Thanks for the comments guys!
The real question is are you bringing it home to Texas when you are finished working there?
Haha, I absolutely plan to bring her home with me, that is, assuming, that I don't put her into a wall at the circuit or something, haha. Shipping is decently expensive, but once the car turns 25, importing to the US isn't much of a problem anymore.
Nakazoto: Great to see the car being used so willingly. So what is the actual story with old cars in japan supposedly being taxed off the road?
Haha, I've always been a fan of using a car, even if it is a nostalgic. If I had a 2000GT I'd drive that thing up and down the mountain roads!
Tax is interesting here, in short, the older the car the more expensive the tax. I paid my yearly tax not too long ago and it was about $440 USD. That's definitely pricey, but it's usually the shaken that gets so expensive that people can't afford to keep the car on the road.
Shaken, equivalent to inspection really, is very thorough, comes around once every two years and is very difficult to pass. I have heard that shaken prices can range anywhere from $500 USD to over $1500 USD depending on if repairs have to be done to the car and who does them, and this is where everyone in Japan starts to think it's impossible to own an older car.
Shaken is tough, downright mean really. Think racing tech inspection only more brutal. The entire underside of the car is checked and all seals, bushings, rubber, etc. is inspected. For example, if the dust boots around your half shafts have cracks in them, you fail. The same amount of scrutiny is used for every aspect of the car. When I bought my AE86, the brakes had to be completely overhauled (although, I'm not sure what was changed cause they still sucked and had to be overhauled again after only the second track day). Which brings us to the repairs that have to be done when your car fails.
Most people in Japan don't have a garage (which on the upside means you can find some sweet cars just parked in open parking lots), which means repairs are very difficult to do. Combine that with the fact that most of the public doesn't know or care how to learn how to work on old cars and the only way of getting your car to pass inspection is to pay a shop to fix it or pay the Shaken inspection place to fix it, and as we all know, paying someone else to fix your classic gets very very expensive.
So that is my general understanding on why classics are much much more expensive to own. I could have gotten some things wrong as I don't fully understand the system yet, haha!
Thanks again for all the comments guys!