Sunday, December 11, 2016

That Estima I didn't win

Recently, a JDM right-hand drive 1989 Toyota Estima with 19,000 miles came up for auction on Bring A Trailer. I got excited. It was in great condition and was the exact color scheme of what my wife's family had in the 1990s. Without really thinking it through, I bid $3500 on it. Then, I stopped.

The minivan was imported here by Pacific Coast Auto. Here is a detailed video they made at the dock.

Then, in July 2016, it was sold by a Las Vegan for $7300. It ended up in Washington state and was sold at the last auction for $6000.

Why did I stop at $3500? The biggest issue was registration. Although the van was more than 25 years old, I could not register it in California. Under state smog rules, the van had to be a make and model sold here at the time it was new. Though it is essentially a Previa, it is still nevertheless an Estima. The Estima was never sold here. I could not register it legitimately.

A minor issue that may have become a bigger issue is the placement of the steering wheel and sliding door. If this was going to be a family hauler, a steering wheel on the other side would have made passing unsafe. In addition, loading and unloading the Golden Boy(tm) on the opposite side of the van-- where he would be exposed to traffic if we parked it on the street-- would also be inconvenient/hazardous.

Hence, no Estima.

Postscript: It looks more and more likely that we're getting the i3. I just have not had the time to sign up for an extended two-day test drive.


Edvin said...

Also, if you're concerned about safety (as you should be), any 80's car is probably not the ideal family hauler.. Having said that, it would've been an interesting choice. :)

@slirt said...

so the 25-year rule is a Federal importation law, but California state smog laws require all vehicles to be have been sold in CA year-of-manufacture? IOW, regardless of age (or is it pre-smog, 1975?) if it wasn't ever sold in CA it cannot ever be registered in CA?!