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Collecting: From Japanese Oddities to Objects of Desire

The New York Times > Automobiles
Published: July 26, 2004
By JOHN MATRAS

“LOOKING back at the first Datsun trucks and Toyota sedans to arrive in the United States in the late 1950’s, it is easy to see why purists bristled at any suggestion that these ungainly Japanese ‘rice burners’ might be collectible some day.

…But anyone who bought and kept a Toyota 2000GT would have made a wise investment. The car sold in the late 1960’s for about $7,200. According to a National Automobile Dealers Association appraisal guide, an example in prime condition is worth about $130,000 today.

…A parts book or service manual is a treasure; “new old stock” parts, or unused spares from the time the vehicle was made, usually still in their original packaging, are worth their weight in platinum.”

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