Navigating Japanese Car Auctions

typical-auction-chart

As prices of Porsche 911s continue to rise, Borro looks at Japanese car auctions to see if there are still any bargains to be had.

Using a popular website direct from Japan we bypassed the middle man. If you’re planning on buying from auction the only way you will see gains is by going direct to source. By the time you have bought through a locally based company their margins will have wiped out any profit there is to be made. We took a look at some recent sales. Please bear in mind we are only going on the auction details made available. If you are seriously interested in buying from a Japanese auction, we would suggest flying out and personally checking the cars yourself.

1976-porsche-911-2-7

1976 Porsche 911 2.7

This car looks great in the three photos displayed but is rated as a Grade 2. This means it is in poor condition and best avoided. The hammer dropped on the car at $21,497. As the bodywork looks clean apart from a few scratches that would suggest possible engine or chassis issues. a 2.7 engine can have a top end rebuild for around $6,486. Factor in $5,189 for shipping and duty, paperwork and a new registration plate and you are looking at a total spend of $33,189. In the UK market you could expect to sell for at least $38,922.

1991-porsche-911-964-carrera-2

1991 Porsche 911 964 Carrera 2

Grade 4. This is a car in good condition, sensible mileage with a few scratches. Manual 964 Carrera 2s continue to fetch strong money but at $55,872 it is strong money, matching those in the UK. One trick up its sleeve though is it is on just 57,000km. We think this is just a bit too close to call and would suggest not importing.

2000 Porsche 911 996 GT3 Mk1

With a sale price of $68,416 this GT3 is simply too close to current values in the UK.

2001-porsche-996-turbo

2001 Porsche 911 996 Turbo

Now this is very tempting. $30,744 for a 911 Turbo. While the 996 Carrera has a bad name for engine failure the Turbo engine is completely different. While prices have steadily risen in the UK, it seems importers are yet to cash in on Turbos in Japan. A car like this will sell for over $45,403 in the UK now.

1983-porsche-930-turbo

1983 Porsche 911 930 Turbo

At a hammer price of $61,225 this is a tricky one to call. It’s obviously not a standard car but the Turbo is now a highly sought after model. The odometer reads just 28,000km and suggests the car is in good condition. Without seeing the car in person it is hard to make a call but it would most certainly be on our list of cars to inspect, if we travelled out to Japan.

As you can see above, it’s not an obvious way to buy a 911 on the cheap but there are some interesting cars out there and potentially the returns can be big. But buying anything without viewing it is dangerous. Therefore, if you wanted to explore this route of investment we would suggest you travel out, watch a few auctions, inspect the cars to understand how good the grading system is, then purchase a few in one hit. Transport them back in one container and then use them, fix them or sell them!

Happy bidding!

Copyright © 2011 Smile JV Ltd

About the Author: Tim Hutton has been involved in the automotive industry for 17 years, creating ideas and content for premium brands. When not writing about cars, you will find him driving them all around the world. Having learned to drive at seven in a racing car, petrol is very much in his veins.

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About the Author:

Tim Hutton has been involved in the automotive industry for 18 years, creating ideas and content for premium brands. When not writing about cars, you will find him driving them all around the world. Having learned to drive at seven in a racing car, petrol is very much in his veins.