The scuttlebutt around the internet last week, at least in certain circles (of car nerds) was that a 1971 Datsun 240Z sold for $310,000 in an online auction. Also sold at auction, on the same site in fact, was a 2004 Maybach 57: $34,000.

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Bring-A-Trailer, where both these cars were traded, has established itself as something of yardstick in “what cars are worth” since an auction is kind of the ultimate valuation tool. The site now has enough visibility that I think it’s fair to say many potential buyers of interesting cars are aware of it and browse there.

Essentially, “Japanese classics are gaining appreciation” while “frumpy European luxury barges are depreciating” is very old news. I just found this particularly stark contrast amusing. After all, the Datsun would have listed for a few grand when it was new almost half a century ago and the Maybach rang up at around $300,000 in the much more recent past.

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I know, inflation, maintenance costs, whatever. It’s still kind of funny.

Also, not to fezz anybody up too much, but if the person who listed that Maybach reads this: You definitely left money on the table by posting your luxury car with those Craigslist I-Know-What-I-Have-quality photos. Sorry, dude. You gotta sell the sizzle!

While I’m grouching, I have to admit the extreme commoditization of Japanese classics bums me out. I see a lot of comments from folks and friends of mine along the lines of “these are finally getting the recognition they deserve!” But, like, to what end? So they can be hoarded by the fabulously wealthy?

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Whatever, guess I’ll just shuffle back down to my dank, dark basement garage to try and get my 200,000-mile Z31 running again. [Kicks rocks on the way].

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik | 1975 International Scout, 1984 Nissan 300ZX, 1991 Suzuki GSXR, 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, 2005 Acura TL

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