1997 Honda Civic Type R

S/N EK91001011. 69k kilometers (43k miles). “1.6-liter B16B inline-4, 5-speed manual transmission, limited-slip differential, Championship White paint, red-and-black cloth upholstery, white 15-inch alloy wheels, Type R-specific bodywork, Recaro bucket seats, Momo steering wheel, titanium shift knob, air conditioning, Pioneer head unit, import documents.” Condition: 1-. SOLD AT $35,700. Bring a Trailer, 3/23/23.

With the record-breaking $151k Integra Type R sold at the Broad Arrow Auctions Amelia Island sale (see “Next Gen Market Moment,” p. 96), I expect to see more Civic Type Rs showing up at auction as well. Finally eligible to import under the 25-year rule, this ultimate Civic could be the next hot Honda. Introduced in 1997, the first-generation Civic Type R wasn’t sold outside of Japan, and fewer than 16,000 were produced. It was similar to the Acura Integra Type R, featuring a close-ratio transmission, hand-ported Honda B-series engine (using the same block as the larger-displacement 1.8-liter Acura) and a reinforced chassis. Racy interior details include the bright red carpet, factory red Recaro seats, factory Momo steering wheel and the carbon-fiber print on parts of the dash trim. Over the years, many of these cars have been modified or cut up and parted out, making an original one even more scarce. The market for these cars in Japan is currently around $25k–$35k. As this car was already here in the U.S. and titled, it was well bought.

2002 Acura RSX Type-S

S/N JH4DC53042C034928. 94k miles. “K20A2 2.0-liter inline-4, 6-speed manual transmission, 16-inch alloy wheels, power sunroof, leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Acura/Bose AM/FM/CD/cassette stereo with six-disc in-dash CD changer, seven-speaker sound system.” Condition: 2. SOLD AT $14,630. Cars & Bids, 3/20/23.

The RSX was the spiritual successor to the Acura Integra. In Japan it even continued being sold under the Integra name. Here it received an alphabet-soup moniker, as Honda jumped on the same alphanumeric bandwagon as every other luxury-car brand in the early 2000s, all imitating the Germans. The RSX was a step forward in having a new Honda K-series engine underhood, but perhaps a step backwards in adopting MacPherson struts instead of the double-wishbone setup of the past. Out of the two trims available, the Type-S was the one to get, with a close-ratio 6-speed and 200 horsepower, which was 40 more than the base model (and bumped to 210 hp in 2005). Tuners in-period offered plenty of mods, and it was fairly popular. It disappeared after the 2006 model year. Today it seems to have fallen off the radar, which makes it a truly affordable classic. This example sold on the high side of the market for what is really just a used car; somewhere in the $5k–$10k range is about right if you’re buying one as a fun daily driver. I can imagine these becoming more popular in the next five years, especially when the JDM Type R version becomes legal to import in a few more years. Well sold.

1993 Mazda RX-7 Touring

S/N JM1FD3319P0206819. 4,800 miles. “Twin-turbocharged 1.3-liter rotary, 5-speed manual transmission, Torsen limited-slip differential, Brilliant Black paint, tan leather upholstery, squeeze-cast 16-inch wheels, pop-up headlights, power sunroof, Bose Acoustic Wave sound system, air conditioning, cruise control, one-owner example.” Condition: 1. SOLD AT $142,000. Bring a Trailer, 3/18/23.

Golden-era Japanese sports cars have been on the rise for the past five years now, but the RX-7 breaking into the six-figure club is something we have seen only in the past eight months. It seems like just yesterday that a 13k-mile 1993 RX-7 sold for $50k at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction in 2019 (SCM# 6899257). Now cars with 30k to 50k miles are selling in that range. Two of Mazda’s main in-period competitors, the Acura NSX and Toyota Supra, long ago passed the $100k threshold, so it’s about time the RX-7 should join them. But this also seems unexpected, as previous generations of RX-7s have yet to enjoy much appreciation. The SA/FB (first-generation) cars hang around the $5k–$25k range, with the lowest-mileage examples fetching maybe $50k. The FC (second-generation) cars sell for similar prices. Yet the FD (third-generation) RX-7 occupies that sweet spot, where ’90s styling and performance intersect with nostalgia to give it a bump in value. Our subject car looks like it just rolled off the dealership floor, with a clean and corrosion-free chassis and an interior that looks like no one has sat in it. The rubber parts in the engine bay even look soft and black. Well sold. ♦

One Comment

  1. howiek@gmail.com

    Thanks for allowing me to subscribe o SCM.