2000 Acura Integra Type R

Lot 64507, s/n JH4DC2316YS005100. 7k miles. “1.8-liter B18C5 inline 4, 5-speed manual transaxle, limited-slip differential, Phoenix Yellow paint, black cloth & suede upholstery, 15-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, rear wiper, air conditioning, CD stereo.” Condition: 1. SOLD AT $117,112. Bring a Trailer, 1/29/22.

If you were to tell me 10 years ago that an Acura would sell at auction for over $100k, I would have assumed it to be an NSX. Now the Integra Type R is worth more than a Mk 4 Toyota Supra? Only for perfect examples like our subject car. Most will still fall in the $30k–$50k range, which is perfectly fine for a driver, but strong sales like this validate that specific Hondas are extremely collectible. Even Japanese-car enthusiasts have a hard time believing that the cars they grew up with (and used to be able to buy cheaply) are now stretching into six digits. Auctions like this will only continue to nudge along those who don’t believe Japanese cars to be worthy collectibles, as well as reassuring collectors that the right Japanese cars might actually be worth more than they paid for them when it comes time to sell. Well sold.

1989 Acura Legend Coupe

Courtesy of Cars & Bids

S/N JH4KA3144KC016064. 77k miles. “2.7-liter V6, 5-speed manual transmission, 15-inch wheels, sunroof, cloth upholstery, power-adjustable door mirrors, power-operated windows and locks, tilting steering column, air conditioning, cassette player.” Condition: 2. SOLD AT $12,540. Cars & Bids, 2/23/22.

Honda started to notice the graduated buying habits of its American consumers in the 1980s. Owners would start with a Civic and later move into the Accord, but the brand lacked upscale offerings from there. As Honda doubted it could sell high-end luxury cars under its own name, the Acura brand was launched in 1986. The Legend was Acura’s first flagship midsize car, with the Integra being the less-expensive compact option. The Legend was a hit, taking plenty of sales away from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It was the first Honda product to feature a V6 engine and was developed with the help of the Austin Rover Group. As for the legacy of the Legend, there really isn’t any. As a larger luxury car, it wasn’t popular in the tuner world, so it didn’t retain its value as other sportier Hondas from the era did. It was an important model for the Acura brand’s growth, but not enough to make a strong impression on enthusiasts. This low-mileage, original-condition example hammered at $12k. Well bought and sold.

1989 Toyota Tercel EZ

Courtesy of Bring a Trailer

Lot 66020, s/n JT2EL36G2K0435200. 32k miles. “1.5-liter inline 4, 4-speed manual transmission, Nordic Blue Metallic, gray vinyl upholstery, heater, locking fuel door.” Condition: 2+. SOLD AT $7,613. Bring a Trailer, 2/17/22.

In the 1980s, Toyota was experimenting. The Corolla alone had six different body styles, two of which were hatchbacks, along with specific trim levels and engines for each body style. The Toyota Starlet, a rear-wheel-drive, 2-door hatchback, was also available from 1981-84. The Tercel added another hatchback to Toyota’s large and confusing lineup. Unfortunately, it sat at the bottom of the range, the least-expensive Toyota available in the U.S. market. In 1987, the Tercel EZ model was released with even less equipment than the standard Tercel. (I hope you didn’t need a passenger’s side mirror or sun visor.) Fuel efficiency was its main selling point, with a 70-hp 4-cylinder engine that was rated at over 40 miles per gallon. This example is a stunning time capsule, but it’s not the first car that comes to mind as a Japanese collectible. Which makes it all that much more surprising that someone paid more here than the car cost new — original MSRP was $6,328. With gasoline over $4/gallon now, maybe the buyer just wanted a thrify commuter. We probably won’t see another Tercel sell for this much again. Well sold.

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