There are certain ultimates in life, certain things that are just “top of the pops.” Things that can’t be beat; equaled, maybe, but not beat.
It’s the same with cars, and within each class of car. We car fans love to debate and discuss:
“What is the ultimate pure sports car?” “What is the ultimate drift car?” “What is the ultimate muscle car?”
And what does every car designer want to do at least once in his career? Design the ultimate: the ultimate supercar, the ultimate off road machine, the ultimate handling car. Everybody wants to be top at least once and in at least one area of their lives.
And the top end sedan is definitely one of those ultimates: The charm of the comfort and the thrill of the power. And what are the top sedans in this class of ultimates?
Mercedes Benz. Tight, confident handling, no rattles or squeaks, and they move quick, too.
They are the ultimate, except….except for one little thing: AMG. Cars like this five and a half liter 2000 AMG S-Class (that is going for an amazingly low JPY730,000, by the way, at the time of writing in July of 2015).
By the early ‘90s when AMG stated to come out with various high performance takes on the top Benz cars, it was clear that they had out-ultimated the ultimate. Cars like the one above, and cars like the super sports and super gorgeous 6 liter SL500.
These AMGs are top not just in the sedan class and big-engined coupe and roadster class, AMG even does it in the wagon class, too.
You’re getting engines with capacities like 5.5 liters, 6.0 liters, even 6.2 liters; V8s and V12s! And even turbo charging can be had on these if you’re the kind of guy for whom the ultimate is not enough. A 6.0 liter V12 with twin turbo chargers…..Saints Preserve Us!!
But more important than any of this (even for a simple old 0-60 guy like me) is that these AMG cars have the chassis, drive trains, and braking and handling that can take all that power. So you have really got not just one or two, but a whole stable of ultimate cars here with AMG.
And that gold standard of car judgment of our younger, simpler days? Look at these 0-60 times for a couple of AMG cars:
The “baby” CLA45AMG will get you 0-60 in 4.2 seconds, while the big boy AMG CLS63 in S specification with its all wheel drive will pull your hair at the roots out by doing 0-60 in only 3.2 seconds.
Yeah, fast. These AMGs are fast and no question.
In recent times we have begun to source more and more fine used AMGs that we buy here in Japan for our customers in a number of countries, especially Poland, Taiwan, Germany, and Canada.
A used AMG bought in Japan, either at the Japanese used car auctions or from the specialist second hand dealers, is a very good deal. The cars in this class being sold here now are all very well cared for and treasured machines, and the mild Japanese climate and low highway speeds mean that an AMG is likely to have lead a pretty easy life here compared to one that has been eating up the autobahns and living through the hard winters in Germany.
And when you buy a used AMG from us here in Japan you get not only the machine itself, but you also get a good storehouse of value for your money: an ultimate car like an AMG will keep a high resale value for many, many years to come.
(UPDATE) In recent times, because of the stresses on the world economy, due to the Covid situation, and on the Japanese economy, due, in addition, to the program of ongoing tax increases, prices on top end used vehicles are softening to some degree. (We’re writing this in May 2020.) We’ve all seen economic ups and downs. We’ve all seen better and worse times to buy. Now is looking to be very good indeed for used cars like what we find in the Mercedes-Benz / AMG stable. Like this AMG SL55 here that we recently exported from Japan.
Indeed, good deals on used European Luxury cars and Supercars are the name of the game for anyone looking to do a self import from Japan. The supercar scene is especially good, and we’ve been looking at some of the available vehicles and the joy of having and driving these wonderful machines over on our Japan Car Direct Blog here, here, and here.
We look more in depth here at AMG specifically and at the history of the relationship between Mercedes-Benz and AMG.
Access to the special world of European Supercars via the used car route is definitely the best way to go because of the good condition these cars are in and the reasonable prices they are going for now. But there is more that we would point out: On the classic side, the window of opportunity will not always be so widely open to us as it is today because, as the classic fleet naturally ages, fewer good units will come up, and those that do get into the “silly” price range, or into the “drive-you-crazy-due-to-niggling-faults” maintenance phase. Just ask a friend of mine who, for years and years, always wanted a Jaguar E-Type. Quite a while back he settled for an XJS, thinking to pick up an E in future years when he expected to be more financially solid. Well, he did get financially more solid, but the E-Types got mechanically and body-wise more shaky. When he finally got to looking seriously for one two summers ago, he found that anything reasonably priced was in poor shape when you looked closely; anything that was, on close inspection, in good shape, was “silly on the money,” as he put it.
On the economic side, the depressed state of the economy does offer us buying opportunities when we have a bit of ready cash. Just being honest about it. Things will pick up again, and then the prices on used supercars, be it AMG or any of the ultimate machines, will also start rising. And another thing that is likely to pick up worldwide is inflation. Ouch, but watch out. The cars we’re talking about here, supercars, classic cars, super luxury cars, top end European iron of all types (AMG, Benz, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, BMW, Maserati, Jaguar), are going to be very nice to have as a wealth preservation / store of value for the future.
I can't recommend JCD enough. Mathew was a fantastic person to work with. As a newbie to the Japanese auctions, I was quite naïve and had far too many questions. Mathew was kind, knowledgeable, and patient through the entire process. My Minicab arrived last week and I am quite pleased. I would not hesitate to work with Japan Car Direct again in the future. Thank you Mathew!! Jay A.
I purchased a suzuki carry from here.. They made the whole process so easy..fantastic communication,and I got what I wanted.. highly recommend using this company for your next purchase. 5 stars
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 for fairness at auto auctions here in the USA - we own a small dealership. 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, but he worked through my caution and I’m now very happy to purchase through him. Call me if you want, I’ll recommend Matthew to anyone. Drew
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
I always wanted a Land Cruiser ! Mathew helped me find 2 beautiful trucks from the Japanese auction. Had them delivered to Freeport, TX last week. He was amazing to work with. Fast response time on bids, super easy to work with, he has a lot of experience and answered all questions promptly. Will be working with JCD more in the future to purchase more vehicles !
Very pleased with my experience with JCD. Mat helped me with my purchase of a Honda Beat and its shipping to the port of Baltimore. Everything was seamless and I would (and already have) recommended this company to several friends.
Thanks to JapanCarDirect for the opportunity, Yoshi took well care of my requests with a incomparable patience and fast follow up. Will definitely pass the word around !!! 👌🇨🇦🇯🇵
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I just picked up my dream campervan from port and have to say that Japan car direct was with me the entire way. I felt so supported all my questions were answered and I could not imagine doing something like this without them. I highly recommend the whole team, trust them and would encourage anyone to use there services.
Mathew and all stuff JCD are best. I ordered 4 cars to UA. Support was 24H. The team did its best to solve my problems. They are really good. Now I can recommend them. Unique condition of the car. P.S. sorry but the photo was taken immediately upon arrival. Thank you again!
I just wanna thank Matthew and the whole team at Japan Car Direct, they always went above and beyond in making sure their clients are always happy and informed about the vehicles they are purchasing. I am still in the buying process but so far 5/5 definitely. I’ll keep everyone posted when I do find a car!
Do yourself a favor, call Mathew at Japan Car Direct. Let him take the worry about doing business over seas off your plate. Not knowing anything about importing vehicles from Japan, I spent countless hours studying and trying to figure it all out. The headaches were too much! After Mathew walked me through the process it was a piece of cake. We've already bought a couple and are now buying more with complete confidence. Thanks guys, much much appreciated.
Can not recommend these guys enough. I dealt with Matt, who was extremely helpful and patient with all of my stupid questions. The way they have the whole process is so convenient, especially with the live video translations of the auction sheets. I will absolutely be returning to them in the future.
Trustworthy group here! They made it easy from point a to b. So glad this was the first group I tried as I have heard horror stories about the import process. Highly recommended.
Yoshi and team were patient in helping me find the right car (green 2016 Prius 4WD) and get me through the process. Flawless service, prompt response to communications, on delivery the car was better than expected, very close to new looking. Their recommended partners for shipping and entry into NZ were on the ball too. Highly recommended! Pro tip: don't mess around; decide exactly what you want, then bid to win.