5 JDM Classics Collectors Will Pay A Fortune For (5 They Won’t Take For Free)

5 JDM Classics Collectors Will Pay A Fortune For (5 They Won’t Take For Free)

Japan has earned its respect in the automotive world, making some of the most durable, stylish, and powerful vehicles of all time. Japanese automakers were once focused solely on affordable economy models that couldn’t compete with automakers from the US, Britain, and Germany. But as the years went by, the tides have turned, as JDM cars have gradually taken over American and European markets.

Some JDM cars, which were once very affordable, have gone on to become insanely expensive classics owing to their bulletproof reliability, well-balanced performance, and ultra-rarity. On the other hand, some Japanese classics are just as undesirable today as when they first came out. So, let’s dive into this list of JDM classic cars collectors will gladly pay a fortune for and those they won’t take for free.

Related: 10 Classic Japanese Cars That Are Cheap For No Reason

10 Pay A Fortune For: 1968 Mazda Cosmo Series 1

Mazda is a symbol of the Japanese automotive civilization and in a bid to compete in the global market, it needed to introduce a technologically advanced product as far back as the mid-60s, and that led to the birth of the Cosmo Series 1. The Mazda Cosmo is one of the earliest production sports cars to utilize a two-rotor Wankel Rotary Engine.

Only 343 examples of the 1968 Mazda Cosmo Series 1 were made, and they use a 982cc twin-rotor engine with an output of 110 horsepower. A 1968 Mazda Cosmo Series 1 in fine condition can go for as much as $90,000 today.

9 Won’t Take For Free: 1977 Datsun F-10

If there’s a classic car that gets an “F” in terms of styling, it’s none other than the 1977 Datsun F-10. It’s a serious contender for the ugliest car to hit American shores and so despite being around for a while, it’s still offered at a giveaway price of less than $2,500.

Barely two years after Datsun was praised for the timeless design of the 510 model, the ugly F-10 was introduced and it was a total let down. The 1,400cc OHV 4-cylinder gives owners just about 70 horses to play with, which is understandable though.

8 Pay A Fortune For: 1970 Nissan Fairlady Z432

The introduction of the Datsun Fairlady Z, which is known as the 240Z in the US changed the way Americans perceived Japanese cars in general. With the 240Z success on the road, Nissan knew that the Fairlady could achieve much more, so it was introduced into motorsport.

The race-derived S20 straight-six drivetrain in the Skyline GT-R found its way into the Fairlady Z432. Nissan made only 420 road-going examples of the Fairlady Z432, and many of the existing ones are heavily modified, so the few original ones are highly sought after and go for as much as $250,000, according to Hagerty.

Related: Nissan Fairlady Z Pricing Announced For Japan

7 Won’t Take For Free: 1986 Suzuki Samurai

The Samurai is Suzuki’s first four-wheeled vehicle to reach American shores, and it came with a 1.3-liter overhead-cam 4-cylinder that makes 63 hp and 74 lb-ft of torque. Not only was it slow, with a 0-60 time of 16.9 seconds, but it was also noisy and uncomfortable.

The street-spec tires were another limitation, usually causing the vehicle to roll over when trying to maneuver in an emergency. Due to the lack of passive safety, the NHTSA awarded the Suzuki Samurai only 1-star in crash tests for driver and passenger protection. Even Suzuki expressed concerns about the safety of the Samurai SUV and sales dwindled once the rollover controversy began.

6 Pay A Fortune For: 1973 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R

The 1973 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R, which is also known as Ken & Mary or “Kenmeri” is one of the best Japanese cars, and it succeeded the first-generation Hakosuka Skyline GT-R. The retro-styled, upswept B-pillar-shaped sports car is very rare, with 197 units made.

Due to its rarity, there are speculations that the 1973 Skyline 2000 GT-R was only introduced to sell off the remaining 2-liter straight-six S20 engines of its predecessor. Whatever the reason for its production, the Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R has greatly appreciated, starting from $5,100 and going for as much as $250,000 today.

5 Won’t Take For Free: Honda Accord (First-Generation)

The first-generation Honda Accord was introduced in 1976 and was in production until 1981. Although Honda has a reputation for building vehicles with strong corrosion resistance, it seems the early Accords left the factory with not even any galvanized metal. Many of the existing first-generation Accords are rust buckets and belong in the junkyard.

The performance of the 1.6-liter engine was tepid at best. But that didn’t stop the demand for the first-generation Accord at the time, as buyers were moving towards compact cars.

Related: Here’s Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Honda Accord

4 Pay A Fortune For: 1994 Toyota Supra MK4

If you define luxury from a perspective of driving excellence, correct response, and the absence of frivolous gimmicks to distract your business of driving, the 1994 Toyota Supra MK4 is the perfect luxury car. With an available 3.0-liter, twin-turbo 2JZ-GTE inline-six engine, power comes on like liquid speed. That said, even the naturally-aspirated inline-six is a jewel and plenty of fun to drive.

You will recall that the 1994 Toyota Supra MK4 turbo is one of the cars driven by Brian O’Conner in The Fast and the Furious. The franchise made this generation of the Supra very popular, and pristine examples of the turbo version currently sell for over $100,000.

3 Won’t Take For Free: 1994 Mazda Xedos 9

The Mazda Xedos 9 is the younger sibling of the Xedos 6, and it’s just about the same size as the BMW 5-Series. The Xedos 9 is known as the Mazda Millenia in the US and as the Eunos 800 in the Japanese and Australian markets. No version of the Xedos really became popular, despite Mazda’s facelift attempt in 1998.

Owners of the Xedos 9 have expressed worries about the uncomfortable seats, poorly designed trunk, and gas-guzzling tendencies. In fact, many owners have no intention of buying another car from the manufacturer due to their experience with the Xedos 9.

Related: 10 Greatest Cars Mazda Ever Made

2 Pay A Fortune For: 1998 Subaru Impreza 22B STI

Subaru introduced the Impreza 22B STI at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1997, and it instantly grabbed the attention of race car lovers. Although this car looks pretty much like the road-going version of the WRC car, the major difference is that it features a taller rear wing, reshaped wheel arches, and conventional steel body panels.

The Impreza 22B STI is a limited-edition coupe with a 2.2-liter engine and a 5-speed manual transmission. Only 424 examples of the Subaru Impreza 22B STI were made for the Japanese and European markets and one of them was sold for a staggering $312,555.

1 Won’t Take For Free: 1996 Suzuki X-90

The Suzuki X-90 compact SUV became popular after being used for Red Bull promotion for a couple of years. But the two-seater SUV is not comfortable nor practical with its boxy interior and limited cargo space. You can’t ignore the excessive vibration and wobbly handling even if you tried.

Under the hood, the ’96 Suzuki X-90 is equipped with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes about 95 horsepower, which many owners consider “gutless” and slow with a 0-60 mph time of 10.8 seconds. The idea of a two-seat mini-SUV with an open roof seems as outrageous today as it did back in the ’90s.