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The most important issue on a Delta is rust, as an Italian car from the 80s the Integrale is more prone to rust than most. With care and attention this problem can be overcome, however, if not caught soon enough the corrosion will become too big a problem for economical repair. Some lovely Deltas are on a knife edge of rust condemnation, others have passed that point and will never be repaired.
If a Delta has a lot of welding done, this can detract from its originality. If a car is advertised as 'rust free', this can often mean it has been welded, and not always very well done.
So, this leaves the option of buying a Japanese import car. It's become good business buying cars at auction in Japan, and shipping them here for sale, these cars are selling at a premium due to their freedom from corrosion. There are slight differences with the headlights etc., but this is only a small issue, and it seems not to concern buyers any more.
You will have seen this yellow Evo 2 listed recently, from a distance it
was a good looking car, but it had been given a quick yellow blow-over
and was rusty underneath, getting it sound will be a major repair job,
stripping down underneath and welding new panels in.
Parts and fittings under the car would also need replacing, then the car
although a Euro model, would no longer be original.
But a Japanese import, if not from a coastal area, will be rust free.
Any mechanical issues can be corrected, but a lack of any understandable service record leaves uncertainty. Below are some pics downloaded from Japanese sites, the bright red Evo 2 is advertised at about £25750.00, with shipping to here adding £2500 ish, that's a lot to pay for a car with not much history. The Final Edition pictured is in Okayama, not a bad looking car but as you'll notice, it's a fake.
You'll recognise the pictures at the page top as being at a Japan auction, tempting aren't they! So, rust or risk!! I was not at all happy about buying a Japanese import, but as the European climate takes its toll on any affordable remaining Evos, a car from the Far East makes more sense. Most mechanical problems are straightforward to fix, but bad bodywork is a major problem, and expensive to repair. We recently bought a Japanese import Evo 1, it's very low mileage, it's history is unknown to me, but it's really rust free and solid, and that's most important.
Update December 2015.
Here are 2 nice looking Evos from a recent Japanese auction site. This info is after the cars were sold, and the prices are shown below. These cars are still coming to auction, but the prices do vary, and it's a bit difficult to see why one car is worth so much more than another.
Here's an Evo2, in the famous auction shot. This car is a 1993 model, with alleged 6000km, the auction called it an EVORYU-SHON2.
The car has non-standard wheels, but lovely hi-backs and a nice looking body.
This car sold for 6415000 yen, that's £35559.00 in our money. It seems to me if that car is imported here properly, with duties paid, it's a £40k car. And it still has Japanese lights and winkers, and probably more underneath.
This car sold a day later, another nice looking car, but an Evo1 this time.
Again with non standard wheels, Japanese lights and the far east issue rear 1/4 aerial. It's impossible to see any suspension or air intake changes
there might be.
This car sold for 2495000 yen, that makes £13830.00. I suppose it's an 18k car arriving here, that's more managable.
Here's an interesting car, this yellow Evo2 came up for auction mid January 2016. It looks nice, but it was listed as condition 2.
Unless you read Japanese, the auction report is difficult to understand, but I can tell you condition 2 means the car is in poor condition, and may be accident damaged or have serious corrosion. The general opinion is, don't touch a condition 2 car.
My contact told me it had rear floor, rear panel and rear support rust holes, the roof lining was saggy, a seat was ripped and the wheels were scratched. But with all this information the Delta still sold for 3825,000 yen. This is a shipped to Europe price of 44400 euros taxes paid at LeHavre, £33795.00.
That's a lot of money for a rusty Delta. It's no wonder these Japanese Evo 2s are on dealer's sites at such a high price, they need to charge big to make any profit.
This Evo2 has Euro lights, does that mean it's been in Europe for a few years before export to Japan? That would explain the rust. The car has a JDM spec rear aerial though, hmmm!
It's 2018, here's a 16v offered by the Goonet exchange for 2,980,000 yen, that's £19159.00.
Goonet are part of the Proto Corporation, established in 1977, so will be a trustworthy organisation.
The car looks nice, and is certified, this means it has been inspected by the JAAA, Japanese Auto Appraisal etc. This certification is not guaranteed however, and should be independently checked, so it's pretty pointless really!
The 16v will be a £22k car when it gets to UK, that's not cheap, but it shouldn't be rusty.