1971 Datsun 240Z

#21750. S/N HLS3004684. 21,750 miles. “Original L24 inline 6, 4-speed manual gearbox, single-family-owned through 2019, Racing Green over brown vinyl, paint meter readings of 2–5 mils, new Vredestein tires, recent carb tune and oil change, original window sticker, spare parts.” Condition: 1. SOLD AT $310,000. Bring A Trailer, 1/29/2020.

Brian’s take: During the last couple of seconds of this auction, Bring a Trailer’s website servers were practically on fire. It was starting to slow people’s commenting and bidding on other auctions.

Comments had to be turned off on this auction — just so the bidders could keep up. Just a few hours before the end, the car was at $110k. People wanted this car. Who’s to blame them? This is a first-series 240Z with fewer than 30,000 original miles, a good detailing, original parts and even an online comment from one of the original Datsun mechanics who used to service this car. This car was a near-impossible find, so when this auction appeared, people started following closely. As is typical with these auctions, some anoraks tried to pick apart the car. Does it have the correct battery and sticker placement? What about the correct bolts? Thick skin is needed when selling a car on a website with an open comment section. While the Franklin Mint 240Z sold for $124,240 (August 2019, “Rising Sun,” p. 90), that car was restored, while our subject car is original. A car is only original once, and that originality is what the bidders valued. Well sold.

1989 Nissan Skyline

#26434. S/N BNR32010127. “This Skyline R32 was owned by ‘The Fast and the Furious’ star Paul Walker, RB26DETT 2.6-liter twin-turbo inline 6, 5-speed manual transmission, stripped interior with a full roll cage, Sparco racing seat, fire extinguisher A’PEXi exhaust, KOYORAD radiator, Enkei RPF1 wheels, Endless brake calipers. Bill of sale only.” Condition: 2-. SOLD AT $100,100. Barrett-Jackson, 1/11/2020.

Brian’s take: For younger car enthusiasts, Paul Walker is the closest thing we have to a Steve McQueen. He was the star of the most popular car movies of this generation. He also did a lot outside of the car world with his humanitarian efforts. When part of his car collection came to Barrett-Jackson, many fans had a chance to own a Walker car. This Nissan Skyline GT-R is already an up-and-coming collector car, but the bidding soared because the car was Paul Walker’s. A nice-condition R32 GT-R is $22k–$25k. If this were a non-celebrity car, it would be worth somewhere south of $15,000, as it only has a bill of sale. Well sold.

1981 Toyota Hilux SR5 Pickup

#193292372434. S/N JT4RN38D9B0008912. 12,000 miles. “One owner from 1981 through 2019. Factory black on black, factory 5-speed, factory air conditioning, factory SR5 package, 22R 4-cylinder engine, 4-wheel drive with locking hubs, power steering, power brakes and disc brakes, New BFGoodrich Mud Terrain, original radio and original Toyota toolkit.” Condition: 1. SOLD AT $19,300. eBay, 1/13/2020.

Brian’s take: Bring a Trailer isn’t the only online auction with nice Japanese collector cars. Some great cars are still on eBay. This Hilux sold for big money — and for good reasons. Toyota’s SR5 trim is their top-of-the-line model, with all the nice options. The ad doesn’t state whether the paint is original, but I suspect it is, as the truck has only 12,000 miles on the clock. Original wheels and tires would be a bonus, but the ones on the truck are fine. I doubt there are many 1981 Toyota trucks this pristine. While the price is high, I think this truck is well bought. ♦

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