It’s a new year, and that means a whole new roster of formerly forbidden Japan-market cars are now eligible for import. The 25-year federal prohibition on cars built in 1998 is now lifted. So what will it be, a Honda Life, Nissan Presage, or Daihatsu Terios Kid? Or perhaps you’re a connoisseur who demands the best. Lexus craftsmanship wrapped in a body from a hallowed Italian design house. In that case, may we present the Toyota Harrier Zagato.
What Japan-market car from 1998 would you import?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your automotive New Year’s resolution?“.
Not surprisingly, many of you swore to get your respective cars back on the road. It’s a noble goal, whether it’s a long-standing project like Ian G.‘s Toyota MR2, an accident victim like Jonathon P.‘s Z, or perfecting an already complete car like f31roger‘s Infiniti M30.
We can sympathize with Brett, who promised not buy any more cars. Making the opposite pledge is BlitzPig, who plans to take delivery of a new Toyota 86. エーイダン is on the hunt for many more new cars, albeit in 1/64 scale, while HE HE will enter the sport of diecast racing on 3DBotMaker.
This time around, our thoughts are with Randy Hone, who is finally getting a much needed medical procedure done. We know what it feels like to put off a surgery because it gets in the way of life. We know the reward will be worth the pain and suffering. Good luck, Randy!
I cannot wait to get knee surgery next month so I can get back into my 1991 Toyota MR2 and drive it once more. It seems like forever since it was driven.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!
For sure, a 22B Impreza STi.
Wagon R and if I can… I want a body kit for it. I remember in 2001, you couldn’t escape seeing a Wagon R all dressed up.
Now, you don’t even see them in Japan! I wonder where most went.
I might go for a Tommykaira ZZ. But then, those are pretty rare.
I think for 1998 I’m going to stay with my usual pick of Toyota Crown Comfort in Tokyo Taxi spec and the all black variety please. Pop that lever next to you and the back door opens to let the littles out in the elementary school drop-off line, then drop the column shifter into drive, and waft out of the parking lot past the yoga-moms in their SUVs. Superb visibility, great comfort, easy maintenance, huge longevity, and of course rear wheel drive for when you wanna hoon that mutha in the snow, and lastly far, far more understated and below the radar than the Century despite being on the opposite end of the ubiquity curve.
I would love to import a Toyota Chaser Tourer V, in white of course. Infact there are a few companies here in TX that could probably help me get one. Perfect replacement for my boring daily driver!
1998 Mazda 939. Very cool fluid design, and of course with the solar cell sunroof. The Amati that could have been.
After thinking about it a lot, imagining something that perhaps I could never get and be timeless… Toyota Century V12, being 1997 the first year of that engine, it wouldn’t be bad at all. In a world that is going towards electricity and hydrogen, I just want to transcend time.
Toyota Caldina GT-T. An estate car with cred, speed and good handling. AWD would be the handy part though, for my home city’s streets are……like the surface of the moon, cratered as old hell. Aside from that having an Estate would be handy, for the cargo space.