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Tokyo drift

The share market is shot, superannuation is in “negative growth” whatever that means, house prices are dropping alarmingly and interest rates look like falling. Where can you make an honest investment dollar these days? Well, art has some attraction but the numbers involved would make plenty of people tremble in their boots.

What about collectable classic cars?

We have all heard the stories about the six figure Falcon GTHOs and Monaros not forgetting the European thoroughbred classics, some of which go for multi-million dollar prices.

But what if you're just an average punter and want to get in on the action.

Take a look at Japanese collectable cars - is the advice coming from those in the know.

This is because they have the potential for increased value from a relatively low base. And depending on the car (and luck) you could have a tidy little nest egg in the garage, one that you can take out and actually enjoy at your discretion.

Christophe Boribon is the National Auction Manager for Shannons Auctions and he has some firm ideas on what cars are good buying with potential appreciation and those that are dead certainties.

Chris' named the Toyota 2000GT as the most collectable classic Japanese car in Australia because of its rarity (only eight imported) and the specification of the car. He says a good one will go for between $2-300,000.

Hardly accessible to the average punter.

But other cars from most Japanese manufacturers operating here are shaping up well at the auctions and as long term prospects.

Mazda's 1960s R100 coupe is worth a look at 10 grand according to Chris' as is the original, glass back RX7.

“The RX3 is also good buying at $25-35,000 if you can get a good one and it should appreciate if looked after,” Chris' said.

”Then there is the late '90s twin-turbo RX7 and RX7 SP - a locally fettled hotrod that will appreciate because it was a low volume performance car.”

“You will pay big dollars for a Mazda Cosmo (up to 100 grand) but the first MX5 is a good proposition for not much money.” He said the SP versions of the later MX5 will be worth more in the long run and even the Japanese turbo model, the SE, should appreciate over time.

Toyota has a few potentially collectable models including the late '60s Celica RA23 and TA23 models as well as the rear drive Sprinter 1.6. Celica GT4s should also be good buying if you can find one that hasn't been raced. Honda's most collectable car is the NSX but Chris' says the first S2000 sports cars are worth a look if you can get one that hasn't been thrashed. The tiny S600 and S800 sports cars are good property and even the quad headlight Integra TypeR could appreciate given time.

Any Mitsubishi Lancer Evo in reasonable road condition will be worth a punt as a collectable particularly the Evo 6.5 Makinen edition. And if you can get hold of a twin turbo GTO 3000 (non-factory import) it should be a solid investment.

Nissan has plenty of collectable cars dating right back to the 1960s. Think Datsun Fairlady sports cars, Datsun 240Z and 260Z coupes and of course the R32 Skyline GTR Godzilla Bathurst winning car - (Australian spec) of which only 100 were imported by the factory. You'll pay about $35,000 for Godzilla these days and it's on the way up for a decent standard one.

Subaru has a couple of collectable cars too, the SVX coupe 3.3-litre flat six all-wheel-drive has possibilities and the 22B two door Impreza WRX STi for which you'll pay about $100,000 and going up.

Good luck.


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