When Ricky told me to check out the Shannons video about the Isuzu Car Club of Australia gathering, I did. But the thing that absolutely blew my mind wasn’t even an Isuzu. It was this classic car insurance ad, which featured an MS65 Toyota Crown and an R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R. Yes, these are what qualifies as classics in upside-down under.
The ad by Shannons shows a kid growing up with fond memories of his grandmother’s car, lovingly washing it, going on road trips, and so on. It’s pretty typical stuff, except the car isn’t a Bel Air or Polara. It’s a freaking orange kujira Crown! Fast forward a few years, the kid is all grown up, still has “Nana’s Crown,” but also drives a Bayside Blue R34 GT-R thanks to Australia’s lax import laws. An ad with cars like these would be absolutely unthinkable in the US, and probably would fail miserably if it didn’t feature a Corvette or Mustang in it. Australia is a damn magical place.
Mate, the import laws in Aus are positively draconian compared to New Zealand! Jump the ditch from the big island and people daily all sorts of JDM metal.
If Oz is draconian then we Yanks must be prehistoric.
NZ can import pretty much anything
Australia has different ways of importing cars, and once they turn up they nearly all need modification to meet our road rules – seatbelt mounts, third brake light, new tyres etc.
Pre 1989 – anything pre 1989 is easy enough to import
SEVS – can only import a certain list of cars that have “unique” features and weren’t sold new in Australia.
Personal import – if you own the car for 12 months overseas and bring it back with you
OZ may be draconian, but my friend in Sydney has an R34 2.5GT sedan, and I can’t.
kangaroos koalas and freakin JDM cars!!! Australia Rules!!!
A friend of mine took his 1965 original single owner Mustang to Australia. First problem, the tax man wanted him to pay an exorbitant fee based on a BS evaluation of the original purchase price! I think he didn’t know Aus vs USA dollars to be kind . I had to find 1965 Car and Driver evaluation reports to justify the original USA sales price and FAX it to him. He did not have the original sales receipt after all those years! Next problem, the dim wit insisted that the Mustang had to be converted to Right Hand Drive ! BS ! It was old enough to be exempt and maybe required a red triangle warning attachment to the rear bumper [that it was a LHD auto] but that was all .
Yep, Australia is finally coming of age – when the family migrated in 1967 – it was all Holdens, Fords and Chrysler nothing else. Yawn…. it’s taken many, many years – and a change of the old guard to drag the mentality away from that to encompass such classics, but they are now firmly on the map. I was considered a bit ‘out there” amongst my fellow Car Club members to own a small Japanese collection back in the 1980s – Honda S600 Coupe, Honda 1300 Coupe 9, Honda Z360, Suzuki Fronte Hatch and Subaru Young SS. Now we have 5 running examples of Honda S600s, a couple of Honda 1300 Coupe owners and many other Japanese marques. The Club is considered as “non-denominational’ or “multicultural” in both human and automotive terms and this benefits everyone. We even have some Holdens, Fords and Chryslers!
In NZ classic JDM cars are well respected and have been for a while, on the flip side they are expensive and the good models Ta22s, Rx3s, skylines etc dont often get to the open market.