So I bought a car…. From Japan.(56K warning 10 pics or so)

Discussion in 'Gearhead Garage' started by sims, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. sims

    sims walls of text

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    Yep, Yet another reason I love Canada :) We have a law that stats the any car 15 years or older is considered classic and does not need to met the emissions and crash specifications. Due to this we can legally import cars from pretty much anywhere in the world and as long as it can pass a provincial safety is legal to drive and insure.


    I bought something called a Celica GT-4, it’s called a Celica Alltrac stateside. The cars are pretty much identical but the JDM version has an extra 25HP and torque, 225HP/225 lbs torque stock.the extra HP is due to more aggressive tuning, it has a ceramic turbo aswell instead of steel.
    it looks just like a regular Celica of that generation, but with wider front and back fenders and a hood scoop/vents.

    it uses the same engine as the MR2 Turbo, the 3SGTE. Its one of the best 4 bangers ever built, nearly indestructible 2 liter turbo. That and its AWD, not FWD :). Toyota actually built these cars specifically to kick ass at WRC. Any of you remember the Castrol WRC Celica you could win in grand torismo 2? Its white with red and green stripes and stuff(search ST185, if you played GT2 you’ll probably remember what I’m talking about) Toyota kicked serious ass in the early 90’s with that thing.

    the car in itself is pretty rare, they only brought something like 2500 alltrac’s to US and I believe less then 1000 to Canada during the life span of this generation. There are only 3 in Wnnipeg that I know off.

    I figure with the Winnipeg winters we get, something build to dominate in winter, but still has crazy potential for summer will make a great car.

    I’ve been asked by a lot of people why I didn’t just get an Alltrac in Canada, let me try and explain. Cars in Japan are like toys to most owners, due to the population and general lack of space no one drives like we do over here; it’s almost solely for pleasure in a lot of parts of Japan so the cars get very little use. They also have so much pollution in Japan that they have tax law’s making it advantageous to get new cars every few cars if you do use one so older models don’t get a lot of use. Suck if you’re a car enthusiast in japan, but it works out nicely for myself. Cars there are also MUCH cheaper, I Paided 2K less for this car (and everything that’s included with getting it to the docks in BC) then the last one I watched sell in Canada and it had 150+ K on it and was in no wear near as nice of condition, it had also been through 15 Canadian winters.

    The car I bought Has 43 kilometers on it, that’s like what, less the 25K miles? Its had one owner and has all the service records for the car and no accident history. The car looks amazing, Mint inside and out (the hood however does have a large scratch and will need to be painted) there isn’t even any wear on the steering wheel or shiftknob :) . Its also bone stock witch was important to me, I hope to do as many mods to this car as possible myself. The car took me about 3 months to locate but I am extremely picky.

    The shitty thing is that I will not have this car for another 3-4 months, It was build in June of 91 and because of this is not legal for import until June of 06, it will be in storage in japan until then. I actually purchased the car in late January but decided not to make a thread until closer to the arrival date…. Then made this thread anyways a month and a half later :p

    Here are some pictures of it, they took right before being put in the storage lot, it’s a little dirty and the pictures are not great, but you get the idea. . It will likely have different rims apon arrival, I’ve got the company who’s importing the car for me searching for a nice set of forged lightweight wheels for me in Japan, wheels there are also dirt cheap.

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    let me know what you think 
  2. Jackalope

    Jackalope NNNNEEERRRRDDDSSSSS!!!!!!

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    the altrak is hot, I met a guy who had one rallied out pushing 550hp, very badassed.

    btw, I am jealous of yalls ability to get cool cars. i want a gtr very badly.
  3. ThatHideousStrength

    ThatHideousStrength Junior Member

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    Sweet, but those hub cabs gotta go!
  4. sims

    sims walls of text

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    there is allready about 5 GTR's in the city right now, another 20 GTS-ts
    A GTR in this condition landed will cost you in the 16-20K range stock though, they arn't cheap. Alot of people have imported GTR's for much less and they get all upset because its a peice of junk that has been trashed on for 15, but what do you expect when your buying a dirt cheap sports car.... comon sence needs to come into play.

    you can however find mint mint mint cars, a guy in the city has a GTR that will be in the 550HP range come summer thats in even nicer condition then my car, he paid over 20G's for it though.
  5. sims

    sims walls of text

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    Hey now! they're rims :p just not very nice one's, as mentioned i'm allready working on getting a nice set of bronze of gunmetal 17x8 wheels.

    those rims will be used in winter with winter times mounted on them.
  6. Dustin

    Dustin Junior Member

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    Congrats on the All-Trac, awesome cars.
  7. Stevv

    Stevv New Member

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    Very nice and all, but its right-drive, is it legal to drive like that?

    But more importantly, will you be able to stand it?
  8. Nebor

    Nebor New Member

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    Right hand drive?

    And the top mount has to go.
  9. Alex B

    Alex B Junior Member

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    sweet car sims. with some nice 17's that thin is gonna be gorgeous!


    i talked to a few guys in sweden with RHD supras they imported from japan. one guy said it only took him about a week to get comfortable with it.

    i agree about the top mount. that thing has to go
  10. ThatHideousStrength

    ThatHideousStrength Junior Member

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    Where is the top mount?
  11. sims

    sims walls of text

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    Perfectly legit, infact a RHD car is legal in the US aswell, importing one from Japan however is not.

    I don't think driving it will be bad, it will take a little getting use to shifting with my left hand, driving won't be a problem, think driving from the passenger side, I've never felt it would be hard to drive from shotgun. The pedal and gauge layout is exactly the same.

    as far as the Top Mount, Screw you guys, TMIC's are the shit :p less turbo lag due to lack of IC piping, the cooling is unfortunately much less effective then a FMIC and you are very space limited. If it wasn’t for lack of room any intercooler setup would be top mounted.

    Luckily for me they sold an RC model in japan and Australia that had a factory top mounted water to air intercooler that will easily handle the 320-360 HP range I’m shooting for, and it will be cheaper then going FMIC.
  12. sims

    sims walls of text

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    the intercooler in the top of the engine, attached to the turbo.
  13. superman

    superman ?

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    gotta love the celica, i think it was the 76 liftback that made me a celica fan.
  14. Jackalope

    Jackalope NNNNEEERRRRDDDSSSSS!!!!!!

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    sucks that you cant go through the drive thru now...
  15. Alex B

    Alex B Junior Member

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    i call shenanigans on that statement sims! the "less turbo lag" is true to an extent but the time it takes to fill the extra volume is very negligible. all the turbo volvo guys who switch from the stock intercooler to 26"x23" units off power stroke diesels actually experience decreased spool times from the higher flow through the intercooler and less pressure drop. and thats going to a unit almost three times larger than the stock cooler.

    Top mounts also have a nasty habit of getting heat soaked in stop and go city driving due to it being in the top of the engine bay as opposed to being exposed to tons of airflow in the front mount position.

    my two cents ;)
  16. sims

    sims walls of text

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    True be told its not huge difference, but any difference is a difference none the less, I've seen people spend tons of money for more minuet things. Plus if I can upgrade to something like a top mounted water to air intercooler witch will likely be even more effective them a FMIC then why not retain it? A loss of preformace no matter how small is still a loss right?

    I’ve heard of the heatsoak issues, stock I can’t see it being a big problem, wull see what happens once I start upping the boost.
  17. randomtask

    randomtask Chimp.

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    I didn't even think of that!
  18. Da Lucky 1

    Da Lucky 1 New Member

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    Very Cool.

    Im planning on buying a GT-R in the summer. :D

    edit: who'd you buy through?
  19. sims

    sims walls of text

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    I'm importing it through A company called http://www.j-specimports.ca/

    They’re based out of Australia


    Be careful with the GTR’s, there is such a high demand and the car has been come so hyped over the years that a lot of companys will try and pimp anything they can get there hands on, I’ve seen people, even after spending a lot of money end up with junk.

    How much are you looking to spend?

    I extremely rarely get fast food anyways, and when I do its because i;m out with someone so it won't really be a problem, I plan to go through bank drivethroughs backwards :p
  20. Da Lucky 1

    Da Lucky 1 New Member

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    looking at spending about 12-13g

    do you think i could get a decent one for that price?
  21. sims

    sims walls of text

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    In all honesty, probably not. depending on how stubern you are and the amount of work your willing to put in, you could watch actions like a hawk and hope to find something that looks to be mint for cheap, but you still risk getting something thats hasn't been mainted as well as it should have.

    to find something in the same condition my car is in your look at upwards of 15+ G's. I personally wouldn't get a GTR, they are amazing cars but you pay such a huge premium to get one and an even larger premium to get a nice one. You can find cars with similar preformace for atleast 25-35% cheaper.

    you can get a FD RX-7 or 300ZX for example in mint condition for 10-12K. in the next couple years the MKIV supra will be avbl for import and next year the first WRX's and evo's will be for sale.

    I chose the car I did because it has all the advantages of a JDM car with very few of the disadvantages. I would not want to own a car that was never manufactured here. Anything, anything breaks, you’re fucked. A local guy broke his windshield, his car was off the road for over a month and it cost him a huge chunk of change to get a new one.
  22. Da Lucky 1

    Da Lucky 1 New Member

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    Would a GTS for that price be decent?
    I really like 300zx's though, i should probably look more into them
  23. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    Cool car sims.

    (I've always liked the 300ZX...)
  24. sims

    sims walls of text

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    IMO its GTR or nothing. The GTR is an amazing car, the GTS, even the GTS-4 aren’t that great. you could most definitely get a very nice one for what your looking to spend if your heart is set on a skyline, but why deal with all that hassles of trying to own and maintain an everyday driver car that was never produced or sold in this country? Little every day maintenance may mean that your car is off the road for weeks, let alone the costs associated.

    I would personally go with the 300ZX myself, still an awesome car, and there are tons of very beautiful condition Z’s in Japan decently priced. Sure you don’t get the same “wow” factor as owning something that no one has ever seen, but is it really worth the hassles associated to you? the GTS-T is pretty comparable to the 300ZX, bother are a little hefty, decent engines, both will make great power and respond very well to mods, both can get in the 400+ WHP ranges pretty easily.

    The advantage the 300ZX has is that minus the dash every part will be interchangeable with its USDM counterpart.

    Here's an examples of a Z's you could get in your price range.

    [url]http://www.j-specimports.ca/index.php?page=list/index.php?ID=5459 this would be exactly what I would...other option though i'm not a big fan myself.
  25. Dustin

    Dustin Junior Member

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    The GTS-t is an awesome car, especially for the money. I really didn't expect it to be as enjoyable as it was, but after driving one I was very impressed. You won't find a similar 300zx (or really much else) for the price. Not only that, the 300zx is not even comparable.

    You can bring over an 89 GTS-t for around $8000 CDN all said and done (minus gov't inspection and whatever repairs needed). This is a grade 4 auction car as well, so typically they are in good shape. For $8000 you can get a MUCH better performing car than the Z, comfort and looks maybe not so much; but in reality the Z is a sporty GT car (like the Supra) whereas the Skyline is a sports car so that's to be expected.

    The GTR is on a whole other level though, the problem is that people that bring them over to Canada do so only for the name and the prestige of driving a rarish RHD car. And for the GTR name. Nobody really explores what the car was designed to do, but even for today's standards it's amazing

    Sadly, I see more Skylines on the road these days than I do than every generation of Supra combined.

    If you want to get cars from Japan, do it yourself and you'll save a lot of money. If you go through an importer, you're probably paying too much. However, you'll get a car that's already been brought over, inspected and ready to drive so it's up to you to weigh the options