If you live in Canada, despite our Liberal government, no pipe is necessary. Just ask AJ!

If someone said “All you have to do to fulfill your automotive desires is move to Canada” would you think that they had already gotten hold of some government-sanctioned cannabis? Canada? What’s up there in terms of car culture? Block heaters, pickup trucks, and high gas prices?

Let’s Not Forget the Dog Sleds!

If that’s your view of the great white north, then perhaps you should move on. Please. Thanks.

But if you’re here, then you’re probably already aware that we do have some small advantages over our US counterparts when it comes to vehicles, specifically IMPORTED vehicles. In America, vehicles have to be 25 years old before they can be legally imported. By that time, they are mostly old, used up, and hard to find in other countries. In Canada however, the magic number is 15. Ten years may not seem like a lot, but it really makes a difference when trying to snag something from a different world market. Lower mileage, better condition, and more choice are the first three things that come to mind in terms of the import advantage in Canada.

What About the Igloos?

No, we don’t live in igloos. And yes, we can legally drive a GT-R, Supra or EVO VII straight from the streets of Kyoto to the twisting curves of the 1A along the Bow River in Banff National Park.

My friend AJ Vega, who is blessed with dual citizenship, recently decided that he wanted to do all of the above (except the igloos part… and the government-sanctioned Ganja. That can stay in Oregon as far as we’re concerned. 😉 )

AJ Is No Stranger to Mitsubishi 4WD’s

Having had several Raiders, Monteros, and most recently a UK spec Shogun that he regularly wheeled in the Northeastern US with our Atlantic coast Mitsu brethren, AJ knew he’d want to import from Japan. After visiting Alberta, Canada a few times, he decided that living north of the 49th parallel would be an upgrade on many fronts, particularly the automotive side. In true TGP spirit, he made things happen. He got an engineering job in Calgary (a great story in itself), and then he and his wife packed up their belongings and made the cross-continental trek.

What follows is his abbreviated import experience, in his words. I was onboard every step of the way, and got to experience the ups and downs right there with him. Good thing I can do this vicariously through AJ, because if I bring home another one right now, my wife may EXPORT me. 😉

AJ: Victory with a big V… 78W that is. After moving home to Canada, it was time to find a daily driver, all around capable rig that could do the towing, the grocery getting, the camping, the winter driving, the cruising (with actual cruise control) and everything else in between. You never quite understand the excitement, thrill, and adrenaline associated with the auctions in Japan that seem so mystical from our North American confinement – Confinement from the rest of the world’s vehicles we all wish we could have – until you hop in the driver’s seat of one. Thankfully, Canada is a bit more forgiving with the longing desire to own one of these mystic machines.

Today was my lucky day. I looked, I bid, and I won. Just like that. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, it was fun anyways!! I am the proud new owner of a JDM V78W (Gen 3) 3.2 DiD, A69/A21 silver, winter package, and rad JDM accessories to boot! Just check out that shovel! I almost want to just go get some plants to plant in the yard so I have an excuse to dig the holes with my new shiny shovel! And the mud flaps! Pure mitsu gold. Let’s not forget about the bumper now! And the best of all?? (Could there be more you wonder!?)

A little under 83,000 KMS!!!! GRADE 4!!! MAN OH MAN WHAT A SCORE! These are the few pics I have of the truck for now as it sits waiting to begin it’s journey home. Enjoy!

JDM Shovel? We Dig It!

JDM Journeys will follow AJ’s journey as his truck winds its way through RORO shipping, Canada customs, and its required Out Of Province Inspection. We’ll go onboard as he picks it up a few hours north of Calgary and drives it home. And we’ll be looking over his shoulder, if not getting our hands dirty, as he digs in (sorry, couldn’t stop myself) to the first maintenance jobs on his new rig.

If you’re curious what this process looks like, go back and re-read this while you wait: “What to Expect When You’re Expecting“.

Will it live up to AJ’s JDM pipe dreams? It definitely looks promising so far…

(AJ can be found at the MMUSA Facebook group, or @8jvega on Instagram.)

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  1. Another great read Phil, look forward to part 2

    • Thanks Ward! Maybe we’ll have another meet in early Oct and you’ll get to see it for real.

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