(Editor’s word: Throughout the month of January, the ClassicCars.com Journal presents a sequence of tales associated to and maybe explaining the latest improve in curiosity in accumulating vehicles produced by Japan-based automakers.)

Positioned within the small city of Christiansburg, Virginia, is the biggest assortment of right-hand-drive Japanese vehicles, at Duncan Imports and Traditional Vehicles. The dealership and museum, housed in a 110,000-square-foot warehouse, holds over 1,000 Japanese Home Market autos, traditional 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.

Duncan Imports and Classics JDM
Gary Duncan, proprietor of Duncan Imports and Classics

In highschool I drove a bit of little bit of the whole lot,” Duncan stated, including that he didn’t keep 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 dialog, 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 manner over.”

Duncan Imports JDM
Duncan Imports and Classics warehouse | Picture from Hagerty

Quick ahead to immediately and Duncan’s JDM stock has expanded from 400 to about 1,000 autos. He and his workforce 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.

Duncan Imports JDM
Invoice Gates and Warren Buffet using in a 1991 Nissan Figaro that belongs to Gary Duncan | Picture from The Roanoke Instances

“I’m a collector,” stated Duncan, “Tthe Japanese traditional vehicles are very reasonably priced, and we are actually seeing issues we couldn’t beforehand import till they turned 25 years outdated.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’ll be able to play with them or resell them and nonetheless become profitable.

“Now we have many native fanatics and mates that go to [the dealership] incessantly to share recollections and tales of their ardour for cars,” he stated, including that the collaborative ardour he shares with fellow fanatics conjures up and fuels his mission to offer automobile collectors with a “truthful, pleasant, enjoyable expertise when shopping for a hard-to-find Japanese Import automobile.”

Not too long ago, 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 buy an ideal automobile for underneath $15,000 that go to the cruise-in and also you’ve bought the best 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.”

JDM Duncan Imports
Japanese hearse a part of Duncan’s assortment | Picture from The Roanoke Instances

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 trying to buy a JDM automobile: Test together with your state’s DMV to ensure they may permit you to register your JDM automobile.

“We had a very dangerous 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 might 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 offers 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.

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As we wrapped up our dialog, Duncan careworn the significance of checking together with your state’s DMV to ensure it’s JDM pleasant earlier than buying.

“In the event that they [ClassicCar.com readers] purchase one, they higher verify with their state as a result of a variety of these states should not JDM pleasant,” he warned.

Go to Duncan Imports and Classics to study extra and discover their expansive JDM stock.

Tales exploring the how and why behind the rising curiosity in accumulating vehicles produced by Japan-based automakers.


Racheal Colbert

An skilled author and editor, Racheal brings her enthusiasm for collector vehicles to her function because the Content material Supervisor of the Collector Automobile Community. Former Content material Author and Advertising and marketing Supervisor within the tech and publishing trade, Racheal brings a recent perspective to the Journal and the automotive world.