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.
After ordering my minivan from Mathew and the folks at JCD, I will definetely use them again. Took three months to get the van but I am on the other side of the world. Van arrived in better condition than I expected although battery was dead and gas was extremely low. Other than that, the documents were sent to me promptly and the process of registering was seamless with the supplied documents. Thank you Matt and team and I look forward to working with you in the future!
When starting my path of importing a JDM classic Land Cruiser, I spent weeks doing research before actually committing because I’d never imported anything before. I was fortunate to come across Japan Car Direct, and that’s where I met Mathew. Wow, where do I start with Mathew..... (Just kidding Chicago!) Mathew was fantastic, from spending time on Skype answering all my questions to teaching me everything I needed to know to successfully find the truck of my dreams. Well today in fact I picked up my truck at the port, and it was in even better condition than I could have seen in the pictures and from the reports provided. Guess what, just ordered another one! You are the Master Mathew. Go Hawks!
My Importing experience with Japan Car Direct was unbelievably smooth. What I feared would be a complex process became far simpler than ever imagined. From the very beginning I worked with Mathew, who provided excellent communication. I always felt informed on all costs and the vehicle’s condition. My van has arrived in the US and I couldn’t be happier. Thank you for all the help! I hope to work with JCD again soon.
Had a great experience finding and importing a classic car. Worked with Mathew Matusiak and guided me all throughout the process. Would highly recommend Japan Car Direct.
This was my first experience importing any vehicle. The team at JCD, specifically Mathew, made the process exciting and fun. The information provided from the how to video’s, the explanation of ALL the costs and even helping me choose an import broker that made the experience easy and understandable for this first time customer. Thank you for answering my every question providing guidance through my first purchase. I look forward to buying my next vehicle from you too! Patrick – North Texas
I'm giving Mathew and his crew five stars for excellent service, and for delivering what they promised. I am a first-time importer for a van I will use myself (no resale). Mathew took me through the selection process, helped steer me away from potentially bad deals, and communicated regularly once I had selected my vehicle. He took me through the export process, and recommended Armin at EasyISF to help with the import process. I was able to track my van across the ocean, and Armin helped me work through customs clearance up through the day I picked up my tiny van. Sometimes you have to trust people and this time I picked the correct people to trust; both with my funds being wired to Japan and with trusting that Mathew and his crew had my best interests in mind. I am a very satisfied customer and I strongly recommend Japan Car Direct for your import experience. They delivered exactly what they promised.
This was my first time importing a vehicle for my personal use and naturally I was leary about who to go through. After looking through a few other places and after getting in touch with a longtime customer of theirs I decided to try these guys out. I can say without a doubt I'm glad I did. They are definitely professional and know their craft when it comes to getting you your dream car. Everything from getting cars inspected and bidding was completely transparent and went smoothly. I couldn't be happier with the car I bought and I hope down the line I'll be able to purchase another using these guys!! Thanks for all you guys do!!! 11/7/19 Still have my MR2 and loving it everyday!! I'm going to Japan next month and hopefully I can find something fun for my car to bring back! Just re-read my review and I can still say my car has been nothing but great along with my experience with Yoshi and his team! Thanks again!
You made the purchase and export of my 1998 Rover Mini to Vancouver Canada so easy Thank you and I"ll be back
A few months ago I set out on my goal of importing a vehicle from Japan through an auction. After tons and TONs of research and countless emails, I decided to use Japan Car Direct as my exporter in Japan. From the beginning of my interactions with JCD, I was thoroughly impressed. My contact, Yoshi, was amazing...definitely a huge asset to the JCD team. He answered all of my questions promptly, translated dozens of auction sheets for me, and advised me of what to watch out for when looking for a vehicle. He was beyond helpful! I picked up my Kei truck at the port in Newport News a few weeks ago and couldn't be more pleased. Since then, the truck has made it to its final home in Charlottesville, VA on my farm. Yoshi and the other guys at JCD are now my go to team for more of these soon. Thanks again JCD and keep doing what you guys do! You all are the real deal.
Since a kid the FD RX7 has always been a dream car but i didn't pursue it till i graduated high school but the prices just for the shell over here in california was over 15k!! I kept looking around until I decided i would just import one. I found JCD while looking for the top 5 importers you could trust and they stood out more than all the other ones, and for a couple months of more research on their page until I ultimately decided I would go through them. Although this was my first time getting a car from Japan and having an endless amount questions spanning a couple hundred emails until it would freeze up and i had to make a new email thread .. Mathew always answered every question and helped me though every step. I didn't have all the funds in the beginning but they were very patient with it until i was fully ready, then after a month of having Matt give his thought on some of the FDs i was looking at we finally won the auction for a 94 Efini type R Fd3s. As we picked it up from Long Beach till the drive home I couldn't believe that it was here and soo much better just looking at the picture but i defiantly would recommend JCD to anyone looking to import their dream car too and and want to thank matt and the whole team with getting me my RX7.
I'd been looking to buy an RF series Honda Stepwagon to convert into a mini camper for a while but the UK prices always seemed too high. I had joined a few JDM import sites to get an idea of auction prices and costs (including Japan Car Direct) but just couldn't bring myself to take the next step, it seemed such a risk ! Finally after reading so many good reviews for JCD (and Mathew in particular) I took the plunge and contacted Mathew. After he answered my many questions regarding costs, fees etc I felt confident enough to pay the deposit and start hunting the Japanese auctions for my Steppy. My budget for the Steppy was pretty low (pathetic even !) but I felt Mat still put the same effort into replying to my questions and queries as he would have done if my budget had been into the tens of thousands. The result was I now have a very tidy Stepwagon with lower mileage than any vehicle I've ever owned, I've paid far less for it then I would have done buying in the UK and I've got a bigger budget now for the camper conversion. I wouldn't hesitate to buy through them again, and hope to do so soon.
5 star experience from start to finish. Transparent and easy process, and Mat was very patient to answer plenty of questions I had during the purchase! Can’t wait to do it again because the Japanese cars from this era are pure automotive art and these guys hold the keys to the museum!
After an initial inquiry several years ago, I still wanted to get a Japanese Delica or Hiace. Matthew was immediately in contact and helped with all the details. His videos were perfect for my search. Matthew was able to answer all of my questions and my wife and I were able to make decisions based on the great information he provided. I would recommend Japan Car Direct to anyone interested in getting the right car at the best price.
The staff at Japan Car Direct made what I thought would a a difficult process very easy. Matt explained every step thoroughly and his advice on details of cars was spot on.
I imported a van though JCD and they made the process super straightforward. They were amazing at communicating and quick to answer any of my questions. If you are looking to import a car I would highly recommended them.