May 20, 2024

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Here Are 10 Classic JDM Cars You Can Bring Home For Cheap

Here Are 10 Classic JDM Cars You Can Bring Home For Cheap

There is something very exciting about high-revving engines running light cars that have come from the Land of the Rising Sun that gets one excited. Cars from the Japanese Domestic Market began coming into North America in the mid-70s, where they caught the fancy of young gearheads, sprouting forth an entire culture of JDM fans and enthusiasts. When it comes to collecting classic JDM cars, there is always the 25-year-old rule in play, but enthusiasts who truly want to get their hands on a piece of JDM history are always patient enough.

Thankfully, not every JDM classic car costs an arm and a leg. One of the first pull factors towards JDM cars in the USA was their affordability. Of course, you can always tune and outfit them later to turn them into the beasts of your imagination. Several iconic JDM classic cars can adorn your driveway or garage without emptying your pockets, and here are ten such examples.

10 1991 Autozam AZ-3 ($2,350)

With the Autozam brand, Mazda aimed at a more youthful crowd. A kei car, the Autozam AZ-3 has remained quite popular in the Japanese automotive crowd. Mazda sold it as the MX-3 from 1991 to 1998. With its 1.6-liter engine, the AZ-3 was never the most powerful car.

Making 88 horsepower, this is far from a high-performance JDM car, and yet, this classic is quite rare to see today. A great JDM car to own, the Autozam AZ-3 is what you might call cute, and for less than $2,500, you could easily add it to your collection.

9 1991 Honda Beat ($4,500)

The Honda beat is one good-looking Kei car from the Japanese domestic market. This one was mid-engined, and the 656-cc power unit delivered power to the rear wheels. While the car made nothing more than 60 horsepower, it is yet another classic JDM kei car that would look nothing but good in the driveway.

The Honda Beat does have historical value as well since it eventually led to the birth and inspiration for the Honda S660. The Honda Beat can grace your collection or garage for under $4,000.

RELATED: The Honda Beat Is The Ultimate Japanese Kei Car

8 1993 Toyota Mark II Grande 2.5 ($5,600)

A four-door sedan might not look like the most impressive car in the performance department, but the Toyota Mark II loved surprising its drivers. While it looked more like a family car and a commuter, the Mark II, in its Grande trim, came with a 3.0-liter inline-six engine.

This inline-six power unit gave the Japanese car over 190 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, which made it drive quite fast. To add to the package, the car ran really well, and its handling was downright impressive. For $5,600, the Toyota Mark II is a great classic JDM car to bring home.

7 Toyota Caldina GT-Four ($8,000)

The Toyota Caldina is not a nameplate that is popular in North America to anyone but fans of Toyota’s rally achievements. Taking those rally parts and using them inside the Caldina GT-Four, Toyota turned the regular Caldina station wagon into an exciting turbocharged 4WD sports car.

Toyota homologated the car to use it for the WRC competition, fitting it with the engine and 4WD powertrain from the Toyota Celica. The N-Edition of the Caldina GT-Four took it up a notch, and the car can be yours for just over $8,000.

RELATED: Toyota Unveils GR Yaris Rally1 Racer For 2022 WRC Season

6 1990 Toyota MR2 G-Limited ($8,000)

Many gearheads love bringing home a classic JDM and tuning it according to their preferences. This is where the Toyota MR2 G-Limited shines. This JDM classic came with a top-of-the-line 2.0-liter engine which was naturally aspirated and made 200 horsepower.

While Toyota limited the top speed of the MR2 G-Limited electronically to just 120 mph, one could easily tune it to deliver a lot more performance and thrills. Plus, a price of just over $8,000 isn’t bad at all for a car as cool as the MR2.

5 1989 Isuzu Piazza ($8,500)

Today, the world knows Isuzu as an industrial truckmaker, but the brand has made some pretty interesting road cars in their past. The Isuzu Piazza was quite the sweet car and was an Italian-designed sports car. The USA might remember this car as the Impulse or the Geo Storm.

It was legendary Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro who was behind the Piazza, fitting it with an inline-4 engine that sent 140 horsepower to the rear wheels. Sadly, Isuzu’s reputation stopped the Piazza from finding great commercial success. However, the car did have a handling package from Lotus, and the first generation of the Piazza is available for just over $8,500.

RELATED: Rare JDM Classic: Here’s What A 1983 Isuzu Impulse Costs Today

4 1992 Nissan Skyline ($9,800)

The States know the Nissan Skyline GTS as the GT-R32. Nissan developed this car between 1989 and 1994 and fitted it with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-six under the hood. The power unit made 210 horsepower along with a190 lb-ft of torque. What is most impressive about the car is just how tunable it is.

Gearheads all over the world love this tunable miracle from Japan, making their own renditions of it and tinkering around with everything under the hood. For an estimated $9,800, the 1992 Nissan Skyline is a great deal for tuners looking for a new project to work on.

3 Nissan Stagea ($11,800)

While we’re on the Skyline, one of the most iconic and well-known JDM imports in the world, the Stagea is a rather underrated version of the same car. Yes, a station wagon Skyline might raise an eyebrow or two (thousand), but this R33-based Stagea station wagon had a lot of impressive stuff under the hood.

Nissan fitted the Stagea with several performance parts from the R33 Skyline GTR, including the revered RB26DETT engine and the AWD powertrain. Even in base form, the Stagea was a remarkable wagon, owing to the great handling characteristics it got from the R33 Skyline’s wheelbase. For a price of $11,800, the Nissan Stagea is a great deal for those who want a more obscure JDM classic in their garage.

RELATED: Nissan Stagea Gets A Bit Of JDM Cool To Rival A Nissan R34

2 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 ($13,000)

North America considered the Mitsubishi Galant nothing more than a dull commuter, and not without reason. Sadly, Mitsubishi had decided to keep the more exciting variants of the Gallant exclusive to the Japanese market, like the VR-4 version. The Galant VR-4 is quite iconic among rally enthusiasts, much like the Lancer Evolution.

Before the Evo, it was the Galant that competed in the WRC, and the road-going VR-4 version was equally powerful with its 2.0-liter inline-four engine. With 240 horsepower and an AWD drivetrain, the car ran on the 4G63T engine, the famed engine that made the Lancer Evo the tuning legend that it remains today. For around $13,000, the Galant VR-4 is quite the historic JDM classic one can have today.

1 1990 Mazda Eunos Cosmo ($13,700)

The 1990 Mazda Eunos Cosmo was a super-advanced sports car for its time. Mazda gifted the Eunos Cosmo with a lot of luxury and technological features, along with massive rotary power under the hood to create a phenomenal package. Mazda created the Eunos Cosmo to be their best rotary car yet, and it didn’t disappoint.

The Eunos Cosmo ran on a unique twin-turbocharged 3-rotor Wankel rotary engine, developing a massive 300 horsepower. This was by far the most powerful luxury car Japan had to offer in 1990, and it even had one of the first in-car GPS navigation systems. Today, the car goes for less than $15,000, and for that price, the performance and noise of the 3-rotor Wankel rotary engine is an absolute bargain.