QotW: What JNC do you need to buy now before prices get ridic?

Last week’s post about the FJ Company’s Land Cruiser restomods turned into heated discussion about skyrocketing prices of JNCs. We’ve seen some shocking prices for well-restored FJ40s, and while there are still examples within reach of most buyers, it may not be that way for long. We think FJ60s will follow soon, and when we talked to FJ Company last fall they said that the time to buy one was, “yesterday.” Even if you’re not looking for an apocalypse-ready rig the prices of most Japanese classics are rising, with the rate of increase depending on the model.

What JNC do you need to buy now before prices get ridic?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What JNC nameplate needs a decor set?” 

The winner this week was Yuri, who came up with some brilliant ideas surrounding the Mitsubishi Starion. And with Mitsubishi now 34 percent owned by Nissan, who makes great decor sets, who knows, it could happen! Come on, Carlos Ghosn!

The Mitsubishi Starion.
Just think of the possibilities. Tableware trimmed around the edges in a beautiful motif replicating the simple front grille, coasters designed to look like the various unique and stunning factory alloys, and the piece de resistance; seatbelt inspired toilet paper that read “turbo turbo turbo turbo” as you unrolled it.

Omedetou! Your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop.

JNC Decal smash

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25 Responses to QotW: What JNC do you need to buy now before prices get ridic?

  1. Cesariojpn said:

    The 2nd Gen Toyota 4Runner. It’s essentially the mini Land Cruiser if there is one.

    Many have been cut up for off road rigs, and everyday use has beaten up even more. All examples I’ve seen are the latter, or long-running examples.

    • Cesariojpn said:

      Non-running examples, sorry (stupid mobile). I’ve not seen a pristine or good looking one anywhere. I’m pretty sure when the gen-x folks get into their latter years, the 4Runner is gonna be the next target.

  2. CobaltFire said:

    Sounds silly, but S30’s. You can still get reasonably clean ones for $5k (at least here in socal), which won’t buy you a rusted hunk of a 510, or anything else of that era. I’m not sure if it’s due to supply or what, but given that ALL of them rusted to a greater or lesser extent (I’ve got one like that). Given the prices well finished ones go for I think it’s actually a bargain hidden in plain sight.

    An alternative would be a Mazda RX3, IF you can find one in decent shape they don’t seem to be very expensive (for what you get). Given how low supply seems (I’ve been looking for one casually for a bit) i’m surprised they are as cheap as they are. I’m finding more of the Grand Familia’s than the RX3’s in ym search, and I can only imagine it’s due to the tuning rate. Though, honestly, a Grand Familia with a BP Turbo engine WOULD be fun, it’s not a rotary.

  3. Banpei said:

    Third generation Supra. This unloved generation is still at rock bottom prices, and since they are becoming scarce they can only go up.

    • Yuri said:

      Especially any of the rare kouki ’91-’92’s. Even more so in JDM Twinturbo-R spec.

    • speedie said:

      The price increases have already begun. Three years ago you never saw a 3rd gen for much more than $8K. Over the past couple of years however the nice ones have been coming out of the barns and asking prices are now in the $12K to $15K range for low mileage examples. Makes perfect sense when you realize that even a NA 4th Gen is getting $20K to $25K.

  4. Ant said:

    Honda Prelude, probably. The nicest examples of all generations are slowly creeping upwards, and while I doubt they’ll skyrocket there’ll come a point where they’re carried along on the crest of the classic car price surge. Unfortunately I’ve just spent a bunch of money on something small and French, so whatever I briefly had in the JNC pot is no longer!

  5. Jaceracer said:

    Supercharged MR2 AW11 the mid engine Japanese classic, or the 1st gen Supercharged TRD Off Road Tacoma with factory rear differential locker which the 2nd gen 4Runner didn’t get. Good luck finding a clean example.

  6. Lasse J. Nordvik said:

    I wonder to what degree,if any,the 70-series LC will follow it’s predecessor up the price ladder. Around here (Norway) they’re very cheap. Wonder if/how/when that’ll change.

  7. Randy said:

    I won’t get into which vehicle(s), ’cause I honestly don’t know, BUT: FJC’s not wrong, but that applies to pretty much anything. By the time you see the trend, it’s already on the rise.

    We all have the same 2 problems – money to acquire them, and a place to put them, to work on them.

  8. Scotty G said:

    There is no question that the next big thing will be, specifically, the 1986 Nissan Stanza 4WD 5-speed wagon. And, as luck would have it, I just happen to know someone with a rust-free example in great shape that has been gone through from stem to stern.. and it’s for sale!.. (he he) (crickets)

    No, I think that it’s a fairly safe bet to buy any JNC that’s 25 years or older, especially a first or last year of any particular model / first-gen / rare / highly-optioned / AWD-4WD / manual-transmission / highly-original vehicle. Any vehicles that fit within those parameters are, in my opinion, worthy of buying and treating very carefully, while also enjoying and religiously maintaining, not necessarily in that order..

    • B said:

      I live in the rust belt and it still amazes me that super clean 1st gen rx7’s can be had for well under $5000. Frankly I’m cool if they stay that cheap forever though.

  9. Long Beach Mike said:

    I would love to see my clean 1G Accord LX 5-speed hatch double or triple but I’m not holding my breath.

    So instead I will nominate the 91-92 Galant VR-4. Practical, handsome, and oh so Japanese with its all wheel drive, all wheel steering, numbered dash plaque, and with that 4G63T that says “more boost, please”. Only 3000 were imported over the two year run, insuring that clean, unmolested examples will start going up in price as soon as everyone in the JNC community figures out they are really the EVO-0.

    • CobaltFire said:

      I have fond memories of riding in a 1G Accord when I was a kid. We had a silver, 5-speed sedan.

      Mom drove it off the side of a mountain (with all of us inside) in fog at one point. We rolled two or three times, and a fence post ended up going straight up through the trunk.

      Dad came up and pulled it out of the farmer’s field, gave the farmer $200 for the fence, and had it fixed in a week. It never drove quite right after that and we soon sold it and bought my great aunt’s 1989 Accord LXi with a 5-speed (and that awesome purple and black cloth interior), which is what I learned to drive in.

    • Kiran said:

      I guess you could say evo-0 is also the old tredia which had AWD too and a turbo 4G62(a smaller 4G63)

  10. speedie said:

    It had a all wheel drive,a futuristic body designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, and the most alcantara ever lavished on a car interior at the time. Yes, I speak of the 1992-1997 Subaru SVX! This car has been on a number of future collectible lists but prices are still in the rock bottom range of $3k for a decent road worthy car. I mean like no real rust and everything seems to work worthy. They are also getting much harder to find. I went to see one a white 1992 last month that had been left under a pine tree for multiple years and looked like someone had painted the whole top black with a roller (it is noted that the roof on 92s were all black from the factory although they were not painted with a roller). This begs my eternal car quest question – Are abandoned cars deliberately parked under pine trees or do pine trees like to grow around abandoned cars? Every single opening (hood, trunk, and doors had wasps nests and there was a dead mouse in the trunk, next to his elaborately constructed home made from an old air filter box left in the trunk. The owner was asking $1,000 which was about $900 more than the parts may have been worth. I will be keeping up my search and hopefully will find one before the prices creep up.

  11. Gary said:

    The J60 series Landcruisers are starting to gain some momentum – ironically though not yet at the ‘yesterday was the right time’ prices. We can still source them here in Oz for really low bucks.

  12. Kiran said:

    To me it would have to be the 1st gen Isuzu piazza turbo with suspension tuned by Lotus and a 5 speed stick as these things are tremendously fun to drive as its handling is as good(or even imo even better) as all the other competitors at the time as it weighs a featherweight 960kg, 150hp turbo 2.0 litre with a good chunk of lag so when it kicks in you know it kicks in and correct wheel drive. It also has this styling very unlike its competitors such as the AE86,S12 etc. It’s amazing how cheap these things still are and concourse ones can go for as little as 5-8 grand, its due to rise when the ae86 is soon beyond most people’s reach and turn to similar options.

  13. Garrett said:

    Obviously, Miata NAs. They can be had for 1500-3k in decent nick. There are so many that it’ll take a while before the uptick really hits though. They can easily be found with low mileage.

    The FJ60/62s are already on the upswing. I was looking for a reliable one over the past few years and I saw them go from 3-4k to 6-7k to now up to 16-17k. Some are still around 6-7k but they’re seemingly the basketcase trucks.

    So, I bought a MK1 Mitsubishi Montero for 600 dollars, rebuilt the engine and figured I’d wait it out. With just a nice set of wheels/tires I regularly get stopped at traffic lights and receive complements. They are SO cheap right now, owners are basically giving them away because no one knows what they are. There’s a rumor that Korean restoration company, Mohenic Garages, is opening a new facility in Carson, CA that will restore your first gen Montero in Korea and send it back to the states. If that happens I can see them be coming a thing.

  14. I have at present time 2 Toyota Crown a 1968 and a 1969 .The 1968 is been restored and will be painted in the original color. I have also parts to sell or trade for the 68 Crown and i also have part for a 1958 Toyopet Crown.

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