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The Bluebird from Japan

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Time to start the build thread for the Bluebird.

 

If you have been following Carter's "Bluebirds for sale" thread, you may have seen this one some time in December. I was checking the auctions in Japan and discussing some cars with Carter off and on trying to get a feel for this whole "import a car from Japan thing". I realized a Coupe in the states was going to be hard to come by for a dollar amount that I would be happy with. Carter was very helpful answering my questions along the way until we realized that we were looking at the same car with great interest. It was a 68 Silver Bluebird 1300 Deluxe that had been sitting somewhere in Japan for a VERY long time. Here are all the pictures from the auction we had at the time.

 

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Nice!

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Love it!

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I've been watching Bluebirds (is that a thing?) long before I started that thread.  But along with the rest of you, what we've been watching lately is the price of these things going up up up!  I actually have Dillon to thank for spotting this one.  I have a few saved Yahoo! Japan searches and this didn't pop up on my search for cars, but did pop up in my search for parts.  Should that have been a warning?

 

I have been looking for another car to bring in ever since I imported Granny.  We have found a good friend in Adam, who brought in Jeff's Coupe, and have come close on a few auctions together but have not been able to win one. 

 

This car was appealing for a couple of reasons:

1)  It is a 1968 which is Jeff's favorite year and it looked like it had allot of really unique features.

2)  It is still in its original paint so you can see what you are getting.  So many of the Bluebirds for sale have undergone a "restoration" and I consider them a real gamble because you have no idea what is underneath.

3)  The price was low enough that there was the potential to make a few bucks after getting it here and getting it running in case someone else thought it was as cool as I did.

 

Adam sent an e-mail noting my interest to his contact in Japan and they checked into the auction for us.

 

https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/u174160149

 

They contacted the seller to make sure it had export papers, confirm the condition, and request additional photos.  That was back on December 7th. 

 

On December 8th, the seller started sending photos to Maiko which she forwarded to Adam and myself.

 

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As you might imagine, these did nothing to dampen my spirit! 

I see rusty rockers, flat paint, patches of surface rust, and acres of beautiful 1300DX Bluebird!

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About this time things started to happen pretty fast.  The auction was set to end soon but I was not prepared to bid since I hadn't seen the roof.  For all I knew it had a sunroof cut in or a boulder sitting on it or???

 

I found the sellers e-mail address in the ad so I attempted to communicate with him.  I got this in return:

 

日本語でお願いします(o▽゜)o

    In Japanese Please

 

Easy for you to say!  So I tried again, this time translating my English into Japanese using google translate.  He responded to my e-mails but they made no sense whatsoever. 

 

I asked him to send pictures of the roof and got this in return: 

   

このような写真です

僕もブルーバード18台もってます。

    It is such a picture
    I also have 18 Blue Birds

 

Wow, that's helpful thanks!  Um, did you say EIGHT TEEN BLUE BIRDS?!

 

So I tried again being more specific and got this:

   

まだ 綺麗かと‼️

    I'm still beautiful.

 

Okay, I give up.  Fortunately Maiko was more successful and started sending pics of the roof.

 

Paul started to talk to me about this time with interest in getting the car.  Oh, that would be cool to see it go to a friend if I don't keep it myself.  He also thought having a solid roof would be a requirement.

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Then the roof pictures arrived.  LOTS of them...

 

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Okay, so I think it's safe to say the Bluebird has a roof!

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Yup it has a roof all right. With those pictures I think Carter and I were ready (just in time) to feel good enough about the car to place a bid. I remember Carter came up with a number and asked if I felt the need to go higher. Having never imported a car before I was concerned about the extra fees involved in getting it here so I thought it would be good to stick with his number. There are others out there I had to tell myself.

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Are you teasing this story out over several days?   ^_^

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Obviously they gotta build the suspense dude

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Nice wiki-leak Andrew! 

 

Not as fun without the story though...

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I was able to get an estimate for the additional fees over the auction price we would be on the hook for and as Paul mentioned, we agreed on a top bid so I relayed this to Japan and they bid on our behalf. 

 

On December 12th, I was notified that we had won the auction and the car was ours!

 

Here is the auction translated to English:

 

large.5a85b2b413c1b_19681300dxbluebirdtr

 

large.5a85b2b49a66d_19681300dxbluebirdtr

 

 

Great to know the funds are going to help the seller finish his racecar.

 

Fortunately, we were the only bidders so we got the car for the minimum bid price.

 

Unfortunately, the estimate for the additional fees was a little low, mostly due to the location of the car and the fact that is it was a non-runner.  Turns out it is incredibly expensive to transport a car in Japan!  (Not that it is cheap here in the US) 

 

large.5a85b2b3960b3_19681300dxbluebirdma

 

Next step was to make arrangements to wire the funds to Japan and we also asked that we get some more photos of the car before it left Japan. in transport, loaded in the container etc.

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Apparently when they got there to pick up the car, the owner, Mr Seo, had rolled it out near a field to take some photos.  Thanks Mr Seo!  Ratsun loves you!!!

Good morning from Japan!
 
This is glad to inform you that the Bluebird has been picked up from the owner's place safely.
He was very kind to us, towed the car and took some photos with rice fields at the back.
 
Also, he sent me some other cars photos(they have documents and can export!)
Please kindly see the attached photos.
Best Regards,
 
Maiko Ssali (Ms)

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We didn't get any more pictures of the car in Japan.  I asked for some to be taken at the port when loading in the container etc and Maiko said they'd be happy to do that for 1,500 Yen.  What the heck?  Just wanted someone to snap a cellphone picture and send it to us.  Oh well.  Have a safe trip little bluebird!

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Mr Seo was happy to share pictures of his Bluebird racecar as well as some of the other vehicles he has available for sale:

 

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That pretty 1972 Bluebird 1600GL is 2,000,000 Yen

 

Original paint, mileage around 40-50,000km has Japanese Cars Inspection valid.
He said this is his bottom price.... thank you!

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I have never seen that G20 motor before, the one in that c30 Cedric. That is a great looking motor. Hard to find much info on though. The words Nissan and g20 just bring up that front wheel drive Infiniti. Found out was made by Prince motors before they were absorbed by nissan and that about it.

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did you buy the white coupe in the pictures?????????

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I have never seen that G20 motor before... Hard to find much info on though. The words Nissan and g20 just bring up that front wheel drive Infiniti.

 

Try G18. 

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As mentioned, we would not be getting photos of the vanning (container loading) process but we did at least get a note on January 19th that the container was ready and would be hitting the water "next week".

 

Now for more waiting....

 

With the Japanese side of the transaction complete, further communications and updates would not come from Adam - who sent us a note from the customs broker that the container had landed stateside and was in the process of being cleared on February 8th.

 

While looking at the customs paperwork, I noticed for the first time just how old this Bluebird is.  Vin 510 000763.  Will have to confirm with Paul that there is no letter prefix but I believe that's it.  So 763rd Bluebird off the line - at least of this configuration.  Anyone know if they just started cranking them all out together or if they made x number of 510xxxxxx cars before PL510xxxxxx cars or visa versa?  It would be a bonus to find out if this is the oldest Bluebird in the US.  Maybe Merlin Blackwell knows.  I'll have to ask.

 

Anyway, it was getting exciting.  Adam mentioned devanning "tomorrow or Monday".

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Then, suddenly, things really did get exciting!

 

9:35am, February 14th, I get a group text from Adam saying the container is available for unload about 10am.  This had been delayed all week and he was flying to LA that evening so it turned into crunch time for everyone.  I was not able to leave work to assist and couldn't arrange a trailer to transport the car before the terminal closed so Adam helped me arrange a flat tow to take place that night after everything was out of the container.  Everything was in high speed wobble but then the pics started to come in.

 

Can you see it in the back?

 

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Careful boys...

 

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Hey, you can't use forks on a Japanese car!  You have to use chopsticks!

 

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Does this make anyone else nervous?

 

large.5a85b2ba7687c_021420181300dxbluebi

 

On the ground!

 

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The used a forklift to tow it out of the building and to a parking spot to await the tow truck.  They sent us a video of this.  Poor tired little Bluebird being dragged into the parking lot with flat tires and muffler skipping across the ground.  :crying:

 

large.5a85b2bcc7aad_021420181300dxbluebi

 

And now...   More waiting.

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Mr Seo was happy to share pictures of his Bluebird racecar as well as some of the other vehicles he has available for sale:

 

large.1506071700350.jpg.5954691e3575fc16

 

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That pretty 1972 Bluebird 1600GL is 2,000,000 Yen

 

Original paint, mileage around 40-50,000km has Japanese Cars Inspection valid.

 

Holy shit I follow that guy on Instagram! That's pretty awesome buy.

 

He said this is his bottom price.... thank you!

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did you buy the white coupe in the pictures?????????

 

I asked.  No papers.  :crying:

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While most guys are making excuses why they forgot to get dinner reservations in advance, or paying 4x the normal price for a dozen roses, I spent my Valentines Day evening on the phone with the tow truck driver!  :wub:

 

First came a picture and a question:  Is this the one?

 

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You sure?

 

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Then shortly after 8:30PM

 

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I get to see it in person for the first time.

 

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I looked it over real quick in the dark and found this treasure in the glove box

 

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The next morning I snapped some pictures before leaving for work

 

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