Let me first start off by saying I am glad there is a place like Hagerty where these articles can be expressed and discussed. I truly am not an internet commentator by an means and barely use my own facebook page. But when I saw this article, I felt very compelled to join in because it really pokes at all my interests. Lets begin…
If your interest is strictly to make money with any of these 3 classic Japanese icons, there are a couple of factors you must be aware of before investing money into these vehicles, just like any collector car. Be cautious and do your research on each one of these vehicles and what makes them special. What I mean by this is, we as a American Car Collectors or Automobile Enthusiast, are in a rare situation where economic trends, in these vehicles, are almost all influenced by the 25 year ban on importing. This leaves us very out of touch with the Japanese market. Each one of these models in effected by this in a different way.
We had the pleasure of of having both the MK IV Supra and NSX in the states. And yes, the value has definitely risen and will probably continue to rise even if it is a couple of more percent. But just know the more these years go on these vehicles will become more available in their Japanese counterparts. The simple rule of supply and demand could effect the values on these discussed models. Yes, the imports will be Right Hand Drive, however, it could leave a chance of a surplus in the market, ultimately bringing these vehicles discussed in this article to a plateau, or potential depreciation in years to come. Japanese models (or JDM models) also were built with different colors and options that are more rare and unique, especially to the demographic that is after these cars, such as myself (A 23 year old that grew up with Fast and the Furious, and car racing video games). Not to mention, most of these Japanese Imports are untouched or have very few modifications.When trying to find a Supra in the US, majority of these cars are built for 900 hp +, with a lot of stock internals heavily modified. Rightfully so, these vehicles are just so well built and that is half of what drove their value up in the first place. Finding one untouched is few and far between.
The GTR is a completely different set of standards, what to beware of when investing in a GTR is the next generations to come. R32s are red hot because of the legendary racing heritage, great design, and we waited so damn long to get these cars in the states because of the 25 year ban on imports. Not to mention, the Nissan GTR is special, Twin-Turbo 6 RB26DETT with AWD HICAS system is really ahead of its time. Also lets not forget the “gentleman’s agreement” on the horsepower issue when these cars were first developed. The R32s are soaring, no doubt, but R33s are just around the corner. From being in the car business I have learned that when a new generation comes out, the previous generation will 99/100 depreciate. And truthfully, when it comes to the GTR’s its just a big countdown to the import of the R34, which is the one all enthusiasts are anxiously awaiting for. That GTR will be the end all be all. Compare it to 1970,71 Plymouth Cuda’s. And if you don’t understand the reference, google search a 1969 Barracuda, then search a 1970 and you will understand what I mean.
Keep an eye out for other JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) classics to become popular as well. JDM Subaru STI’s I’m sure will get their moment in the spotlight soon to come. I think we have only just begun to scratch the surface of the collector Japanese car market. In years to come we will begin to see more and more of these Japanese rarities coming over seas and becoming highly desirable. If these cars have started to peak your interest, I suggest starting to learn how to shift with your left hand, because I feel these are a lot of cool vehicles to come.
In conclusion, I say really research what you are buying if you are investing in a classic Japanese car. The last thing I wanted to do was be a downer on this discussion, but to inform about the potential of this new emerging market and some of the potential economic threats you might have to suspect. I am more than excited to see these vehicles finally get their due. If you made it this far, I thank you for reading this because this is something I have been passionate about for quite a while now. If you haven’t made it this far, you probably have a lot of less time on your hands which I can respect.