Sunday, 18 June 2017

Lakeside LandCruiser.

As promised in the previous post; here's the first of those "closer looks" at one of the daily finds from a two-week run around Japan earlier this month. 

The Lake Biwa '60series.

Sitting in a nondescript carpark not far from Otsu's clearly-freshwater Lake Biwa, and brutally conspicuous amongst the plastic; it was worth the detour.
Not as though it's a minter or anything, but a 30-year-old LandCruiser is far from the norm.. and hell, awesome's awesome.
This particular example actually scored a bucket-load of bonus points (redeemable nowhere) just for being the first 60series I'd seen in Japan that actually looked used. In a country where spotless classic 4WD's are a currently-very-trendy 'thing', even among its fellow '60s (so often sporting a backdated utilitarian look) it manages to be different.

SO, as usual, "what is it?"
Well what you're looking at is a late, top-tier, HJ61 Toyota Landcruiser VX. Possibly an '88 or '89 build (yeah, 'late', as-in the 1989/90 '80series was nipping at its heels) and powered by Toyota's four-litre 12H-T  turbo-diesel straight six.
And how 'top' is this 'tier'?
In VX trim (VX > GX > STD) the HJ61 (diesel) and FJ62 (petrol) LandCruisers were right up there price-wise with Toyota's 7MGTE-powered Soarer and Supra!


Continuing on...
There's a mild lift (these are solid-axle leaf-sprung F/R), and beefy alloys wrapped in Yokohama Geolander M/T's replacing the original styled steel wheels..

..and plenty of stickers in those rear windows, making up for the patina-riffic wear-and-tear on those tremendous factory side-stripes.

'turbo' VX 4WD.

I have to mention again at this point just how rarely I see tow-bars in Japan. Coming from a country where even the most worryingly-small cars are set up with a hook on their bum; their absence in Japan is noticeable.

..around to the left side to prove that yep, there is one; and we're done.

Want one of these for your very own? Well curious about just how much something similar would currently set you back in Japan, I went browsing...

Stock-as-a-rock from tape-deck to steelies, and seemingly tidy; this 303,000km (188,000mi) '89 HJ61 is currently at a dealer in Fukuoka for a whisker under 1million yen.
If it's genuinely as rust-free as it looks, I could absolutely go for that.

..not mint enough though? Well going a little further...
2.5million yen at FLEX (a dealer network that specializes in older LandCruisers) in Okayama, will get you an '89 HJ61 with 163,000km (101,000mi)...

...while at another dealer in Hokaido; the same 2.5million yen will get you a '89 HJ61 with only 128,000km (80,000mi) on the clock..

...and in Miyagi? Amazingly, again, 128,000km (80,000mi) on this HJ61 (an '88 this time) for the same 2.5million.

Decisions, decisions...

Now to wind this post up with some period promotional shots, just to make your wallet really sweat..
Lower-spec barn-door FJ62.. (I actually did a post on a now-seemingly-rare FJ62 in the high-spec VX trim in the past, here)
..and boom(!) 'photoshop' magic from a time when the process probably involved a little more arts&crafts. Never trust a brochure image! 

I really should do a post on that one day....

..but for now?
Nope, we're done. Enjoy.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Japan, early June 2017: the daily car-finds round-up.

Quick round-up of the daily Instagram posts during a two-week trip to Japan May/June 2017; a random selection of vehicles I'd come across on my way from Tokyo to Osaka, Hiroshima, Kyoto and around.
I'll jump into a closer look at one or two of these shortly..

...aaaand I've made my way to Japan. Outside an awesome little coffee-shop in Harajuku, Tokyo, near-enough as we speak: an X70 Toyota Mark II on a set of Work Seeker CX. Fitting the theme. 

A better look at the red-lip-protector'd Work Seeker CX's (replacing a set of gold 14" Equip 03's it ran previously - cheers @youknownothingjflow @theholty - it's a small world!) on yesterday's GX71 Mark II.

Green-on-green and fitting the scene: late Range Rover Classic (..from before it was a 'Classic') parked kerbside in Harajuku, Monday. Kept clean, and it's every bit as classy decades on..

Basic eighth-generation Skyline sedan sitting *right* where I'd last seen it two years ago. Had genuinely pulled my phone out in anticipation..

Blacked-out barn-door 60series, off to see some baseball (Hiroshima Toyo Carp v. Saitama Seibu Lions) at the Seibu Dome yesterday evening.

Mid Night at midnight. Well, 12:05am. Turquoise Metallic 993 at Daikoku Futo, late last night.. 

Waiting in a more scenic location: an S13 Silvia Q's sits patiently in the Katsuyama Rest Area at Lake Kawaguchi. a little further south, and an anonymous back-street in Osaka. It's something that while not Japanese made, Japanese-specific, or possibly even (this particular car) delivered new; I *very* rarely get to see: a 1983- E24 BMW M6 (M635CSi). A combination of that's-a-little-too-much hurdles (including pesky details such as what would've been a huge when-new price) meant these never properly made it to Australia; so yep.. that's certainly awesome..

..still in Osaka; comparatively shooting fish in a barrel on the hunt for 80s tin, with a day spent at the Glion Museum. While not exactly the museum's forte (pre-war US, European, through to chrome-bumper Japanese), the dealership/sales side of the business had more than its fair share. My pick of that bunch? Well here's a shot of the pointy end: Nissan's sixth-gen Skyline in top-tier FJ20ET (turbo, intercooled) coupe form - a *very* tidy silver-on-black '84 DR30 Skyline RSX. the tail-end of yesterday's '84 KDR30 RSX, and a look at the tremendous decal-ry down the side. "4VALVE DOHC RS-TURBO INTERCOOLER(!)" : the finest form of FJ20ET, and everybody NEEDS TO KNOW. 

...yesterday's cartactular shenanigans consisted of a Shinkansen to Hiroshima for a late-morning run (skim? sampler? *was* sadly a touch rushed..) through Mazda's final-assembly plant and museum. Great tour, location and cars - HOWEVER - I could've spent SO much more time in every area we passed through. Obviously I'm not alone on some personal guided tour here though; others need to see things, and seeing the tour cost is - yep, zero - a whinge would be a little rich! Fantastic setup regardless. In a smallish corridor of automotive-highlights in Mazda's history, and with my back to a 787B (it's possible, amazingly), I'm faced with one of my Gran-Turismo-1-in-the-late-90s dream-machines: the 13B (oh) and 20B (ah!) 1990- JC Cosmo. Ownership a little frightening? Fuel-bills keep you up at night? Pah, worth every second. 

3 ROTOR | SEQUENTIAL TWIN TURBO. Cast into the intake manifold on a display 20B at the Mazda Museum, Wednesday. With the 20B's only application being the 1990-1995 JC Eunos Cosmo, and less than *half* of the already-miniscule number of JC Cosmos produced (~8,000) actually sporting the tripe-rotor; it's certainly one special piece of kit. 

Thursday? That was spent up through Kyoto, to Ōtsu's Lake Biwa. I have no idea when the peak tourist season is supposed to be here, but it (surprisingly) sure doesn't seem to be Summer! Not to worry though; the bones were there, and I've got a good imagination. Lack of traffic on what was an overcast early-Summer's day made for an easy stroll around.. and the eventual spotto of this top-tier 60series 'cruiser across a carpark. Metallic champagne over grey with full-length orange decals ("turbo", "FOUR WHEEL DRIVE"), and bodywork that's ramming "it's a freshwater lake" down my throat before I'd ever even have to go look! It's a good'un.

Finishing up the last fortnight's Japanese adventures with an Osaka classic (that was actually up Kyoto way!): a 1987- fourth-gen Honda Civic in what'd be 1989- EF9 SiR guise. There's a little unnecessary-part weight reduction, a little colour-matching, and a set of a favourite of mine - SSR's Type-C. I'd intended to post this a little earlier in what's been a somewhat delirious two-train-two-plane 40hr day back home.. but now'll do! Good fun.