Finding Vintage Cars at Japanese Auto Auctions

Japanese auto auctions are a great place to buy classics and other vintage models. There are many advantages of buying you dream cars from Japan. As mentioned before, Japanese auto auctions aren’t limited to just Japanese makes, but you are able to also find classics from North America, Europe, and elsewhere. While by far the majority of cars sold at auctions and exported are modern 15 to 5  years old, there are plenty of precious gems that can come around every once in while.

First advantage is the Japanese market. Japanese must continue to keep a car in excellent condition or it won’t be allowed to be driven. Many will sell the prize cars in it best condition to get the most return on it. Also, because car collectors are a small minority,  (A) they usually have good mechanical skills to keep the car in top condition, and (B) the market demand is a lot less than other countries. That translates out to relatively cheap but top quality classy cars for car hunters to find.

Another advantage is, when importing, the deals you find in Japan can stay bargains even after importing costs. While there are some countries that restrict import to less than 5 year old cars, such as countries found in South Asia, there are also many Western nations that make it easier to import top quality classics. For example, many have an age exemption rule for older cars. United States makes it easier for cars over 25 years old, Canada 15 years,  the UK 10 years, Australia has the “1 January, 1989” rule, and New Zealand relaxes the rule for car made before 1990.

Importing can be fun and exciting, especially when you’re importing something you would never have been able to lay your hands on. Japanese auto auctions are quick to use because they are mostly accessible online with quick search engines to find the exact car you’re looking for. You can be a better buyers of classics and not get stuck buying some in your country that is way over priced.

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4 Responses to “Finding Vintage Cars at Japanese Auto Auctions”

  1. john Says:

    Way back in the sixties I worked a Love Field parking cars there I drove a car so small as to look up to a VW. This was a sedan and it had a front door at the front of the car and it had the steering wheel mounted on it. Can anyone tell me what it was? All I can remember the name was Sabruro? Could have been subaro maybe?
    John

  2. japaneseusedcarimporting Says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for commenting on our blog. Unfortunately I can’t think of a Japanese car that can fit that description. There were many micro cars during the 50’s and 60’s. Maybe you can find the one you were thinking of on this list:

    microcar.org/ourcars.html

  3. phil Says:

    I think the car you describe is an isetta.

  4. japaneseusedcarimporting Says:

    Thanks Phil for the tip. That definitely looks like the car.

    Here’s a link to it on Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isetta

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