Any gearhead under the illusion that only European classic cars command exorbitant price tags should think again. these JDM Antiques are quite distinctive, they guarantee you a meeting with your mortgage broker in order to buy one.
Of course, each classic is only worth as much as an avid collector is willing to pay for it. Herein lies the problem. How not to see or forget the rare Nissan skyline? Even worse, you took a driving test to point you to a good knowledge of your bank account saying no. How about futuristic classics, ones that are a little pricey now, but sure to appreciate, the Lexus LFA with a V10 engine should be a safe bet if you’re a homeowner looking to invest.
Before you know it, you’re hooked. Japanese automakers have taken over your life, home, and money, leaving you with a real opportunity to live in your car.
9 Honda NSX Type-R ($190,000)
Oddly enough, the Honda NSX hasn’t really had the success it deserves. Over the course of a fifteen-year production period, the mid-engine NSX has been acquired by a surprisingly low number of buyers. In total, Honda recorded sales of 18,600 vehicles with a few special editions along the way.
The Lighter Type-R arrived in 2002, throwing 265 pounds at the stock NSX, helping Honda earn Car And Driver’s Best handling car nickname. Unusual for a limited edition aimed at performance gear heads, Honda left the NSX’s 3.2-liter engine untouched with 276 horsepower driving the rear axle. However, a revised final drive has improved acceleration at the expense of performance. He lowered the NSX’s top speed to 168 mph.
8 Nissan Skyline GTR V Specs ($300,000)
The really intimidating Nissan GT-R sports car on the road/track, it could hardly get any better. That didn’t stop Nissan from trying on more than one occasion. It wasn’t the way to higher performance, as you’d expect, with the remapped RB26DETT engine producing more power. Aside from the larger, detailed BBS alloys on the ventilated Brembo brakes, the changes were minor.
Despite the low number of changes, the Skyline V-Spec itself gained a cult following that drove prices up to six figures. Is it better than the GTR? Only serious gear heads can answer that. All we know is that the Nissan Skyline has come of age and if adding bigger brakes somehow makes it faster, we want one.
7 Toyota 2000 GT ($700,000+)
Toyota’s reputation for boring pickup hatches, coupes, and family pickup trucks finally came to an end in 1967. And in one fell swoop, Toyota had a serious sports car competitor capable of taking on all comers. Surprisingly, much of the 2000GT’s development stemmed from Yamaha’s quest to build a sports car with an established brand. Nissan rejected the design and left the door open for Toyota.
The 2000GT wasn’t meant to be a full-size production car. The numbers totaled 351 cars over a three-year period, and Toyota is believed to have made no profit from the Halo. Nevertheless, the 2000GT cemented Toyota’s image as a serious sports car manufacturer. Of course, the value of rarity comes into the equation. Low mileage cars have been known to fetch big six-figure sums at auction.
6 Yamaha OX99-11 ($1.3 million)
OX99-11 is another Yamaha supported project that failed before it even started. Designed by Ypsilon Technology separate with IAD in the UK along with the Journey, the OX99-11 was intended to build on Yamaha’s involvement in F1 in the 1990s. Unfortunately, both projects fell by the wayside.
Continuing the F1 theme, the OX99-11 in a prototype used a 3.5-liter V12 mid-engine with 400 horsepower, resulting in a top speed of 217 mph. Unfortunately, the feud between IAD and Yamaha led to the demise of the OX99, leaving Ypsilon with six months to complete the project. Yamaha was forced to delay the OX99 until 1994, and eventually pulled the plug for financial reasons.
5 Subaru Impreza 22B STi ($300,000)
The Subaru Impreza came out of nowhere, and went on to claim 46 WRC wins between 1995 and 2003. In 1998, to celebrate the Japanese automaker’s 40th anniversary and third in a row, Subaru commissioned the 22B. The 22B was an instant success with all 400 cars sold out in less than 48 hours on its soil, with another 24 cars produced for export.
Except for the extra badges and a wider body kit, the 22B is much like any other first generation Impreza. However, Subaru has made some significant changes. Under the hood, a large, intercooler, turbocharged 2.2-liter Boxer engine made 276 horsepower, accelerating the Subaru to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
4 Mazda Cosmo ($100,000)
Not every Japanese sports car is a turbocharged four- or six-cylinder that’s so tense. The Mazda Cosmo has taken a very different path from sports car fame and success. Envisioned as Mazda’s halo, the Cosmo pushed the boundaries of engineering into a compact, lightweight sports car and then set out to race. In her only competitive descent, she returns home 5th in a total of 84 hours at the Nürburgring de la Route Marathon.
Aura or Genesis? We’ll leave the decision up to you. The Cosmo was Mazda’s first use of the Wankel engine. Under the hood, a compact 982 cc rotary engine puts out 110 horsepower. Unfortunately for American gearheads, Mazda has not officially sold the Cosmo on US soil.
3 TRD 3000 GT ($85K)
The tuner’s favorite car, the Toyota Supra MK.IV, isn’t the one you’d expect to pay a six-figure sum for, but it does. As recently as 2021, a Supra-Mania case reached a record $200,000 for a 1995 Mk.IV. Too many gasoline fumes? Probably. Which brings us to the TRD 3000GT. Produced in very low numbers, the TRD 3000 GT is Toyota’s rarest ever. However, it is not officially a Toyota car.
Each of the 35 models built carries a unique PIN without mentioning the Supra name. Underneath its wide, race-style chassis, you still get the 2JZ’s 3.0-liter six-turbocharged engine with 318 horsepower. Now for the hard part, how much is it worth? Lucky Gear Head made a big splash for $85,000 in 2021.
2 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 ($75,000)
Another crazy expensive Toyota begging in faith. At the lower end of the go-anywhere frenzy, you’re looking at $75,000 as a starting point. Remembering the FJ40 was Toyota’s answer to Jeeps and Land Rovers, your five-figure investment doesn’t stop you much in the way of good things.
Introduced back in the 1960s when direct beam hubs and leaf springs were all the rage, the FJ40 made excellent use of the rugged if outdated design to conquer all terrain. Whether in gasoline or diesel engines, the Land Cruiser is not what we would call sports. Sailing at 70 mph is pretty much all you get.
1 Mazda 767B ($1.75 million)
In need of extra-deep pockets, the Mazda 767B might be the most expensive rotary-engined car ever. Built for the IMSA GT class at Le Mans, only three 767Bs were produced. His fifth best race run overall at the 1998 Daytona 24-hour event was followed by a few races outside the top ten in 1990.
Needless to say, you’ll be limited to tracking daily usage with this one. We also suspect that the 13J Wankel four-rotor engine will require some serious maintenance in order to deliver the heady mix of noise and power you get only with a rotary engine.