goichi1 wrote:Nice Coupe! I loved the story....it sure brought back memories of my many trips to look at bluebirds while i was living in Japan. It's so hard to find a nice one. Most people think that it's easy in Japan but its really not that easy at all.
Honestly, I felt that way when I started looking for one; I figured in a month or two I'd have a car. It seems like there are a little over a handful of Coupes for sale at any given point in time. Most of those have been for sale for a while due to the price/condition ratio (parts missing, bad respray, etc). The ones that are nice and not over priced sell fast... like super fast. The car I bought had a waiting list when I called (I was second in line) and a waiting line developed behind my spot; in a matter of days. The second problem is my location. I had to fly up to mainland to see the cars; which was why I only put eyes on a scant few. The trips would take 2-3 days each time depending on dealer hours and flight arrival/drive times. They were also expensive once I added in a night or two of hotels and a rental car for the same length. That's why I only went up twice; both times I was set on buying the car.
Honestly, at one point I almost bought/settled for a 4 door SSS. I really liked the color, it was in very nice condition, and I was starting to get pretty frustrated with trying to find a Coupe. That dealer sat on sending me pictures (probably didn't want to deal with shipping or an American) and it sold the day they e-mailed me pictures; I think it was within a week of being listed.
That was the other problem I had a lot of times. People wouldn't want to deal with my cryptic Google Translate e-mails I would send. They didn't want to deal with a middle man that was trying to make money either (broker/other dealer), and wives of friends didn't want to spend their free time calling on cars for me. I tried all of those methods and ultimately dealt with the frustration and time wasted with each. In the end I started paying a translator on a "per call" basis and had him call on the most promising of cars. Things worked a lot faster once I did that and it was probably the best decision I made in my search for a car. When I finally get my car one of the first places I go will be to drop off some beer for him and some wine for his wife (I think she was actually making the calls).
goichi1 wrote:You shouldn't have any problems changing to a Y number, just be mindful of being too low or wheel clearances, mine failed for the tires barely, and I mean barely protruding from the fenders. It will basically come down to what kind of mood the japanese dude is in on the day you drive through the inspection lane at your local Registration office. Okinawa is probably a little different than the mainland japan??
I was actually worried about the JCI portion of this. With temp tags being for a finite time and no promise of parts availability/no idea what may need done I just let the seller do the JCI and I'll transfer it into my name when it gets here. It was a bit more expensive, but I think is the better option in the long run to get the car in my driveway.
You are right that Okinawa is worlds different than mainland. I definitely prefer it down here. It's a little more laid back, people seem to be nicer overall, and English is used more frequently because of the US military presence here.
So you said you looked at Bluebirds while you were here; did you end up buying one? Did you take it back with you? I'd be interested in hearing your story.