Some 25-year-old versions of popular Japanese sports cars are selling for more than their brand-new equivalents, as Gen X-ers begin to enter the classic car market looking to relive their “fast and furious” youths.
Classified website carsales.com.au has a 1998 Toyota Supra RZ manual with 90,000km on the clock for $150,000, while Lloyds Auctions expects a similar price for a replica of the orange Supra driven by Paul Walker in the original 2001 “Fast and the Furious” movie.
The prices dwarf the circa-$94,000 drive-away price for a brand new 2023 Supra, which is powered by a six-cylinder turbo engine developed by BMW.
It’s not just 1990s Supras selling for silly money, either.
Carsales has a 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec manual 4WD for $550,000 plus government charges.
The GT-R was discontinued in 2021, but at the time you could have picked up a brand new one for less than $200,000.
The Subaru WRX STI is another that is sought after by “fast-four” collectors.
The car, which was a staple of the Colin McRae Rally and Gran Turismo video games of the 90s, has held its value for decades.
A 1999 WRX STI with more than 27,000 on the clock is listed on Carsales for $155,000, while there are at least 10 advertised for more than $80,000.
Subaru no longer sells an STI version of the WRX, but the Final Edition model sold for $62,400 plus on-road costs in 2021.
Frank Cheney, head of classic cars for Lloyds auctioneers, says a new breed of collectors has emerged in recent years.
“There’s a generation that has grown up watching the Fast and the Furious and the cars were always out of reach when they were young. But now they can afford them,” he says.
The modern versions of those classics don’t resonate with buyers.
“The new cars don’t connect with them because they don’t have the lineage to the movies. They’re not the same cars,” he says.
He says replicas of Paul Walker’s orange Supra, complete with lairy decals and stickers, are in high demand.
“It’s those people in their mid 30s to 40s. That’s what is driving the prices up,” he says.
He says interest rate increases and cost of living concerns have done little to dampen enthusiasm for classic cars, as Gen X-ers reach their peak earning potential.
“Interest rates are just not an issue for these type of collectors,” he says.
The trend is not limited to Japanese cars, though. Plenty of older model Porsches and Ferraris fetch more than their modern day counterparts, while classic Ford Mustangs sometimes change hands for three times as much as the 2023 model.
Classic Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores continue to demand big money at auction as well.
A 1985 HDT VK Group A “Blue Meanie” Commodore, the most famous of all the Peter Brock Commodores, is expected to attract bids of more than $1 million when it goes under the hammer on Saturday.
One of only 500 made, the car was once owned by AFL legend Tony “Plugger” Lockett and cost just $21,950 brand new.