The JDM Kyusha Price Boom

One, two, three, four, five, six… Were you counting the zeros after the 98? ¥98 million is approximately US$916,000, and also Rocky Auto’s asking price for this KPGC110 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R.

Has the Japanese classic car world gone completely mad? It may seem so, but then again is it any less mad than what’s happened with 911 prices around the globe? Of course not; it’s what happens when interest in a specific car grows, and it’s usually linked to when a specific generation of buyer, car guy, otaku – you choose the most apt nomenclature here – reaches a point in life where they’re resigned to buying their dream machine, at any cost.


Which brings us to the red Kenmeri that was the talk of the 10th anniversary Nostalgic 2 Days event held at in Yokohama over the weekend.


This Skyline has been sitting at Rocky Auto for years and years. Watanabe-san always told me that it was a special car, but until I saw the eight-digit number he’s asking for it, it never struck me how special it was, or how much he think it’s worth. Of course, whether or not the asking price will be realized remains to be seen; as the GT-R has yet to be sold it’s just a number, if you know what I mean.


But why so close to the magical ichi-oku-en (¥100 million) price point? For a start, only 197 of these Kenmeri GT-Rs were built, and on top of the total production number being rather low, only seven were ever ordered and sold in red. This is one of those seven cars, and to top it off it’s only got 15,100km on the odometer and is 100% stock. Does that make it worth close to US$1mil though?


The Kenmeri was part of the central ‘Japan Premium’ display at the event, which included some other rare and valuable vehicles.


When it comes to street cars, nothing really tops the MF10 Toyota 2000GT. At a US auction back in 2013, one example changed hands for US$1.15mil, a number significantly higher than what they were trading for in Japan at the time. Overnight, the value of these cars literally doubled.


This example was offered at ¥130mil (US$1.21mil), which is actually a little more than what they can be purchased for in the current market.


They’ve come down a little since the 2013 surprise sale, a natural stabilization of the price after mass overinflation maybe? Still, the 2000GT remains the most desirable of all Japanese classic cars.


With ‘normal’ Z432s going for over ¥30mil (US$280,000) these days, it’s no surprise that the ultra rare ‘R’ race homologation version of the car would fetch more. More than double in fact, this particular example being offered for ¥86,400,000 (US$808,000).


A Nissan F31 Leopard for ¥15mil (US$140,000)?! Yes, you read correctly. Where will it end? Or is it just starting?

It’s obvious the latter is the right interpretation of all of this and it doesn’t even stop at the rare variants of cars. S30 Zs have literally doubled in price over the last six to seven years, and just look at what’s happening with R32, 33 and R34 Skyline GT-Rs and Supras!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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Max @Ghettoporsche

This seriously rustles my Jimmies.
Not only that "normal car guys" can not afford their dream cars anymore but machines which were meant to be driven will stay in climate controlled warehouses so that they don't lose their value.
I hope Jay Leno buys all of these cars, so they're at least driven every once in a while.
That was sarcasm dear Internet.


All praise to Leno. My dream of a C110 is kinda shattered, but I can keep dreaming :(.

Jack the Narcissist

that's why I've given up on normal cars and am almost exclusively after undesirable and forgotten cars, because it's all that's left for the normal guys.


Careful now, prices for 120Y might start going up.


This is where 3D printing and electric car technology save our bacon.

Sure, you'd have to make the body in a thousand pieces and glue it together, but you can have that R34 or JZX by putting a cloned plastic shell over a Tesla-type skateboard chassis.


I think you would be better off making a mold for fiberglass or cf panels at that point, you will get a better surface finish with much less material and fiberglass isn't that hard to lay down in a home garage. I do believe that you are on to something, if a manufacturer could come up with a standardized chassis then the future could see us picking a body as an option. Hopefully they will let us also use custom designs, bringing new meaning to personalized vehicles.


Look up "Super GT Mother Chassis", it's what they're trying to do in the GT300 class. It's a carbon tub with suspension attachment points that can also be configured to have a front or rear mounted engine. So far they have teams with cars that look like a Toyota GT86 and Mark X and a Lotus Evora.


I know about the super GT mother chassis, It is not that new nor is the concept. Nascar and DTM both work on the same principal, standardize the chassis and let the teams apply their own body. From what i understand, Super GT is going down this road to create a standardized rule set so that teams can travel and race in different areas which is happening everywhere right now to bolster grid sizes (global GT3 and gt4 for example).

The real question is why hasn't this concept started to trickle into production cars, Especially on the high end where a prospective owner could afford to pay for a designers time. My guess ius going to have to be that automotive companies want to control the look of everything that comes out their doors for marketing and branding. For road cars areo isn't that important so ride and handling should not be affected by the body. with carbon tubs being as strong as they are the body no longer plays into saftey standards any more, compared to steel unibody construction. The only manufacturer that comes close from what i understand is Koniegessegg but they only allow you to change the interior and the colors, the outside lines of the car remain their design.

For the enthusiast, the only option is to build or re-body an existing kit car. I hope we see more of that as car prices go up and automotive enthusiasts really let their creative sides roam


It's funny because it's actually how it used to work at he beginning of the 20th century. Rich people would buy a chassis and then go to a body-shop to have a custom body made for their car. In France we had hundreds of companies that were doing this and most of them disappeared during the 30s. Very few survived like Chapron or Facel but both ended up disappearing too.
You could buy a Bugatti 57 and have a custom body designed for your car only. Crazy times


I brought up Super GT's chassis because it's actually used in different engine configurations and bodies, whereas DTM and NASCAR are all FR and look alike.

I don't think manufacturers would get behind making a chassis that can easily be adapted to their anyone's engines and bodies, so probably a high end "kit car" maker like Factory Five or a track day car builder would be the way forward. Prototype racers even have crash tested tubs, hopefully an affordable standard will trickle down to an enthusiasts's budget.


Hang on to the R34 Dino. 15 years from now, you're gonna put the kids through college with it.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

LOL that would be nice but I'd rather drive the shit out of it. If it ever gets done that is...

Gabriel Ronquillo

This is trickling down to even the 'lower end' cars. EF CRX/Civic, AW11 MR2, that you used to count on being available for under $3,000USD are slowly starting to creep to $10,000USD. It's a ripple effect.


Another problem is there's been a lack of low end enthusiast cars starting from the late 90s to fill the gap, especially from Japan. The GT86 hasn't exactly spurred other manufacturers to make cheap FR cars. Where's the Silvia replacement?


Surely that's no different as to any car of a certain vintage/desireability? It's not like 60's Mustangs were always $30k+

Gabriel Ronquillo

It's just funny now because for the longest time, people refused to consider older Japanese cars as 'classics.' Hell, it's the reason they're called Japanese Nostalgic Cars.

What was once an appliance and seen as inferior is now sought after. Yes, the Mustang wasn't always $60k, but you don't see Ford Falcons or non-SS trim Chevy II/Novas go for that kind of money. This is what we're seeing. I get that an MR2 Turbo will fetch over $20,000, but its also driving the price up for grandma's Cressida.


Agreed, the prices JDM vehicle importers are charging are only going one way...regardless of make and model. Sad times in the world of the JDM enthusiast.


It's not sad, it's maddening.

Here's a perfect application of the phrase "...this is why we can't have nice things!"


I keep seeing normal s-chassis go up in price too. They're not only getting older/more expensive. They're getting harder and harder to find in good condition from all the drift hacks.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Very true, it's happening right across the board


Can't wait for the next big financial crash.


Nine hundred grand for a Kenmeri?

Get me some of what that dude's smokin', cause it's obviously top shelf.


You're funny.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Well it's a GT-R, and a red one. These have always been the most valuable Rs out there.

Jack the Narcissist

Is it any wonder that this stupid hyper inflation phenomenon is happening? it's due to the impulsive, instantaneous nature of trends in tv internet age. In which case, I'll be right back. time to see how high I can get chevette prices to go.

Richard Clayderman

Speedhunters give themselves a pat on the back for being the boutique window display that model by model, picture by picture, implements a beautifully crafted marketing exercise for each car.

Can't knock the hustle - unless - good grief! The number of yanks I see now billing themselves as "CEO" of their own little "JDM" boutique online store, with a backyard full of wheels, seats, harnesses, etc, that they've trawled YAJ for, and sell on in the lower 48 at a 200% markup - that's all well and good, and hooray for a free market, but I'm more than happy to take the 5 seconds to point out that proxy-bidding services are available to literally everyone with an internet connection.

In a similar vein there are now more "importers" than ever. Back in the 90s it was treated as a dark art but now only an idiot would pay a middle man £1000+ on top of shipped price just to fill out a few forms. People do, though, and then importers hoover up all the nice things.

The most powerful selling tool isn't sex, it's nostalgia. When something crosses the magic boundary into nostalgic territory, the sky's the limit! Anyway I'm f*&^ing minted like Dino so I can buy what I want, whenever. To bad you salty boys can't afford to tramp drift these old rigs into oblivion any more!*

*salt, pinch of


Except the base auction prices on YAJ are going up, especially anything with 'Nismo' or 'GT-R' on it. I used to see Nismo gear knobs and gauges going for $50 (I bought a couple my self). Now, try finding a horn button for less than $100. Projector R32 headlights were $200 a pair, now $500+ each.

Richard Clayderman

Yeah. More interest in general, combined with the "CEO" people filling their mother's garage with Japanese automobilia to "flip". There are still a few reasonable prices to be had, but I'm out like Bannatyne unless I really need* something.

*a relative term, as I'm sure you understand


WTF F31 for ¥15mil? USA craze is crazy. No one will buy that.


You look so sure and confident. I think you should revise your thoughts or at least add "normal" or "a man with logic" or,.... cause sure someone somewhere is willing to have a kind of dream car at any price.


Who's buying at these prices? My guess is these cars are gonna stay having those $1mil pricetags forever.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Well that's what I touched on in the text. Until that red Kenmeri sells, that 98-mil is just going to stay a number. 2000GTs have swapped hands for the $1 mil mark and Z432s and Hakosuka GT-RS go up in price a couple of million yen a year. So it's happenings. But straight out doubling current prices, well we need to sit back and wait. It is a rare car that's for sure and it's the little special unique ones that end up braking records


"Does that make it worth close to US$1mil though?"

I think you could probably apply this very question, to the various vintage/antique Italian and German cars, that regularly sell for seven figures.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Any collectable. Look at the McLaren F1. What are they selling for these days? $50 mil?? Few years ago it was 10, a few before it was 5...


Time to readjust the dream cars list :(

Dino Dalle Carbonare



as mentioned in a few article previously, the younger generations may end up being more into their automated cars.
also with electric cars coming in and governments then putting laws in place, won't it be a matter of time before they take petrol cars off the roads completely.
point being, will these cars be worth anything if they can't be driven anymore?


Banning ICE? Maybe in 30+ year


You have to see it as a collector point of view not as a car guys or even a regular driver looking for a reliable vehicle.
You'll have to class them in history/collection side not vehicles taking you from point A to B.
As example, some vehicles with no starter that you have a small lever to fix up front and turn it all day to get the old engine running are still in "road condition" form but you'll never see anyone driving them on the road. In future (wish little bit far future) the ICE cars will have the same fate.


I know what you mean, its just sad to think these cars will only be looked at.
Future generations might here stories or videos of them, but never ever actually get to experience the reason they became so legendary and collectable.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Let's just hope this happens way after I'm no longer around!


Sorry guys, but Speedhunters posts thousands of pics month by month showing crappy ricer Supras, R32s etc. If everybody supports "wrecking" every single Supra in the world, the last unmodified models rise in value. Do the math...
What do think is happening 'cause of the Porsche-mass-destruction by Rauh-Welt? The best cars are in hands of so-called tuning companies - unrecognizable "customized". If somebody with actual taste wants a normal / tasteful modified car, he can't afford it.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

We do what now?


We stop wining about the high prices and appreciate the well preserved automotive gems. The destruction of classics we can't stop anyways...


It´s true that normal guys don´t have the Options to drive such a car. But i see this more positiv. I know there are some guys who have some 40k € or $ left for those projekts. This is the best way to realize such big Projects. Look at those Civics or the hole Opel and VW Golf shit what happens here in Europe. It´s really sad what´s going on here. If you want to buy a stock damn GOLF 2 u must to take a Credit.... If you want one, you must to buy an example where 2-3 Guys had they fingers on it.


It´s also the same with new cars. All People want fast and good looking cars. What the manufactors do ? They build for exemple a regular Golf tune a Little bit the Setup for some more horses and sell them with 20k - 30k more than a regular Golf. But u can´t reach the same performance finish as for example like Nissan do it with the 370 Z or Toyota(Subaru) with the GT86 (BRZ). Don´t miss unterstood me, i´ll drive a GTI Clubsport, this is a really badass car, but this one will be the last. In the future i will build my cars selfmade or buy only Models with a 1 and only enigine concept. P.S my air intakebridge (hope u understand what i mean) is made of Plastic...


I'm actually glad the japanese are doing this, it's the only way to preserve these cars into the long term future. And also, it's almost as if they are "losing control" of the scene with players like America growing interest so much lately, so the way I see it is like "the americans want to slowly take over and be the hub of japanese car culture? No problem, but we won't let em go easy!" haha


You mean you don't want to see some kid with wavy hair, a vape pen and a trust fund slam a 2000GT and cut it up into his modern art piece that no one can criticize because people are turning into petrol headed snow flakes?


I have a soft spot for Nissan Leopards, beautiful cars. But that is too much man, besides isnt there an infinit version of it?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yes the M30.


This is good. The price goes up means the demand has raised.


Japanese cars are finally being recognized by proper collectors in America. No longer just guys in their 20s-early 30s.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Starting to now yes


Such a shame, although it makes me hopeful ill get a decent price when I sell the Stagea


Not criticising you specifically Adam but that is exactly the spirit that’s pushing up prices. It sucks to have to pay more but it’s great when one is on the sell side. It’s not just dealers and exporters, it’s also the so-called car enthusiasts that are hoarding cars and barely driving them (for those who’ve seen, the guy knows EVERYTHING about R34s, owns a VSpec2 Nür and has put 480kms on it in 18 months while hoarding parts before they’re harder to source - to me that’s bulls**t, that’s self titled car enthusiasts themselves pushing up prices, and not “CEOs who put cars in their mothers’ garage”.

And the prices of Japanese cars were historically cheap, that does not mean it was right. Classics are not only Italian, German or American. Between an R32 GTR, a 944/968 or a 328/348, the R32 is by far and away the better car but maybe the rarity factor is the only issue. Those should all price similarly. Or you had fewer R34 GTRs produced than 458s, and many R34s are beyond salvation so why should they be cheaper (sure, they’re not as technologically advanced today but they are the equivalent for their respective era).

I don’t like the prices but that’s demand and supply mechanic at work. When money is not as readily available, car prices will come down as they had but I’d wager that the Japanese ones won’t go back to dirt cheap again (maybe the Leopard will)