So you have your heart set on a fourth-generation Supra turbo? I have some bad news, at least for petrolheads in the United States. Book prices show these cars selling for around $25,000, and if you want an original twin-turbo car in good shape, expect to pay more. A lot more, as in $35,000 to $50,000 all day, every day.
They’ve never been cheap, but the way they’re appreciating in value, it won’t be long before mark IV twin-turbo Supras leave the realm of street racing to become high-priced collectibles, traded amongst those who’ve probably never even seen a Fast and Furious film.
Meanwhile, it seems those skyrocketing A80 Supra prices have led people to revisit its excellent predecessor, the A70 Supra from 1986-1992. And that’s the crux of this week’s found in the classifieds, because I suspect now is the time to buy one of these 1980’s icons. I say that because they’re still cheap, but prices are starting to bounce all over the place. That usually points to something that could go up a little bit in value, or go to the moon. I’m not sure A70s will ever get to the moon, but they’re going somewhere.
To show you what I mean, here’s a white 1987 Supra Turbo selling in New York for $19,500. It’s listed as being in “outstanding condition” with only 56,000 original miles.
Per the description the car sounds amazing, and it’s a manual which is rather uncommon in the States. Unfortunately the quality of the photos leaves much to be desired, and the seller’s only had this car for six months so I suspect this is someone trying to make a quick flip. That doesn’t matter because it won’t bring anywhere near the asking price.
But it could in the near future, and here’s why I say that. Browsing both eBay and Craigslist you’ll actually find quite a few A70s, both turbo and non-turbo, for sale with similarly high asking prices. Here’s another eBay example, this time a 1987 naturally-aspirated Supra from Pennsylvania with 40,000 original miles. It’s listed as a one-owner car with ABS, a factory LSD, and Toyota’s Electronic Modulated Suspension (TEMS) system.
The asking price is $13,950, which is quite the chunk of change for a non-turbo A70. Yeah, it’s a five-speed, and there’s no question that it looks positively amazing, but it’s still a base model without the targa top and they’re relatively common throughout the States for half the price. Granted they probably won’t be as nice or with as low mileage as this one, but neither are they piles of junk. And yet, this isn’t the only A70 listed for sale with an eyebrow-raising price.
With all that in mind, here’s why I say the time to buy is now. This 1989 Supra Turbo with 77,000 miles only brought $6600 on an eBay auction where the reserve wasn’t met, and it looks to be every bit as nice as the two above. The dark red interior represents everything awesome about the 1980s, and is there any white car that doesn’t look great with tinted windows?
Granted this Supra is an automatic and it doesn’t have the removable targa top, but it’s still running the 7M-GTE. This particular car was on the block through a dealer in Florida, and if you follow book values, it should have a high retail of around $13,000. I don’t know what the reserve was, but the former car salesman in me says they’re probably looking to get around that price. Call them up and offer $10,000, then meet them at $10,500. If they balk, remind them it only managed to pull $6600 on a worldwide auction website.
So we have all these A70s listed for some lofty prices compared to just a year ago, and some of those prices are backed up by book values. That tells me these cars are headed up, but here’s the important part. Asking prices are not the same as selling prices, and It seems most buyers aren’t terribly interested in sealing the deal at the higher dollar level - at least not yet.
That means a bit of smart shopping can still net you the A70 Turbo you’ve always wanted, and it won’t take a Wall Street bailout to cover the cost. And if you make a smart purchase, you won’t just have a cool piece of Japanese automotive history, you’ll have a bonafide investment.