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.
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.
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 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.
Awesome experience !! Their service was extremely good and efficient. Yoshiro was soo patient with my many requests for information and translations. The vehicle purchased was better than expected. I would definitely consider using their services again.
All I can say about the experience is AMAZING! I worked with Matthew and he was helpful through the whole process of bidding, purchasing, and shipping the car to me. He had an answer for every question, and was always quick to respond. Enjoying my new Mercedes and I will be using them again!
All around exceptional experience! Matt was great to work with and guided me through the entire process with ease. As a first timer, importing was a bit nerve racking but JCD did a great job providing a cool little truck I can enjoy here in Delaware. I look forward to picking up the next toy/vehicle through them.
The experienced, grizzled veterans of the import scene. They were very accommodating with all my questions and concerns. It was my first time importing, so everything was confusing and intimidating, but I'm happy to report everything went as planned! I'm definitely calling them back when I finally come up with an excuse to import another!
Mathew was great to work with and made what could be a scary daunting experience very easy. I am super happy with my car and am sure I will be importing with them again!
Working with Mathew and his team was an absolute pleasure. I went from never knowing you could import your own vehicle to owning my own Suzuki Cara within 6 months. Mathew was so helpful and completely transparent with me during the entire process. We spoke on the phone and via email and he helped me pick the perfect car exactly within my requirements. He dealt with my excitement and inexperience with patience and understanding. I couldn't be happier with my experience and will absolutely use Japan Car Direct again when it's time for another project. I highly recommend Mathew and Japan Car Direct.
Just purchased my second car through Japan Car Direct. Could not be more pleased with their customer service. Matt went above and beyond to help me find the right car. Translating countless auction sheets, messaging sellers, requesting vehicle inspections, putting up with me and my requests well after his time in the office, etc. I can happily and honestly say that I would recommend this company to anyone looking to purchase a car from Japan and that you will not be dissappinted. Very kind, helpful and professional. Can’t wait for vehicle number 3.