1986 Toyota Corolla SR5

#37232. S/N JT2AE86C8G0227932. 229k miles. “1.6-liter inline 4, 5-speed manual transmission, red over gray cloth, Nardi steering wheel, aftermarket stereo, Konig wheels, Weber carburetor, window sticker.” Condition: 2-. SOLD AT $10,695. Bring a Trailer, 10/2/2020.

Brian’s take: The Toyota Corolla SR5, one of the icons in the world of drifting, is still on the cusp of breaking out in the collector-car market. The hardest barrier to entry is finding one. Any that pop up in the $3k–$6k range are usually quick sales, and the one-owner “grandma” market for these is drying up. That is why we are seeing cars such as this one sell for $10k, despite having 230k miles. The SR5 trim is less desirable than the GT-S, which has the DOHC engine, although the hatchback body is still the poster child for Initial D comic-book fantasies. There were only about 4,000 GT-S models sold in the U.S., with few left in impeccable condition. But at least 100,000 SR5 models were sold, with probably half still existing. An original GT-S, like the 1986 model that sold for $24k on BaT last year (#23325), is the ultimate collectible Corolla and represents the top range of pricing, but I see that growing in the future. For now, I consider this one to be well sold.

1994 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 6-speed

#37756. S/N JA3AN74K4RY037057. 19,000 miles shown. “3.0-L twin-turbocharged DOHC V6, Getrag 6-speed manual transmission, all-wheel drive, Martinique Yellow Pearl, black leather interior, four-wheel steering, anti-lock disc brakes, active aerodynamics, active exhaust, electronically controlled suspension, sunroof, CD stereo with graphic equalizer, CD changer.” Condition: 2+. SOLD AT $27,825. Bring a Trailer, 10/13/2020.

Brian’s take: The 3000GT (“GTO” in Japan) was another collaboration between Mitsubishi and Chrysler after their Diamond-Star Motors joint venture had run its course. Built in Japan and based on Mitsubishi’s Diamante sedan, but with Chrysler responsible for exterior styling and offering its own version in the badge-engineered Dodge Stealth, the 3000GT raises the conundrum of what is really a “Japanese car.” It looks American, which could be why it has a smaller fan base than other contemporaries. As a high-power (300 hp) Japanese car, you would think it should rank with the FD Mazda RX-7 and the MK4 Toyota Supra. But no. This car has low miles and is in really nice condition, but only sold for $28k. What would seem like a prime example of a promising Japanese collector car actually falls short — and I don’t see these becoming wildly desirable like their in-period rivals anytime soon. Well sold.

1970 Datsun 240Z

#37600. S/N HLS3006116. 57,180 miles. “Numbers-matching 2.4-liter inline 6, 4-speed manual transmission, refurbished during prior ownership, Universal Blue over black vinyl, Series 1 example, Hitachi AM/FM radio, service manuals, registration records from new.” SOLD AT $117,000. Bring a Trailer, 10/9/2020.

Brian’s take: There is a lot happening in the market for Zs right now. This one sold at $112k before buyer’s premium, and a similar 1971 model (#37942) was bid to $111k, yet failed to make its reserve. These are both impeccable examples for a Series 1. The top end of the market is now clearly over $100k; just a few years ago it was in the $50k–$60k range. Modified cars are also pulling higher prices, like the 1972 240Z (#37718) with an L28 engine swap, full repaint, flares and a cage that sold for $49,750. Datsun 280Z prices are also rising slowly, but most of the examples have been modified in some way. You can expect one to sell for $20k–$30k, with a few outliers. I’m still curious to see where the market will top out on these, but it hasn’t stopped yet.

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