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 Post subject: Help on Importing to US
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:01 pm
Posts: 27
So, I've searched around a fair amount and can't find much helpful advice on importing Japanese cars to the US. I know cars for road use have to be ≥ 25 years old, but I've seen conflicting sources on whether RHD is okay. I can't imagine why it would be illegal to have a RHD car over here since mail trucks are RHD, but I want to know for sure.

Does anyone have some general advice on importing to the states? Good companies/bad companies? How to locate specific models? Is there a FAQ somewhere I should be reading?

EDIT: Okay, so according to what I've found here, importing JDM cars 25 years old or older is relatively easy in terms of DOT inspections and the like. RHD is definitely legal. Shipping rates I've found for various exporters seem to range from $1500 - $3000 (plus transport across the country to Tennessee if you're like me). The real question I have now is: Does anyone have experience working with a particular import or export company that they would recommend?


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 Post subject: Re: Help on Importing to US
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:14 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:34 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
What car are you looking for?


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 Post subject: Re: Help on Importing to US
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:01 pm
Posts: 27
Looking for an '87 or '88 Suzuki Alto Works RS-R, as seen here: http://80shero.blogspot.com/2013/05/awd-works.html

I've had some promising emails back from RightDriveUSA and Nostalgia Imports, but nothing solid just yet. Got a generic reply from japaneseusedcars.com as well. These little cars aren't the easiest things to track down. Anyone have any info on working with any of these companies?


UPDATE: So I was sent this listing by Nostalgia Imports, which to my eye is highly suspect... First of all, because every single picture on that site is from this 80sHERO post which is 5 months old. Second, the figure they quoted me to have it delivered is the exact maximum value I gave them. It could still be legit, and if so it's a great opportunity, but it all seems strangely dubious at this point....

UPDATE 2: RightDriveUSA sent me what I feel is a very legit listing for an '88. The car looks good (see below), apart from missing the factory Works wheels and all 20,000 original decals it came with (which are a necessary part of the charm, imo). Anyway, they are willing to help me track down further examples, do inspections, get further pics, etc. But only after I give them a deposit of $1500. Again, this is something I'd feel way more comfortable about if I knew some people who'd had positive import experiences through them...

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Help on Importing to US
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:53 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:34 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
RightDrive does a lot of work here in Canada so they are trustworthy they will also make the car legal for the road in the US.


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 Post subject: Re: Help on Importing to US
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:57 pm
Posts: 8524
Location: Arlington, TX, USA
saruken wrote:
Does anyone have experience working with a particular import or export company that they would recommend?


Heard nothing but good things about JDM Legends. Bunch of great guys over there. :tu:


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 Post subject: Re: Help on Importing to US
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:33 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Norcal
I use Cosdel. www.cosdel.com


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 Post subject: Re: Help on Importing to US
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:01 pm
Posts: 27
john wrote:
Heard nothing but good things about JDM Legends. Bunch of great guys over there. :tu:


Thank you for the responses. I've heard great things about JDM Legends too, and actually I didn't realize for a long time that they do sourcing and importing as well as awesome restomods. I sent them an email last week, but haven't heard anything back yet. I'll keep you posted on what I find out.


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 Post subject: Re: Help on Importing to US
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:23 am
Posts: 161
Location: Chicago
When I first emailed JDM Legends, they didn't contact me until a car came up on auction at least a couple weeks later. That one had a very high reserve, but another 4-door Hako came up on auction about a week later which I won. JDML knows their stuff, but they are very busy and it takes them awhile to get things done sometimes. So if you are the patient sort, they are a great resource.


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 Post subject: Re: Help on Importing to US
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:54 am
Posts: 318
Location: Yokosuka, Japan
jdmlegends is good if they have the car already, but if you want them to ship you a car...don't bother. they gave me an estimate of almost triple what it's costing me to use a highly expereinced and reputable importer that's coming to my house to tow the car to the docks, all paperwork and ship the car. also they weren't very sure on how to handle the request.

not knocking the guys, just passing on my expereince with them. now if they source and ship the car, you may be better off. just realize they are not the only people that can do that. they are the most popular and are very professional though.


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 Post subject: Re: Help on Importing to US
PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:57 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:26 pm
Posts: 29
Figure this might be useful for potential JDM Legends customers

Quote:
Hello Michael,

Thank you for contacting us regarding the costs of importing a vehicle. What type of car are you looking for? I am sure we can save you some money getting a car through us, rather than sourcing the vehicle and having us do the importation. Typically the pricing is roughly 5K+ to import a car including all shipping, DOT, EPA, and NHTSA paperwork, etc. We also charge a 15% commission to go through with the whole process.

If you would like to purchase the vehicle from us, the pricing is generally very similar to the pricing in Japan. If you would like, I can get you some more pricing information on a specific type of car.

Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

Best regards,


some cars seem to get very high indeeed http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nissan-Other-GT ... ars_Trucks

^Probably sells in Japan for what a Z31 sells as here.


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 Post subject: Re: Help on Importing to US
PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:23 am
Posts: 161
Location: Chicago
People are bidding on that, though, so it's not like they are overcharging. They have a nice Gloria for like $10K on the site.

I think I got my GC10 probably for less than what it would have cost if they were selling it.


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 Post subject: Re: Help on Importing to US
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:52 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:26 pm
Posts: 29
Yes it seems that "jdm" cars sell for ridiculous prices once over here. Well above what they would go for in Canada for example. Talked to rightdrive.ca and asked them what the car I wanted would cost me and it was $8k-$10k (incl all fees aside shipping) which isn't bad at all. Car in question is 89 Skyline GTS-T which is fairly inexpensive to begin with.

Anyone have any experience with http://pacificcoastjdm.com/ ?


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