So, yeah – that happened.
For those who haven’t yet read the post covering the auction itself, please CLICK HERE to get up to speed. Read it? Good, let’s start explaining things…
The abruptness of it all certainly surprised more than a few people – in fact I even texted Mario to tell him she had won the car and then my phone died immediately after and my not answering didn’t help his confusion at all. Oops! Here’s the full story to give more insight into why my mother walked away the proud owner of an S-Chassis after only walking in to the auction a few hours prior to look around for fun.
As I had explained in the prior entry, I only found the 240SX after I read through the auction listing and saw it near the bottom of the page. It immediately caught my attention as it stood out amongst the other entries, which were more along the lines of the ‘usual’ collector cars like Mustangs, Corvettes, Camaros, and so forth. Given that this was somewhat of an oddball car at the auction I had a feeling that it could possibly be overlooked a bit by the audience and there was a chance that it could sell for a good price. Anyone could look at it and notice that it was a very clean old Nissan, but would they understand just how special of a find it was given that it was not just a tidy and original S13, but a tidy and original S13 convertible? I was very curious and had to hang around just to find out if anyone would buy it.
Fast forward to the end of the day and it was the 240sx’s turn to look for a new home. It was pulled up front and bidding started; as the procedure went, a number would be offered to start the biding and if no one accepted it, the price would be dropped until someone put in the first bid. For this 240 the starting price was dropped three separate times – down to a quarter of the initial number – and it still seemed there was no real interest in it. It was at that point that my mother turned to me and asked if I thought the car was worth that amount, to which I replied that it absolutely was so she called out and placed the first bid on it. From there she went back and forth with another bidder only a couple of times before he or she (they were across the room so I couldn’t see who it was) decided against continuing, and the 240sx was hers. Of course I adore S-chassis cars and she knows that, but she looked to me for proper unbiased advice as to what I thought the car was worth and that’s what I gave her – I would have stopped her if the price climbed too high but it still had a lot of room to go before it got to that point.
I wouldn’t quite call this an impulse – I think ‘educated impulse’ would be a bit more of an appropriate description. Did it happen quite fast? Yes, absolutely. We only first found the car a handful of hours prior to her deciding to bid on and win it but there was sound reasoning behind the purchase.
Many older Japanese cars are of course rising in value these days and some are starting to command rather serious amounts of money. Here in Canada we have especially noticed it with Skylines; due to them now becoming legal in the United States, R32s have seen a sharp rise in value and R34s are also going mental. S15s are rising too which concerns me the most; I know I need to get one before too long!
Back to the S13 though, it’s only getting harder and harder to find clean examples that don’t have insane rust or damage so they can be seen going for higher and higher prices too. As it quickly became apparent that there was almost no interest in this car, the starting price dropped to the point where you’d almost expect it to be for a 240 that had been drifted into a tree – yet it was for one that was practically in showroom condition. I’m purposely not disclosing what she ultimately paid for it but it was absolutely less than the car is truly worth – we have told a few friends what she paid for it and they have been blown away by it. One or two people have even already expressed interest in buying it off of her!
An important backstory to this – and another reason why she decided to bid on the car – is that my mother had wanted a convertible since she was a child but had never owned one. Various vehicles in various bodystyles have come and gone over the years but nowhere among them was a soft top. She had never bought a brand-new convertible because our climate means that it would likely just sit, being unused (while severely depreciating) for months at a time and that would be hard to justify. Used models were never really considered either just due to the usual headaches of looking for used cars and the admittedly high standards we have for vehicles. With its condition and history however, this particular 240SX gave us no cause for concern and left us stunned at how tidy it was.
Did she need another vehicle? No, but who truly needs a convertible anyway? This car gives her the soft-top she has wanted forever and not only will it not depreciate like a new car, it should actually be a decent little investment too; she can enjoy it (and she is!), show it off, and whenever the time comes for it to find a new home I would be very, very surprised if she couldn’t make a little bit of money on it. The combination of the body style, its condition, and the price meant that while it was a rather quick decision, it would have been a bad decision to not buy it as an opportunity like this probably wouldn’t have come up again.
As for what will be done with it – because people have been asking – it will be kept exactly as you see it here. It will not be modified, it will not be winter driven, it will not be mistreated. It will be driven and enjoyed on nice days but will be cared for properly and kept as it is – an original, low-mileage 240sx. She has already gotten plenty of thumbs-up and stares from other drivers – as well as witnessed a couple of people absolutely go nuts over the car – so she certainly is getting an understanding of how special this little Nissan is.
Some may look at it as just an old Japanese car but it’s vehicles like this that are the future of the collector car world and will be subjected more and more to full restorations and restomods alongside those ’60’s Mustangs and GTOs. Be it domestic or import though, untouched and original examples of iconic cars are special things and are only going to get harder and harder to find as time passes.
In closing, I’m glad that we found this mint 240 and that my mother was able to get the convertible she always wanted. Her classic Thunderbird has a new garage mate and she’s excited for the coming seasons so that she can cruise with the top down and show it off at events around the city. The rest of the audience overlooked this little gem and we’re glad they did.
Now I need to find an S-Chassis…who would have thought my mother would beat me to buying one?
(Bonus – Click below for a quick video filmed just after she picked up the car from the auction house!)