1976 Nissan Skyline 2000 GTX

#28804. S/N KGC110XXX862. Unknown kilometers. “2.8-L L28 (block N42, head N42), Solex 44 carburetors, Takoashi exhaust, Kameari ignition box, stainless-steel muffler, fiberglass hood, Skyline R32 GTR seats, Hayashi Street wheels.” Condition: 2. SOLD AT ¥4,000,000 ($39,100). Yahoo Auctions, 12/8/2019.

Brian’s take: After being disappointed that the 1975 Skyline 2-door on Bring a Trailer didn’t meet reserve after it was bid to $35,000, I went searching for a comparable car. These cars are 45 years old now, so not many pop up for sale. I found this 4-door model. While the 4-door isn’t as desirable as the 2-door model, it isn’t scorned.

Some of these classics that weren’t available in the American market for decades still don’t reach the same bid amounts as they would in Japan. It could be the fact that U.S. collectors don’t yet know the impact these cars had — and still have.

1991 Nissan Figaro

#28714. S/N FK110006630. 163k kilometers (101k miles). “Turbocharged 987-cc inline-4, 3-speed automatic transaxle, imported from the U.K. in October 2019, Emerald Green, Ivory leather interior, retractable partial soft top.” Condition: 2-. SOLD AT $8,550. Bring a Trailer, 3/5/2020.

Brian’s take: The Nissan Figaro was part of a four-car run built in Nissan’s Pike Factory. Nissan also built the Pao, the BE-1 and the S-Car-Go, which are all quirky in their own right.

While the Figaro might look like one of the smaller Japanese “Kei” cars, it is a full-sized (albeit small) car. With the small 4-cylinder engine and tiny turbo, it keeps up with traffic. While this car has a limited production run (20,073), it hasn’t jumped in value like the AZ-1. This example has a lot of miles on it, especially considering others in the market. However, I think the sale price is a nice buy. Still, I don’t see these climbing in value anytime soon. They have been available to import into the U.S. for some time, and they’re not in great demand.

1975 Honda Civic CVCC Hatchback

#28543. S/N SG-E1015734. 14,000 miles. “1,488-cc inline-4, 5-speed manual transmission, refinished in Caroline Yellow, reupholstered black and Houndstooth interior, 12-inch wheels, AM radio, manufacturer’s documents and window sticker.” Condition: -1. SOLD AT $9,500. Bring a Trailer, 3/2/2020.

Brian’s take: The first-gen Civic was the start of something special. It is one of Honda’s most recognizable platforms, and it cemented Honda as a reliable car in the U.S. However, the model has some quirks.

First-gen cars tended to rust very quickly — and they sometimes caught the rust gremlin years after rolling off the assembly line. This car is a great example of Civics of that generation. The owner even had it partially restored.

Unfortunately, I think this is about as high as first-gen values will get. Why? Later Civics offer much more enjoyment and aftermarket parts availability. This is a good buy for someone who wants a first-gen model in the collection, but it has probably reached maximum value in today’s market. ♦

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