolling chassis, or would that make it a show car only?

E: also this is a better write up than when jalopnik tried to tackle it, you should pitch an article if you have the time.

DogonCrook fucked around with this message at 16:47 on Aug 4, 2017

Human Grand Prix
Jan 24, 2013

by FactsAreUseless


Cool OP. Have you ever seen any JDM NSXs come for sale or auction? I can't ever recall seeing one outside of Japan, on the road or for sale.

BigPaddy
Jun 30, 2008

That night we performed the rite and opened the gate.
Halfway through, I went to fix us both a coke float.
By the time I got back, he'd gone insane.
Plus, he'd left the gate open and there was evil everywhere.

Human Grand Prix posted:

Cool OP. Have you ever seen any JDM NSXs come for sale or auction? I can't ever recall seeing one outside of Japan, on the road or for sale.

Here is one going under the hammer in 11 hours from now.

http://auctions.jdmauctionwatch.com...k5SOpZ91iQN.htm

Suburban Dad
Jan 10, 2007



BigPaddy posted:

Here is one going under the hammer in 11 hours from now.

http://auctions.jdmauctionwatch.com...k5SOpZ91iQN.htm

Automatic trans.

InitialDave
Jun 14, 2007

I want to believe


Note it's not just Japanese stuff that can be a good buy, people often source collector cars from Japan as they can be very well looked after, plus some oddities over the years like people repatriating Land Rover Discoveries to the UK.

DogonCrook posted:

E: also this is a better write up than when jalopnik tried to tackle it, you should pitch an article if you have the time.
Does that surprise you?

Olympic Mathlete
Feb 25, 2011



Japan got Minis with air con too! There's a few cars released worldwide that got better spec in Japan.

DogonCrook
Apr 24, 2016

I think my 20 years as hurricane chaser might be a little relevant ive been through more hurricanws than moat shiitty newscasters


InitialDave posted:

Note it's not just Japanese stuff that can be a good buy, people often source collector cars from Japan as they can be very well looked after, plus some oddities over the years like people repatriating Land Rover Discoveries to the UK.

Does that surprise you?

Lol no not at all.

What is their classic race car market like? Has that shot up like in the US?

clam ache
Sep 6, 2009


scuz posted:

This thread makes me happy/sad in that cars from Japan are awesome/something I can't afford. Following with great interest and I'm glad it exists.

Even if you could you wouldn't be able to fit in half of them. If a rabbit was to small I imagine a kei car even worse.

scuz
Aug 29, 2003

You can't be angry ALL the time!






Fun Shoe

clam ache posted:

Even if you could you wouldn't be able to fit in half of them. If a rabbit was to small I imagine a kei car even worse.
Right? The Rabbit pickup wasn't even close

Olympic Mathlete
Feb 25, 2011



It just means you'd have to get a vert and live with only taking it out on dry days.

Human Grand Prix
Jan 24, 2013

by FactsAreUseless


Olympic Mathlete posted:

Japan got Minis with air con too! There's a few cars released worldwide that got better spec in Japan.

Japanese people really love Alpinas. Also British crap.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Following this because a small part of me wants a R32/R33 Skyline as a midlife crisis car.

everdave
Nov 14, 2005

For The Record...

Awesome post, thanks for the real world info.

angryrobots
Mar 31, 2005



Oven Wrangler

Oh subscribed.

So when you say you're looking to try out being a dealer-lite - if a goon is interested in using your services, like now-ish are you ready to talk business or you just talking about it for now?

McTinkerson
Jul 5, 2007

Dreaming of Shock Diamonds

I really do need to start doing my homework on importing a TVR Sagaris/Cerberus from the UK and a Turbo Bara Falcon Ute from Australia.

Excellent OP and a great read. Also, I will volunteer to assist any Americans wanting to use the exchange rate and grab an already imported car from Canada (especially FD's - given my history).

InitialDave
Jun 14, 2007

I want to believe


McTinkerson posted:

I really do need to start doing my homework on importing a TVR Sagaris/Cerberus from the UK
Cerbera!

But the exchange rate is probably good for you now. There will be a lot of information out there. The big showstopper I know of with them is chassis rust: https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing...34816&mid=57316

Pistonheads Forum Poster posted:

I've had mine done. Lets face it they'll all need doing soon so it's a price we'll have to pay.

As said - it's a complete strip down, don't be fooled by anyone saying it can be done any other way. Then factor in some extra cash for replacing the brake lines, fuel lines, bushes etc as you might as well replace them whilst they are easy to get at.

KakerMix
Apr 8, 2004

8.2 M.P.G.


Top Cop

Human Grand Prix posted:

Cool OP. Have you ever seen any JDM NSXs come for sale or auction? I can't ever recall seeing one outside of Japan, on the road or for sale.

All the time. Be aware that everyone knows what they go for now so they won't be much cheaper, if at all. Right now there are three up for auction, only one worth a drat because it has a manual transmission.



Downsides are it has some obvious repairs, it's been lowered, AC doesn't work (seemingly quite common in auctioned cars), radiator support is bent and it has cigarette burns on the interior. Kinda gaudy aftermarket wheels too but that can be fixed easy enough I suppose. Auction starts at $30,500 USD. If you can get one from a dealer lot the prices seem to start at around $42k for a 1991 w/ manual transmission and 47k miles and being heavily 'messed with'.
Or $67000 for this gorgeous untouched beauty with 16.5k miles.



InitialDave posted:

Note it's not just Japanese stuff that can be a good buy, people often source collector cars from Japan as they can be very well looked after, plus some oddities over the years like people repatriating Land Rover Discoveries to the UK.

This is true, I'll add this to the op.

scuz posted:

Right? The Rabbit pickup wasn't even close
Yeah you might fit in a Beat ok, Clarkson fit in one just fine and with the way it's designed you have quite a bit of room. As for the vans I'm 5'9" and have the seat all the way back.

angryrobots posted:

Oh subscribed.

So when you say you're looking to try out being a dealer-lite - if a goon is interested in using your services, like now-ish are you ready to talk business or you just talking about it for now?
Truthfully I'm not quite ready yet unless someone happened to be interested in the vehicles I'm already (selfishly) importing. If doing the importation thing is something that someone definitely doesn't want to do then I'll certainly lend my services to goons later. However it truly isn't that bad assuming you have the time to delicate to it.

McTinkerson posted:

I really do need to start doing my homework on importing a TVR Sagaris/Cerberus from the UK and a Turbo Bara Falcon Ute from Australia.

Excellent OP and a great read. Also, I will volunteer to assist any Americans wanting to use the exchange rate and grab an already imported car from Canada (especially FD's - given my history).

Putting your name in the OP bub.

KakerMix fucked around with this message at 23:16 on Aug 4, 2017

Wrar
Sep 9, 2002



Soiled Meat

The info is
Daniel Casale
P.O. BOX 521079
MIAMI, FL 33152-1079
(305) 971-8337
Casalebroker at Gmail

KakerMix
Apr 8, 2004

8.2 M.P.G.


Top Cop

Wrar posted:

The info is
Daniel Casale
P.O. BOX 521079
MIAMI, FL 33152-1079
(305) 971-8337
Casalebroker at Gmail

Thank you, added to the OP.

InitialDave
Jun 14, 2007

I want to believe


KakerMix posted:

This is true, I'll add this to the op.
I have at the back of my mind that I could probably run a reasonable business doing the opposite to you, sourcing and importing specialist/classic British cars to Japan.

Also, I met this guy near the Tokyo Tower a few years back. Universal link of being car guys overrode the pretty significant language barrier for an attempt at a chat:



KakerMix posted:

Not just limited to JDM, maybe there is an e30 wagon waiting for you!


KakerMix posted:

Yeah you might fit in a Beat ok, Clarkson fit in one just fine and with the way it's designed you have quite a bit of room. As for the vans I'm 5'9" and have the seat all the way back.
I'm 6'2" and the Cappo is fine, it's being that's the problem, not height per se.

InitialDave fucked around with this message at 00:03 on Aug 5, 2017

angryrobots
Mar 31, 2005



Oven Wrangler

KakerMix posted:

However it truly isn't that bad assuming you have the time to delicate to it.

Yeah that's the kicker, time-sensitive communication can be a problem for me. I guess I'll see what you have coming off the boat, but you've posted a few examples I'd be interested in. (Kei car, turbo, rwd preferred or awd, minty, gotta be manual).

So about the trailer that barely fit your narrow kei vans...I'm guessing it had fold down ramps that either weren't adjustable or didn't have enough adjustment?

Eat This Glob
Jan 14, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Awesome job, op! I don't think you touched on it, and I could probably do the math, but do you have any idea what I could save after going through a broker and shipping it to the US vs buying it from a place like Japanese Classics? There's easily a half dozen kei cars I'd consider buying, the Jimny and Mighty Boy chief among them. If I were patient and willing to jump through the hoops, is that the way to go? Obviously there is money to be made handling the importation and selling them, or you wouldn't be in this venture, but do you have a rough guess on what the mark up would be percentage wise to just skip the hassle and buy from someone like you?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Charles
May 9, 2004

zoom-zoom


Toilet Rascal

Motorex didn't use any loopholes to sell the cars, they did what you actually have to do to sell a car in the U.S.: have it crash & emission tested and have it meet all applicable standards. Crash testing involves destroying three cars (maybe more now that they test roof crush strength?), emission testing I don't know much about but I'm going to guess this costs a lot of money to hire the crash test facilities, etc., not to mention the 3+ cars you have to destroy. Motorex had to at least beef up the door & install 3 catalytic converters. I guess Motorex then faked the things they needed to do later on and the cars were seized, though not crushed, mercifully.

So yeah, you can get around the 25 year rule, you just have to basically do what a manufacturer does. The other way is if you're importing a model that is similar and already exists in the U.S., and the manufacturer certifies it will perform the same in crash testing as the equivalent U.S. model, etc, once you modify it to U.S. spec (bumpers, instrument cluster, etc).

You can read a bit about it and see the list of vehicles that people have gone through the process with here:
https://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/elig010807.pdf

My question is why did somebody do this with a Chevrolet Cavalier?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«155 »