Over the weekend we saw what the KPGC10, Cosmo Sport and 2000GT can do at auction. However, those flagship models have been the obvious choices in terms of collectibility.
What’s the next Japanese collectible?
If we’ve learned anything from Monterey, it’s that collectors go for top-spec models that were special for their time, cars that had racing provenance, and “last of their kind” models. Manga and anime star really isn’t on the list, but add that to the mix and you’ve got a winner. AE86 prices have already been steadily climbing thanks to the popularity of drifting. Will it ever reach six figures?
What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of the last QotW, “JNC prices are on the rise. Good or bad? ”
JNCers seemed unable to come to a consensus whether it was good or bad. Most seemed to think it was a bit of both. The most measured analysis came from xs10shl, who said:
I definitely seen and lived both sides of the price equation. I cut my teeth on old Italian cars. Years ago they were still pricey, but not to the point where they were totally out of reach. Now, those prices are in the stratosphere, and going up, up, up to the point where they are totally unattainable by anyone who does not have mega-millions of discretionary income.
Most of the buyers of these Italian cars skew reasonably old, and they are apparently getting older. An auctioneer at one of the major auction houses told me the average age of their bidder pool went up an average of one year, every year for the past 10 years. If this trend were to continue, it follows that in 30 years time, the current buyer pool for these old cars would all be too old to drive them, or dead. Without fresh young bidders to replace them, the interest in these expensive cars would die out. This would not be good for their business.
However, a most unexpected (to me, anyways) sea change is occurring in the marketplace- youthful individuals are connecting more with j-tin than with the older, more “traditionally valuable” cars. Case in point – the typical traditional auction car in RM’s online catalog got between 20 and 50 “likes”. The Hako got more than 1100. That’s a 20-fold increase of internet-savvy people who identified with the Skyline. Although there are likely many factors which contributed to the totals, such as press, it’s still a remarkable result.
What’s it all mean? Well, I don’t think we will see million-dollar Hakos anytime soon, but it’s clear that enthusiasm for select classic Japanese cars is growing. And with that enthusiasm comes an inevitable increase in selling prices.
So what would we prefer? Less enthusiasm? I don’t think that would be a good thing, long term. Enthusiasm helps build the culture, and keeps the cars and the parts supply running. And that keeps the cars on the road, which I think benefits us all.
I’ll add this tale of two meetings I had today. The first was with a group of 50-something’s fresh off the plane from England. They came to the shop, and didn’t even see the Hako we were prepping for Monterey. Instead, they went right to the old Italian cars to examine them.
Right afterwards them came a pair of 20-something-year-old car brokers from the East Coast. They went right for the Hako, and didn’t even see the other stuff. This happens – All. The. Time. In fact, it happens almost every time. Over 50? Italian cars. Under 30? Hako. Weirdness, but that’s how the marketplace is currently shaping up.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!