Top 5 Collectible Cars in the Asia Region: Icons of Automotive Excellence

The Asia region has produced some of the most iconic and desirable cars in automotive history. These vehicles are celebrated for their innovative engineering, unique design, and cultural significance. Collectors worldwide highly prize Asian cars not only for their performance and rarity but also for their historical and cultural impact. In this blog post, we will explore the top five collectible cars from Asia, delving into what makes each of these vehicles so special and sought after.

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1. Toyota 2000GT

Overview

The Toyota 2000GT is often heralded as Japan’s first true supercar. Introduced in 1967, this limited-production sports car showcased Toyota’s engineering prowess and marked Japan’s emergence as a serious player in the global automotive market.

Key Characteristics

  • Rarity: Only 351 units were produced between 1967 and 1970, making the 2000GT extremely rare.
  • Design: Its sleek, aerodynamic design was ahead of its time and drew comparisons to European exotics like the Jaguar E-Type.
  • Performance: Equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-six engine, the 2000GT offered impressive performance for its era, with a top speed of around 135 mph.
  • Cultural Impact: The 2000GT gained international fame after appearing in the James Bond film “You Only Live Twice,” solidifying its status as a cultural icon.

Collectibility

The Toyota 2000GT’s rarity, historical significance, and stunning design make it one of the most collectible cars from Asia. Pristine examples can fetch over a million dollars at auction, and its desirability shows no signs of waning.

2. Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32)

Overview

The Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32), affectionately known as “Godzilla,” is a legendary performance car that set new standards for Japanese automotive engineering. Launched in 1989, the R32 GT-R dominated both the streets and racetracks, earning a reputation for its incredible performance and technological advancements.

Key Characteristics

  • Performance: The R32 GT-R featured the RB26DETT engine, a 2.6-liter twin-turbo inline-six, producing 276 horsepower. Its advanced all-wheel-drive system and exceptional handling made it a formidable competitor in motorsports.
  • Racing Pedigree: The R32 GT-R achieved numerous victories in Group A racing and the Japanese Touring Car Championship, reinforcing its performance credentials.
  • Technology: Innovations such as the ATTESA E-TS all-wheel-drive system and Super-HICAS four-wheel steering showcased Nissan’s technological prowess.

Collectibility

The R32 GT-R’s racing success, technological innovation, and cult status contribute to its high collectibility. Prices for well-maintained examples have been steadily rising, especially as the car becomes eligible for importation into markets like the United States under the 25-year import rule.

3. Mazda RX-7 (FD3S)

Overview

The third-generation Mazda RX-7, known as the FD3S, is a sports car that epitomizes the Japanese approach to performance and design. Introduced in 1992, the FD RX-7 is celebrated for its rotary engine, lightweight construction, and timeless aesthetics.

Key Characteristics

  • Engine: The RX-7’s 13B-REW rotary engine is renowned for its smooth power delivery and high-revving nature, producing around 276 horsepower in its later versions.
  • Design: The FD RX-7’s sleek, flowing lines and low-slung profile make it one of the most beautiful sports cars of its era.
  • Handling: Thanks to its lightweight chassis and balanced weight distribution, the RX-7 offers exceptional handling and driving dynamics.

Collectibility

The Mazda RX-7 FD3S is highly collectible due to its unique rotary engine, striking design, and engaging driving experience. Limited-production models, such as the Type R and Spirit R, are particularly sought after by collectors, with prices continuing to rise as the car gains classic status.

4. Honda NSX (NA1)

Overview

The original Honda NSX (NA1), introduced in 1990, is a landmark in automotive history. Developed with input from Formula One champion Ayrton Senna, the NSX was designed to offer supercar performance with everyday usability and Honda reliability.

Key Characteristics

  • Performance: The NSX featured a mid-mounted 3.0-liter V6 engine producing 270 horsepower, combined with a lightweight aluminum chassis for superb performance.
  • Design: Its aerodynamic design and low center of gravity contributed to its excellent handling and stability at high speeds.
  • Innovation: The NSX was the first production car to use an all-aluminum monocoque body, setting new standards for weight reduction and structural integrity.

Collectibility

The Honda NSX NA1’s combination of performance, innovation, and everyday usability makes it highly collectible. Early models, especially those with manual transmissions and in original condition, are particularly prized by collectors. As the NSX gains recognition as a classic, its value continues to appreciate.

5. Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI TME (Tommi Mäkinen Edition)

Overview

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Mäkinen Edition (TME) is a special variant of the Evo VI, named after the Finnish rally driver who won four consecutive World Rally Championships with Mitsubishi. Introduced in 2000, the Evo VI TME is celebrated for its rally heritage and performance enhancements.

Key Characteristics

  • Performance: The Evo VI TME features a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine producing around 276 horsepower, with improved throttle response and turbo spool compared to previous models.
  • Handling: Enhancements such as a revised suspension setup and quicker steering ratio contribute to the TME’s exceptional handling and agility.
  • Design: Distinctive features like the exclusive red paint with special decals, Recaro seats, and a Momo steering wheel set the TME apart from standard Evo models.

Collectibility

The Lancer Evolution VI TME’s rally heritage, performance upgrades, and limited production make it one of the most collectible Mitsubishi models. Enthusiasts and collectors highly seek well-preserved examples, with prices reflecting its special status in the automotive world.

Conclusion

The Asia region has produced some of the most iconic and collectible cars in automotive history. The Toyota 2000GT, Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32), Mazda RX-7 (FD3S), Honda NSX (NA1), and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI TME are all celebrated for their unique contributions to the world of performance and design. Each of these cars embodies a blend of rarity, historical significance, engineering excellence, and cultural impact that makes them highly prized by collectors.

As the appreciation for classic and collectible cars continues to grow, these Asian automotive icons are likely to become even more desirable. Whether you are a seasoned collector or a passionate enthusiast, these vehicles represent the pinnacle of automotive achievement from the Asia region and are worthy additions to any collection.

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