Long shot perhaps, but trying to help out an owner piece together some history of his 1990 Eunos Roadster.
What is different about this one is that it has been exported to the United States. Pretty bizarre, as it wasn’t exactly a spanking example when exported, with welded sills and full of filler, and an MOT history that included an advisory about a missing passenger seat. Possibly originating in the Manchester area.
Looking healthier now, but the owner has a fair bit of welding to do, including a new floor.
Euro finished was added in the US.
Not got any info but have to say why would someone in the states import an Eunos from the uk (which needed a lot of work) then change the rear end to the uk spec one? Would have been probably easier and cheaper importing one from Japan, or even buying a Miata/Eunos in USA and changing the rear to uk spec. Would be a lot less rust to deal with that’s for sure! Unless the owner who imported it was the uk owner who emigrated to USA? Each to their own I guess. Does look nicer now.
It was originally commercially imported by http://orchideuro.com/, which is run by a UK expat. As you might guess, they are mainly importing from Europe. The company owner used it as his own hack for a while.
I suspect people in the US, like here, like things that are different, hence the finisher.
As for being cheaper to import from Japan’ probably not on the East Coast, if you are a small scale importer, importing in containers. A lot of the “importers” in the UK didn’t actually import themselves. They brought the cars as they were unloaded off the boat in Southampton, Bristol or Dublin. Back in the day, Mototec in Dublin would buy 4-500 cars at a time, ship them by ro ro to Dublin, with the cars being sold en route to mostly UK buyers. Their yard was carnage. They would load up these transporters dockside, take them round to the yard, and unload as quick as possible, so consequently cars were being biffed left and right. The trade buyers didn’t care; these were all low grade cars, and some bodywork was already factored in.
Buying in Japan for non-Japanese is not easy. There is a very foreign culture. You are utterly dependent on a trustworthy Japanese agent who doesn’t send you junk stolen cars. So if you don’t have that network, it is actually easier to buy in the UK. American buyers understand the culture, and anyone can buy a car. Japanese imports probably make sense if you have volume, to get around the high agent charges.
Red photographs well. Even my old red car looked good, before the respray. When this car was exported, it looked pretty good in the photos. In reality, the present owner reports that in the UK, someone had given it a quick blowover, with no sign of primer being used (just flatten the paint and spray). The MOT history suggests someone must have replaced the brake pipes for it to get a ticket. The present owner reports the pipes are rotten, so either poor quality parts used, or it was a bent MOT. He’s also replacing the floors.
I’m intrigued…what is this “finisher”?
I assumed they would have been easy to import from Japan but get what you say, things are quite complicated. Had to laugh when you mentioned how they used to import them in the old days, Quick as hell to offload and getting biffed about. Was one of the main reasons for avoiding imports back then and why iports always got a bad name. Changed times now where the imports are generally better cars in some respects. Does sound like that one’s had a hard life before present owner bought it.
Finisher; rear finisher panel.
Japan imports are quite recent in the US, due to tough Federal standards, which ban anything under 25 years old. So the focus has been on higher end imports, such as Skylines. But a few importers went to prison, for trying to pass off R34 Skylines as R33s etc.
And large scale criminal activity importing cars from Europe on fake papers. The scam is to issue classic Minis and Land Rovers with papers for an older car in the UK. These cars are worth big money. The Feds catch them, every now and then, and make an example.
With imports now, there is a big gap between what the cars are worth here, and what they are worth in Japan (worth more in Japan). A car costing £4k to land, will have a lot less rust than a UK car (though thats no longer a given), but will likely need money spending on it on cosmetics. And that £4k car would have cost nearer £1k to buy in Japan, and is really thr bottom of the barrel over there.
Nice enough car with over 100k miles on the clock, but I’ve seen better. It’ll cost you a million yen to buy in Japan, and that’s before agent fees, FOB costs, shippings costs, dock fees, duty, vat. That’s £7k, likely over £10k to get it on the road here. And its got ripped leather… Auction cars are cheaper of course, but that’s why they are at auctions.
A cheapie car repainted in a nice colour, with nice wheels. Still over £5k to pick up in Japan. And the sill is utterly rotten. In Japan.