Back in 1999, Iron Chef Imports was founded by Kristian Appelt (the name having been chosen because of his love for the ‘Iron Chef’ TV show), and began locating, purchasing and importing vehicles from Japan for customers in Australia. Having built a solid reputation for locating quality vehicles and providing good customer service in the decade that followed, it became clear that there were no companies providing a similar service for vehicles being imported from the US.
As a result of constant requests from the public and others in the industry, a sister brand was formed in April 2011. Iron Block Imports (named in honour of the cast-iron blocks of the classic big-block V8 engines of the 1960s) has since experienced similar success as its older sibling, specialising in locating rare and restored classic US muscle cars as well as high-quality late model vehicles for its customers.
In mid-2010, Iron Chef Imports received an inquiry from a customer in the UK moving to Australia permanently, requesting that we help bring his beloved Range Rover over with him. Having helped him work through the application for import approval under the personal effects pathway, arranged shipping (at a much cheaper rate than he’d originally been quoted), sorted customs clearance in Australia and then organised for his vehicle to have the necessary work done for registration, he was delighted with how smoothly the process went. This UK customer then recommended Iron Chef Imports to other UK citizens considering moving to Australia on the ‘Poms In Oz’ forums, and things started to snowball from there.
It quickly became apparent that UK citizens were visiting the Iron Chef Imports website looking for further information on how to bring their vehicles to Australia, only to find information on how Australians could import their vehicles from Japan! The solution? Create a third brand – Iron Lady Imports – as a one-stop shop specialising in bringing vehicles from overseas to Australia: for international customers moving to Australia, Aussie ex-pats returning home with their vehicles, and for Aussies based here in Australia wishing to import vehicles from overseas.
In keeping with the theme of Iron Chef and Iron Block, the new brand name of Iron Lady Imports (inspired by a glass or three of red wine!) was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the ‘Iron Lady’ herself, Margaret Thatcher. We should point out to Labour Party voters that the name choice is entirely non-partisan!
So while each of the three brands provides a slightly different service, the same basic principle remains – we love what we do, because we love your car (wherever it may come from) as much as you do!
If you send an email via the contact form, chances are you’ll end up speaking to Cory Lord. After working for many years in business management, Cory finally found a job that allows him to talk about cars all day! Cory has a passion for all cars, with a particular love for the exotic and unusual. The fact that he seems to simultaneously love Mitsubishis and Morris Minors should tell you all you need to know. We are truly a broad church here at Iron Lady Imports.
Cory officially listed his hobbies as ‘tinkering with Morris Minors and swearing this will be the last time I buy another project car’! So whether you’re bringing your pride and joy with you to Australia, or based here and searching for something interesting to import from overseas, Cory will be able to ably assist – and in some cases empathise – you with your new adventure.