Right around the time that I was 16, it was the beginning of the classic Japanese revival in the US market. The nostalgic wave was being ridden by photographers going back to film cameras; music lovers buying vinyl again, and even movies and tv shows were going back to the 80s to please their fanbase. So what happened with the car market?
Already established classics were, as said, already classics and already valuable. Classic Mustangs, Chevelles, Camaros- these were already hits and their value has only been going up, up, and up. So where did that leave everyone else?
Look no further than the Japanese market.
Roughly when I bought my Z, the market for S30 Z’s started to come up. Series 1 240z’s were already a hit within the community, but now everyone that had a dog of a muscle car would look at the curve friendly, canyon carving zed. Everyone that wanted a Porsche from the era now looked at an S30 for often times half the price of something air-cooled. The market simply welcomed classic Datsuns with open arms. Because what else could you get in the market that was like it for the price point? It was a breath of fresh air.
Why am I talking about this when this article is directed at the S2000? Because, I’m honestly so impressed by Honda’s ability to replicate everything that makes the 240Z attractive.
Yes yes, I know Nissan is still producing Z cars. Yes, I know an S2000 and Z are totally different cars. But my argument is soul.
Long nose coupe, check. RWD, check. Inline engine capable of a healthy redline, check. Lightweight, with incredible handling, check and check. When was the last time a Z car was this way? I’d argue that this ended with the Z31s. In an S2000, there’s no frills, no luxury, etc. You’re in there for business.
These cars even sound glorious, especially when you let it climb to redline. The small, lightweight chassis handles exactly how you expect it to, and overall it just feels like an honest product of the Japanese. It’s the automotive equivalent to your trusty Seiko watch. Plus, it’s aged gracefully, just like your Seiko.
So while the market for an S30 becomes more expensive, and harder to find solid models, perhaps consider grabbing an S2000 before these become even more uncommon or hard to find. Because at the rate that we are going, it’s only a matter of time before we become nostalgic over the early 2000s.