When the Toyota Toyopet (pictured) and Honda N600 first arrived in the U.S. several decades ago, no one had the slightest idea that one day (i.e., today) Japanese automakers would rival Detroit iron for supremacy in the American market. But now a mint condition Toyota 2000GT from the late 60s is valued at $130,000, and more run-of-the-mill Datsun 240Zs regularly fetch $15,000, more than four times as much as their original $3,526. There are even organizations like the Toyota Owners and Restorers Club that form  communities for fans of the old Japanese models. One member's opinion is that the cars aren't collected for any historical significance, but rather for the reason that most people restore autos: they remind them of their youth, especially baby boomers, many of whom are now retiring flush with cash, who may have had a newfangled Japanese model as their first new car.


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