1998 Nissan 240SX SE

# 71190. S/N JN1AS44D0WW105293. 133k miles. “2.4-liter inline-4, 5-speed manual transmission, Silver Moss Metallic exterior, gray cloth with patterned inserts, factory 16-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, sport-tuned suspension, air conditioning.” Condition: 1.SOLD AT $21,262. Bring a Trailer, 4/21/22.

The Nissan 240SX market is interesting to follow. On one hand, you have highly modified cars, often with high mileage or bodies in poor condition, generally listed for sale around $6k–$15k. But then original, condition 1 and 2+ cars are routinely selling in online auctions for $20k. Now, not all of those cars that are listed at such seemingly high prices for their condition are getting what their owners are asking. But at the moment there does seem to be a ceiling on what people are willing to pay for a 240SX. I think these cars haven’t reached their full potential as collectibles. As for this specific car, it is a one-owner, original-condition car, and comes in a rare color that was only offered for two years (1 of 549). Today, this is the going rate for such an example. In a few years, we will likely look back at this one as well bought.

1993 Mazda RX-7 R1

# 70648. S/N JM1FD3316P0202534. 47k miles. “R1 Package, twin-turbocharged 1.3-liter Wankel rotary, 5-speed manual transmission, limited-slip differential, Competition Yellow Mica paint, black microsuede upholstery, aftermarket 17-inch SSR wheels, dual oil coolers, front shock-tower brace, Bilstein shocks, AIM Tuning carbon-fiber front spoiler.” Condition: 2+. SOLD AT $82,201. Bring a Trailer, 4/15/22

This is a good example of knowing when a specific trim level or option package can make a huge difference in price. To an average enthusiast, this looks like a regular RX-7, but the spoiler says otherwise. There is more to an R1 than just the spoiler, of course, as chassis stiffening and upgraded shocks and springs make for a more exciting driving experience. By comparison, another 1993 RX-7 (albeit one with a broken odometer) recently sold online for $35k, which is more in line with a majority of the third-gen RX-7s we see selling today. This bright yellow paint was only offered on the 1993 R1, and just 350 cars got it. With more next-gen collector cars coming to auction, special models and paint colors are increasingly driving higher prices. Well sold.

1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 Spyder

S/N JA3AW75K1SY818328. 13,100 miles. “3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6, 6-speed manual transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, all-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, power-folding hard top, leather upholstery, 1 of 604 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 Spyders produced for North America.” Condition: 1-. SOLD AT $45,456. Cars & Bids, 2/17/22.

Another product born of the Japanese financial boom of the 1990s, the Mitsubishi GTO was sold in North America as the 3000GT. Its Stealth twin sat next to Vipers at Dodge dealers. This high-tech grand tourer still suffers from this identity crisis, neither entirely Japanese nor American. Its ’90s Japanese sports-car competition — the Toyota Supra, Mazda RX-7 and Nissan 300ZX — have all recently ascended into the “real money” range between $30k–$120k. Perhaps this $45k sale shows the 3000GT ready to finally join them? Maybe, maybe not. With just 604 produced, this low-mileage Spyder is a truly rare example. Yet finding an original, low-mileage 3000GT coupe isn’t uncommon. And there are reasons why these cars have not been so popular: A cramped engine bay leads to hot running and difficult wrenching, the electronic suspension can get stuck in one of its modes, manual transmissions prematurely wear, and an expensive timing-belt service is required  every 60k miles. Time will tell, but the 3000GT may remain “a very cool car you’d never want to own.”

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