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Well, the bug bit again. I guess you could also call this thread "I lost my marbles and imported another shitty old car from Japan! Ask me (almost) anything!" Originally I wasn't planning on buying another AW11 for a couple of years... if at all. After owning five of them over the course of the last ten years and getting sick of repairing botch jobs on hacked-up local examples I firmly told myself not to bother anymore unless it was a truly tidy one, which meant most likely having to import one from Japan. Then a series of fortunate events including a career change, the sale of my Mazdaspeed Axela to a family member earlier this year (which freed up garage space and capital), and a strong dollar to yen ratio at the time all led me to engage Ewan from Stacked to check out a few nice looking AW11s on my behalf. Yeah, I'll admit that six months after selling my last AW11 the itch inevitably came back, so I'd been keeping a surreptitious eye on the car sites over in Japan for the last year to see what the market was like! After a few hits and misses I settled on a midnight blue hardtop from a yard near Tokyo called Marumi Auto which had low kms, very little rust, one careful owner, and had been quite well looked after. It wasn't cheap, and blue was never my first choice of colour (I was angling for either a Sherwood tone, white/grey, or white/gold example this time), but for the price nothing in NZ came close in terms of quality and condition, and after owning my last one the colour eventually grew on me. By some stroke of luck, this particular one had been specced with the much more aesthetically pleasing black interior instead of the default eye-watering blue that 99% of the midnight blue cars had! It arrived at Stacked's yard in Osaka around mid-May, having made its way across the country from Tokyo on a transporter, and Ewan made arrangements to load it on a RORO carrier departing in late May. Around the end of June the export certificate and some other documentation arrived, followed by a notification from Stacked's NZ based customs brokers in Tauranga that the car would be arriving on 11th July. The AW11 then spent the next week and a half on the wharf while Customs, MPI, MAF, and Land Transport NZ all poked around and carried out their various inspections in the name of bureaucracy. I was heartened by the fact that during the border check the car wasn't flagged for rust issues nor underbody damage! Then, finally, once all the Is were dotted, Ts crossed, and palms greased in the form of invoices paid, the car left the wharf on a transporter headed to North Shore Compliance and spent a few days there before I drove it a short distance up the road to the panelbeater where it now currently sits, and will undergo further inspection to pass a Repair Cert. Compliance revealed that the left rear quarter had been subject to a minor impact in the past (20 years ago or thereabouts), and because you could still buy replacement TGP panels at the time the entire section had simply been replaced. There are no marks to indicate the chassis had to undergo straightening, there isn't any cancer creeping in around the seams, and all the spot welds look good - but there are a couple of areas where surface rust has started bubbling (the join around the left hand tail light, for example) that will need to be cleaned up once the repair certifier completes his check. I've had very limited time to spend foaming over the car because of other commitments, so it was a nice surprise today to discover that it already sports a set of incredibly rare TRD lowering springs. I'd bid on some in Japan as the car was making its way over here and just barely lost the auction, so had been feeling a bit despondent about ever finding another set. So where to from here? I'm not all that interested in making the AW11 stupidly fast, but will eventually perform a few judicious tasks such as sprucing up the suspension further, now that I know it has TRD springs (some good Bilstein struts and a rear swaybar would be nice), adding a LSD, fitting a set of extractors I did manage to win ex-Japan, transplanting a few bolt-on bits I'd hung onto after selling the first '80S KID, and tidying up all of the little interior and exterior blemishes I come across. May even pull my Buddyclub P-1s out of storage, paint them a nice shade of bronze, and fit them to the car, and also hit up Yahoo Japan for any oddball accessories such as driving lights and roofracks that might pop up. Still undecided whether I want to go for a full period-1980s look similar to what I'm planning to do with squid (my Skyline sedan) but overall I'm hoping for a nice "clean-slate" build - not concourse spec but tastefully tidy and done up without a hundred things wrong or fucked with! Stay tuned for more. Discuss: //oldschool.co.nz/index.php?/topic/49412-80s-kid-part-ii-eds-aw11-sc-chit-chat/
Link to discussion thread: //oldschool.co.nz/index.php?/topic/52819-the-night-riders-1986-toyota-mr-2-aw11-discussion/ Alright so a bit of background for those who care to read: I bought this car recently from a car collector after seeing an internet advertisement for it. The collector was an older gentleman who had quite a few old American cars and some others such as a Merc, mini, and all three generations of the MR-2; apparently he was wanting to thin the herd down a little. So basically I gave this guy a call asking about the car and its history, He didn't have internet so we ended up having a few back and forth conversations before finally agreeing on a price. He was quite nice and funny to talk to so it wasn't like hard negotiations or anything, more just like talking about the car, which was nice =) To be honest I didn't really think that I'd get the car so I was kind of surprised when we finally agreed. What! I bought a car unseen in person over the phone from some guy 6 hours away! I had never done this before. Anyway the day came to pick it up, I was pretty nervous that it might be really rough in person or weather or not it would even make the trip back home (like I said it was a collectors car so not driven much). Because of this when I finally arrived home with a very clean AW11, I was so glad. I must have spent about an hour or so just walking around it looking at it from different angles while the sun set. ...Skip forward a month or so and the car suffered some pretty bad overheating, lol. Basically the engine is cooked (probably can be rebuilt). Despite this, I love this car way too much to even consider selling (I've been though quite a few cars btw). So there was no doubt in my mind about what needed to be done... it will be reborn. I'm going to be replacing the engine (will keep original engine for a future rebuild) and because everything will be out of the car I will also do a manual swap since there is no better time for it. I want to keep it original for the most part, but will likely have a few light modifications. As I said, I only had it for a month or two before this incident happened so the craving to drive it again is steadily building. Some pics of it before the incident:
Link to build thread: //oldschool.co.nz/index.php?/topic/52818-the-night-riders-1986-toyota-mr-2-aw11/
Basically the story goes: I picked up an AW11 from a car club mate who is into gravel and was screaming out for rally, but unfortunately for him the car he bought had a lot of rust + was de-registered already. The good things it had were the MR layout, the 4AGE and the Homologated cage. It seemed to him that he could fix the rust and get the car re-vinned for the road but it wasn't to be. They did a lot of work on it and gave it a paint job (Not the greatest but fine). He failed a couple of certs and then decided to just use the car for Club and track events. This was it at a classic meet at Manfeild: Then when the chance came up he bought himself a tidy 4k starlet rally car and left the Blue MR2 on his lawn for Ages (With run bottom end and stuffed rings). And, after chatting at a club event he mentioned that it was doing nothing and taking up space (that he needed for his 21st). So it became mine. Received it like this: And played with / cleaned it a bit: Now for the power and gearbox department I've put in some coin for this (Cheers to RomanV) : And am going to use the kyb shocks, TRD springs, Super charger brakes w/mintex pads and RP01's with semi slicks that I already have. Will still be a cheap competition car at the end of the day and will be quite competitive aswell.h