You hear the term JDM get thrown around rather loosely these days to the point where in some peoples mind a Honda Civic with a green and yellow sticker on it is JDM.
This is the real deal though, actual Japanese Domestic Market and imported to the U.S. A 1992 Toyota Sera that could be yours at just $12,500 for what is basically a Toyota Paseo, but with a nicer shape, butterfly doors and that glass bubble roof.
The good news is that driveline parts are commonly available for the Paseo and will fit. It’s also based, like the Paseo and the Tracel, on the Starlet chassis so owning one that made it to the U.S shouldn’t be a huge pain to keep on the road. Considering only 15,852 units were made and few made it to these shores, Toyota still has support for the car and those things that need ordering should be fairly straightforward to obtain.
Of course, if the worst comes to the worst you could always push it into the yard and turn it into a hipster greenhouse.
That shouldn’t be the case though as the 5E engine is legendary for being able to take one hell of a long beating before it even has the vaguest glimmering of a shadow of a consideration about going wrong – and this example only has 57,000 miles on the clock. The Phase III version would be more desirable than this phase II, however there weren’t an awful lot of these made in a manual so this is still a bit of a catch. The burnt orange color isn’t very common either and some of the other factory options were, shall we say, of their time?
I haven’t come across here as very enthusiastic, but if you had the money and wanted to get a hell of a lot of attention at a car event, this would certainly do the trick. Then given the reliability of the driveline and the parts availability it could be a really fun little car for a runaround that may turn out to be a bit of an investment some day.
Also, Gordon Murray has been quoted that the door design on the Sera inspired him for the design on the McLaren F1, so it does have the doors of a billionaire.