1985 Toyota Celica Supra P-Type

#41025. S/N JT2MA67L2F0167981. 13,000 miles shown. “Single owner from new, 2.8-L DOHC inline 6, A43DE 4-speed automatic transmission, limited-slip differential, Super Deep Red paint, gray leather upholstery, sunroof and two-piece rear spoiler, power windows, locks, mirrors.” Condition: 1. SOLD AT $40,425. Bring a Trailer, 12/4/2020.

By the mid-1970s, Toyota saw all of the attention that Datsun’s Z cars were getting and thought it could break into the market. Toyota made the second generation of its Celica slightly longer to fit an inline 6, and the 1979 model year saw the debut of the Celica Supra (or Celica XX in Japan). Confusingly then, when the third-gen Celica arrived for the 1982 model year, the redesigned Supra was only on its second generation. In 1986, Toyota would move the Celica to a front-drive platform, and the Supra became entirely its own model. This 1985 Supra came packed with the 5M-GE inline 6, good for 161 hp. It was a P-type (performance), denoting fender flares and a manual-transmission option versus the standard fenders and automatic of the L-type. This generation of Supra is a favorite of mine, but the price here was still surprising. Most “Craigslist”-condition examples can be found for under $5,000 at the moment. Those cars, however, aren’t as-new with just 13k miles. Few 2G Supras have likely survived in this shape, as they have been underappreciated compared to later models. Well sold. 

2004 Subaru WRX STI

#488. S/N JF1GD70664L516129. Unknown miles. “2.5-liter EJ 257, 6-speed manual transmission. This is the first year of the Subaru WRX STI in the U.S. It is finished in World Rally Blue Pearl and sports a Stage 2 COBB tune, including cat-back exhaust, downpipe and air intake. It has recently had its timing belt serviced and the head gasket and clutch replaced.” Condition: 2+. SOLD AT $18,700. Barrett-Jackson, 10/24/2020.

Subaru started forging a new identity in the U.S. with the release of the turbocharged 2002 WRX. Prior to this, Subarus were known primarily for all-wheel drive, which made them popular in the snowbelt. But they didn’t have the following of other Japanese sport compacts from Nissan, Toyota and Honda. That changed quickly after the 300-horsepower WRX STI debuted two years later. I was lucky enough to be involved with my local tuner scene when the STI was released — and it immediately made the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Dodge Neon SRT-4 seem dated. As soon as depreciated STI models started appearing in the used market, they became a favorite for tuners, and many have been subject to modification. Finding a clean and unmolested STI without mods might still be easier than some ’80s and ’90s Japanese cars, but the time to look is now. I think this one was well sold, yet this is just the start for these cars. 

2008 Honda Element

#41818. S/N 5J6YH27748L009489. 64k miles. “2.4-L K24A8 inline 4, 5-speed manual transmission, four-wheel drive, Tangerine Metallic, color-matched composite body panels, Titanium and black cloth interior, removable glass-panel sunroof, air conditioning, cruise control, Pioneer head unit, 270-watt stereo system.” Condition: 2. SOLD AT $18,585. Bring a Trailer, 1/15/2021.

Using the second-generation CR-V as its base, Honda set out to create an adventure-oriented SUV for the American market. Originally released in 2003, the Element stayed in production until 2011. Over the years, small improvements were made, with the general consensus that 2007–08 models are the best years, with the EX manual at the top of the list. Some of the fixes included moving the awkward mounting of the seat belts from the rear suicide doors to the seats, swapping out the American-made automatic transmission for a Japanese-built one, and in the last years offering a rear pop-up glass sunroof. The biggest difference was offering body-color fenders, rather than weird-looking dark gray cladding. The Element appealed to people who wanted a more rugged-looking SUV, but didn’t want a real truck-based 4x4. A decade after Honda killed the Element, many owners are now die-hard enthusiasts, often searching out replacements when theirs wears out. The biggest downside on this example is the rust on the undercarriage, which prevented it from pulling an even higher price. I think these will continue to be desired well into the future, as Honda hasn’t made anything similar since. Well sold.

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