Early Japanese classics among top emerging collectibles says Hagerty

With all the automotive madness whipped up by the Arizona auctions week, let’s take a look at how it affects the nostalgic car scene. First, collector car insurance company Hagerty issued a press release identifying three “segments represent[ing] a group of collector vehicles that are quickly gaining in popularity amongst enthusiasts” — classic pickups, early Japanese cars, and vintage motorcycles. 

Cars such as a 1966–1970 Honda S800 and 1970–1977 Toyota Celica are receiving increased interest, as are well-preserved 1984–1991 Honda CR-X models, which are dwindling in numbers. “Many Japanese imports were used up and thrown away so now if you find a well-preserved original they are bringing tremendous money,” said panelist Rob Sass.

Over at Barrett-Jackson, Japanese cars are growing in number too. Barikan Coronas have always done well, and this red California coupe sold for a decent $13,750. Many an S30 Z-car crossed the auction block, and all seemed to reach selling bids of about $18-19,000, regardless of whether it was a more-desirable early 240Z or big-bumpered 280Z, or a BRE replica. Looks like someone could use a lesson on Z coolness.

S130 ZXs didn’t fare nearly as well. At $2,200, it was beat out by specialty kei jidosha like the $7,700 Honda N600 and $12,100 Subaru 360, neither of which were original. A lightly modified Datsun 510 wagon sold for $8,525 and even got some notice on SpeedTV, but the top Japanese seller of them all? Once again, the FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser, which went for $40,700 in restored-to-stock form or $55,000 for one resto-modded with an SBC.

The conclusion: while it looks like there is greater interest in Japanese cars from wealthy collectors, old rich guys still don’t value/know what a stock or period-correct Japanese nostalgic is.

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18 Responses to Early Japanese classics among top emerging collectibles says Hagerty

  1. Nigel says:

    Thats good news for us common folk.
    (81′ Corolla’s are still cheap).

  2. Ljn71 says:

    I think appreciation for old j-tin is on the increase in Europe.

  3. PowerTryp says:

    As japanese nostalgics gain mainstream attention the price of ones in decent shape will start to rise. I give it another 4-5 years before current enthusiasts are unable to participate in their chosen hobby like people who owned pony/muscle cars in the late 80’s early 90’s.

  4. Freddy! says:

    Any word on 1984/’85 RA64 Celica’s popularity??

  5. Tyler says:

    I hope I can still pick up a mango or S30 in 5 or 10 years… the prices seem to just keep rising.

  6. JamesE says:

    Thanks for this article. Earlier today before seeing this article I was searching through the auction results. In my opinion many of the cars sold would have brought more money if exposed to a national audience via ebay, JNC forums, etc.

    • mister k says:

      @jamese you’re spot on. get top dollar thru bringatrailer too. the big auction houses and they’re bubble prices don’t apply here

  7. Yuri says:

    This has reinforced my decision to never ever sell my S30. I’ve already made the mistake of selling two Mopar musclecars, but fortunately, selling them is how I was able to buy the Z in the first place.

  8. Garage Zero says:

    Garage Zero in Atlanta has been doing resto-mods on these cars for years. Finally the world can see the beauty and the value!

  9. Brian MacDonald says:

    A 68 150hp 2000 Datsun roadster frame off restoration crossed Barrett Jackson for $33,000.00

    • David says:

      Regarding the ’68 Fairlady Roadster, was this in Scottsdale last month? We saw the car and spoke with the owner. Currently restoring the same car, I have wondered about the selling price.

  10. bob says:

    No love for the Mazdafarians? *sniff*

  11. Jen says:

    Z Cars in particular are indeed increasing in value, particulary the S30 and also the Z32 twinturbo coupes.

  12. Jen says:

    No luv for mazdas Im fraid, so much for my MX-5 retaining its value! & my Ex BF FD RX-7 just died well before its time. LOL

  13. seventhskyline says:

    This is good news for ‘early Japanese classic pickup’ owners like myself!

  14. Don says:

    I love old Hondas and Miatas. May have to wait for these to be worth much, but in the meantime, they are sure fun to drive.


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