Car Collectors Avoid Buying These Classic JDM Cars

JDM cars were a staple of the ‘90s, and even now collectors love to get their hands on them. However, there are a few JDMs that collectors don’t think are worth their time. Wondering what they are? Read on to learn more.
Written by Hannah DeWitt
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Some JDM—short for Japanese Domestic arket—vehicles have become instant
classic cars
for collectors. Who wouldn't want a rally-bred
Nissan sports car
, or a historic Toyota coupe? Still, a Japanese badge doesn't automatically make one of these vintage cars a good sell.
In fact,
says that there are several JDM cars that should be avoided entirely. Why don't some of these cars get a lot of love from collectors?

These JDM cars are too common for collectors' tastes

It's hard to overlook the unique grille design and drop-top headlights of the Mitsubishi Starion ESI-R, but for some it’s not quite rare enough. Its turbocharged engine can produce up to 188 horsepower, so it races to 60 mph in seven seconds.
While it used to be relatively unknown, more models were released when the Starion was sold to Chrysler. It was rebadged as the Conquest, so many collectors don't even realize that it's a true JDM car.
Some collectors also consider the four-door body style of certain JDM cars to be too pedestrian. Such is the case for the Nissan Maxima that was available in the early ‘90s, despite its dependable powertrain. It also offers an engaging drive with 190 horsepower on tap and a five-speed manual transmission.
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These JDM cars aren't worth the hassle

The butterfly doors and orb-shaped canopy on the Toyota Sera create an interesting appearance. Unfortunately, the Sera's looks are too polarizing to please most collectors.
The Sera is also frustrating to operate because of its glass canopy. You need to run the AC constantly to keep the cabin at a comfortable temperature. It doesn't even redeem itself as a daily driver: it only makes 108 horsepower and demands high-octane fuel.
One saving grace was that you could use the Sera's parts to restore other classic Toyota coupes. That includes the MR-2 Supercharged, a mid-engine convertible that tries its darndest to look like a Ferrari.
It certainly doesn't boast performance to match, making only 112 horsepower. Too many conflicting design elements, like an odd spoiler and blocky side intakes, also detract from its appeal.
The Suzuki Mighty Boy is a Japanese Kei car that comes with a pint-sized pickup truck bed. Such a small cargo box failed to impress American collectors, who are more fond of full-size trucks with rugged personalities. The Suzuki Mighty Boy also has a laughably tiny engine, which only generates 30 horsepower.
MORE: What Are the Most Popular JDM Cars?

The Subaru Vivio T-Top: weird and impractical

Unlike the Mighty Boy, the Vivio T-Top didn't try to be something that it clearly wasn't. It was a wonderful commuter car for crowded Japanese streets, and it even featured a retractable Targa top.
Besides the interesting convertible element, there's not much about this car that attracts JDM vehicle collectors. The out-of-place luggage rack mounted on top of the trunk lid is also quite an eyesore.
MORE: An Adorable Classic: The Nissan Figaro

Do JDM cars have higher auto insurance premiums?

The cars we covered aren't particularly valuable, so you can expect them to have normal depreciation rates. However, most of these cars also weren't available in the U.S. at all. Imported cars have more expensive insurance policies due to high shipping fees.
If you plan to drive a JDM car around town every day, this will also spike your insurance ratings. Cars from other countries undergo different types of crash testing, making them potentially less safe on American roads. However, if you only drive a JDM car for a few thousand miles a year, your coverage will be more affordable.
Even if you drive your JDM car for 12,000 miles each year, using
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