What is it about the Porsche 911? Why is it the ultimate dream car for so many people? Certainly it is the top end German sports car. And certainly it’s a blast to drive. But there is more to it than that. There is a magic. A magic like you see in so clearly in the lines and proportions of the early Carreras like this one:
And when you buy a used Porsche 911 you benefit from and eternal truth of car buying: You get the car, but the other guy who bought the car new pays the depreciation.
And why buy your used Porsche 911 Carrera or other great German sports car specifically from Japan?
It’s the dream factor: Many Japanese are dream believers and dream achievers and dream carers: They achieve their dream and then cherish it. The used 911s and other European dream cars I see for sale here in Japan are most often in excellent shape, have been regularly maintained and often have low mileage; truly quality used vehicles.
Your typical Japanese Porsche 911 owner is smart and car-savvy. He does not run his dream machine on a budget and he doesn’t drive it too hard. It represents an achievement for him and so he will cherish and enjoy it; exactly what the 911 was built for.
This is why it makes sense to buy a used Porsche 911 from Japan. But there are other very good reasons as well.
20, 15, or even 10 years ago, when so many of the Porsches now in Japan were first brought here, Japan had a much stronger economy, and successful working people, middle and upper middle class, could aspire to something special like a Porsche 911. But that is not the case today since, with the decline of the Japanese economy, achieving economic dreams is much less possible now than it was years ago.
But this is an opportunity for foreign buyers looking for a good used Porsche. You see, the guy who bought his Porsche 911 15 or 20 years ago when he was 45 or 50 years old (and has been enjoying it ever since), is now getting a bit more senior and is looking for a less demanding car. (As everyone knows, the high power, rear-engined 911 is not for your average driver; only skilled drivers need apply. You need more than just money to get the best out of this iconic super sports car.)
And the now super classic air-cooled 911s are particularly good buys in Japan these days. There are guys who will always say that the true 911 is the one with the air-cooled unit
that was in production till 1998. We don’t say they are wrong. Nope. They are noisy beasts, but what a fantastic and unique half roar half growl they give when you open them up at the lights: You not only leave all the other cars behind, but everybody hears you do it; they turn their heads and see you do it: you do it in a 911, you do it with that distinctive 911 sound, and you cheek off the whole world. That’s the classic air-cooled Porsche. Yes, these cars are going for reasonable prices right now in Japan.
And it’s not just the earlier air-cooled 911s which are going for reasonable prices now. Recently, for 911 fans, drivers, and collectors, we’ve been sourcing the later 911s, (the Porsche 964 body type, to use Porsche’s own in-house designation) both in the thundering turbo Ferrari-killer guise and in the more “mild” (Ha!) normally aspirated versions. Good units are coming up now at the Japanese car auctions and at the better dealers.
Indeed, we are finding many good European luxury cars and sports cars coming on the market here in Japan these days. In fact, it’s a bit of a buyer’s market at the moment for these high grade German machines and for the other top end European iron, too.
So there are some really happy, satisfied Porsche owners here in Japan now looking for a new good home for the dream cars that they themselves have enjoyed so much, and they are happy to sell to foreign buyers since younger Japanese people can no longer realistically aspire to something as great as a Porsche 911; and it seems to me that, these days, people in Europe and Canada and the US have more appreciation of what a Porsche 911 really is.
And now (December, 2014) is an especially good time to buy from the Japanese car auctions and dealers and to import a Porsche 911 direct from Japan because exchange rates are very favorable. The Japanese Yen has lost over 30% of its value against major currencies in the last 18 months, and this makes importing a used Porsche 911 from Japan an even more attractive proposition. By buying a good used 911 from Japan you get not only a quality unit in good condition and with low kilometers, but now, with the very good exchange rates, you can get your Porsche at a good price, too.
If you want to buy a 911, or indeed any of the great iconic German dream cars, from Japan, now is definitely a very good time, a very good chance.
(UPDATE) Over the years that we have been finding and exporting good used 911s from Japan (we’re writing this in May of 2020), we have often reflected on the true greatness of these cars, and on what makes them so attractive for guys that want to go the self import from Japan route.
(As you can see, the Porsche 911 is one of our favorites here at JCD.) And if you poke around in our Exported Vehicles section here, you’ll see some, just some, mind you, of the used cars that we are exporting these days, including used 911s.
For those of us who appreciate, indeed, love beautiful and powerful sports cars and supercars, owning, driving and treasuring these 911s, is matter of experiencing, enjoying, and preserving, a very special part of the best of times in motoring history. We’re thinking especially here of the unique and mechanically charming air-cooled cars that, in terms of body types, were the 911 that ran from 1963 to 1989, the turbo 930 that ran from 1975 to 1989, their successor the 964 which ran from ’89 to ’94, and the 993, that ran from ’95 to ’98 and rounded out the whole air-cooled production run.
Let’s admit it: these cars will never come back. Our only chance to live the joy is by buying a good secondhand unit. Fortunately, the air-cooled 911 fleet is in good shape here in Japan. (As is the, numerically smaller but equally well-loved, air-cooled 914 fleet. And, yes, the 914/6 does come up for sale here.)
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 !!! 👌🇨🇦🇯🇵
Fantastic service, helped me through the process of importing my JZX100 to the UK, Everything was clear and fees were low, worth every penny though, fantastic and couldn't have asked for more!
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.