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Aristo Import


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Hi all, another newbie with a load of questions that have no doubt been asked before. I have actually had a search about already and gleamed some valuable info but cant seem to find the answers to a lot of my doubts/worries.

So I'll try and keep it nice and neat and hopefully come away with a definite idea of whether to go ahead or not.

I currently have a NA Supe that is a bit the worse for wear really. Due to lack of wages coming in for the last year or so the car has basically fallen into a bit of disarray and I'm undecided what to do. Earning again now and have pretty much decided to lose the Supe (which has been excellent by the way) and go for another car that I like the look of and has a bit of a sheep in wolfs clothing look. And with a little one a 4 door is a seller to the wife.

I really like the look of theAristo. So, I'm toying with getting the twin Aristo. (V300 JZS161?). I think they look gorgeous - especially in black. Anyway I'll ask the questions and hopefully get decided one way or another. Here goes:

1. Is it better/cheaper to import or look for one for sale already in UK?

2. Does anyone have a recommended trader/importer that I could use. My brother in law imported an MPV a few years ago but ended up having a nightare getting it past the import checks. 3 times he was at the testing station (60 miles away) trying to get it passed on speedo accuracy. Ideally, I'd like all that taken care of before I picked one up if I import.

3. I read a thread earlier about the stolen cars and checks with VIN plates and various models etc. I'm not asking for 100% reliablity but a certain level of garuntee from an importer would be good to have. Or at least a solid reputation.

4. Overall, are the imports of good quality? Any wrecks that anyone knows about that have been brought in as all singing all dancing.

Onto the car itself now. Like I say, I love the look of it but haven't actually been in one (or looked in one physically), sooo...

1. Probably stupid, but on the pics I've looked at (RHD) the footrest appears to be where the accelerator should be (RHS) and the accelerator on the left. Am I being stupid here and have just got it all wrong? Pics havent been great but surely I wont have to learn to drive an auto differently.

2. The Mrs is asking if the car seat will fit in the back comfortably (compared to not using it at all in the Supe)

3. Any ideas on insurance compared to the Supe. 8 years no claims - 40 yr old. Tax etc?

4. Any major lookout points that are signs of neglect.

5. Any major problems with servicing them (gotta be easier than changing the plugs on a NA). Specialised garages presumably? Maintenance costs on average?

6. Exactly how are they to drive as an everyday car. (I find the suspension on the Supe to be pretty uncomfortable, and my Mrs loves the looks, loves motorway driving in it, but hates it around town or anywhere there's a crack in the road).

7. What is the standard BHP of the twin (320ish?). I dont have anything approaching a racing style of driving, but occasionallyI like just to feel "the surge" usually when there's a kid in a corsa revving his exhaust off at me. A smile, off for 500m and back down again.

8. Lastly (hopefully), most of the imports come with SATNAV/Radio etc. I presume it would be easy enough to have them converted to UK spec. Oh, and is it easy to swap a unit in that has MP3 etc. Is it just a double DIN space?

A bit of a list but many thanks in advancefor any help.

ps. Apologies for any missing letter M, but my 21 month old has this evening decided the laptop looks much better without one.

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Welcome to LOC fella :)

It's probably cheaper to get one in the UK to be honest, Anees car there is nice, and there are some nice ones that have popped up on eBay and Autotrader, Yemgi got a nice one recently for under £6k I think in black?

There's another one up at a garage in Keighley that is black but it was actually blue and they've resprayed it.

If you did import then Pete Betts at Thor does a good speedo conversion box that's proven on quite a few of these as well as on the Supras.

I'd have thought someone like Jurgen on the MKIV site should be able to help in regards to importing, there's a guy on Club Aristo called BodleyTunes who imports Aristos, would probably be definitely best to start with him - the site is

The imports are usually of a very good quality, the guy I just mentioned finds some incredibly nice cars for sale in Japan, they vary in price and there are some incredible examples that you can get, now the car is over ten years old any of those can be brought in without having to worry about the strict SVA etc, so you can get some fantastic modified cars which is a much cheaper way of doing it.

As for the accellerator, it's in the normal place, it's probably just the footrest you've seen on the side? I have to admit mine actually does have a conversion so the pedal can be on the left or right, think the first owner may have had a disability but that hides away and the car is as normal.

The carseat should fix, I don't think these cars are ISOFit or whatever it is, you'd probably be best once again asking over on Club Aristo as you've more chance of getting an answer on that one, if it's just a generic car seat there should be no worries at all!

As the car is so old it fits into the cheap tax brackets, ie about £196 a year :)

Insurance wise I'm paying £530 for mine at 30 with 8 years NCB.

The ride is very smooth as standard, if you're not happy with the Supra I'd have to say stay away from a car with coilovers and uprated suspension and get one with the standard suspension as that will ride the same as a standard Lexus GS - and they're very smooth indeed, otherwise your mrs will kill you! I've got coilovers on mine and I'm very happy with the ride but you do know about it if you hit a pothole and it would be enough to stop your mrs touching it for weeks!

Standard spec is quoted as ~280bhp but in reality it's closer to the 320 mark, torque is a similar level too so they're very quick, exactly same spec as the VVTI Supra TT if you get the JZS161, whereas if you get the MK1 / JZS147 then it's the same spec as the non VVTI Supra TT.

As these are all autos they're great in a straight line, standard they're just very smooth, and running BPU levels like a Supra with the turbos pulling at 1.2 bar (stock is about 0.7) it's much more aggressive :)

I don't know how easy it is to replace the headunit as mine is standard, from what I've read on the internet you could just replace it and then tap into all the speaker wires, someone like Luke at is your man for the conversion, he converts the car so that you have RCA inputs and can use anything at all, DVD player, TV etc.

For example in mine I've got an Alpine satnav, Freeview Digital TV box, and then some further RCA connections in the glovebox which I use for either iPod connectivity or a media device which handles DVD's, XVIDs and so on, it's really good to be honest.

As for maintenance it's pretty standard to be honest, oil changes, brakes and so on.

The turbos will need replacing at some point which is expensive, over £3k if you go with new ones or you can pick up second hand ones pretty cheaply although they are just a temporary fix I guess.

If they ever go it may be a good point to consider a single turbo conversion, personally if I was in the market for an Aristo again I'd go the whole hog and import one to the spec I wanted from Japan as there are some amazing examples that are coming up nowadays :)

Saying that I am quite happy with mine but everytime I see some of the Jap cars it gives me new ideas about what I should do!


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Aido thanks very much for the detailed reply - much appreciated.

I'm loving your car though, thats pretty much what I'd be looking for. Has a classy yet dangerous look to it :shifty:

I think I will probably try and source a UK one, but I'll deffo have to try and take my time I think. Although I am more impulsive than most I think I'd like to get this one pretty much perfect in my view so it doesnt need much doing to it. Basic maintenance and TLC is all I'd really like to (be able to) have to do full stop. Although I wouldnt be averse to having to do a bit of work to make a nice car look just how I want it.

MacRS thanks for the link to Ansees motor. It really is a very nice car and is very tempting. I actually saw it on the MKIV forum and realy liked it. Ufortunately its just out of my price range really and its not , well.... black (no disrespect to Ansee). I'm not sure I really need all the great entertainment stuff on a car for me either. It would basically be a daily driver for me with the odd blast along the way at weekends. Am I right in thinking the sound system is pretty decent as standard? Just a decent head unit would do for me. No doubt compared to my Supe it will sound a lot better anyway. Even with the sound reducing pads fitted in mine it still isnt a decent listening enviroment. God I sound old!!!!

Once again thanks for the info guys and will continue to try and get as much info as possible from this site and the LOC site. I seem to be cross posting already Aido :D

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Jimmy over on the other side just put his black one up for sale mate?

The sound system as standard I think is really good, I had to replace the subwoofer recently and another has popped on me so got to replace that now but it's a decent system :)

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