Why are Prices Rising?

A question we get asked almost daily!

Global Market

Many Japanese Classics are now 25 years old or on the cusp of hitting that age. In the US, you can't import and register a car under 25 years old not originally sold in the US market, unless it's one of the few that qualify for a Show and Display exemption or it's a track-only race car. With this so-called "25 year rule" in place, it means a new class of cars becomes eligible for US import every year.

Any many Japanese Classics such as the Nissan Skyline GT-R are in massive demand in the US. Many buyers are also opting to purchase ahead of the 25 year point and storing in Japan until the car is eligible for import!

When you add our American cousins to the bidders who are desperate to secure their childhood Gran Turismo dream; prices can rocket!


More Eyes on the Auctions

Until the early mid 2000s auction access was limited to buyers in Japan. We relied on our agents in Japan to send cars they thought we might be interested in and we'd reply to their emails with bids. As archaic as that sounds; it meant end users/customers weren't privvy to cars going through auction. Remember back then there was no Facebook, no Instagram. No way of communicating to a global audience at all.

Most customers were referrals or members of owners club forums and that was the shop window.

Now we have APIs that feed auction data to hundreds of websites listing auction cars; many key cars then get listed on Facebook and Instagram and shared dozens of times. Our auction watch cars often reach 100,000+ people on Facebook alone!


Supply and Demand

The law of supply and demand is a theory that explains the interaction between the sellers of a product or resource and the buyers for that product or resource. The theory defines the relationship between the price of a given product/resource and the willingness of people to either buy or sell it. Generally, as price increases, people are willing to supply more and demand less and vice versa when the price falls.

The theory is based on two separate "laws," the law of demand and the law of supply. The two laws interact to determine the actual market price and volume of goods on the market.

Example 1 - Honda Civic Type-R FD2

When released in March 2007 it retailed for ¥2,835,000. Within a month dozens of examples were being listed at auction. Many with 100-200km were available on auction sites. Grade 5A cars. These were selling for around ¥2,450,000.

Buyers High Quality Auction Cars Others Available in Marketplace Ratio
100 120 200
Data based on numbers per calendar month.

Forward the clock 10+ years and demand is still extremely high but supply has dropped significantly..

Prices vary between ¥2,300,000 and ¥3,100,000 for Grade 4/4.5 cars with low mileage.

Buyers High Quality Auction Cars Others Available in Marketplace Ratio
40 20 10
Data accurate to December 2022.

Example 2 - Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II NUR BNR34

When released in February 2002 it retailed for ¥6,100,000. Despite it's limited numbers within 12 months high grade cars were selling for circa ¥5,000,000.

Buyers High Quality Auction Cars Others Available in Marketplace Ratio
40 40 20
Data based on numbers per calendar month.

Forward the clock almost 20 years and demand is now global but supply is almost non existent!

Prices vary between ¥30,000,000 and ¥40,000,000 for Grade 4/4.5 cars.

Buyers High Quality Auction Cars Others Available in Marketplace Ratio
200 5 1
Data accurate to December 2022.
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