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  1. 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: //