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vanroth
vanroth
5/8/22 10:00 p.m.

Just moved to Japan and will be here for a couple of years and looking to pick up a car or two (or three) to take back with me. One of which will need to be a weekend driver.

Used car prices  for anything remotely interesting -- especially for 25 year old sports cars -- are a bit insane right now so I may wait a bit for things to cool down.

Ultimately will get a R32 GT-R to take back, but right now focused on an Autozam AZ-1 as a weekender.

Any pointers on AZ-1's? Should I aim for the Mazdaspeed version? I see at least three different hood and light configurations... Any significance?

 

Thanks,

J

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
5/8/22 10:05 p.m.

Dibs on the AZ-1 when it comes time to sell it. I know you'll be in Japan, and it'll need to be shipped, But I trust you far more than a faceless website in a language I don't read. Seriously.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/8/22 10:46 p.m.

Are R33 Skylines worth less than R32s?  Because some of them are legal now...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/8/22 10:58 p.m.

I'd buy a 22 year old car and drive it for three years. Prices spike when they become legal for US import. 

But the AZ-1 is awesome. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
5/9/22 12:39 a.m.

Do you have a place to park a car you are not driving.

that seems to be a big problem along with the weather if you leave it outside thru the winter.

 

Clay
Clay HalfDork
5/9/22 6:05 a.m.

Where are you in Japan?

 

I just moved back to Japan myself and I have researched the same ideas. There is definitely a premium on anything 25+. The GTRs are ridiculous at 50k. You could get one cheaper in the States already imported. Same for the AZ1 at 20k and up. My personal JDM unicorn is an Evo wagon. They can still be found in the 10k-20k range. Last time I lived here I bought an Evo IV for 4k but those days are long gone. 
 

as for parking you can can't register a car here without an approved spot (verified by police) so that is always a requirement. Military who live on base have more options of course. 
 

Clay

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/9/22 7:19 a.m.

In reply to vanroth :

Nothing to add other than post up pix of the cars you see or just everyday life. Japan is one of those bucket list places I hope to get to when I retire.  
 

I want one of the mini trucks they have over there in AWD. 

vanroth
vanroth New Reader
5/9/22 7:38 a.m.

In reply to Clay :

Yes, I didn't even know the Evo Wagon existed until last week. Prices have shot up on them as well.

I'm within walking distance of two classic car dealerships. They just sold a 240z for $135k -- almost makes we want to send mine here. 

At least kei trucks are cheap as chips.

vanroth
vanroth New Reader
5/9/22 7:39 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I'd buy a 22 year old car and drive it for three years. Prices spike when they become legal for US import. 

But the AZ-1 is awesome. 

Did exactly that when I bought my Defender while living in England. Seems prices dip until they hit the 24/25 year mark so you are right on.

 

vanroth
vanroth New Reader
5/9/22 7:40 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

In the US my experience is that the R33's are more expensive. But I've seen non-auction R32's here list for $100k-180k which is outlandish. 

vanroth
vanroth New Reader
5/9/22 7:43 a.m.
Clay said:

Where are you in Japan?

 

I just moved back to Japan myself and I have researched the same ideas. There is definitely a premium on anything 25+. The GTRs are ridiculous at 50k. You could get one cheaper in the States already imported. Same for the AZ1 at 20k and up. My personal JDM unicorn is an Evo wagon. They can still be found in the 10k-20k range. Last time I lived here I bought an Evo IV for 4k but those days are long gone. 
 

as for parking you can can't register a car here without an approved spot (verified by police) so that is always a requirement. Military who live on base have more options of course. 
 

Clay

I'm in Yokohama (Nakamachidai). Thankfully I have covered parking and even a next door rental lot available.

vanroth
vanroth New Reader
5/9/22 7:49 a.m.
dean1484 said:

In reply to vanroth :

Nothing to add other than post up pix of the cars you see or just everyday life. Japan is one of those bucket list places I hope to get to when I retire.  
 

I want one of the mini trucks they have over there in AWD. 

vanroth
vanroth New Reader
5/9/22 7:50 a.m.
Appleseed said:

Dibs on the AZ-1 when it comes time to sell it. I know you'll be in Japan, and it'll need to be shipped, But I trust you far more than a faceless website in a language I don't read. Seriously.

Lol. What part of the US are you in?

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
5/9/22 8:03 a.m.

In reply to vanroth :

What is that van, and is it AWD?

Clay
Clay HalfDork
5/9/22 10:51 a.m.

Yokohama is pretty close to me. I live in Ebina. I was in Yokohama for lunch yesterday with the family in fact. 
 

FYI there is a Mooneyes car show in Odaiba next Sunday if you are looking. For something to do. 
 

I see what you mean about the Evo wagons. Seems they have gone up as well. 
 

Luckily the used (boring) cars are still cheap here. I'm driving a 2006 Fit I got for $2400 with 18k miles and the wife got a Nissan Serena for $2800. Looking for something fun to trade the Fit for. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/9/22 11:48 a.m.

In reply to Clay :

Cripes! I assume the Fit is a 1.3 or somesuch?

mr2peak
mr2peak Dork
5/9/22 12:22 p.m.

Spirit R FD. Prices are up, but they will undoubtably go higher.

 

 

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 PowerDork
5/9/22 1:34 p.m.

Any parts houses near you? I'm looking to source some front struts for my 95 Chariot Resort Runner GT. Seems the US spec equivalent doesn't have the correct mount for the sway bar that these use. Perhaps it's more Evo than I had thought. Perhaps Evo 2-3. Id get my hands on a Pajevo if I were you, or a Cosmo 20B. Heck even a Legnum VR4 would be awesome, but maybe not so awesome to work on.

LanEvo
LanEvo Dork
5/9/22 2:01 p.m.

As certified Eurotrash, I have a weakness for small hot hatches like the Autobianchi  A112 Abarth, Peugot 205 GTI, and Renault 5 GT Turbo.

Personally, I would look for a Daihatsu Mira TR-XX or similar. Maybe a Suzuki Alto Works RSR or something.

Clay
Clay HalfDork
5/9/22 8:26 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

It is a 1.3 with CVT. Very not fun to drive but great A-B commuter.
 

Regarding its replacement I need to keep any replacement that size or smaller to avoid increasing my commute by having to take larger roads. Also need it to fit 5 in a pinch. Fit does both but is no fun. 
 

Regarding parts houses, There is an UpGarage near me but only one within a reasonable driving distance. I checked it out with my son and it was cool. Had lots of parts at a nice discount over eBay but the selection is pretty limited.

vanroth
vanroth New Reader
5/10/22 6:31 a.m.
Clay said:

Yokohama is pretty close to me. I live in Ebina. I was in Yokohama for lunch yesterday with the family in fact. 
 

FYI there is a Mooneyes car show in Odaiba next Sunday if you are looking. For something to do. 
 

I see what you mean about the Evo wagons. Seems they have gone up as well. 
 

Luckily the used (boring) cars are still cheap here. I'm driving a 2006 Fit I got for $2400 with 18k miles and the wife got a Nissan Serena for $2800. Looking for something fun to trade the Fit for. 

I'll definitely head over to Odaiba this weekend. I'll use it as an excuse to pick up a gunpla.

vanroth
vanroth New Reader
5/10/22 6:40 a.m.

In reply to racerfink :

Toyota HiAce. I didn't check close enough to see if this particular one was 4wd, but they do offer it.

It is quite common to mod them up just like this one with offroad tires, roof rack and white tire lettering. I'm digging it, but still too new for the US (2004).

 

-J

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/10/22 6:57 a.m.
Mazdax605 said:

Any parts houses near you? I'm looking to source some front struts for my 95 Chariot Resort Runner GT. Seems the US spec equivalent doesn't have the correct mount for the sway bar that these use. Perhaps it's more Evo than I had thought. Perhaps Evo 2-3. Id get my hands on a Pajevo if I were you, or a Cosmo 20B. Heck even a Legnum VR4 would be awesome, but maybe not so awesome to work on.

Evo 1-2 have the stabilizer link mount on the control arms like a US model Mirage/Lancer/etc, Evo III have it on the strut.

Struts for a '98-04 Volvo S40 are based on the Evo III design.  What is maddening is that they changed the link mount height around 2000.  I used early struts in my '02 and ended up needing to get stabilizer links from something else entirely (an Escort, I think?) to mate my late bar to the early struts.

fatallightning
fatallightning Reader
5/10/22 10:49 a.m.

How tall are you? Az1 can be challenging for a typical North American sized man. The Cappucino feels quite a bit larger inside, and most people also usually comment it drives better than the AZ1 it shares a motor with. 

Early EVOs are still fairly cheapish, as well as early GC WRXs. St205 Celicas are probably still priced similary to an AZ1, same with SW20 MR2s. Other interesting cars that haven't had obnoxious appreciation, Mitsu FTO and GTO, Pulsar GTiR, Starlet GT.  Are you looking to keep it Kei?

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
5/10/22 12:10 p.m.

Please just post a bunch of pics from Japan of the cars. Dont care which models, dont care what years, lets see it!

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