My 194 km Figaro
My search for a Fig began last fall when just by chance I happened to see a cute Lapiz Grey Fig driving towards me. Just by chance the owner happened to pull up right beside me when I was stopped at a red light. So I asked her what kind of car it was, as it looked so retro and cool. We had a good little conversation and by the time the light turned green I knew I had to have one! The search had begun!
I started doing a bunch of research online and found a company in Canada who specialized in importing cars from Japan and had imported a few mint condition Fig’s in the past. I contacted them and they indicated they would check with their sources in Japan to see what was available. I also did a bunch of research myself seeing what was available for sale online.
Then in late November my importer called me with some exciting news. He had found one in Japan with only 194 km! Yes that is not a typo, 194 kilometers on it! It was truly amazing, possibly the lowest km Fig in the world. So my importer went to work securing more information about the car as well as some photos and video of the car from the seller in Japan.
Based on the information provided by the seller in Japan, the Fig has been stored in the owner’s garage in Japan for the last 25 years and rarely driven. Even the back seats still had the original plastic cover on it! As the photos and video looked good we put a deposit on it and arranged to have the car inspected. The inspection came back with perfect 5’s for both the interior and exterior with no engine problems or repairs. A truly mint Fig!
Normally the cars in Japan go through an auction process but this one was for sale directly from a dealer. My importer did some negotiations with the dealer and we were able to agree on a price as well as get the dealer to install new tires on the car as the original ones were showing cracks because of age. It is very difficult to find new tires for the Fig in North America but apparently in Japan it is a lot easier.
My importer subsequently arranged for shipment of the car from Japan to Canada on a huge freight ship called the Hojin. The cool part about it is that you can track the ship’s progress online in real time. It took about three months for the Fig to arrive in Vancouver. My importer handled all of the customs and delivery details however we were hit with some bad late winter weather, so the Fig was stuck in Vancouver for a few weeks. The irony of the delay is that the car finally arrived in my hometown of Calgary on March 24, which was my birthday. So it was an exciting day to go see my new Fig!
We did end up doing some minor work on the Fig such as an oil change and changing out of the right front bumper and hockey stick as the chrome had started to peel and fade. My new friends at The Figaro Shop were able to supply me with all the parts that I needed. So now my new Fig is ready to go, just in time for summer.
I am so happy and proud to have this car. It is like stepping back into 1991 as soon as you sit in it. Now whenever I pull up to a red light, people ask me what kind of car it is and where they can find one for themselves!