Retro JDM Bargains: Five More Affordable Japanese Classics to Consider
Not long ago we presented a selection of five vintage Japanese cars that can still be found for reasonable prices in the face of rapidly rising value and collector interest. And while the most popular JDM classics continue to skyrocket, there are sill plenty of choices out there for hobbyists on a budget.
And to prove this, we've rounded up five more Japanese classics from the '70s, '80s and early '90s that still provide great value in today's crazy market.
1986-1989 Acura Integra
While the first generation car isn’t the most famous iteration of of the Acura Integra, there’s no denying the appeal of the original. With pop up headlights, distinct '80s styling and a twin cam engine under the hood, the first generation Integra offers a lot.
And best of all the prices still remain affordable, with a nice running examples usually priced well under $5,000. The aftermarket support for these early cars isn't as robust as the Integras of the '90s, but there's still plenty of potential for upgrades.
For decades the mid 1970s Datsun B210 was considered to be a fuel-sipping econobox with little value, but as the values of all classic Datsuns have risen astronomically, the humble little B210 has emerged as an underdog alternative that has a lot of charm.
While the B210s don't have the same rabid following as the earlier Datsun 510s, there's still lots of potential here. There's also lots of inspiration to be found from Japan where these were sold as the Nissan Sunny.
Toyota Corolla FX
Do you dig the Toyota AE86 Corolla? Welcome to the club. Sadly though, if you've looked at prices lately you'll know the Initial D tax has pushed these cars out of reach for many.
However, there's another 4AGE-powered Corolla from the '80s that can still be had cheap. If you are cool with front-wheel-drive, the 1987-88 Corolla FX16 GT-S is legit Japanese hot hatchback that's dripping with '80s charm.
While many popular Japanese enthusiast cars of the 1980s and 1990s have already become collector favorites, there are plenty that can still be had without breaking the bank.
Consider the first generation Infiniti Q45. The look of these cars has aged well, and with a V8 engine under the hood the first gen Q45 could be one of the first Japanese luxury branded cars to become a classic.
A60 Toyota Celica
Here's another great alternative to the AE86. Toyota? Check. Pop-up headlights? Check. RWD? Check. For all of its positives, the A60 chassis Celica of the early '80s has remained rather affordable.
The US market versions of these cars may have came with uninspiring (but ultra reliable) pickup engines, but there's no shortage of swap and upgrade options from 3SGEs to 2JZs and beyond.
Whether you are looking for something to restore, something to modify or just something to drive and enjoy—hopefully these five candidates will get your inspiration flowing.
More From Driving Line
- And if you missed the first story in this series, you can see our original five JDM value picks right here.