Last week, we looked at three Japanese collector cars to buy, sell, or hold. The story featured the Acura NSX (1991-2005), Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 (1989-94), and the Toyota Supra Mk IV Turbo (1994 -98). After concluding that the Skyline and Supra are pretty much red hot while the NSX has plateaued, we felt that these cars deserved a further look.
Namely, where are they the most popular geographically, and does that popularity reflect a loyal following? Which owners will stick around, and which owners will strike a deal when the right offer comes along?
Hagerty insurance quoting data sheds light on which cars are most popular and where the hotspots for demand are. But with the NSX, R32, and Supra, it’s not exactly fair to make a straight comparison. The NSX was on sale the longest in the U.S. and the Supra Mk IV Turbo the shortest, while the R32 generation Skyline GT-R was never officially offered in the U.S. when it was new.
As the 25-year import ban elapsed in 2014 for the earliest R32 cars, a rush of would-be Skyline owners changed the picture. So instead, the popularity measured on this map is based on a relative basis. And to see which model has the most loyal followers or the newest adherents, the relative popularity of 2014 to November 2015 period is compared to 2016 to November 2017.
When the R32 Skyline GT-R first became eligible for import in 2014, quotes for the vehicle predictably jumped. In 22 states it was the most popular car. The Supra Mk IV could claim only 15 states where it was most popular, the NSX just 14 (including Washington, DC).
By 2016 that picture had changed. The Skyline had become even more popular. It was now the most popular, in terms of quotes, in 25 states. Only two states, Massachusetts and Maine, decided the NSX was more appealing, while seven states, including Connecticut and Florida, went to the Supra. A total of 60 percent of the Skyline’s original following, meanwhile, remained loyal to the Nissan. These states include Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington, among others.
The Supra kept 15 states, but only a third of those were the same, with Illinois, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York remaining loyal to the Toyota. States that defected from the Supra to the Skyline camp include Colorado and Nevada.
The NSX lost three states from its earlier total, but of those, 43 percent remained loyal to the NSX. States loyal to the NSX include California, Georgia, and Ohio. States that dropped the NSX for the Skyline include Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, and Vermont. Texas and Wisconsin were two of the states that abandoned the NSX in favor of the Supra.
It appears, then, that the R32 Skyline GT-R has the most loyal following of the three. It remained the most popular in 59 percent of the states for both periods. The NSX was second and kept 43 percent, but it also lost states (usually to the Skyline), and picked up the fewest. The Supra Mk IV had the lowest loyalty as it remained most popular in only 1/3 of those states, but it also conquered more states than the NSX.
It seems the Skyline GT-R R32 is only going to get more popular as more make their way to our shores, and its early adopters are unlikely to defect. The NSX has a dedicated following, but its day appears to be over. The Supra Mk IV is popular but does not have as loyal of a base.