Greatest Japanese cars, in which more than 25 years of US import regulations have already passed

Last Updated on 9月 23, 2022 by Carusedjp

There are many famous cars in Japan. Did you know that some of the famous cars, in which more than 25 years of US import regulations have already passed, can be a real bargain? We will inform you what the 25-year regulation is about, and some tips for purchasing Japanese cars for Americans who are enthusiastic about Japanese famous cars.

What is the “25-year regulation” in the United States?

In the United States, when importing used cars, all regulations such as exhaust gas regulations and safety standards should have complied with US standards. It is true that this has become a barrier to other countries such as Japan. Also, the right-hand cars are listed as an unauthorized import car in the US.

However, in the case of old cars that have been used for more than 25 years, the above regulations are no longer applied, and in addition, right-hand drive cars can be imported. This is the 25-year regulation. To put it simply, it is similar to old characters and old stories that you can use freely without worrying about the copyright.

In fact, a Japanese car that is more than 25 years old  still has value for car enthusiasts in the United States.

Isn’t it unfair that only old cars are being sold?

As you may think, even in the United States, classic cars and right-hand drive cars, in which more than 25 years have passed, are actually very popular with enthusiasts.

In short, it’s a popular series that can be featured in the Treasure Detectives. That’s why the models, in which more than 25 years have passed, are being targeted every year. This is a secret boom in the United States. If you do not have more information first, you will miss lots of opportunities.

As you know, sports cars in the 1980s and 1990s are also very expensive in Japan. In fact, the scarcity of surviving cars has given rarity values, and one of the reasons is that they are often exported to other countries where the demands are higher than in Japan. Americans, who are enthusiastic about the niche and real cars, are always looking for classic Japanese cars, in which 25 years of regulations are invalid.

Cars that have been manufactured for more than 25 years ago are considered as “classic cars” and are highly recommended for American enthusiasts to buy.  Because the hurdles are lowered, they are easier to be imported into the United States.

Examples of popular Japanese cars, in which the 25-year regulation is already invalid

“Daihatsu Hijet” -No.1 Mini (Kei) Truck in Japan-

Since its launch in 1960, it has the longest history in the light truck market. It has been the top-selling car for 11 consecutive years since 2010 until 2020. Since 2011, the company has begun supplying Hijet trucks to Toyota on an OEM basis.

The 6 generation models like S65P and S66P have MT with auxiliary gearbox. For vehicles with small bodies, such as light trucks, the slightest difference in rotation will affect fuel efficiency. The higher gear of the secondary transmission allows for lower revs and better fuel economy at high-speed cruising.

The new model, the Daihatsu Hijet Jumbo is still too new a model to be exported, but It is gaining popularity in Japan.That’s because It has many features that help make driving more comfortable, such as comfortable reclining seats and doors that open wide for easy entry and exit. 

“Subaru Sambar” -Porsche 911 of farm roads-

For 54 years since 1958, Subaru had been developing and manufacturing mini cars in-house.

Although it was discontinued in 2012, it is still a popular truck both in Japan and overseas. The Subaru Sambar has been called the Porsche 911 of farm roads in Japan.

In the 2000s, the Sambar truck has the largest cargo bed length in its class at 1940 mm, and the width of the cargo bed has been increased to 1410 mm as It has improved the load capacity.  It is the only one in the light truck market with a four-cylinder engine, and also adapted Rear Engine Rear Drive. The advantages are a comfortable ride and a powerful driving experience.

“Honda Acty” -NSX of farm roads-

There are Six grades. Sadly, the production of Honda Acty is scheduled to end in June 2021.

The wide cargo bed makes it easy to carry harvested crops and farm equipment, making it highly popular in agricultural areas. Acty is adapted Mid-Ship Engine Rear Drive. This makes running stable even when it is not loaded with cargo. And Acty is called the NSX of farm roads. Another feature is the installation of a special suspension to absorb shock. It is hard to scrape the bottom of the car body even on steep hills, thus keeping it clean and scratch-free. With the introduction of real-time 4WD, it is possible to drive comfortably even in bad weather.

“Mitsubishi Minicab Truck” -Brabo has a four-cylinder, 20-valve engine with an intercooler turbocharger-

The first Kei truck of Mitsubishi was manufactured in 1966.

In 2002, a super cab was added, which expanded the cab of the truck to the rear. From the seventh generation onward, it has been sold on an OEM basis with Suzuki’s Every and CARRY models.

And also from this generation, like DS16T, Anti-corrosion measures were taken, including the use of anti-corrosion steel plates for 95% of the body surface area.The spacious cargo bed is fully flat, making it easy to load cargo.It has a 2200mm middle wheelbase for easy turning, so it can be driven on narrow roads without stress.It has also gained support as a modified car.Mitsubishi manufactures a car called the Bravo as Minicab one-box car.The specification of this car is Intercooler turbo.It improves engine power.In those engines, the popular engine is a Four-cylinder 20-valve engine.

“Suzuki Carry Truck” -The most traditional car model along with Daihatsu-

Sunlight Carry was sold for business from 1961. Carry is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Total sales reached 4 million units in January 2010. Because of these accomplishments, it has won the trust of the Japanese users. Not only is Carry manufactured in-house, but it also serves as base models for OEMs such as scrum trucks for Mazda, NT100 Clipper for Nissan, and minicab trucks for Mitsubishi Motors. One of the trucks currently being sold in Japan is a light truck called Super Carry. This model has a large interior space by expanding the cabin to the rear.

In 1990,carry became minor changes. The headlamps of DA51T and DB51T became round.

Durability and variety of models are its strengths.


The high quality of Japanese products is internationally recognized. Even if a car is considered to be old in Japan, there are many people who want to purchase overseas. There is no doubt that American buyers will not aim for cars with the 25-year regulation.

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