Cars like the hakosuka and kenmeri Skyline GT-Rs, the Fairlady Z432, Cosmo Sport and Toyota 2000GT have already hit prices that we bitter, long-time JNCers can no longer afford. What’s the next ship we should jump on before it leaves port?
What’s the next blue chip JNC?
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 last week’s QotW, “What’s the greatest nostalgic Nissan?”
There were as many great comments this week as there are great Nissans. John M waxed nostalgic about the kenmeri Skyline, ahja made a strong case for the Datsun 240Z, Tom Westmacott had us searching craigslist for S13s, Daniel made an impassioned argument for the DR30, Chris Tonn went off script with the Datsun B210, while cesariojpn evoked a fictional car altogether with the Super Z from Seibu Keisatsu. In the end, however, it was Dutch 1960 that won the week with his ode to the Datsun 510.
Beans and Brian nailed it, but I am going to throw a twist on their arguments. The 510 is the “Deuce Coupe” of Japanese cars in the USA. The ’32 Ford introduced Americans to budget, dependable V8 cars, and the ’32s were everywhere later on, for second cars, used as commuter beaters, and for the kids and the hot rodders. The Deuce was not the most capable, reliable or comfortable car, as technology and reliability moved fast in those days. But it could be fitted with a variety of power plants and drive lines, and could be equally at home as a boulevard cruiser, race car, dragster, or custom. They were cheap and widely available for decades, then the supply dried up, but they were still revered, as an icon in the history of modified and rodded cars. Stock examples are now almost nonexistent, except for those still rusting in barns or behind a fence somewhere. Now, substitute the 510 for the Deuce, and a twin Webered OHC four for the V8, and there you go. The story is almost exactly the same. The 510 was not the first or the best, the fastest, most beautiful, or the most comfortable. But it was the first universally desired and widely popular cheap Japanese modified cruiser/racer on these American shores. And John Morton’s BRE Trans-Am car was icing on the cake, just in case the 510 cruisers and racers needed something specific to aspire to. The BRE-built car defined a particular look, with Libres, a front air dam and suspension kit, a hunkered down body with a bit of negative camber all around, and the tri-color paint job if you want it. A marriage of Japanese and American, giving the world a unique and timeless interpretation of the Nissan “sky-box” look, that is recognized anywhere in the world. Not the best work Nissan ever did, even back in the day, but it was the one that put Nissan, and Japanese cars generally, “on the map”, at least here in the U.S.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!
Based on prices in the home market, first gen Silvia and S500 (now over USD100k) to start. The S600 and S800 are following… Lucky for some.
I’m sitting here laughing, it seems the Guys at JNC were sitting at the table and going… we need to buy the next best collectible JNC to flog for profit, but we have no clue what it will be. Then someone says lets ask on the blog so it won’t be that obvious and make it the Qotw.
Am i right? hahaha
but we will help where we can, as long as we get free stickers for at least a year… seems fair 🙂
All jokes (was funny in my head) aside, I think the next blue chip JNC will be from either the Honda s600 (coupe or drop top) and or the Toyota Sports 800.
Those Toyota 800 things are butt ugly……and anyone under 5ft6 won’t fit in either of those suggestions, so not a wide appeal I don’t think. It’s got to be based on where you live to some extent too. Mazda’s are going crazy in Oz and NZ at the moment(will they have the legs or will the bubble burst, who knows), but then there are other desirable models that sell well elsewhere that don’t in those countries, so it’s country dependent. I did find your joke funny, and agree that that ran through my head too. 😉
It’s not a nostalgic yet, but will be unobtanium when it gets there: The Honda NSX. It never sold really well, it can’t really be rebuilt if it’s been crashed, and people have already realised it’s a great driver’s car so prices are rising already.
By the time each year is officially nostalgic, the prices are already going to be pretty dear, and that’s only going to increase each year.
The only good thing is there’s no Singer around to chew up the supply for trophy cars, so the market isn’t facing any extra pressures.
I think the 1st Generation Fairlady Zs S30 that made there way to the U.S. will boom in value. Probably less then a 100 made it here and survived. A little over 16,000 were produced in Japan and we all know how cars turn over there. Over a 160,000 240Zs made it to the States and look at how the prices on those have gone thru the roof. I am fortunate to have brought one of those beauties back from Japan in 1974 and she’s been restored to fully stock. Will see how the prices go. Sorry not For Sale
Hmm the 240sx is getting it right now for drift tax hmm hard it will either be clean old hondas cause simple to swap and make fast or 300zxs or rx7s could get hit next anything easy to swap and make fast or anything rwd easy to drift will be next hell miata might even get hit next
For at least the next few years I think only the next stage of rarest sporty models will begin to skyrocket, like the 1st gen silvia or the ZG fairlady.
Of course, in the meanwhile other hard to find models like the 510 Coupe or Galant GTO will continue to rise instead of flatlining like they’ve done for decades.
What happens beyond the next five years is anybody’s guess
Odd ball opinion! Since the total production of the RL411 sedan was less than 4400 units “the station wagon is something else” 48 years of attrition, road racing against BMWs and inadvisable “conversions” and drifting say that the JDM too rich collectors will eventually come looking!
2000GTs, Z432s, and 311 Silvia’s each number in the mere hundreds that were originally made. Likewise there were under 2,000 C10 GTRs and supposedly “a hundred” C110s. About 1500 Cosmos were made.
Low production figures is a prerequisite for future “blue chipping” status. There may be other requirements, or rarity may be really all there is to it. I submit the Isuzu Bellet GT-R, with only 1400 having been produced. Like the GTRs and the Z432, it offered a significantly different drivetrain from normal, along with identifiable exterior fanservice. And like all those cars, it is pretty good looking.
Why I probably might be wrong: Isuzu was never amongst the major Japanese auto companies, even then. It went under permanent GM control after the Bellet. And on top it is now defunct as an auto maker. In other words, it lacks and will forever lack a vibrant base of Isuzu owners interested in their car’s company’s past. See: Humber, Rover, Hillman, Packard, Nash. They all might have had very cool cars (they did), but they are barely even known, let alone valuable.
I have some other answers too, but I’m not going to share them unless/until I safely have one in the fleet. Keep others off their scent. Like you guys. My competition for these kinds of cars.
There are so many cars that would qualify for this as any special (sports) car or sports version of an existing car could soar in price for its scarcity. To name a few oddballs probably not many heard of:
1970 Toyota Corona Mark II RT72 GSS (8R-G)
1972 Toyota Corona Mark II RX22 GSS (18R-G)
1973 Mitsubishi Lancer 1600 GSR
1968 Isuzu 117 coupe
1973 Isuzu Statesman de Ville
Now these oddballs are probably never going to increase in price unless they get a mix of being a halo-car (Hakosuka and Kenmeri Skylines, Nissan Fairlady Z432) and either scarce or unobtainable. All of these cars are either one but not both. And, sorry Daniel O’Grady, the Statesman de Ville is actually a rebadged Holden HQ with different trim and only a few want to collect this car. It is a cool car though. If you want to know more about the Isuzu Statesman de Ville watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRrm1SHNsfs
If I would need to make a shortlist of cars that do tick the box of being a halo-car and scarce/unobtainable this would be it:
Toyota Sports 800
Nissan Silvia CSP311
Toyota Corola Levin/Sprinter Trueno AE86
Mitsubishi Lancer EX 2000 Turbo
Nissan 240RS (BS110)
Any Toyota Sports 800 and Nissan Silvia CSP311 are already in the five digit prices and the Honda S800 is just about to touch that. So all three are safe bets and probably only increase in price.
The AE86 and Lancer Turbo are rising in price just as fast as they are disappearing, but rough ones can still be found in the sub-2000 dollar regions. If you can find a cheap unicorn: go for it!
That leaves me to the super rare Nissan 240RS that competed in the last series of the infamous Group B rally series. There were just little over 200 were built to homologate this Rothmans built rally special making them super rare and having the racing pedigree. If you can find one you probably already have to pay five digit numbers and restoring the car is probably setting you back an equal amount of money. But with its history and scarcity a very safe investment to make.
I expect the AE86 will become one. While it doesn’t quite have the age and rarity of some of the cars that have already risen out of reach, it’ll become harder and harder to find a standard, immaculate example in the coming years. Okay, perhaps ‘blue chip’ is pushing it a little, but it’s hard not to see the prices of pristine original cars continually rising now given the car’s popularity.
Probably 240Zs, too. In just a few years they’ve gone from being (at least here in the UK) vaguely affordable, to out of my modest reach. It’s the Japanese equivalent of the 105-series Alfa Romeo Giulia GT. Okay, there’s no GTA-equivalent commanding six-figure sums just yet, but the price of regular ones seems to be following a similar path.
Ignoring stuff that’s already getting expensive, I’d have to nominate the first generation RX-7. It launched at a time when cars were generally pretty dull, bringing pointy styling and a smooth rotary to a world of upright boxes and pushrod fours. It was cheap and popular, selling almost half a million examples, so there are likely millions of former owners out there with fond memories, yet it has become quite rare over the years, dying from accidents, rust or engine failure.
Recently there have been a couple of nice retrospective articles in the UK mag evo, I think people are starting to re-appreciate these cars now. So if you’ve always wanted one, I think now is the time to start hunting.