Poll: Help me pick a new daily!

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Thread: Help me pick a new daily!

  1. #1
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    Help me pick a new daily!

    So, I sold my daily driver (the March Super Turbo) a while back and have been on the hunt for a new daily since. I have just two rules when buying cars here: it must be a car that was not available in America and it must be a manual. I have other preferences, like I would prefer a two door, but they all take a back seat to the two rules.

    I've been mulling this over for a while and have narrowed it down to 5 cars that I'm interested in (although, I'm open to new suggestions). I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on the five I've selected and if you think I should be considering any other candidates!
    (A quick note about my dailies, I live just 3 kilometers from work; I can walk it if I have to. The speed limit the entire way there is just 40 km/h and the only time I ever see a speed limit higher is when I hop on the highway to Tokyo, which we always end up doing in my girlfriend's Ractis.)

    1973 Honda Life:

    http://www.carsensor.net/usedcar/det...ml?TRCD=200002

    I've talked to the owner via email about this car and it's currently priced at 420,000 yen shipped to my door. He also sent me pictures of the interior, engine, etc. and it's in pretty decent shape. Very minimal rust and paint that won't need a respray immediately. The engine runs, but needs some cleaning/work to get it purring perfectly. The biggest draw to this car is the shape (I think it looks as good as the N360) and the fact that it's got the fantastic little air-cooled, 36 hp, twin that was in the N360. It's got door mirrors (which ahve been removed) but I can get fender mirrors for it from Classic Car Nagoya for pretty cheap. I'm pretty tall at 6'4", but there's enough space for me to build a custom seat rail and scoot the front seat further back.

    1982 Suzuki Cervo:

    http://www.goo-net.com/usedcar/sprea...120904001.html

    This one is pretty cheap as well at 450,000 all said and done. It looks to have minimal rust, but all I have to go on are the pictures in the ad. We're planning on shooting this guy an email this week for more pictures and information. I sat in one of these over the weekend (there was a pristine one for sale in Okazaki, it was 1,000,000 yen though) and it's tight inside. Fortunately, there's room behind the front seat. That means I can modify the seat rail and get a little more room. Unfortunately, as this is a later model, the engine, a 550cc 2 stroke triple, actually has less power than the 360cc version due to emissions stuff. Although, I reckon with some good carbs and some proper expansion chambers, I should see 40 hp out of the engine, maybe more. Being rear-engined, it's like the original Honda Beat, only better looking. Speaking of Beats...

    1991 Honda Beat:

    http://www.carsensor.net/usedcar/det...ml?TRCD=200002

    I actually checked this one out in person as it's about a 30 minute drive from here. The owner was a nice guy and good to talk to. It's pretty cheap at 380,000 yen but it's got a few rough spots. The soft top is a little worse for the wear and will probably leak in the rain. The engine is tired (although, he said that if I'm serious he would consider doing a swap from a crashed Beat he has that had a great engine in it prior to sale). The biggest problem with this car is space. All kei cars are going to be tight, but the Beat doesn't have any room for me to modify the seat rail and get the seat further back. If I change the steering wheel I might be able to get a bit more room, but it'll always be knees-on-the-dash tight. The other problem with it is that it isn't 25 years old yet, which means I'll have to wait another 3 years before I can ship it home. I'd really rather have something older. Still, it's a mini NSX and is supposed to feel like a motorcycle with four wheels!

    1971 Nissan Laurel:

    http://www.carsensor.net/usedcar/det...ml?TRCD=200002

    As opposed to the Kei cars, it would be nice to have a full size car to sit in. It's much more expensive at 680,000 yen, pushing my budget past its limit, but it just might be worth it. The main draw of this car is that it already has Shaken (the Japanese version of inspection), which costs in the neighborhood of 80,000 yen for a 2.0 liter. I have talked to the owner of this one via email as well and he supplied me with a few extra pictures. There are some rough spots in the paint that were touched up poorly and the front of the driver door has some rust growing under the paint. He sent a picture of the underside as well though, and that looks surprisingly solid. It will need a full re-spray in the future (at which point, I'd remove the vinyl roof and go back to clean steel), but I can probably get away with cruising it for a few years first. The interior also leaves a lot to be desired. It'll most likely need new seats. Unfortunately, it's the single carb model, and while the twin SU carb manifold and carbs show up on Yahoo Auctions occasionally, they cost an unbelievable 100,000 yen ish! Of course, this car would make a perfect candidate for an L20B engine swap.

    1978 Isuzu 117 Coupe:

    http://www.goo-net.com/usedcar/sprea...120912001.html

    It's far too expensive at 720,000 yen, completely busting my budget. However, aside from a cracked dashboard, it looks like it's in excellent shape. The interior leaves a little to be desired, but the exterior looks rust free and solid. It's also supposedly a one-owner car, so it should have been well looked after. It's got the 1.8 SOHC motor in it, which unfortunately there isn't a picture of, but it's in Aichi and easy to check out (about an hour drive from my house). If I can talk them down 100,000 yen, it might be worth it.

    I'm actually leaning very heavily towards either the Life or the Cervo. They aren't full size cars and are going to be comparatively slow, but they won't break the bank and will still deliver barrels of laughs. I would like to save some money for the Bellett and the Cosmo, and the 117 Coupe will make that not possible. The Laurel will also push it, making things very tight for a few months. On the other hand, both the Laurel and the 117 are just so damn pretty!

    Alright, help me out here guys! What do you think?

  2. #2
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    Re: Help me pick a new daily!

    The laurel

  3. #3
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    Re: Help me pick a new daily!

    If you already own all the cars in your signature, and you don't necessarily need transport... I'd not buy anything, and just put that money towards vehicles you already own. That's just my .02. Or I'd buy something excessively cheap as transport that might not be interesting, but would do the job and protect the existing cars in your collection.

    Then again, I'm broke, have minimal storage, and a bunch of cars I can't fix and have lost interest in. :lol: Your situation may vary.

    I'd be trying to buy that Celica that was in the field next to your Mitsubishi. Whatever happened with that car? What year/model was it? And could I buy it? :lol:

  4. #4
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    Chicago
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    Re: Help me pick a new daily!

    I'd say the Laurel or the Life. I'd shop around for a better Laurel, but the Life would be a fun little car. I thought about getting an old Honda for a long time...

  5. #5
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    Re: Help me pick a new daily!

    cervo

  6. #6
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    Re: Help me pick a new daily!

    Cervo!!! That thing looks cool as hell! Wish we got them here.

  7. #7
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    Re: Help me pick a new daily!

    Quote Originally Posted by banzaitoyota
    The laurel
    Man, I want to something fierce, my wallet is fighting back hard though. If it was 100,000 yen cheaper, I'd probably have bought it by now. Unfortunately, I don't think I can talk them down that much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stationwagonguy
    If you already own all the cars in your signature, and you don't necessarily need transport... I'd not buy anything, and just put that money towards vehicles you already own. That's just my .02. Or I'd buy something excessively cheap as transport that might not be interesting, but would do the job and protect the existing cars in your collection.

    Then again, I'm broke, have minimal storage, and a bunch of cars I can't fix and have lost interest in. :lol: Your situation may vary.

    I'd be trying to buy that Celica that was in the field next to your Mitsubishi. Whatever happened with that car? What year/model was it? And could I buy it? :lol:
    I do own all the cars in my signature, but only a few of them actually run, haha. The Mitsubishi 360 could totally double as a daily, it's dead reliable and a lot of fun, but it's just too nice for me to subject to rain and parking lots. The Cosmo is a very recent acquisition and is in a million and one pieces. The Bellett is mid restoration and has just a bit more work before paint. I'm hoping to have both the Cosmo and the Bellett near completion before the year lets out. The 71 and 88 Zs are 6,000 miles away in a garage in Texas.
    So interestingly, while I may own a lot of cars, I'm actually borrowing my girlfriends Nissan March for daily duties!

    The thing about buying a car here is that even if you get the cheapest car you can get your hands on, you're still in for at least 100,000 yen just in taxes and inspection. If I'm already going to be dropping that kind of coin, I might as well step it up a notch and get something that won't suck the soul out of me.

    The Celica in the field was in sad, sad shape. I'm not sure if it's still there, but when I looked at it, there wasn't much left to it anyways. Rust had taken the floor pans and most of the rockers. Restoring that would make my Bellett seem like childís play!

    But I think youíve got a bit of a point in going the cheap route, which is why Iím leaning heavily towards the Cervo/Life. Iíve got the money from the March saved up and Iíve been playing it cheap, not buying much as of late, so they are well within my budget and leave plenty of cash left over for massaging the Bellett back into life.

    Quote Originally Posted by moominsean
    I'd say the Laurel or the Life. I'd shop around for a better Laurel, but the Life would be a fun little car. I thought about getting an old Honda for a long time...
    You know, I started thinking about it, I own/have owned seven Nissans, three Mazdas, two Toyotas, two Mitsubishis, an Isuzu and I borrowed a Subaru for a month once. Aside from a motorcycle, Iíve never actually owned a Honda (or a Suzuki for that matter).

    Quote Originally Posted by opelboy76
    cervo
    Quote Originally Posted by UtahSleeper
    Cervo!!! That thing looks cool as hell! Wish we got them here.
    It depends a lot on how much rust the little guy has. It does indeed look cool as hell, though! The main thing the Life has going for it is that it isnít too rusty. If the Cervo can prove to be equally as clean, then we could a good old fashioned showdown on our hands.

    Thanks for the replies guys!
    Cheers
    David

  8. #8
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    Re: Help me pick a new daily!

    I would say cervo but a 117 coupe is nice too. 2 stroke car.... I think would win!

  9. #9
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    Re: Help me pick a new daily!

    Well, a decision has been made!

    I tried talking the guys with the Laurel down a bit, but they wouldn't budge an inch on the price, which kept it just a little too expensive for me. We tried to talk to the guy with the Cervo, but he flat refused to tell me anything about the car over the phone or through e-mail. He said he would only talk to me in person. After having seen what really nice examples sell for (more than twice as much), the cheap price and rude nature of the dude steered me away from this one. The 117 Coupe was always out of my price range, I just didn't want to admit it, and the Beat was just flat too small for me.

    The guy with the Life though was very nice, sent me tons of pictures and was more than happy to work with me instead of against me. Also, having received some better pictures of the car, it's clearly in much better condition than the other candidates. So, a deal was struck up and I hope to take delivery of the car next Monday!



    Many more pictures of the car here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=21816

    Thanks everyone for the feedback and help!
    Cheers,
    David

  10. #10
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    Re: Help me pick a new daily!

    it's you. definitely. :tu:

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