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Japanese Classic Car Scene

Heritage Classic Car Insurance take a look at the history behind the increasingly popular Japanese Classic Car Scene

With the Japanese classic car scene becoming more and more popular, Heritage insurance investigate the history of the Japanese car industry and take a look at the cars that are now very much in vogue.

The Japanese have been building cars as long as anyone else has, with vintage models in production as far back as the 1920’s. Most of these pre-war cars tended to be based on early European and American designs and with the war limiting Japanese car production there were only a handful of manufacturers including Mitsubishi and Toyota serving the domestic market.

After World War II the car industry in Japan started to increase with familiar manufacturers such as Nissan, Subaru and Suzuki all establishing ground in the growing market. By the 1960’s the average person in Japan was able to afford a car and sales were boosted dramatically with Honda also producing cars from 1963.

The 1960’s and 70’s saw the Japanese car go global with export being a much higher factor than the last decade and with an exciting range of cars available the Japanese car was now an interesting prospect. It was in fact the early seventies when the UK started to buy Japanese cars as they had a good reputation for reliability and low running costs, and of course 40 years later it was inevitable that a growing appreciation for these cars would see this develop into the Japanese classic car scene of today.

The Japanese Nostalgic Car (as it’s known in Japan) has only started to be recognised widely, and in the UK is now reaching classic and collectible status. There are some wonderful Japanese cars from the late sixties and early seventies such as the elegant Mazda Cosmo and the Toyota 2000 GT produced in 1967 being one of Japans finest ever. The Japanese classic car seems to encapsulate the aggressive look of the American muscle car, combined with Italian inspired chic, developing their own style of cars with examples such as the Datsun 240Z, still under-valued but rising and the tiny Honda S500, Japans Alfa Romeo Spider.

The Japanese classic car scene incorporates cars from the 1980’s, and has had a cult following for some time now from Toyota’s’ sporting coupe the Celica, to Nissan’s’ Porsche beating Skyline GT-R and everything in between; many of the cars from that era are now enthusiastically received as values increase as well as desirability.

This has now spilt over into the cars of the 1990’s which was indeed a golden era for the Japanese performance market. These industry leaders are now recognised as classic sporting models with iconic examples such as the Honda NSX encompassing superb performance and reliability. The Mazda MX-5 was a moment of genius as the public had been waiting for an uncompromising roadster since the heyday of lotus and it was Mazda who answered the call.

These “street classics” now depict an era of Japanese cars with a serious cult following in the UK and the States. This shows the increasing interest in the Japanese classic car scene so much so that there are a number of Japanese car shows on the circuit representing a mix of old and new cars.

So the tide is turning when it comes to the Japanese classic car market. Once scorned in  classic car society these cars are now finally being recognized for what they truly are. And that is, well engineered machines with exceptional capabilities, iconic looks and overall relevance in the history of automobiles. The Japanese classic car scene has it all.

Do you own a Japanese classic car?

Why not call Heritage classic car insurance for a quotation? We specialise in bespoke policies designed for the enthusiast offering limited mileage, agreed value and club member discounts. Simply call us on 0121 248 9229 and speak to an experienced member of our team to insure you get the right cover for an exceptional price.

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