How much would you pay for Nostalgia?
Time is an interesting thing, one second you're a kid listening to NSYNC's "I want you back", the next thing you realize, if Justin Timberlake's solo career was a child, it would be able to vote next year.
Nostalgia is a powerful force. It's what makes us assert how much better the music we listened to is better than current day offerings, what lets musicians who haven't released any music in over 20 years still tour to sold out shows, and even what lead to people paying $50 a bottle for Crystal Pepsi when it re-released for a short time a couple of years ago.
Cars are an area where the nostalgia lens seems to be extremely powerful. In the last 20 years, we've seen the rise of classic muscle car prices to stratospheric levels. Cars that in the 90s and were worth 10-20K are now selling for 10 times that and beyond in the right condition and trim. Next up was the 80s icons, with cars like the original E30 BMW M3 and air cooled Porsche 911s strapping booster rockets to their price tags.
Now, there's the old phrase "Something is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it", and while I suppose that's true, at some point there's got to be some logic, right? Case in point, 90s cars seem to be the next big auction darlings, but they seem to be accelerating at an even crazier pace than the previously mentioned eras.
Just this past weekend, at the Amelia Island car auction, a 1994 Toyota Supra Turbo sold for $173,600USD ($233,161CDN)! While it was the more sought after 6 speed manual, there's nothing significant that points to why it would sell for such an insane amount. It wasn't a movie car, there was no provenance to speak of, it wasn't the first or last built, and it had over 11000 miles on it. By the build numbers, the 6 speed, targa top, turbo model was actually the highest Supra production between 1993-1998.
Now, people have the right to spend their earned money any way they see fit, but it just seems so wasteful. Presumably, the person that bought this car is a fan, they probably grew up seeing it as a halo car, and now that they've worked hard, and have the means, they can go out and get themselves one. Problem is, when you spend that much money on an ordinary car, you're banking on it increasing in value. Something that doesn't happen if it's actually driven. In which case, they would have been better served by buying one for half the money, that they can actually drive and enjoy.
I want to put in perspective what spending $233K CDN can actually get you if the buyer had chosen not to go this route:
Option 1) A Real Japanese Supercar
Listen, I love Supras as much as other enthusiasts, but their magic came because of how they responded to extensive modifications. The engine block was known to support up to four figure hp outputs by strapping a toddler sized turbo in place of the stock units. Which was great if you wanted a drag car or a garage queen, but these vehicles rarely get driven. What a lot of people don't talk about is how the Supra was the resident fat guy of the 90s Japanese sports cars, being well outhandled by the Skyline GT-R and Mazda RX7 of the day.
So, why not spend your money on a real Japanese Supercar?
For $169K CDN, you can get a 2017 Acura NSX with the Carbon Fiber package, with only 1200kms on it!
Oh, did I mention the NSX has 573hp from a twin turbo V6 hybrid drivetrain, has AWD, and a 9 speed dual clutch transmission. All of that combines to a 0-60 time in about 3 seconds flat, and it's designed to take a corner way faster than you'll ever dare to!
Plus that leaves you $64K CDN for tires, and track days, and a few months in Europe.
Option 2) The Hypercar stalker
For right around $200K CDN, you can pick out a 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S.
Porsche is the definitive sports car, and a 911 in Turbo S trim flat out stomps on most supercars, and starts creeping up on the pace of many of the recent hypercar offerings, all for 1/5th the price!
Similar in spec to the NSX, the Turbo S packs 580hp from a twin turbo 6 cylinder engine, has a high tech AWD system, but also packs Porsche's version of a DCT, the legendary PDK transmission. Porsche designed this car to take a beating without breaking a sweat.
Whereas lot of cars can only use their launch control modes once or twice and then need a cool down, Porsche's system will have you begging for mercy well before it does. There are instances of 50+ back to back launches without incident. Did I mention it's one of the fastest accelerating cars in the world at 2.8 seconds for 0-60?
Oh, and Porsche thoroughly tests all of its' cars in harsh winter conditions, so you can drive this car everyday of the year with a set of winter tires on, even in Winnipeg! Or you can spend the 33K you've saved and spend the entire winter somewhere where snow isn't a thing.
Option 3) Start your own racing league
Lets pretend you have some friends. Well, the Supra can only fit 2 adults in it, so that's clearly not going to work. You know what will? Buy 6 2017 Mazda MX-5s for less than $180K CDN, and then spend the remaining 53K to rent out a track and race against all of your friends! It's like Mario Kart, but when you shove you friends off the track it hurts a lot more!
Option 4) The Show Off
Now, maybe part of the reason you paid $233K for a Supra is to show everyone that you went to high school with how cool you are now since you couldn't do that in high school since you didn't have a Supra.
Instead, may I suggest the following:
Step 1: Invite your graduating class out for a fancy steak dinner. My graduating class was about 200 people, so figure about 400 guests with plus ones, and that should be about $50K CDN with a hefty tip for your servers.
Step 2: Show up in your 2017 Jaguar F Type R. 550hp from a supercharged V8, one of the loudest stock exhausts in history, and a design that no one will be able to ignore. That'll be about $90K CDN.
Step 3: Mingle with all of the people who were either your friends or contributing factors to your greatest insecurities for a few hours over steak, seafood, dessert, and a few cocktails.
Step 4: A 2017 Audi A8L shows up with your private driver to whisk you home in the lap of luxury after a few adult beverages. Car $85K CDN, Driver $1K w/ Tip.
Step 5: Go to the south of France for the weekend and stay 5 star all the way. Then post about it relentlessly on Instagram. $7K CDN.
Option 5) The True 90s Kid
Step 1: Buy a 2020 Supra, about $80K CDN taxes in. Will be a better car in every way than the 1994 model.
Step 2: Spend the remaining $153K on a hilariously 90s private concert in your backyard. My choice for co-headliners? According to variety.com you should be able to get Ludacris and Jewel to perform a set each, with enough left over for snacks for the party. Because let's face it: 90s music has held up better than most 90s cars will.
Option 6) The James Bond
Step 1: Buy a modern Aston Martin DBS. One of the most beautiful cars ever put into sheet metal and carbon fiber, it also has a 510hp V8. $130K CDN
Step 2: Buy a 2016-2017 Range Rover Sport S/C. Off Road. On Road. There's nowhere this thing can't go. All while being classy and in the lap of luxury. $89K CDN with room to spare for an extended warranty which you will need.
Now, I could go on and on with different combinations of things that are $233K CDN or less, and all of them would be better uses of money than spending it on a 1994 Toyota Supra. Except for 8200 Tomogotchi's from Amazon. Maybe.
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