Exported Vehicles

Toyota Sera

A Unique, Beautiful, Well Made Compact Car with Butterfly Doors and a Jet Fighter Canopy: The Toyota Sera.
  • toyota-sera-1991-01
  • toyota-sera-1991-02
  • toyota-sera-1991-03
  • toyota-sera-1991-04
  • toyota-sera-1991-05
  • toyota-sera-1991-06
  • toyota-sera-1991-07
  • toyota-sera-1991-08
  • toyota-sera-1991-09
  • toyota-sera-1991-010
  • toyota-sera-1991-011
  • toyota-sera-1991-012
  • toyota-sera-1991-013
  • toyota-sera-1991-014
  • toyota-sera-1991-015
  • toyota-sera-1991-016
  • toyota-sera-1991-017
  • toyota-sera-1991-018
  • toyota-sera-1991-019
  • toyota-sera-1991-020
  • toyota-sera-1991-021
  • toyota-sera-1991-022
  • toyota-sera-1991-01
  • toyota-sera-1991-02
  • toyota-sera-1991-03
  • toyota-sera-1991-04
  • toyota-sera-1991-05
  • toyota-sera-1991-06
  • toyota-sera-1991-07
  • toyota-sera-1991-08
  • toyota-sera-1991-09
  • toyota-sera-1991-010
  • toyota-sera-1991-011
  • toyota-sera-1991-012
  • toyota-sera-1991-013
  • toyota-sera-1991-014
  • toyota-sera-1991-015
  • toyota-sera-1991-016
  • toyota-sera-1991-017
  • toyota-sera-1991-018
  • toyota-sera-1991-019
  • toyota-sera-1991-020
  • toyota-sera-1991-021
  • toyota-sera-1991-022
Year: 1991
Make: Toyota
Model: Sera
Mileage: 95,160km
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Drivetrain: FWD
Engine: 1,500cc Straight four engine
Exterior Color: White
VIN Number: EXY10-001****

Have you ever noticed that, when you look around at most of the newer cars on the road these days, they all, kind of, sort of, basically…..look the same?

I mean, unless it’s a Lamborghini or something. Of course, there are a few reasonably priced machines that catch the eye, like the Toyota 86 / Subaru BRZ or the Nissan 370Z, (which we call the Fairlady Z here in Japan). Yeah, a few. But it’s not simply a question of how much money you pay, like if you pay lots of money you get lots of good looks and great, unique styling, right? Ummm…no; often not. If in the moderate price bracket the world of new cars is rather dull, I have to be honest and admit that even a lot of the newer top end vehicles don’t really stand out like they used to.

Sure, when it comes to comparing with older, 20 or 25 year old cars, the newer vehicles these days generally have better performance, better braking, and handling is usually very fine, indeed. Crashworthiness ratings are higher for the newer machines; although, since with so many new cars you can’t see at all well out the rear and rear side windows (a big ongoing beef of mine), the makers had better be giving us improved prang performance.

It’s just that, with newer cars, I miss the good looks and creativity of design that were so marked in the ’80s and ’90s, especially in the Japanese cars of that time. (Think: Celica, Supra, MR2, Soarer, to name only a few of Toyota’s contributions to automotive beauty.) And since many of those great good-looker supercars of times past were not the most reliable things (think Countach, Esprit, and pretty well any Alfa Romeo), I’ve always especially appreciated the good looking Japanese cars of the ’90s that let us have the reliability, too.

And because you can still get good condition, reliable and low mileage used Japanese cars from the 1990s (we find them at the Japanese used car auctions and at the used cars dealers that we work with here) you can have a unique car, a striking, good-looking, eye-catching car, that is not going to ask you to spend pot money on repairs and running costs.

A perfect example of these unique, good-looking, but economical and reliable ’90s Japanese cars is this Toyota Sera that one of Japan Car Direct’s customers recently bought here in Japan for direct import to the USA.

What a totally fresh look this car has! Check out our photos here. And what a clean unit! On the body there’s only a scuff on the lower front bumper on the left, a small bit of paint off on the right rear mud flap support, and a small rust spot at the base of the window frame just behind the right side window. Not bad for a 29 year old car! Of course, he’s only got 95,162km (59,103 miles) on him, so that’s another reason the car is in such good shape.

And this is the kind of car that you are looking for when you decide to buy a used car from Japan to import back home yourself. You want a car that’s old enough to import easily into your country. (This Sera is a 1991. The Sera was in production from 1990 to 1996 so the first ones are now available for easy import to America under the 25-year-old car rule. Same in Australia now. And, of course, no problem to import to the UK or Canada or the EU.) You want a car that has relatively low mileage on it. (But not too low, because, if it looks like the car was hardly ever driven, you have to ask “why?”) You want a car that was loved and cared for. (The really fine full body paint job this Sera received – the car was originally red – indicates that the owner was willing to invest in the upkeep and improvement of his ride.)

Another thing to keep in mind when you are buying a used car from Japan is the whole issue of parts cross over. The more parts that were common with other models of the time, the better parts availability will be going forward.

Our customer made a good choice with the Sera here because, although the butterfly doors (this car was Gordon Murray’s inspiration for the doors when he designed the McLaren F1), the jet-fighter-like glass canopy roof, and many other features make the Sear so unique and such an eye-catcher, the car in fact shares the basic chassis body under (floorpan) with the Toyota EP82 Starlet. Same wheelbase at 2,300mm. The steering gear is the same and so are the brakes. The suspension parts are the same, too, which means that you can make use of the various after-market suspension options that are available for tuning the EP82 Starlets. (Two of the guys I know from my old company here race EP82s at Fuji Speedway in the “Fuji Champion Race” class. Suspension upgrades are key, of course, if you want to get the best out of these cars, but you won’t want to waste a Sera on the track, it’s just good to know that you can upgrade the suspension as and when you want.)

Another good point about the Sera is that it uses the very reliable Toyota E-series straight four engine. Same engine series as the Starlet, although in the case of the Starlet the 1,331cc 4E-FE is used, while the Sera gets the bigger 1,497cc 5E-FHE. This is good because the Sera, at 930kg (2,050lb) is 100kg heavier than the Starlet Gi that weighs in at only 830kg (1,830lb). Both cars have a decent bit of initial grunt and you’ll be surprised how quickly they’ll get you going from the light. But, in the end, these are small, economical engines running modest compression (and burning regular gas, yeah!) 9.6:1 in the case of the 4E and 9.4:1 in the case of the 5E, so they are not in the same class as an Aventador when you want to accelerate above 70mph. Aaaaah….No.

But with the Sera you’ve got the Japanese build quality and the car’s own take on exotic looks.

And here’s a nice little thing about the Sera I can tell you: It has been my privilege here in Japan to be acquainted with an excellent artist (no names for the moment) who was on the design team for the very beautiful second generation MR2 (SW20), among other cars. He retired last year and wanted to give himself a present. It was a toss-up for him between a First Revision MR2 Turbo T-Top or a Sera. Both cars just so pleasing to just look at. And as an artist, for him the appeal was equal.

So if you want unique good looks with reliability and tuning potential and economy, then put importing a Toyota Sera direct from Japan high on your list.

google-review
  • 5 star review  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.

    thumb Acute Autoworks
    2/26/2021

    5 star review  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

    thumb Alec KELSEY
    2/21/2021

    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 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

    thumb Drew Carapella
    2/19/2021
  • 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

    thumb Drew Carapella
    2/19/2021

    5 star review  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 !

    thumb Vince Jabbal
    2/10/2021

    5 star review  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.

    thumb Justin Marvel
    2/01/2021
  • 5 star review  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 !!! 👌🇨🇦🇯🇵

    thumb Ray Mechanic
    1/25/2021

    5 star review  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!

    thumb Jack Ellis
    1/19/2021

    5 star review  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.

    thumb scott snow
    12/23/2020
  • 5 star review  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!

    thumb Oleg Dziuba
    11/23/2020

    5 star review  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!

    thumb Mahad Awan
    11/10/2020

    5 star review  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.

    thumb Richard Harris
    10/23/2020
  • 5 star review  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.

    thumb Seaver Brown
    10/10/2020

    5 star review  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.

    thumb Cory Cheyne
    9/22/2020

    5 star review  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.

    thumb Mike Ross
    9/18/2020
Japan Car Direct provides friendly, honest, efficient service. Get the vehicles you want today at a price you can afford!!

We accept refundable deposits by PayPal to ([email protected]). Log into your account, and lets start working together today!
paypal-logo3

  • There are no features available
Back to top
JCD Menu logo