Turbocharged Demand for Japanese Performance Vehicles?

Barrett-Jackson has spotted “one of the hottest trends in collecting” and will offer a large selection of Japanese performance cars during the April 11-13 Palm Beach Auction. Highlighting this import segment of the collector car market at Palm Beach will be a 2012 Lexus LFA, one of only 500 built, and one of only 170 of these naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V-10 juggernauts allocated to the U.S. market.

“The increasing popularity of performance imports is one of the hottest trends in collecting,” said Craig Jackson, Chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “Earlier this year in Scottsdale, the first production 2020 Toyota Supra sold for a staggering $2.1 million for charity, followed up with a 2012 Lexus LFA that sold well into the six figures. The demand for imports is largely being driven by bidders who were born in the 1960s and ʼ70s and now have the means to afford the vehicles of their youth. For those in the market to relive their childhood, we’ll have an incredible selection of imports in Palm Beach.”

Two Toyota Supras are among the most anticipated exports that will cross the block during this year’s Palm Beach Auction. The first, a 1993 Toyota Supra Liftback, is powered by a twin-turbo 3.6-liter inline-6 engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission, originally sold in Japan. The second is a 1994 Toyota Supra Turbo Liftback, which is a two-owner, all-original MK.IV twin-turbo version. It’s powered by a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine backed by a four-speed automatic transmission and only has 45,127 original miles.

“We build our dockets to reflect the demands of our buyers,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “The desire for import collector cars is stronger than ever, which is why our team is including more performance imports, like the Toyota Supra and Mitsubishi 3000GT. These cars represented a rebirth of performance in the 1990s and were the poster car for so many young enthusiasts.”

Other 1990s Japanese powerhouses crossing the block include this 1996 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 Spyder Convertible. Powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission, it is one of only 1,034 3000GT VR4 Spyders produced, and one of only 84 manufactured in 1996.

Also on the Palm Beach docket is a 1992 Mazda RX7 Custom Coupe, a right-hand-drive RX7 Type R imported into the U.S. from Japan with just more than 5,000 actual miles. Rounding out the ʼ90s Japanese lineup is a 1996 Acura NSX, powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission.

Original and unrestored Datsuns also will make an appearance in Palm Beach, including a 1984 Datsun 300ZX Turbo Anniversary Edition. One of 5,000 produced, this California car has its original books and window sticker, and is powered by a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine backed by a five-speed manual transmission. Also on the docket is this unrestored 1975 Datsun 280Z, which is powered by a 2.8-liter six-cylinder engine and has only 20,000 actual miles since new.

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