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Five great JDM European cars that are 25 in 2020

Many great JDM European cars are reaching their 25th birthday in 2020 — which means you can legally import them to your home country even if you live in the United States.

Japan may not be the first market that comes to mind when searching for a used European car. But there are many advantages to importing one from Japan including:

– Japanese revere European cars and keep them in outstanding condition.
– European car makers often raise vehicle specs for the Japanese market.
– Japan’s used car market is huge, with diverse choices and great prices.
– There are no autobahns encouraging excessive driving at high speeds.
– Japanese roads have fewer potholes and less road salt to cause problems.
– Many elderly Japanese are selling their European cars from the 1990s.

In this article, we present five 1995 JDM European cars that our Japan Car Direct team can heartily recommend and would greatly enjoy sourcing for export to your nearest port.

JDM 1995 Porsche 928 GTS

1995 Porsche 928 GTS

The 1995 Porsche 928 GTS was the last and best of a special breed that Porsche considered the ultimate sports machine of the future when first released.

Sporty and luxurious, the Porsche 928 offered all the performance of a classic Porsche 911 without the unpredictable handling, and it kept getting better over the years. But Porsche purists considered its front-mounted water-cooled engine and rear wheel drive configuration almost sacrilegious.

In response to diminishing market demand, Porsche stopped producing the 928 in 1995. But its attempts to reach a higher plain were not in vain. Many enthusiasts are now rediscovering the excellence of the Porsche 928 and choosing it over more expensive vintage 911s. It may not pull your heart strings as strongly as a Porsche 911, but in many ways it’s a better car.

Under the long hood of the 1995 928 GTS lies a beautifully engineered 5.4-liter V8 engine that’s naturally aspirated and water cooled. It’s quite a departure from the classic 911 engine and produces a whopping 345 horsepower (257kw) as well as 500Nm of torque.

Like an American muscle machine, the 1995 928 GTS accelerates powerfully with little effort at any speed even when traveling uphill. From a standing start, it hits 60 mph in less than 6 seconds, making it about as quick as a contemporary 911 despite being larger and about 500 pounds heavier.

Most vehicles come with a four-speed automatic transmission whether in Japan or abroad because Porsche wanted to push driving ease. If you want a 1995 928 GTS with a five-speed manual transmission, you’ll have to pay a lot more due its relative exclusivity.

Handling is super composed thanks to 50:50 weight distribution and a rear Weissach axle that eliminates toe-out around corners. This predictable handling gives the 928 an advantage over contemporary 911s in racing.

The 1995 928 GTS was so far ahead of its time that its power and handling don’t feel dated even now. Owners say it’s a great pleasure to drive, but maintenance and repairs aren’t cheap. So be sure the engine is in excellent condition.

Japan Car Direct can arrange for professional third-party inspections and provide in-depth information on every detail in English to ensure you get exactly what you are looking for. There are very few genuine supercars of this quality available at such reasonable prices and we enthusiastically recommend importing the 1995 928 GTS from Japan.


JDM 1995 Mini Mark VI

1995 Mini Mark VI

If you’re looking for something playful that everyone will applaud, it’s hard to beat a 1995 Mini Mark VI imported from Japan. But you may have to compete with your spouse, kids and friends for the keys.

Minis were extremely popular in Japan throughout the early-to-mid 1990s when supercharged JDM kei cars were booming. It was easy to see why Japanese manufacturers adopted their space-saving front-wheel-drive layout. A Japanese friend of mine at the time also proved you don’t have to be a Beatle to look cool when driving a Mini. It clearly gave him an edge with the ladies in Tokyo.

The 1995 Mini was the last of the Mark VIs and retains all the retro character that classic Mini fans love even though Rover was acquired by BMW the year before. It looks similar to the previous generation, provides the same spacious interior and features pretty much the same 1,275cc engine that powered many Minis for 35 years. The 998cc engine option isn’t available on this model.

Small and quick with a stiff suspension, it offers excellent handling reminiscent of a kei car and a sporty exhaust note that boosts fun around twisty roads. Be sure to get one with a stick shift for pure old-fashioned driving pleasure. Why anyone would want an auto transmission on a Mini is beyond me.

A guy in my Tokyo neighborhood changes his Mini’s mirror cap colors about once a week and passersby enjoy guessing what color they will be next. I keep hoping to see them painted with Union Jacks. Unlike the nearby owner of a McLaren who generates unwholesome envy, you can’t help but like the owner of the Mini.

In Japan, there are plenty of JDM 1995 Mini Mark VIs in great condition to choose from and Japan Car Direct can help you obtain the best vehicle available from Japan’s numerous used car auctions and dealers.


JDM 1995 BMW 3-Series Touring

1995 BMW 3-Series Touring

What a disappointment to hear BMW may discontinue the 3-Series! Fortunately, there are plenty of great 3-Series models in the Japanese used car market to choose from — including the 1995 BMW 3-Series Touring.

The third generation of the 3-Series (E36, 1990-2000) has an excellent reputation and the touring model rivals the saloon in driving pleasure despite its longer, heavier body. While many prefer the sportier styling of the saloon, the touring offers more storage space and is easier to load. So if you have dogs, a family or a recreational passion that requires extra storage space, the touring is a great way to go.

In 1995 Japan, it was hard to read the ads or watch the TV commercials without dreaming of owning “The Ultimate Driving Machine”. I drove a 3-Series saloon around a test track at the time to compare it with a Japanese vehicle and had the grace not to tell the Japanese client how much the BMW impressed me. Japanese makers clearly still had something to learn from BMW.

The touring model feels nearly the same as the saloon, which means you will relish every turn of the steering wheel and tap of the gas pedal because it feels so solid, sporty and well-engineered. A friend once scared the living daylights out of me with his aggressive driving on a winding mountain road but I was captivated by his BMW 3-Series Touring. It inspires confidence and encourages you to push it.

The interior is comfortable and sporty with quality materials and exquisite craftsmanship you can’t fail to notice. The ride is firm and power comes on strong from the smooth-running six-cylinder engine. Solid steering and excellent traction help keep you in confident control.

If you’re looking for style, status and driving pleasure at a reasonable price and could use the extra storage space, the 1995 BMW 3-Series Touring is an outstanding choice. We can help you find one in excellent condition in the Japanese used car market and arrange for its swift delivery to your nearest port.


JDM 1995 Maserati Quattroporte

1995 Maserati Quattroporte

The name Maserati evokes images of exclusive supercars with stunning Italian style. But Maserati is also renowned for its luxury sports sedans and the Quattroporte ranks as the most popular model.

In 1995, the first model of the fourth generation was released and it stands out for being the first Maserati produced after Fiat became sole owner of Maserati. As you can imagine, Fiat needed to get this model right to win the trust of demanding customers, skeptics and the automotive industry. Most agree it succeeded with flying colors.

The fourth-generation Quattroporte is the smallest ever, with a handsome wedge shape and angular rear wheel arches. Its luxurious leather interior with elm veneer trim is the embodiment of gorgeous Italian craftsmanship. The car is relatively lightweight, contributing to faster acceleration and better handling than the previous generation.

In Japan, the JDM 1995 Maserati Quattroporte features a 2.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that is larger and more torquey than the Italian market version. Producing 284 PS of horsepower and 413 N⋅m of torque, it accelerates the Quattroporte from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 158 mph. You can find versions with a standard Getrag 6-speed manual or optional 4-Speed ZF automatic transmission.

Only 1,255 Quattroportes were produced in 1995 because there was a general downturn in the market for expensive cars. But many of them are in Japan and you won’t find them in better condition anywhere else. If you seek luxury, performance and style in full measure at a reasonable price, the JDM 1995 Maserati Quattroporte is an excellent choice.


JDM 1995 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG

1995 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG

A very special high-performance luxury saloon was released in 1994 and 1995 through the combined efforts of Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and AMG — the Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG.

While most demanding drivers were fully satisfied with the class-leading luxury and performance of the standard Mercedes-Benz E500, some enthusiasts wanted more. So AMG increased engine displacement from 5.0 to 6.0 liters and finely tuned the engine to raise horsepower and torque by 59 PS and 100 N⋅m respectively. Even power-hungry fanatics can smile about the resulting 381 PS and 580 N⋅m that leaves standard E500s far behind.

With its Mercedes-Benz craftsmanship, 6.0 32V AMG V8 engine, AMG sports suspension, AMG 17-inch wheels and Porsche designed chassis, the 1994 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG represents one of the highlights of luxury car engineering in the mid 1990s.

From a standing start, it accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 5.4 seconds, which is mighty quick for a luxury saloon. And once you get up to speed, it’s so powerful, quiet and smooth running that it’s easy to find yourself traveling way too fast.

There aren’t many of these cars around, but Japan Car Direct has a talent for finding what customers want in Japan. Oh, and we’ll make sure it’s an official 1994 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG from the factory and not an E500 that was later modified.

When you’re ready to import your 1995 JDM European dream car from Japan, let the experts at Japan Car Direct make the entire process a pleasure from initial consultation in English to final delivery at your nearest port. We look forward to hearing from you!

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  • 5 star review  IF YOU ARE OVERLY CAUTIOUS READ THIS I am over the top and I am aware of it. Matthew probably should get an award for dealing with me. I dig into everything and am used to fighting not to get taken at local auctions (I own a dealership and believe strongly in integrity). Early into my fist purchase (of many) Matthew earned my trust. He’s a rare breed: a true professional and exceptional at what he does. The world NEEDS more like him in every industry. Matthew is one of our most valued partners now, as we strive to bring JDM to Rochester and the Great Lakes. I’m a tough case, I openly admit. Find me and call me if you want, I’ll recommend Matthew to anyone. Drew

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