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If you were to import a second car from Japan, what would you buy?


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I am currently based in Japan, own an R34 and am considering getting a second car as the R34 is just not so ideal as a daily. Eventually, say 2-3 years ahead, I will return to the UK. As it turns out, I can import my posessions - cars included - to the UK, tax free. So I'm considering taking advantage of this as best I can whilst also satisying the need to have another car in Japan and the UK in future. I need to consider the following:

A max budget of around GBP 15k (28k AUD, 20k USD), ideally it would be less than this, even half as much would be better. 

Economic benefits are of a high consideration, along with practicality. I either want it to last forever or be able to sell it 5 years later with little to no loss (better yet, at a profit).

I'm open to any type of car, SUV, Sports car, Kei car, Sedan.

I have been looking at everything from Jimnys, Pajero Minis, GT86s, Toyota FJ Cruisers/Land Cruisers, Honda Z600 (although, it's likely to be outright dangerous driving a kei in europe), to Toyota Chasers (in poverty spec 2.0l AT). Alot of these for one reason or another I can't really justify, whether it be too dangerous in the EU, worthless or impossible to get parts. On cars like the GT86 there is a mild discount vs UK prices at current rates - say 10% after shipping. Typically the cars here are in better condition vs the UK.

So the question is, what would you buy in this situation? Please do not suggest another Skyline.

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Another skyline. Hands down. 

:rofl:

 

If it were me, given your requirements and maybe also the ease of maintenance in another country, I'd have to go with a chaser. In whatever trim you can afford. Or, a Toyota Celsior (Lexus lx400) as they are really starting to gain in appreciation. 

 

The perfect weekly/daily combo I reckon.

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On 12/24/2021 at 7:55 AM, GTSBoy said:

Note I did not read the OP at all.

I still say FD.

Hahaha, literally the least practical of them all. If only this were a viable option.

 

On 12/23/2021 at 5:44 PM, PranK said:

Another skyline. Hands down. 

:rofl:

 

If it were me, given your requirements and maybe also the ease of maintenance in another country, I'd have to go with a chaser. In whatever trim you can afford. Or, a Toyota Celsior (Lexus lx400) as they are really starting to gain in appreciation. 

 

The perfect weekly/daily combo I reckon.

I am seriously evaluating this. Not a Chaser as they're too expensive for my requirements but the closely related Mark II is still cheap in poverty spec. The Celsior is a very good shout - cheers - I've been looking at Crowns until now.

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LS400/1st gen Celsiors are getting too old to really be a useful daily if the car needs any kind of serious repair/restoration whatsoever. If you find a cherry example they're ridiculously reliable for what they are and I still daily mine but I don't drive very much and it's hard to justify buying a new car when it's still reasonably safe as far as crash safety is concerned and even if I do care about the environment I drive it so little that the breakeven point on emissions is easily 10 years away.

Also if it were my money I would only get the VVTi revision cars. They are actually simpler than the original 1UZ-FE as they delete the EGR pipe that is a royal pain to repair if it ever starts leaking and they get rid of the distributor ignition system with the spark plug wires going all over the place. They also have a higher precision 36-2 crank trigger and 3 tooth cam trigger. They also get DBW to eliminate all the idle/cruise control/traction control bits that clutter up the engine bay in the older models. It's harder to build the VVTi engines for power because there's more going on in the ECU tune but I don't think it's really worth it anyways considering that the only mod that makes power without going to forced induction is some exhaust headers to replace the OEM log headers. That's maybe 20 hp tops.

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On 24/12/2021 at 3:44 PM, Robzilla32 said:

This or MR2 4A-GZE. Coz cool and even less practical

I had a AW11, t'was awesomeballs, not functional, had snap oversteer, but awesomeballs none the less

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On 24/12/2021 at 5:17 PM, mlr said:

I had a AW11, t'was awesomeballs, not functional, had snap oversteer, but awesomeballs none the less

My 2nd car. The car dealer asked me to pull over during test drive. He was white as a sheet. Fun times

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On 12/24/2021 at 3:16 PM, joshuaho96 said:

LS400/1st gen Celsiors are getting too old to really be a useful daily if the car needs any kind of serious repair/restoration whatsoever. If you find a cherry example they're ridiculously reliable for what they are and I still daily mine but I don't drive very much and it's hard to justify buying a new car when it's still reasonably safe as far as crash safety is concerned and even if I do care about the environment I drive it so little that the breakeven point on emissions is easily 10 years away.

Also if it were my money I would only get the VVTi revision cars. They are actually simpler than the original 1UZ-FE as they delete the EGR pipe that is a royal pain to repair if it ever starts leaking and they get rid of the distributor ignition system with the spark plug wires going all over the place. They also have a higher precision 36-2 crank trigger and 3 tooth cam trigger. They also get DBW to eliminate all the idle/cruise control/traction control bits that clutter up the engine bay in the older models. It's harder to build the VVTi engines for power because there's more going on in the ECU tune but I don't think it's really worth it anyways considering that the only mod that makes power without going to forced induction is some exhaust headers to replace the OEM log headers. That's maybe 20 hp tops.

The first gen ones seem to be fairly rare over here too, the second gen are plentiful and cheap-ish. Fuel economy will be horrendous - especially costs on the U.K. side; I’m not considering this a dealbreaker. Better yet, the car could double as a carrier of a donor engine for the R34 in future - just a thought. 

On 12/24/2021 at 1:44 PM, Robzilla32 said:

This or MR2 4A-GZE. Coz cool and even less practical

Really want one. Not sure there’s a benefit getting one in Japan over the U.K. though. 

On 12/24/2021 at 1:05 PM, mlr said:

Some Kei car

So dangerous at non-Japanese road speeds. Maybe a Honda Z as the novelty factor outweighs the risk of death.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This was my old rig from high school haha wasn’t a 4 door but I would tickle the tongue of skunk to have another one like it, it was tons of fun mate. Reliable too

1BC34700-CE46-440C-AF59-9A68F4ACC316.jpeg

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On 1/11/2022 at 5:45 AM, MoMnDadGTR said:

the old toyota hilux wouldnt be a bad unit. nice little turbo diesel 4 door with a 5 speed and your good to go mate.

 

On 1/11/2022 at 5:49 AM, MoMnDadGTR said:

This was my old rig from high school haha wasn’t a 4 door but I would tickle the tongue of skunk to have another one like it, it was tons of fun mate. Reliable too

That's badass. Nice rig you had there. I've browsed the market for the old 4x4 Toyotas and they're all looking pretty overpriced, a two door wouldnt be ideal for me tbh.

I am now considering a 2005-ish Mitsubishi Pajero, the large one, as they're pretty cheap for a low kms model - running costs are exceedingly high here. I worked out I'm at 12k GBP (16k USD) (ex fuel and maintenance) in cost using one of these for two years and then exporting to the UK, vs using a rental kei car frequently for the next two years which is 2-3k GBP. The question then is, what can I get in the UK for 9k GBP (+ two years of market returns)... 

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