QOTD: Are These Bucks Too Deluxe?

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
qotd are these bucks too deluxe

This weekend, someone raised their bidder’s number at Barrett-Jackson in Las Vegas when the auctioneer asked for $58,000. It wasn’t on a Hemi ‘Cuda convertible. Nor was it on a tasty ’70 Chevelle SS. It was on the 1997 Acura Integra Type R you see above.

After buyer’s fees, the new owner shelled out $63,800 for what may very well be the lowest-mileage ITR in existence. Do you think collector’s tastes have shifted? Maybe permanently?

It wasn’t too long ago we were watching ’70s muscle trade for inflated six (and seven!) figure price tags. Most reasonable people saw this as unsustainable, correctly assuming cooler heads would prevail and the market would come back down to earth. The crash of ’08/’09 took care of some of the problem, while more attractive investments took care of the rest.

I’m not here to argue whether cars should be purchased as an investment. If someone has the pockets to drop several cubic acres of coin on a fleet of classic cars, then turn around and sell them a few years later for a tidy profit (*ahem* Ron Pratte *ahem*), more power to them. It might drive up the price of certain models, but that happens in just about any form of collecting — art, pop culture, or cars.

For comparison’s sake, this very clean and all-original 1991 NSX sold for $40,000 before buyer’s fees. In the right color with the right transmission, I think I’d select this 21,000-mile rocket instead of that ITR and pocket the $18k difference.

Regardless, today’s question asks what you think will be the next car — or genre of cars — to tip the scales of fortune at places like Barrett-Jackson. We’ve asked a similar question in the past, but enough time has elapsed that perhaps you’ve formed new opinions since then. Or not.

One thing’s for sure: the sale of an 1,200-mile ITR for $60k+ makes the conversation relevant again.

[images: BarrettJackson]

Join the conversation
5 of 72 comments
  • PentastarPride PentastarPride on Oct 01, 2018

    Uggh. This is the kind of car you're stuck around in traffic. You can't see it in traffic but you can certainly hear it, even though you're driving right next to a fully loaded Peterbilt.

    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Oct 01, 2018

      Stock they were as quiet as anything else and nobody (now anyway) is cutting up a type R and mounting a fart can. These never were hand-me-down Civics that people did that sort of crap to. I bet most of these were sold with "Market Adjustments" on them.

  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Oct 01, 2018

    I see the market not slowing down, I can think of certain areas, SoCal especially, where there is absolutely a prestige to owning the lowest mile ITR available. One of my buddies from grad school who is from Ontario, CA. His FD Rx7 (given as a college grad present ) has probably 40-50k miles, and rarely leaves the garage, and he just went through an extensive pseudo restoration on blue Bugeye WRX, with fresh rally blue paint, 2.5l engine swap. I've always liked the Lebaron turbos, especially white over black leather interior. Have you considered a Miata? at least there are clubs/events to take your kids to. At one point I was looking for a 1st Gen Supra (not Celica Supra) for a little while, at one point there was only 1 running example on autotrader. I'm sure lots of people are just sitting on theirs until they increase in value, kind of like 240z's did.

    • See 1 previous
    • Gearhead77 Gearhead77 on Oct 01, 2018

      Can’t take the family for ice cream in a Miata ;) Probably the only way the wife will give permission for a “fun car” too. My in-laws had one when I first met my wife. When a 92 LeBaron was only 5 years old! Art is correct. A Miata is timeless, no matter the generation. A LeBaron from the 80’s-90’s is a product of its time. It wasn’t a great time or a great car,but it’s the time I grew up in and would like a living piece of, even if only for a while. Such is the reason for 60k Integras and whatnot. (I want a Miata too but..)

  • Chris P Bacon It would be really nice if car sites like TTAC helped people find way to avoid these prices. It seems like stories like these just say "suck it up and pay the markup". No. In many cases, you don't have to. I just ordered a Wrangler 4xe and got Chrysler Affiliates price. That 1% under invoice. I know this is the price I got because I sat at the computer in the dealer's showroom and build the Jeep. i got Chrysler Affiliate pricing through my employer. Your employer doesn't offer it? Join treadlightly.org. For $100 membership, guess what? You get Chrysler Affiliate pricing! Want a Ford, but think you can't get X-Plan? Think again! Join EAA.org. X-Plan is included with their membership. A dealer in my area is offering Costco members a $1500 incentive. I'm guessing that has something to do with Costco's car buying service, so there must be some value to be found in that program.Will all dealers honor these discount plans? No. Then that's not the dealer you want to work with anyway. Find another place to shop. It would be nice if TTAC (or any car site) did a little leg work to show readers how to actually save on a car purchase.
  • KOKing I car-sat an A32 while its owner was out of the country, and the then whiz-bang VQ motor was great, but the rest of it wasn't any better than a XV10 or XV20. Definitely the start of its downward slide, unfortunately.
  • Norman Stansfield Why are leaf springs still a thing on this truck?
  • Syke The expected opening comments. Have had mine for two years now, the car has done exactly what I want out of it, and a little better. I'm quite happy with the car, haven't had to adjust my driving style or needs in the slightest, and . . . . oh, did a mention that I don't give a damn what today's price at the pump is?Probably going to go for a second one in the coming year, the wife's happy enough with mine that she's ready and willing to trade in the Nissan Kicks. Eventually, the not often used van will end up getting traded on a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, basically ensuring that we don't use gas for anything except the occasional long trip.And the motorcycles.
  • Bobbysirhan I've never found the Allegro appealing before, but a few years of EV rollouts make it seem downright desirable.