The above chart was one of the most circulated automotive news items in Japan over the weekend. It depcits how the nation’s wheeled icons have skyrocketed in price since just four months, with a certain model jumping nearly 1 million yen. The cause? Cars joining the 25 Year Club, making them eligible for import in places like the US.
The article, published on Yahoo Japan Business, claims that the prices of R32 Skyline GT-Rs have jumped from ¥1.90 million in November of 2015 to to ¥2.07 million today (the equivalent $16,900 to $18,400 USD, an increase of $1,500). That’s a notable jump, but still proof that there are deals to be had compared to the $80,000 low-mileage example that sold at auction in the US earlier this year.
The Honda NSX has also seen a healthy rise in value. Since November Japanese prices have grown from ¥4.33 to ¥4.85 million (the equivalent of $38,600 to $43,200 USD, an increase of $4,600)
The R34 Skyline GT-R was the model that had alarm bells going off with the nearly 1 million yen jump. Back in November, it was the average price was ¥5.01 million. Now it’s ¥5.92 million (the equivalent of $44,600 to $52,700 USD, an increase of $8,100). This one is due to Canadians, who are lucky enough to have a 15 year import rule. That also means Canada has 10 years to buy the best cars before we do.
The article also cites the fact that the early 1990s saw a boom in domestic (Japanese in this case) sports cars, timed just as young car enthusiasts who grew up in the golden age could afford top-dollar vehicles. That flooded the market, leaving many prime examples to be picked today. Notably, it also calls the 25 year import rule by the US government “protectionism” of the US auto industry, a common belief in Japan that is not entirely inaccurate.
The article has gone viral across Japan’s car enthusiast community. Some Facebook users have responded with surprise. “It is a true story,” said one who shared the link. Others have made comments such as, “It is sad to see such a considerable number of cars go abroad,” countered by “In the old days, Japanese would chop them up. I’d rather sell my car to the most worthy buyer. A lot of overseas buyers are collectors who will keep the cars in better shape.”