Japanese imported ferraris - good idea?

Japanese imported ferraris - good idea?

Author
Discussion

OSMojo

Original Poster:

98 posts

76 months

Friday 14th September 2018
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So I have my eye on two cars, a 512 TR and a 550M (manual) both were imported from Japan at some point (Both also have the Japanese 'black history hole', TBH writing this and seeing it in text I am kind off answering my own question. However I just wanted to see if the learned forum owners might have any ideas about this area?

Please (and no disrespect) responses only from high end car owners, buying a Nissan 300zx or some other thing with a bean can on the exhaust that came from Japan isnt the same thing, I mean Ferrari, Lamborghini.


br d

8,403 posts

227 months

Friday 14th September 2018
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OSMojo said:
Please (and no disrespect) responses only from high end car owners, buying a Nissan 300zx or some other thing with a bean can on the exhaust that came from Japan isnt the same thing, I mean Ferrari, Lamborghini.
Pretty unnecessary caveat. I'm sure people who've bought "lower end cars" could still offer plenty of advice.

julian64

14,317 posts

255 months

Friday 14th September 2018
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I'm struggling to see how a high end car, and a low end car, both with a large black hole where the history used to be, would differ in their attractiveness to their respective buyer types.

HorneyMX5

5,310 posts

151 months

Friday 14th September 2018
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If you’re after an investment car then avoid.

If you’re after a car to enjoy and to hell with any profit/loss then it’s a good option.

The Japanese really look after their cars and so low mileages. I recently contemplated buying an imported classic mink because condition wise they’re miles ahead of anything of U.K. origin for the same money.

OSMojo

Original Poster:

98 posts

76 months

Friday 14th September 2018
quotequote all
HorneyMX5 said:
If you’re after an investment car then avoid.

If you’re after a car to enjoy and to hell with any profit/loss then it’s a good option.

The Japanese really look after their cars and so low mileages. I recently contemplated buying an imported classic mink because condition wise they’re miles ahead of anything of U.K. origin for the same money.
Thanks. Agreed, I think the rule looks like it's - avoid if for investment

MDL111

6,988 posts

178 months

Friday 14th September 2018
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I’d say it is probably similar regardless of type of car - the exception being Japanese cars that were never officially sold here

As others have pointed out for investment value they will probably be at a discount until they are really old - at some point it probably normalizes / the gap narrows

OSMojo

Original Poster:

98 posts

76 months

Friday 14th September 2018
quotequote all
Many of the LHDs that are on dealer websites are in fact originally Japanese cars, so it doesn't seem unusual, hhhm so I'm still on the fence. I guess I will play it on a 'case by case' basis and see the size of the 'black hole' for each car.

K50 DEL

9,251 posts

229 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
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I have one... a LHD 360 spider that was originally sold by Cornes in Tokyo before being imported into a UAE collection, from where I purchased it in 2013, eventually shipping it back to the UK with me in 2015 when I returned home.

I don't have the complete black hole of Japanese servicing to be fair (Japanese service sheets were with the car, and a small fee to a translation company sorted out what was done and when) though it wasn't done annually with a cambelt every 3 years like UK Ferrari buyers are obsessed with.

Personally once you get to the age of my car (17yrs now) a serious buyer would be looking at current condition and recent works, not whether the car missed a belt service over a decade ago so I've never worried.

Instead, I enjoy using the car, ensure all maintenance is done and generally have fun with a Ferrari in the garage in my 30s whilst not getting hung-up on every last stone-chip or mark... it's been parked in all kinds of places, driven around Castle Combe by 14yr old kids, thrashed around Yas Island circuit by a Ferrari factory driver and even lightly off-roaded at one point in Oman lol

Personally I'd far rather have a car that I can use and enjoy but is worth 10k less than a mint example that I'm scared to take out of the garage but YMMV

The Surveyor

7,578 posts

238 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
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scratchchin I thought they drive on the same side in Japan as they do here, steering wheel on the same side and everything.

Why would most of the LHD Ferrari on sale here be Japanese?

K50 DEL

9,251 posts

229 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
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The Surveyor said:
scratchchin I thought they drive on the same side in Japan as they do here, steering wheel on the same side and everything.

Why would most of the LHD Ferrari on sale here be Japanese?
It's a status thing over there.... high end / high value cars are often LHD as that's seen as more premium than the normal RHD
No idea why, that's just the way it is.

Camlet

1,132 posts

150 months

Wednesday 24th October 2018
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The Surveyor said:
scratchchin I thought they drive on the same side in Japan as they do here, steering wheel on the same side and everything.

Why would most of the LHD Ferrari on sale here be Japanese?
Alpine told me their cars into Japan have all been LHD, at the request of the Japanese. Seems the Japanese like authenticity over RHD. This might explain why so many LHD Ferraris ended up there?

Knowing what I know of the Japanese culture, I'm sure their cars are better maintained than just about anywhere.

Given my own experience in the UK, fully stamped dealer service books can mean nothing.

voicey

2,453 posts

188 months

Wednesday 24th October 2018
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Lots of LHD European Ferraris were imported into Japan but it was possible to order a LHD Japanese spec car from new. I've had a couple (360's) in the workshop and they are close to Federal spec.

jtremlett

1,380 posts

223 months

Thursday 25th October 2018
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voicey said:
Lots of LHD European Ferraris were imported into Japan but it was possible to order a LHD Japanese spec car from new. I've had a couple (360's) in the workshop and they are close to Federal spec.
Just to be clear, it is the other way round. Japanese Ferraris are LHD but it is possible to order a RHD car in Japan, although hardly anyone does. If you did order a RHD Ferrari in Japan you would basically get a Hong Kong/Singapore spec car which is the same as a UK car but with metric instruments. Almost all high end cars in Japan are LHD including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bentleys, Rolls-Royces etc.

Inverness

548 posts

179 months

Friday 26th October 2018
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jtremlett said:
Almost all high end cars in Japan are LHD including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bentleys, Rolls-Royces etc.
This is also not quite true. Japan has many different sub cultures and depending on which sub culture you are from will depend on how you treat your car, and how you want your car to be. So, for some it is about originality, so it's about how it left the factory for that market that the factory is in. For example a top of the range S Class Mercedes, say an S600 would have left its German factory for the German market in Left Hand Drive, so your Japanese buyer wants it in Left Hand Drive, but if it was a Rolls Royce then it would have left its Factory in the UK in Right Hand Drive, so they would want it in Right Hand Drive.

Another factor is also the criminal factor, (this is something the OP needs to consider). Due to Japanese law it is a good way for criminals to sell high end goods which are stolen from other parts of the world. This is due to the fact that if the purchaser bought it in good faith they can keep that stolen item, whether it be a painting, jewellery or high end car. (Unlike here in the UK where the item say a car would be returned to the rightful owner).

So, for example that super rare left hand drive Porche 911 RS your looking at from Japan that seems to be oh so lovely may have a very checkered history in fact it was stolen from a US dealership in the 1980's.

So, to conclude you really really really need to do your homework on a car from Japan, this not helped by, a) a language barrier, and b) the written word!

daddy cool

4,003 posts

230 months

Friday 26th October 2018
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OSMojo said:
Please (and no disrespect) responses only from high end car owners, buying a Nissan 300zx or some other thing with a bean can on the exhaust that came from Japan isnt the same thing
Says "No disrespect" then shows complete disrespect. Brilliant! biggrin

jtremlett

1,380 posts

223 months

Friday 26th October 2018
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Inverness said:
...but if it was a Rolls Royce then it would have left its Factory in the UK in Right Hand Drive, so they would want it in Right Hand Drive...
Well it must be quite a small sub-culture that doesn't ever sell their cars then because, of course, I checked before my previous post and couldn't find any RHD Rolls-Royces for sale on the Japanese websites I looked on.

Inverness

548 posts

179 months

Friday 26th October 2018
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jtremlett said:
Inverness said:
...but if it was a Rolls Royce then it would have left its Factory in the UK in Right Hand Drive, so they would want it in Right Hand Drive...
Well it must be quite a small sub-culture that doesn't ever sell their cars then because, of course, I checked before my previous post and couldn't find any RHD Rolls-Royces for sale on the Japanese websites I looked on.
I don't think Rolls Royce is a good example as Japan has never been a big market for them (this is due to a history / political / cultral thing) (I understand this has changed since the Germans have taken over). It would be better to look at Jaguar, or even original Mini's.


Skylab

20 posts

80 months

Thursday 1st November 2018
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Be wary of trying to sell your LHD car into Europe , if you intend to move it on. A Japanese car will not have a COC that is acceptable to many countries, we are more flexible.

Evolved

3,575 posts

188 months

Thursday 1st November 2018
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daddy cool said:
OSMojo said:
Please (and no disrespect) responses only from high end car owners, buying a Nissan 300zx or some other thing with a bean can on the exhaust that came from Japan isnt the same thing
Says "No disrespect" then shows complete disrespect. Brilliant! biggrin
Thought the same!

voicey

2,453 posts

188 months

Thursday 1st November 2018
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jtremlett said:
ust to be clear, it is the other way round. Japanese Ferraris are LHD but it is possible to order a RHD car in Japan, although hardly anyone does. If you did order a RHD Ferrari in Japan you would basically get a Hong Kong/Singapore spec car which is the same as a UK car but with metric instruments. Almost all high end cars in Japan are LHD including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bentleys, Rolls-Royces etc.
Thanks for the correction - every day's a school day!