(Editor’s notice: In the course of the month of January, the ClassicCars.com Journal presents a series of stories associated to and maybe explaining the latest improve in curiosity in gathering vehicles produced by Japan-based automakers.)
Positioned within the small city of Christiansburg, Virginia, is the most important assortment of right-hand-drive Japanese vehicles, at Duncan Imports and Classic Cars. The dealership and museum, housed in a 110,000-square-foot warehouse, holds over 1,000 Japanese Home Market autos, basic vehicles, and mini vehicles — a group price greater than $10 million.
We sat down some time in the past with Gary Duncan, the proprietor of Duncan Imports and Classics, to learn the way he discovered his ardour for JDMs and began Duncan Imports.
In highschool I drove slightly little bit of all the pieces,” Duncan stated, including that he didn’t bear in mind his first automobile, however that he couldn’t neglect the primary automobile he ever crashed – a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette when he was simply 16.
At 18, Duncan opened his personal auto dealership, that includes home manufacturers. Over time his style modified and he started including Japanese manufacturers to the combination. He would additionally personal a number of different dealerships providing Acura, Audi, Ford, Chrysler, dodge, Jeep, Lincoln, Mazda, Honda, Hyundai and Suzuki.
In our conversation, Duncan talked about that a lot of his JDM stock was assembled in only one yr.
“I didn’t personal a single right-hand drive automobile till a yr in the past,” he stated on the time, “now I’ve about 400 vehicles both right here or on their approach over.”
Quick ahead to immediately and Duncan’s JDM stock has expanded from 400 to about 1,000 autos. He and his group have opened a second Duncan Imports dealership in Nashville, Tennessee.
His spectacular assortment has drawn worldwide fame and caught the eyes of Invoice Gates, NASCAR, film studios and extra.
“I’m a collector,” stated Duncan, “Tthe Japanese basic vehicles are very reasonably priced, and we at the moment are seeing issues we couldn’t beforehand import till they turned 25 years outdated. They’re simply cool and majority of them are $12,000 or much less, so you may play with them or resell them and nonetheless earn money.
“We now have many native fans and associates that go to [the dealership] ceaselessly to share recollections and tales of their ardour for cars,” he stated, including that the collaborative ardour he shares with fellow fans evokes and fuels his mission to supply automobile collectors with a “truthful, pleasant, enjoyable expertise when shopping for a hard-to-find Japanese Import automobile.”
Lately, we checked again in with Duncan to see how his enterprise had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. He stated enterprise has not slowed down, however has elevated.
“Folks have gotten this more money to purchase a brand new toy and with my stuff, you should purchase a fantastic automobile for below $15,000 that go to the cruise-in and also you’ve bought the good automobile for the least sum of money.
“And that’s the sweetness about what we promote to folks, they’ll by no means unfastened any cash.”
Though gross sales are booming, the doorways to his museum remained closed to the general public due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“You see folks come from everywhere in the nation to see us and having to show them away through the pandemic simply breaks my coronary heart.”
Duncan additionally opened up about latest hardships the dealership has run into with the Virginia DMV that highlights Duncan’s primary piece of recommendation for anybody seeking to buy a JDM automobile: Verify together with your state’s DMV to verify they may let you register your JDM automobile.
“We had a very unhealthy downside with the Virginia DMV, me and all of the folks on this enterprise in Virginia. The DMV, after titling over 2,000 vehicles, only for me, determined in March that they’ve been doing it illegally and stopped.
“I had fortunately opened up a spot in Tennessee so I may nonetheless get them [his JDM imports] titled, however now Virginia has come to their senses and we’re again to titling in Virginia.”
When shopping for a JDM from Duncan Imports, Duncan not solely supplies a title from Virginia or Tennessee however provides you the automobile will the tariffs already paid and a six-month, 6,000-mile motor and transmission guarantee.
As we wrapped up our dialog, Duncan careworn the significance of checking together with your state’s DMV to verify it’s JDM pleasant earlier than buying.
“In the event that they [ClassicCar.com readers] purchase one, they higher test with their state as a result of numerous these states should not JDM pleasant,” he warned.
Go to Duncan Imports and Classics to study extra and discover their expansive JDM stock.