Toyota Classic

1997 Toyota Classic

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | May 2022

Photo – Bring a Trailer Auctions

Toyota’s first production car was called the AA, and it was built in small numbers from 1936 to 1943. In fact, just 1,404 sedans were made. In 1996, still in a weird phase of Japanese-market retro-styled vehicles, Toyota decided to honor the AA with this, the Classic.

Produced just in 1996, the sedan, which actually borrows its rear-wheel-drive frame from the Hilux pickup truck, is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four that was rated at 96 horsepower. So yeah, it’s bigger than a Nissan Pao but just as quick/slow. All Classics wore the same black/red paint scheme.

They were also only sold in Japan, and just 100 were built. This one was brought to the U.S. earlier this year. Bidding ends today, and the price was approaching $20,000 as of this writing. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $40,500.

VM180 Zagato

2001 TMI VM180 Zagato

Offered by Bingo/BH Auction | Online | October 25-31, 2021

Photo – Bingo/BH Auction

Guess the base car. If you said “2000-2007 Toyota MR2,” you are correct. This generation of the MR2 isn’t as beloved as earlier versions, but it was popular among the The Fast and the Furious crowd in the early 2000s. It even went Super GT racing.

In 2001, a Zagato-bodied version of the MR2 was shown at the Tokyo Motor Show. It featured the same mid-mounted 1.8-liter inline-four as the standard MR2, but was tuned slightly to make 155 horsepower (up from 138). The styling was by Zagato and is obviously much different than the standard car. It’s got some funky lighting front and rear in addition to some other, uh, not-so-subtle tweaks.

Only 100 were built. They were only sold in Japan through the Toyota Vista dealer network. And the cars were actually branded under the Toyota Modelista International brand, or TMI. It’s a weird one, and not one that pops up often. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Toyota TF108 Roller

2008 Toyota TF108

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 6, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

Toyota competed as a constructor in Formula One between 2002 and 2009. And it did not go well. Despite dumping an untold fortune into the endeavor, they never won a race. They finished second five times, however, including once in 2008 using a TF108 chassis.

Not this chassis, though, because it is an engine-less show car. It was the fifth TF108 chassis built and, had it been a race car, it would’ve been powered by a 2.4-liter V8. Toyota’s 2008 drivers were Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli.

This show car is from Toyota’s penultimate year in F1 and would be a cool piece in any collection. It would also make for a great simulator base. It is expected to fetch between $67,000-$89,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $90,823.

2004 Toyota F1 Roller

2004 Toyota TF104B

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 5, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Toyota leaped into the wild world of Formula One in 2002. After untold millions were spent – and without a single victory to show for it – the company bolted after the 2009 season. They didn’t even really sell the team to anyone else as is F1 fashion. They just left.

The TF104 was campaigned during the 2004 season, and an updated “B” variant was introduced mid-season. The team’s lineup started with Christiano da Matta and Olivier Panis – neither of which finished the season with the team. Instead, Ricardo Zonta and Jarno Trulli rounded out the last few races.

In all, 11 chassis were built for the 2004 season, two of which were used solely as test cars, including this one. Normally powered by a 3.0-liter Toyota V10, this car had its mechanicals removed before it was purchased by its current, private owner. Still, it should sell for between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $86,416.

Top 10 – Best-Looking SUVs

Sport utility vehicles (and their half-breed cousins, crossovers) are known for their functionality and not necessarily their looks. But sometimes looks and functionality can cross and create a good-looking SUV. So here we have our Top 10 Best-Looking SUVs of all time (according to us – but please tell us why we’re wrong). Honorable mention goes to the 2004-2007 Buick Rainier, 2008-Present Buick Enclave, 2004-2006 BMW X5 4.8is, and 2012 Jeep Liberty Limited Jet. Here we go:

#10 – 2015-Present Volvo XC90


Just introduced, the new XC90 is squarish in the most Swedish way. Which is a good thing. It’s Volvo’s biggest vehicle and power comes from a range of turbo’d 2.0-liter straight-fours. It’s the first all-new Volvo since being taken over by the Chinese and it should do Sweden proud.

#9 – 2011-Present Dodge Durango


The Dodge Durango was always sort of odd looking (hideous second-generation especially). So they took 2010 off to regroup and came back with what really is a nice-looking three-row SUV. While it’s still a tall vehicle, the greenhouse is much shorter than previous versions, giving it a sleeker look. Plus, you can get them fairly decked out. Power comes in the form of either a 3.6-liter V-6 or a 5.7-liter V-8 good for 290 and 360 horsepower respectively.

#8 – 2007-2013 BMW X5


The BMW X5 has always been kind of sporty. It was BMW’s first foray into the land of off-roaders and this second-generation model is more muscular than the first gen model and not quite as creased as the one that they sell now. Honestly, the six-cylinder and V-8 models look better than the “sporty” M variant, which has ridiculous-looking air inlets below the headlights.

#7 – 2010-Present Lincoln MKT


This wagon can be somewhat polarizing. Lincoln has this sort of waterfall-grille thing going on across its model line, but these can actually be head-turners if you’re sitting in traffic. They looks especially good in black and that little kink in the glass at the back of the rear doors is a nice touch. Power comes from a 3.7-liter V-6 or the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, which is good for 355 horsepower.

 #6 – 2001-2006 GMC Yukon XL Denali


Anything GMC-related that has the word “Denali” appended to the end is going to be a nice ride. The GMT800 line of GM SUVs were better looking than their more recent counterparts because they just aren’t as over-the-top rap-star looking. These were really nice Suburbans, essentially, and the newer ones just seem like dumbed-down Escalades.

#5 – 1980-1989 Toyota Land Cruiser


This big boxy truck from Toyota goes a little farther back than everything else on our list thus far. Toyota has been in the SUV game a long time – going back to the 1951 BJ (there was a Toyopet SUV before that, too). The J60 Land Crusier went from supreme off-roader to on-roader with off-roading capability. But doesn’t it just look like it wants to play in the sand? Engine choices were a variety of straight-sixes.

#4 – 1992-1993 GMC Typhoon


No doubt the rarest SUV on this list with just 4,697 produced, the GMC Typhoon (and its sister car, the GMC Syclone pickup) were factory hot rod versions on more mundane trucks. It invented the sporty-SUV segment. It’s powered by a turbocharged 4.3-liter V-6 making 280 horsepower. Car & Driver compared the performance of this truck to that of the Ferrari 348. And it looks pretty good too.

#3 – 1990-Present Mercedes-Benz G-Class


At 25 years old, the current G-Class might be most familiar to you as the choice ride for Russian mobsters and all-around European bad guys. Available in a huge range of versions since its introduction, the Geländewagen can sometimes look quite nice, although the hot rod G63 AMG version above is a little overwrought with add-on bits. But the G63 is intense: 537 horsepower from a twin turbo 5.5-liter V-8. And it’s only the second-most powerful version!

#2 – 1990-2015 Land Rover Defender


As old as the G-Wagen above, the similarly-styled Land Rover Defender is one of the more serious SUVs money can buy. As posh as Land Rovers have become, they are still the most capable vehicles on earth. This truck is available in three different wheelbases and we particularly like the long-wheelbase versions, like the one above. Don’t even ask about powertrain options.

#1 – 1984-1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Photo - Christopher Ziemnowicz

Photo – Christopher Ziemnowicz

AMC-era Jeeps (Wrangler not included) are some of Jeep’s best-ever looking products. The wood-grain panels on the side really set this apart. Woodie wagons sort of stopped being cool in the 1950s and everything that came after about 1951 was a sort of dorky station wagon driven embarrassingly by your parents. Except for this. This is the only acceptable wood-paneled car produced after 1955. And it will likely become one of the most collectible SUVs ever built.

Lemur Monitors: BlueDriver. Tested!

First off let me admit that I seem to have some pretty terrible luck when it comes to automobile ownership. My last car needed an emergency Gorilla Tape repair at one point. So when this little guy showed up in the mail this week, I was rather excited:

300dpi BlueDriverSensorInHand

Lemur Monitors’ BlueDriver is a very compact OBD-II scanner that you plug in under your dash. Pulling up an app on your smart phone then tells you what’s going on under the hood. It’ll work on every 1996 or newer car. Got a check engine light that won’t go away? This will tell you what it is. They sent me one to play with, so play I did.

I downloaded the app, which is free, then popped this thing on an ’02 Camry in the garage that has had it’s dashboard lit like a Christmas tree with yellow warnings for well over a year. Once the scanner is in place, you turn the car on and it pairs via Bluetooth to your phone.

300dpi BlueDriverCarOnce it’s paired, you can read any error codes your car is throwing as well as run a smog check (if you live in an unfortunate state) and run live diagnostic checks that will tell you different temperatures and things – all color coded so you know what’s wrong (you can also log data as you drive).

And boy was there stuff wrong! Once you click “Read Codes,” it will spit out a button for each code and from there you can dive into possible causes and reported fixes. I can honestly say this would have saved me a lot of time back when my Mazda acquired a gaping hole in an air hose and my local mechanics fixed everything but. I would have personally searched every hose before handing over the keys.


Pictured: Bad News.

The reports are saved off in the app itself, but it’s really easy to email yourself a PDF so you can look at it later on a different machine. I had four codes, three of which I already knew about, but one – a too-lean fuel system – was new. After seeing the error, I looked in the live diagnostic tool and confirmed that the fuel trim wasn’t what it should be.

Screenshot_2015-06-12-15-39-00 (1)

Now that I knew what was wrong, I needed to figure out what to do about it. Luckily the app is packed with info on each error code. It gives you possible causes, some of which are more helpful than others. And it gives you possible solutions, ranging from the free (Hey, your gas cap is loose!) to the very costly (You need a new catalytic converter!). And when you’re done, it takes a single click to clear all the codes – but be warned, once they’re gone you can’t report on them. Lucky for me, these codes will definitely be re-appearing.


The PDFs are pretty nice, especially if the car isn’t yours.

I also tried plugging this in to my much-healthier Civic. There weren’t any codes to read but I could at least check out the live feed to see what was going on. But that’s about the extent of it if your car doesn’t have issues.

It’s fairly easy to use once you realize that you need to turn the car on in order for your phone to find the scanner (which I didn’t at first). But luckily there is a built-in user manual that consists of YouTube videos – the car repair manual of the 21st century. You will also need the VIN number of the car… which turns out to be sort of interesting in itself (see below).

In all, the BlueDriver is pretty handy. For $99.95 you get a little black box that will fit in your pocket – but it’s the app that you’re paying for. It’s packed with information that’s actually helpful. If you spend a lot of time on the road – or are taking a long-distance road trip – this would be an excellent thing to keep in your glove box should your car encounter and mysterious issues along the way. It can definitely help calm you down if your check engine light comes on in the middle of nowhere. Whether or not the cost is worth it is up to you.

Bonus: there is a vehicle info section that allows you to enter a VIN number and then it will decode the entire thing. If you’re a car nerd, this is pretty cool for when you’re walking around a car show or parking lot and want to know what’s supposed to be under the hood of every car.

AAR-Toyota Mk II GTP

1990 AAR-Toyota Eagle HF89

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 13, 2015

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Last year we featured another AAR-Toyota Eagle IMSA GTP car but from 1992. This was a predecessor to that car. Dan Gurney’s All American Racers (AAR), which dates back to the 1960s, was tasked with taking Toyota to the top in IMSA in the late 1980s.

This car goes by a couple of names. Sometimes it’s referred to as the Eagle Mk II GTP and sometimes it goes by HF89 (for aerodynamicist Hiro Fujimori). And other times, because this car was built in 1990, it is called an HF90. The driver for most of this car’s competition history was Juan Manuel Fangio II. It won five races and was the first Toyota GTP car to top the podium.

It’s powered by a 680 horsepower turbocharged 2.1-liter straight-four. That is a lot of power from such a tiny engine, so it probably sounds insane. It’s probably also a lot of fun (if you’re experienced) and terrifying if you aren’t. This be-winged early-90s prototype racer can be yours for between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N: 89T004

Update: Sold $660,000.

Update: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2019

AAR-Toyota Eagle GTP

1992 AAR-Toyota Eagle Mk III GTP

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 15-17, 2014

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

We’ve featured some of Dan Gurney’s Eagles – mostly open-wheel cars. Well here is a GTP prototype AAR Eagle. It’s powered by a turbocharged Toyota 2.1-liter straight-four making 700-750 horsepower, depending on configuration. AAR and Toyota teamed up in the 80s for sports car racing and the Eagle Mk III dominated the 1992 IMSA GTP season. Between 1991 and 1993, they won 21 of 27 races. This is chassis #004 and its major wins are:

  • 1992 12 Hours of Sebring – 1st (with Juan Manuel Fangio II and Andy Wallace)
  • 1993 12 Hours of Sebring – 1st (with Fangio II and Wallace)

It also had 12 other victories and has been owned by Fangio II since it stopped racing. It is being offered for sale for the first time and should sell for between $700,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,045,000.

Prototype Race Cars in Monterey

Prototype Race Car Rundown

Offered during the Pebble Beach auction weekend | August 15-17, 2014

1995 Kremer-Porsche 962 K8 Spyder

Offered by Mecum

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

The K8 was an evolution of the Porsche 962. Porsche withdrew from the 1995 24 Hours of Daytona due to last minute rule changes. The Kremer brothers of Germany had been producing Porsche race cars since 1962 and they entered this “K8 Spyder” – which had been a Porsche 962 in a previous life. It uses a twin turbo 3.0-liter flat-six and only four were built. This car won the 1995 24 Hours of Daytona with drivers Jurgen Lassig, Christophe Bouchut, Giovanni Lavaggi, and Marco Werner. It also raced at Sebring and Le Mans that year without victory. It maintains its race-winning livery today. It should sell for between $900,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more.

Update: Sold $930,000.

1992 AAR-Toyota Eagle Mk III GTP

Offered by Gooding & Company

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

We’ve featured some of Dan Gurney’s Eagles – mostly open-wheel cars. Well here is a GTP prototype AAR Eagle. It’s powered by a turbocharged Toyota 2.1-liter straight-four making 700-750 horsepower, depending on configuration. AAR and Toyota teamed up in the 80s for sports car racing and the Eagle Mk III dominated the 1992 IMSA GTP season. Between 1991 and 1993, they won 21 of 27 races. This is chassis #004 and its major wins are:

  • 1992 12 Hours of Sebring – 1st (with Juan Manuel Fangio II and Andy Wallace)
  • 1993 12 Hours of Sebring – 1st (with Fangio II and Wallace)

It also had 12 other victories and has been owned by Fangio II since it stopped racing. It is being offered for sale for the first time and should sell for between $700,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,045,000.

1984 Lola-Mazda T616

Offered by Russo & Steele

Photo - Russo & Steele

Photo – Russo & Steele

The Lola T600 was new for the Group C category in 1981. For 1984, it was updated to the T616. They teamed with BF Goodrich racing and Mazda to run these cars for the 1984 season. Russo & Steele is also offering the sister car for sale, too. The engine is a 300 horsepower 1.3-liter twin-rotor Wankel. Here’s a brief rundown of its competition highlights:

  • 1984 24 Hours of Daytona – 31st (with Jim Busby, Rick Knoop and Boy Hayje)
  • 1984 1000km Monza – 1st in class (with Busby and Knoop)
  • 1984 24 Hours of Le Mans – 12th, 1st in class (with Busby, Knoop and Hayje)
  • 1984 1000km Nurburgring – 2nd in class (with Busby and Peter Halsmer)
  • 1984 1000km Fuji – 3rd in class (with Busby and Halsmer)

The pair of cars were stored after 1984 until original drivers Knoop and Busby found them and restored them. You can buy them now and read more here (and check out the rest of Russo & Steele’s lineup here).

Update: Sold $132,000.

1998 Ferrari 333 SP

Offered by RM Auctions

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The 333 SP is an interesting Ferrari. The Scuderia hadn’t gone sports prototype racing in a long time and with this car, they kind of still didn’t. Dallara designed the chassis (and built nine of the cars) and Ferrari never fielded a factory effort with the cars, instead selling them to privateers so they could campaign them.

The engine is a 4.0-liter V-12 making 650 horsepower. This is the most-successful 333 SP built, with the following achievements:

  • 1998 24 Hours of Daytona – 1st (with Arie Luyendyk, Mauro Baldi, Giampiero Moretti and Didier Theys)
  • 1998 12 Hours of Sebring – 1st (with Theys, Moretti and Baldi)
  • 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans – 14th (with Theys, Moretti and Baldi)

The car still has its MOMO livery (MOMO being the company Daytona winner Giampiero Moretti founded). It is one of 40 ultimately built (Ferrari built five in addition to Dallara’s nine. Michelotto built the rest). RM didn’t publish an estimate, but you can read more here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $3,400,000.

 1970 Porsche 908/03 Spyder

Offered by Bonhams

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Porsche 908 was their prototype racer from 1968 through 1971. It replaced the 907 and preceded the 936. It’s basically a little wedge with two Batmobile-like fins out back. The engine is a 3.0-liter flat-eight making about 370 horsepower. It could top out around 180 mph. The /03 was the third evolution of the 908 and was made for 1970 and 1971 only. This car was never raced, instead used for extensive testing by the Porsche factory team. It is one of 13 908/03s built. This car, chassis #002, should sell for between $1,800,000-$2,300,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

April 2013 Auction Round-Up

We’ll start with Mecum’s Houston sale which included our featured, all-original Mercury Voyager wagon, which failed to sell. Our featured pair of NASCAR-themed Mercury Cyclone Spoiler IIs both sold – the Yarborough Special bringing $26,000, while the Gurney special only brought $22,000. Top sale went to this 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback for $220,000.

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback photo 1970FordMustangBoss429Fastback_zps5e9a2272.jpg

And from the “anything can show up at one of these sales” file, this 1972 Toyota Corona Mark II Wagon, which sold for $8,500. For full results, click here.

1972 Toyota Corona Mark II Wagon photo 1972ToyotaCoronaMarkIIWagon_zpsa6099b8d.jpg

On to Barrett-Jackson’s annual Palm Beach sale. Our featured Opel GT sold for $6,050. I was right on with my “how to buy a foreign sports coupe on the cheap” comment. Our featured Dodge D-100 Sweptside pickup brought $73,700. The top (real) sale was this 1968 Shelby GT500 Convertible for $330,000. (I say “real” because cars sold for charity always bring inflated results. There are no brand-new Corvette convertibles worth $1 million. Not even serial #001. Rich people pay big money for these cars to get a tax write off… I mean “to donate to a good cause”).

1968 Shelby GT500 Convertible photo 1968ShelbyGT500Convertible_zps67206b45.jpg

If I had to pick an “interesting sale” I would go with this gorgeous 1956 DeSoto Fireflite Sportsman that sold for $40,150 – which is a good price for a car that looks this good. Check out complete results here.

1956 DeSoto Fireflite Sportsman photo 1956DeSotoFirefliteSportsman_zpse7f0f12b.jpg

Next up was H&H’s sale at the Imperial War Museum in England. Top sale went to this 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing for $1,021,000.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL photo 1955Mercedes-Benz300SL_zps44f99fcd.jpg

Our featured Jaguar XJ220 Prototype failed to sell. “Interesting results” honors are split between two cars. First this 1969 Mazda Luce R130 Coupe sold for $25,500.

1969 Mazda Luce R130 Coupe photo 1969MazdaLuceR130Coupe_zpsd53e65b9.jpg

And finally, this 1989 Eltrans Mini-El sold for $2,200. Check out full results here.

1989 Eltrans Mini-El photo 1989EltransMini-El_zpsca2f5df3.jpg

Next up is Mecum’s Kansas City sale. Our featured Mitsubishi 3000GT Convertible conversion sold for $14,500. Interesting sales were led by this affordable and attractive 1969 Mercury Cyclone Fastback for $12,250.

1969 Mercury Cyclone Fastback photo 1969MercuryCycloneFastback_zps5135ffa8.jpg

Top sale went to this 1936 Ahrens-Fox BT Fire Truck. Early Ahrens-Fox fire engines are some of the most collectible fire trucks out there. This one sold for $125,000 (yes, I realize the photo shows it crossing the block for $135,000). Check out full results here.

1936 Ahrens-Fox BT Fire Truck photo 1936Ahrens-FoxBTFireTruck_zps65010ff9.jpg

Next up is the Don Davis Collection, which was offered at no reserve by RM Auctions on April 27. The top sale went to this 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS for $1,936,000. Pictured below that was a million-dollar car (just barely): a 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 which brought $1,001,000.

1967 Ferrari 330 GTS photo ScreenHunter_04_zpsea32638e.jpg

1965 Shelby Cobra 289 photo ScreenHunter_05_zpsf4ab5723.jpg

Our featured Toyota 2000GT brought an eye-popping $1,155,000 – surely a world record for a Japanese car at auction. Anther feature car, the Porsche 356 by Drauz, sold for $137,500. This 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing sold for $1,237,500.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL photo 1955Mercedes-Benz300SL_zps9f2627c4.jpg

Other feature cars that sold included a pair of Chryslers. First, the Newport Dual-Cowl Indy 500 Pace Car sold for $880,000. Then the GS-1 Special by Ghia brought $616,000. This 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider sold for $1,650,000.

1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider photo 1973Ferrari365GTB4DaytonaSpider_zps73f93d7f.jpg

Our final two feature cars are the F-Code Ford Thunderbird which sold for $198,000. And the BMW M1 went for $ 242,000. Check out complete results here.

Now we move on to Auctions America’s 2013 Spring Carlisle sale. The top sale (by a recent margin) went to this 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Big Brake Fuelie for $148,500.

1959 Chevrolet Corvette Big Brake Fuelie photo 1959ChevroletCorvetteBigBrakeFuelie_zpsa16ae50f.jpg

Finally, Bonhams sale at the RAF Museum in Hendon, U.K. The top sale there was a 1955 Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe for $194,500.

1955 Jaguar XK140 Drophead Coupe photo 1955JaguarXK140DropheadCoupe_zps0da2f79b.jpg

The most interesting car at this sale was this 1917 Fiat 15/20hp Tipo 2B Wagonette. I love the dually rear wheels. It sold for $34,000. Our featured AC Royal brought $26,900. Click here for full results.

1917 Fiat 15/20hp Tipo 2B Wagonette photo 1917Fiat15-20hpTipo2BWagonette_zps84cbc668.jpg