Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Import Cars

I need some car advice. The situation is as follows:

1) I own a 1997 Toyota Celica GT-Four, which I love. It's a one-of-a-kind, and it isn't sold in the US, but it's sold in Canada, Australia, Japan, Europe. I've named her 美唆 「みさ」 "Misa." The kanji mean "beautiful" and "tempt," respectively, as in "beautiful temptation." The second kanji can also mean "to excite" or "to seduce."
2) It's a powerful car and with decent gas mileage. An average of 20.42 mpg, which I calculated myself over the course of 22 months; distance traveled over gasoline purchased. The distance was mostly low-speed, too. On the highway, it gets 27.4 mpg; again, an actual calculation with real values.
3) The car has 130,453 km (81059.7 miles) on it.
4) There have been quite a few modifications: the clutch has been replaced (before I bought it), as well as the timing belt (not sure about the water pump). I also had the stock spoiler replaced with another stock spoiler (which provides better down force and looks cooler), as well as had the shift stick replaced with a new (but stock) one. The previous owner installed a 10+1 disk CD player, DVD/TV/Navigation system, a highway card reader (like EZPass), and oil temperature/pressure gauges.
5) There was an oil leak which I got fixed.
6) The exhaust/muffler needs to be fixed/replaced. It is currently being fixed, but may not be permanent.
7) I am considering bringing the car to the US, but it requires that certain steps be fulfilled, the most important one being that the car passes inspection and meets the emissions requirements of the US; that would probably require replacing the muffler. I saw some for about $600 online, but that's the price in Japan.
8) I bought the car at a reasonable price.
9) I may or may not be able to sell my car. If I have to dispose of it, it will cost about $100-200.
10) Shipping my car and having it fixed up for American emissions/inspection may actually cost LESS than buying a used car in the US.

The issue I face is whether or not it's feasible (or even possible) to bring the car to the US. With everything I mentioned above. I really love this car, and I think it'd be super awesome if I could bring it to the US. But it's a right-hand-side-steering; I wouldn't have a problem driving it in the US, I think. Not too much anyway, 'cause I have so much experience at this point, and I've driven on 4-lane roads in Japan (2 lanes in one direction) a lot, and I often stay in the right lane. And I have experience driving on tiny roads, so I feel as though the blind spot that I would experience (when making left turns) isn't really all that bad.

If I try to sell the car, I might be able to sell it, but used cars are very cheap in Japan so I wouldn't be able to get much. Though if I sold it in the US, maybe I could sell it it for a high price because it's an import and ultra rare?

Hmm, I wish it were cheaper and easier to bring my car to the US...

Misa, in front of my Jr. High, next to an RX-8

Word of the Day: 車 「くるま」 "kuruma" or "car." The "onyomi" or "Chinese style reading" for this is しゃ "sha" (sometimes romanized as "sya"), as in 車検 「しゃかん」 "shaken/syaken," the infamous and expensive biennial car inspection in Japan.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I have to say that import cars is best especially when you got a lot of money to spend!