How that $315,000 Datsun 240Z filled a hole in someone’s heart — The Carmudgeon Show — Ep. 14

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In this episode, Jason and Derek contemplate a recent BringATrailer auction where a 1971 Datsun 240Z sold for $315,000 ($310,000 plus fees.)

It’s a well-known thing in the collector car world that rarity is often a multiplier for any inherently desirable car’s value. It’s simple supply and demand. It follows, then, that cars produced in extremely limited numbers, like the Toyota 2000GT, would be expensive, but mass-produced common cars like the Datsun 240Z wouldn’t.

Except for one factor; cars that were once common and cheap often suffer from high attrition rates; and when they reach collectible age, nostalgia puts a big price premium. In the case of this 240Z, Derek Tam-Scott postulates that the difference between this car’s rational value (at max, $150,000) and its actual sale price (double that) is due to that effect.

Additionally, as Hagerty pointed out in a recent meeting, Japanese cars were largely ignored by Baby Boomers, and as Gen X and Millennials gradually begin to drive collector-car prices, Japanese cars are poised to do well. Jason Cammisa agrees, and adds that cars prevalent in video games (like the Cosworth Mercedes 190E 2.5-16 Evo II and Nissan Skyline) will experience huge values because of their presence there.

The boys also discuss cars similar to the 240Z, such as the Nissan Fairlady Z432, a Japanese-market Z with the Prince S20 racing engine from the original Hakosuka Skyline GT-R, the Jaguar E-Type and its Lightweight variants. And Jason recounts a recent story of his Scirocco 16V gathering attention on the streets because it once was such a common shape but disappeared so slowly that people don’t realize the hole in the heart — until they see one and the flood of memories come back.

Long story short: despite this unexpected auction result, a car’s value is still related to rarity. But we can add “scarcity” to that for cars that were once common but are now rare.

The Carmudgeon Show is a comedic, information-filled conversation with Jason Cammisa and Derek Tam-Scott, two car enthusiasts who are curmudgeonly beyond their years. Proving you don’t have to be old to be grumpy, they spend each episode talking about what’s wrong with various parts of the automotive universe. Despite their best efforts to keep it negative, they usually wind up laughing, happy, and extolling their love for cars. Which just makes them angrier and more bitter.

Jason Cammisa is an automotive journalist, social-media figure, and TV host with over 250 million views on YouTube alone. Jason’s deeply technical understanding, made possible by a lifelong obsession with cars, allows him to fully digest what’s going on within an automobile — and then put it into simple terms for others to understand. Also, a Master’s Degree in Law trained him to be impossible to argue with.

Derek Tam-Scott still tries. He’s a young automotive expert with old-man taste in cars, and a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering — which means he knows how to be civil to Jason. Or at least he tries. With a decade and a half’s experience buying, selling, driving and brokering classic and exotic cars, he’s experienced the world’s most iconic cars. And hated most of them.

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44 episodes