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'70s and '80s Japanese Cars: Too Practical For Collectors?

24

Comments

  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Tell the receptionist that I'd like to challenge her Supra sometime with my Volvo XC70 Cross Country. :P
  • You are right there. Primo early Z cars only bring 10-15k tops, and daily drivers in the 3-7k area. I have a 73, and parts are still not that hard to find, since they made so many of them and many parts are interchangeable with later Z's. The reason I have one is that they are soooo fun to drive, and easy to work on. Lots of room in the engine compartment, dependable, smooth straight 6, etc.. and people still turn their heads when they see one. If it weren't for that rust, things would be peachy. You'd think the steel from an island nation, with all that salty air, would be better than that. At least they got it right in time for my i30.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    Besides the fact that until the '90s the corrosion resistance of Japanese cars was generally poor, the rusting process began immediately upon being placed on freighters for the long voyage across the Pacific. It was a long voyage, with a lot of exposure to salt water and, usually, warm temperatures, which is ideal for rust formation, so you could say that Japanese cars began with a disadvantage compared with cars sourced in North America.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    Since there seems to be an increasing collector interest, albeit still small, in '70s and '80s Japanese cars, are prices reflecting this?
  • You know, I haven't really seen much of a change...if anything, the 240Z seems to have dropped in value. Maybe the Supra Turbos, but RX-7s and MR2s and such? Not much going on.

    A good 2-door early 510 coupe is still desirable, as are the Japanese micros---the rest seem stagnant.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,606
    I've always had a fascination with the little hardtop coupes that the Japanese were still building in the late 70's and early 80's. Stuff like the Toyota Corolla, which offered a hardtop coupe and even what could be called a hardtop wagon, although they probably called it a "sportback" or whatever. The Datsun 200SX was kinda neat, too. Then there was the Plymouth Saporro and Dodge Challenger, courtesy of Mitsubishi. I wonder if Mitsubishi sold that one in the home market, or if it was intended solely for the US? Madza had a hardtop coupe version of the 626 around that timeframe, as well.

    The Japanese offered larger hardtop coupes as well. At least, I remember there being an 810 hardtop, Toyota Cressida, etc, but they were older styles that were pretty lumpy. Once the crisper, boxier styles were introduced, I think they went 4-door only.
  • Well they're all pretty dirt cheap if you want one. Problem is even finding one in acceptable condition. Mostly what you'll see are clean survivors. If they get 'restored', they are tricked out, and often not that tastefully.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,944
    Mitsubishi sold that hardtop elsewhere, it was the period Galant, sold under a few other names too.

    Some old Japanese cars interest me mildly too, mainly for their wacky style or very period looks.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,425
    Yes, those didn't age well. A few years later, though, and I still like it:
    image
  • Why did they put a home air-conditioner in the front bumper? :P
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,944
    I remember the first time I saw one of those, when I was about 11...I thought it was some weird JDM model that someone shipped over, it seemed really alien to me.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,944
    The AWD/VR4 model is relatively cool
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Datsun 1600 & 2000 Roadsters are pretty collectible aren't they?
  • Ah yeah, kinda sorta maybe....they trade hands in a small market and the prices stay the same, maybe bumping up with inflation. It's a struggle for any Japanese car to break the $10,000 mark except for the legendary 2000GT and the occasional superb 240Z. They would be a nice alternative to the MGB or TR4 if you were looking for something different, but they do not enjoy the popularity or aftermarket support of the latter two, by a long shot.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    True, plus the last ones were 1970 model so they don't fit this topic well.
  • martianmartian Posts: 220
    I agree with your analysis-here in New England, it is very rare to see a '70's Japanese car-rust has consumed them. You don't see them in junkyards either-for the same reason.
    I hought a new Mitsubishi in 1985-in three years I had perforation-in five years, most of the hood was rusted.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    True, but there must be a decent number of '70s and '80s Japanese cars left in areas where rust isn't a significant problem. They were imported in large numbers and many were well made.
  • I rarely see them even in California, where I'm sure a lot of them ended up and where cars do not deteriorate quickly. I will see a few 80s beater Toyota pickups in San Francisco, and the occasional restored Z car or Fair Lady, and maybe once a month an old RX-7, but that's about it....a handful per month (and i drive around a lot). I haven't seen a 510, RX3 or Subaru FF1 in ages.

    What I do see a lot of is 70s/80a domestic pickups and vans and for some reason, a lot of beater Cadillacs.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,425
    Same in Dallas, it's extremely uncommon to see one of these, while I'll see Detroit iron about one a week of this age.
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