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

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Comments

  • omarmanomarman Member Posts: 2,702
    I agree with the note of skepticism over a 40 year wait for an old car to bloom into a "classic."

    So far, all the young internet tycoons have not been dropping BJ money on any "classic" Mazda or Datsun drift cars and it doesn't look like that will ever really happen.
    A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 233,190
    BJ money?

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  • omarmanomarman Member Posts: 2,702
    Barrett-Jackson crazy money.

    Lots of new wealth was created by internet entrepreneurs in recent history. But that hasn't changed the supply/demand situation for Japanese cars built during the last 40 years. If nobody has bid up the best 240Z for crazy money by now, it probably isn't going to happen.

    A few examples from 70s/80s Detroit can draw strong bids (GNX or 455 SD Trans Am). The late 60s Toyota 2000 GT gets crazy money but after that? I always liked the NSX but the market seems to treat it like a very nice used car if it's well kept with low miles.
    A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,006
    And other special interest Japanese cars like TT Z-cars and Supras are similar - they have solid high-ish prices, but there's no real appreciation going on, just enough demand to keep them from depreciating away. Same for old tuned German cars - they don't depreciate into beater territory, but there's no price rise either, and only a relatively small group of die hard enthusiasts.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Sounds like in those cases the supply-demand ratio is in equilibrium...that is, everyone who wants a TT Z car or a T Supra has one. So the only market action going on is either replacement sales (for cars destroyed or blown up) or the occasional newbie jumping in.

    Cars with respectable but "flat" pricing over 5-10 years *might* increase in value at some point, but cars that have been cheap for 40 years are pretty much doomed to extinction IMO. After 4 decades there is just no hope that they are going to "catch fire".
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,006
    I'd say 40 years is a good generous point for reference. Most old cars that become desired hit some kind of saving point by the time they are 30 or so.

    Most all old Japanese cars, if they become sought after, will be more "special interest" than hardcore collectibles - and there's nothing wrong with that. It still keeps them in the hobby and preserves the good ones. Affordable old cars aren't a bad thing.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited February 2012
    I really don't think anyone in America much cares about *most* 70s or 80s japanese cars *( I mean "cares" in the heartfelt CHECKBOOK way! :P )and because of that there will be no rush to save them; however, there are a *few* that will continue to attract the "entry-level" hobbyist, certainly.

    Aside from those mentioned, there are the little Honda 600 coupes--they are just too weird to resist.

    My observation over the years has been that odd, or homely, or cheaply made, foreign cars do much better back in their home country, and should really be sent there for preservation---even if it requires LHD to RHD conversion.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,006
    There are several old Japanese cars that I like, but none I am searching for - but admittedly, one old car is enough for me.

    I agree about sending cars home - they tend to be worth more at home too. What mint fintails bring in Europe is insane compared to here, which is why many have been shipped back. Same with many British cars.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Shippin' them home is the only decent thing to do, because many of these somewhat unloved, or under-appreciated foreign cars are just going to rot here.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    edited February 2012
    I'd be happy to send my '88 300ZX back to Japan if a Japanese citizen were willing to pay me something more than its value in my zip code, and pay the freight and associated expenses.

    Maybe I should have sent my '87 E30 to Germany instead of selling it locally. That thought didn't occur to me.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,006
    Those aren't quite to the old point yet. I know in Germany, an E30 is just another used car.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,006
    I agree. All sides win - buyer, seller, and the car itself.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Yeah, and the fact that it had the 2.7 ETA engine (only 121 hp, but good torque) made it less desireable than the higher revving, higher hp 2.5. On the plus side, it was a very well maintained, accident free and never abused 2-door, with leatherette and sunroof. Nice car, really. For my use, I rather liked the driving characteristics of the ETA.

    Too bad I don't live next to andre. Maybe he would have rented me some space to park it next to his mastodons.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Is it true they are renaming his property lot Jurassic Park?
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,006
    The only E30 that will get real demand is the M3. The rest, nice used cars. Another issue with sending them home is that they have to be worth more than the shipping costs. Even a nice E30 doesn't leave much wiggle room after transport costs.
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