From Jeeps to JDM: Growing trends at Barrett-Jackson

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Classic Toyota Land Cruiser FJ at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas | Matthew Fink Photos

With millennials entering the classic car market, new trends are beginning to emerge and some of those trends were noted at the Las Vegas Barrett-Jackson collector car auction last weekend at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. While Jeeps and JDM didn’t steal the show, their presence was heavy and they performed well on the  block alongside exotics, muscle cars, and others.

(JDM is shorthand for Japanese Domestic Market vehicles.)

Walking around the showroom we saw a heavy presence of Jeeps, Broncos and Toyota FJs, which according to Barrett-Jackson are always popular at the auctions. Because millions of Jeeps have been built since their introduction in the early 1940s, supply has an impact on value. Likewise, there are so many different ways to customize a Jeep,  the build style also impacts value.

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Jeep in the staging lanes to go up on the block

According to Barrett-Jackson, typically highly collectible cars are ultra-low production vehicles. But then you have cars like Mustangs which were and still are easily assessable. Similar to Mustangs, Jeeps have a passionate following  anchored to their functionality and rugged style and that passion is making them great collector vehicles.

Barrett-Jackson also expects to have a good number of Jeeps on the docket at its 2016 Scottsdale action as well as early Ford Broncos, Toyota FJs, International Scouts and Land Rovers.

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Classic Honda at Barrett-Jackson

Another growing trend is interest in Japanese vehicles. The current Japanese collector car market is just now picking up speed and is grounded in affordable cars from the ’70s and is fueled by fond memories of that era. According to Barrett-Jackson, this is a great time to scout rust-free original examples and bring them to the auction block.

Can we expect to see more Japanese vehicles cross the block? Of course, but like any other vehicle there is a natural cycle in which enthusiasts uncover and sell clean, unrestored examples and as prices increase in value, restoration costs are easier to justify. This will then increase the supply.

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Nicole James has been involved in the automotive world her entire life. Her dream car is a 1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe. She currently drives a 2005 Mustang affectionately known as Marilyn and uses the car to participate in track events, car shows, and explore the world around her. Nicole joined the ClassicCars.com Content and Marketing team in 2014. Nicole is an automotive journalist and the creator of Pretty Driven - an online source for car culture and news for millennials, as well as a contributor for ClassicCars.com. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @Nicoleeellan