Customs & Classics
There are Japanese classics for most budgets, so we thought we'd list five that might hold some interest.
Prices are the least you'll need to pay for a decent example.
SUBARU SVX - $5000
Built from 1991 to 1996, the SVX or Alcyone's automatics give up, but you can get the parts, and any problems are made up for by owning the most stunning four-seat coupe of all. Not that quick, but flat-six is creamy smooth and Subaru can feel deservedly proud of this car.
HONDA NSX - $30,000
The original turn-key supercar was built from 1990 to 2005, for longer than any other comparable model save for the Porsche 911. Benign handling, brilliant V-TEC V6 and reasonable servicing charges. A delightful car, but dinged alloy panelwork requires specialist treatment.
MAZDA MX-5 - $55,000
Mazda never made a bad one, but the original 1989 to 1998 model is best. Avoid autos and try to get the original alloy wheels, as non-factory items look naff. Genuine MX-5s are preferred. There is a difference.
TOYOTA MR2 Mk 1 - $4000
Disappearing fast as people over modify and crash them, the 1984 to 1989 MR2 was way ahead of its time. Supercharged or not, the car is still quick and if the suspension is well fettled and it's not over-tyred, a great handler. Later models not as good, albeit better looking.
NISSAN RASHEEN - $4500
This ultimate student car preceded the X-trail from 1994 to 2000, with two- or 4WD, 1.5, 1.8 and 2.0-litre power. Roomy and full of character with proven running gear, early ones are cheap. They're pretty rare and very practical. You won't make much money, but you won't lose any either.
- Sunday Star Times