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Central America FJ import questions

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by NicaAaron, Nov 14, 2017 at 1:03 PM.

  1. NicaAaron

    NicaAaron

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    Hi everyone! I am hours new to this forum so please excuse any newbie-ness on my part. I am from Indiana but have lived in Nicaragua for 3 years and every day I see tons of old fj's from the late 70s - early 80s and have fallen in love with them. In researching why these awesome vehicles were never sold in the US I noticed that ones that have been imported bring a pretty nice sale price. I can pick them up easily here for 3-6 thousand US and since they were sold here parts are available and cheap. Labor is also cheap for mechanics and bodywork. I would love to try to buy and semi restore one and sell it in the states. I have contacts that can do the shipping reasonable enough for there to still be a profit for me.

    I still have one question I was hoping to get some input on here: Which model/s should I be searching for? In other words which models is there a market for in the US?

    I can get fj40s, 60s, 70s, suv, pickup.. basically anything you see here: https://www.encuentra24.com/nicaragu...mber.50&page=1

    Obviously, I would want to stay older than 25 yrs old. I just want to make sure my first investment has a good return so I can keep doing it. It would be such a fun way to support myself here buying and fixing up fjs! Let me know if you have any ideas. I have searched the forums and found a few articles like this about importing but not exactly the info I am looking for.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. NicaAaron

    NicaAaron

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    Also do you have any suggestions on which port is best to ship to. From here the most likely route by sea would be to florida. Or I could have it trailored through texas. Destination will most likely be Indiana where I have a partner in crime :)
     
  3. joekatana

    joekatana SILVER Star

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    As far as I know you are the fourth person to start bringing in cruisers from Nicaragua as a bussines model, for what it’s worth the first 2 already stopped after listing there cruisers and drop the prices week after week untill they sold for about half the original asking price.

    Your 3 to 6 k cruisers are just that and probably need that same amount in upgrades , repairs and parts.

    If you want to pursue this look for the HZJ75 Troopy and the 40 and 70 series pickups, there are several people after those same trucks there but I guess the person with the best contacts will be the winner.

    Fyi I own 12 70 series Cruisers and at this moment 6 are in the US and if sales are not picking up here I will resale mine in Europe, makes no sense in bringing something just to have it sitting here.

    Good luck with it
     
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  4. aljollano

    aljollano SILVER Star

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  5. NicaAaron

    NicaAaron

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    Thanks @joekatana. Was there a greater demand for them in years past? Even in great condition here i see them go for $6,000 and if I had for example $10,00 total with shipping and taxes and plating etc.. The cheapest i see them for on ebay is $20,000. That is still a $10,000 profit for a side business.. or do I have rose colored glasses on? Im not trying to make this a big money business.. more of a side hobby and if I make some profit.. great!
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 1:51 PM
  6. joekatana

    joekatana SILVER Star

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    It was a "new" thing a few years ago I think the novelty wore off,I still drive a 70 series and a few other folks will also but I feel there is less demand for them now.

    You see them listed for 20k ......totally different from selling for 20k.

    Some sell for way more then that but those are only a few pink unicorn ones and so far they do not come from Latin or Central America.

    Right now there are about a dozen 7x's for sale that have been listed over and over again,I have sold many HZJ73's in the first week that I listed them and right now it seems that there is less interest in them,everybody talks about getting one and most of these people also tell you what options they want with the cruiser they are gonna get regardless of the fact that any of those ever existed!

    I have 20 years of experience in driving 70 series and selling and maintaining them and I feel that these trucks are more appreciated right now outside of the US,I have noticed some 7x models overseas doubling in value in the past 2 years while here everybody is thinking about waiting until they get cheaper.

    I used to live in Central America for a few years so I know that your "great condition 6K cruiser" will still need a lot of time and money to get it up to what people expect here,the parts that you need for that truck are the same parts all of the other trucks are missing so unless you want to start ordering 1000's of $$$ in parts from Japan the trucks will stay the way they are.

    If you look on MUd you will find a lhd LJ73 for 7250$,a BJ74 for 13500$,a HZJ73 for 16500$ and all of these are still for sale.....well the HZJ73 is mine and I am gonna relist it with a higher price because I just did a bunch of upgrades on it.
     
  7. scottm

    scottm

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    I was in Japan yesterday with a guy who is about to buy a new Tacoma as a play truck, add a mild lift and some other mods. He saw a trayback, crew-cab 70 while we were there, fell in love with it. I'm planning to find some 70s for sale and send him links, but leaving for Beijing in the morning, kinda pressed for time. @joekatana send me links I'll try to forward them to him.
     
  8. Mace

    Mace rock scientist.. Staff Member s-Moderator

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    Pipe dream, a lot of the central america cruisers being sold up here are primarily bondo and new paint. Because of that, People are getting very skeptical..
     
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  9. joekatana

    joekatana SILVER Star

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    For Sale - 1992 hzj73

    Listed it fresh today ,thanks
     
  10. aljollano

    aljollano SILVER Star

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    Besides buying the right truck, is not that easy to import them with no knowledge of what's involved in the paperwork process. I've imported 11 trucks and every time a new issue comes up.

    A.J
     
  11. NicaAaron

    NicaAaron

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    Where were you importing from?
     
  12. NicaNorth

    NicaNorth

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    Well, I'm still brining in some Nica imports. It's true, there are many "bondo" LCs down there, but as we're able to import newer models, that issue becomes less and less an issue. You can not purchase these blindly, that's the key. I've learned a lot, purchased quite a few and now import to order aside from my own, hand-picked LCs.

    I've seen both beautiful and ugly LCs from Africa, Spain, Japan, Australia, Central America and Canada. It honestly doesn't matter where you get these, it matters who owned them before you.
     
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  13. NicaAaron

    NicaAaron

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    I agree.. there are the ones that have just been thrashed for 30-40 years.. which in and of itself is impressive they are still on the road and a testimate to the quality of the vehicle. But I do know there are ones that are well taken care of and you can tell are not rolling bondo tubs.
     
  14. NicaAaron

    NicaAaron

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    @NicaNorth where do stay in Nicaragua? I live in Jinotega
     
  15. NicaNorth

    NicaNorth

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    @NicaAaron - San Juan del Sur, if longer than a week. If I'm only for looking for LCs, I fly into Managua, usually at night, grab a hotel
    And then mi amigo and I head to northern regions.

    I love the food down there - we always hit up multiple, on-street "buffets" along the way. It's an incredible country to explore.
     
  16. NicaAaron

    NicaAaron

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    Cool.. we have only been to SJDS once during a border run. I really like spending time on ometepe. But we love living in the north. The food, people and climate are all great! If you ever make your way to jinotega looking for cruisers look me up. I can pm you my contact info.

    Btw.. do you ship your cruisers on a ship or trailor them?
     
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  17. NicaAaron

    NicaAaron

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    @NicaNorth I also wanted to say very nice site, logo, and presentation of your vehicles.. I am a freelance graphic designer and web desiner. You have a very professional presentation.
     
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  18. SuperDuperCruizer

    SuperDuperCruizer

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    I was in San Juan del Sur this summer and 40-series I saw were beaters.
     
  19. NicaAaron

    NicaAaron

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    There is a reason @NicaNorth goes to the north of Nicaragua to look for his cruisers
     
  20. NicaNorth

    NicaNorth

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    Container them.