of RV8s seen at
recent auctions in Japan
The latest RV8 auctions news is at the top of this column. The news
is provided by our local correspondents. As the auctions are at
locations all over Japan, we do not have reports of all RV8s coming
to auction in Japan. The information is based on brief reports from
local contacts but no responsibility can be taken by the V8 Register
for either the completeness or accuracy of the information in these
See our caution.
Nightfire Red 1008 is Grade 4 with 33,000km was sold at auction
on today. A literal translation of the auction report says "dirty
seats, overfender (bumper) scratched, door mirror scratched (meaning
the paintwork, not the glass)". Our local contact says the
windscreen frame is good, the woodwork shows only a couple of
minor lines, brake master cylinder and water pump appear to have
been replaced at the last service, and the air conditioning seems
to work well. It will be interesting to see where this RV8 turns
up next but certainly Nightfire Red cars are very popular in the
UK. No photo or copy of the auction report is available yet.
On seeing our
report, Chris Watkins of HS Imports confirmed he had purchased
this car and sent a photo of the vehicle in their yard in Japan
awaiting shipment to the UK (16.6.05)
Our local correspondent reports an RV8 coming up for auction in
Oxford Blue 1794 (1996) is a grade 4.5 with interior garde
A. It has a low mileage (shown as 16.914kms recorded) and very
little information other than that. The condition report says
a few marks shown on the body have been removed. There is no indication
as to whether or not it comes with a service history but we will
check. Taken at face value, this looks like a lovely car in a
Our local contact has reported this morning "another surprise"
Woodcote Green 1948 with 21,000 kms, the third RV8 that
was withdrawn last week, is now entered for auction again so the
set of three cars is there again!
Our local contact has reported this morning "what a surprise
- of the three RV8s that were withdrawn last week when they appeared
not to have made their reserves, two have reappeared at auction
this week, and now one has a higher grade on the auction report!
It seems that if at first you do not succeed, try again!"
Green 2116, registered in 1997 with 34,800 kms.
Woodcote Green 1890, registered in 1997 with 26,183 kms.
One of our local contacts reports there are three RV8s up for
auction today but no details are available other than the basic
Woodcote Green 2116 registered in1997 with 34,800 kms.
Woodcote Green 1948 registered in 1996 with 20,800 kms.
Woodcote Green 1890 registered in 1997 with 26,183 kms.
Update: our local contact reports that none of these cars made
their reserve at auction, possibly an indication that unrealistic
prices are now being sought for RV8s with moderate mileages.
Nightfire Red 0868 has been sold at auction to a UK buyer
- further details awaited.
[VIN unknown] registered Jan 1995. A contact in the UK reports
there is an RV8 at auction tomorrow at Motorway Auctions inside
dock gate 4 at Southampton. Odometer shows 5,590 kms but there
is some concern over that figure. At this stage we do not know
the VIN for this car but we hear the last one they sold went for
£8,000, so this one should start "selling" (another
way of indicating the reserve price) at £7,700. Our contact
says he understands this RV8 is straight off the ship from Japan
and with no Japanese auction report. It seems the Elm burr trims
will need relacing although this is far from unusual and not too
costly, and the driver's seat is worn. Update:
the car is thought to have made between £8,500 and £9,000
at auction but is said to have had a high mileage.
Woodcote Green 1475, Grade
5 with a recorded mileage of 26,400km, went through auction on
Thursday last week. Whilst the local contact has not provided
a copy of the auction condition report, this example may be an
illustration of the care needed with those reports and how relying
on the grading system can really be a very dangerous way to buy
a car at auction in Japan. Recently a UK based RV8 specialist
commented "it is fair comment that one is advised never
to buy "blind" relying solely on the auction grade -
as indeed the V8 Website has been advocating for several years".
With Woodcote Green 1475, our local contact mentions "signs
of a rotten screen frame and the other oddities which the photos
provided indicate!" He adds "we have no idea
who bought this car, or even if it was sold, but it is getting
increasingly common for RV8s to appear in auction and not meet
somewhat optimistic reserves".
Photo of the screen provided by a local contact who was
at the recent RV8 auction
Return of the Australians to the RV8 auctions in Japan had
been expected following the first RAWS approval and our local
contact reports "it was not too surprising to meet the
Australians in Tokyo with their buying boots on. We suspect this
will make the supply of cars coming back in a westerly direction
even more restricted".
Our second local contact reports
that "to see one RV8 at auction in Japan is getting to
be a rarity, but four in one day is unheard of these days, so
it must be worth mentioning".
Woodcote Green 1105 with 11,556kms and Grade 4A with good
paintwork, a very nice clean interior and original optional boot
rack. Bidding was very strong therefore the price was higher than
expected, which does underline the increasing scarcity of fine
quality cars. It is believed this car is heading for the UK.
Red 2181 with a high recorded mileage and what appeared to
be a recent set of tyres. Liberal amounts of sealant were seen
around the screen rubber so any purchaser will need to make a
prudent check for water leaks and rust on the windscreen surround.
The report mentions poor wood, a bad hood and leather actually
flaking off the passenger seat, something not often seen with
RV8s, and a rusty exhaust, paint marks, and faded MG badges.
2210 with 29,629kms and Grade 4C. The C interior grade probably
results from the condition that our local contact describes as
"a shabby one with cracking wood and a rather dingy interior"
might clean up with good preparation.
The local contact also reports Oxford Blue 0759 (which
was mentioned in the report posted yesterday) with similar concerns
over the mileage. No photos or copies of the auction reports available.
Blue 0759 is Grade 4 (B) and is up for sale tomorrow. Our
local contact says the notes on the auction report state that
the speedometer was replaced in November 2002 and the new one
shows 3,665Km. The "proper" total mileage is said to
be 31,900Km but there is no indication of a service history to
support this. The other comments are pretty well par for the course
- worn interior, boot dampers failed, scratches and marks repaired.
No photos available.
Woodcote Green 1166 is Grade 4 with 36,700km recorded,
registered December 1995.
Our local contact says the auction report notes the "seats
are dirty, minor scratches repaired and no service history".
On inspection he notes the "wood dash is cracked".
The auction report also has an "XX" note on the bonnet
of the diagram above which our local contact advises means the
bonnet has been replaced but, as the car is Grade 4, the replacement
is unlikely to be due to road accident damage but possibly because
someone slammed it too hard or sat on it - something like that.
Woodcote Green 1978 is Grade 4.5 with 8.250km recorded,
Our local contact reports the "seats are dirty, gearknob
worn, minor scratches repaired, one owner and a service history".
On inspection he notes "the half grade extra for this
car seems to reflect the better wood, as well as the low mileage".
Woodcote Green 2210 appeared today at the JAA auction.
The auction report shows it was registered in 1997 and has 29,700km
Our local contact reports "It had a very high start price
and in the end the seller refused to let it go when the bidding
stopped at JPY1,340,000. It will no doubt reappear soon. Various
dents and scratches have been repaired, although one dent remained
on the boot lid. The boot lid dampers failed and the petrol tank
is dented. A rear panel (underside) is mis-shapen
Oxford Blue 1616 is Grade 4B with 56,735kms recorded on
the auction report.
Our local contact says "here is just a literal translation
of the "assessors comments" in order from the top (left
hand side Japanese writing) of the auction report - the comments
are: service books and spare key with car, interior valeted, wood
dash cracked, gearknob/seats worn, boot lid dampers weak, rust
underneath and scratches have been repaired. In addition to the
above, if you zoom in on the photo of the car you can see a wooden
steering wheel. Apparently the original is not in the boot, although
I am told this was a genuine Rover option, I have only seen one
before and that had to be changed back to the original for sale".
It will be interesting to see where this RV8 ends up.
30th November 2004
Green 0731. Our local contact reported the following day that
"we looked the car over and found the dashboard is in
pieces, but that is not a problem to replace. The driver's seat
was "black" and it was not easy to assess whether it
would all clean up satisfactorily, but it did not appear torn.
However the start price was just 20,000 Yen (just over a hundred
pounds!) so it seems possible this car may have been bought for
parts. We shall have to see. Sadly I heard the final details too
late at night (4 am UK time) to inform your members who might
have wanted to bid for the car for parts".
29th November 2004
Our local contact says that "an RV8 coming up for auction
on Tuesday may be worth reporting just to show that there are
sometimes grades lower than 4, and this interior is marked "D".
One can't help supposing this car is indeed the worse for wear.
We shall look at it at the auction to see why the grades are so
Woodcote Green 0731 is a Grade 3.5 with an interior grade
D but only an indicated 27,812kms.
The report says the rear screen is split, the Elm burr dash veneer
is broken into pieces, the body dents and scratches have been
repaired (but presumably some have not, or the car wouldn't be
a grade 3.5). The interior is said to be very dirty and worn -
will this mate with the shown mileage?. The engine bay shows oil
spillage or leaks. However, the car does have a service book -
that is the proudly displayed large japanese script, in the "sales
our contacts in Tokyo reports four RV8s are up for auction:
Woodcote Green 1232 is a good car with 19,000 km recorded
with much interest from overseas buyers.
Woodcote Green 1525 has 35,000 km recorded with a full
service history and appears excellent.
Woodcote Green 1775 has 37,000 km recorded.
Woodcote Green 2027 with 53,000 km recorded with poor Elm
burr trims and hood, windscreen rubber peeling away but not rusty.
There is a definite tap from the engine which may be a worn cam
5th October 2004
Nightfire Red 1733 is a Grade 4.5 and seems a top condition
car with a recorded 16,300 km. Outline information has only just
come through and it may have been a late entry but it is up for
auction on Wednesday 6th. We hope to have a photo and auction
condition report. A good quality RV8 in Nightfire Red is likely
to be sought after at auction!
Woodcote Green 1659 is a Grade 5 with an A grade interior
with only 13,940 km. It's up for auction on Thursday at the USS
auction. The minor scratches shown on the frame have been removed,
the soft top cover is apparently missing, and headlamp (or headlamps)
Prices at the auctions in Japan - comment
Our local contact reports that "over the last week or
so several good quality RV8s have gone through the auctions and
have attracted some high prices which would have been regarded
as "silly" only a year ago. There seems a company in
Kyushu in southern Japan may have bought two RV8s recently for
extremely high prices and one can only presume they are buying
for an offshore client, presumably in the UK". It will
be interesting to learn how much these RV8s go for at auction.
We will try and give you an indication although our previous revelation
of auction prices produced a terse rebuke from one trader outside
the UK connected with the auctions! In
the UK market, condition is the major factor on price and then
mileage, but the UK market has accepted low mileage RV8s as normal
now as so many appear as reimports with such low recorded kilometeres
which suggest very low use in Japan. If you are paying a premium
for a low mileage on an RV8 reimport, it seems prudent to have
it inspected by an engineer or experienced trader familiar with
the model to attempt to verify the figure is reasonable in the
light of the mechanical condition and general condition.
1981 - although "half
the auction report is missing, it shows it is a one owner car
with seven recorded services in the history which is good. The
car is is at the auction at JAA Tokyo on Tuesday 5th October.
The report indicates small scratches marked are not repaired".
Woodcote Green 1556 - the auction report indicates 43,660km
perhaps higher than we often see but if this means the car has
been driven a few thousand miles each year then it could be no
bad thing. The car
is at the USS auction on Thursday 7th October. There are very
few comments on the auction report and it looks to be quite a
nice car with a service history".
30th September 2004
Our local contact reports
that both the cars in the report below were sold at auction, and
provides just a little more information.
Woodcote Green 2207 "went for a very high price
so hopefully someone has obtained it through a direct agent because
that would result in a half sensible price. If it was bought by
a dealer then it could become a very expensive car" when
shipped and prepared and eventually offered for sale in the UK.
Oxford Blue 0455 had "a drivers seat worn through
to the cloth and the rear bumper was cracked and sat at "a
jaunty angle". It only fetched a modest price which was really
cheap for an Oxford Blue car so you can probably guess the state
it was in".
29th September 2004
Green 2207 is Grade 5 with an interior grade A. The auction
report indicates a very low mileage (7,223km) and is apparently
"as new". Our local contact says "I very much
doubt whether anybody I know can afford this one, although the
start price is reasonable. If it is sold it will be a good indicator
of an RV8 at the top of the range".
Oxford Blue 0455 is an early chassis with a relatively high
mileage (indicated as 42,400km), Grade 4, interior grade C. Our
local contact says "this car has quite a few adverse comments
on the report, but they are not necessarily too bad, individually.
The rear screen seems obscured, boot dampers are no good, the
interior is worn and dirty, front screen chipped, scratched or
cracked, the dashboard Elm burr is broken and flaking, the soft
top has been repaired but is still classed as damaged with a 20mm
split. It claims that all the marks on the diagram have been repaired,
so it would need close examination as to how well it has been
done. This one would certainly fit the recent trend of having
to replace all the timber and the soft top. Buying criteria would
have to include the condition of the leather and the paintwork".
Blue 1564. Our local contact reports that "this car
was damaged in an accident at the auction a few weeks ago. The
insurance claim has been settled and the car is now for sale.
This week nobody bid and it ran through unsold. It's worth making
a note of this car in case it appears as a repair job later on,
although the economics of that seem unlikely - it's more likely
to be bought for spares". On 28th September another contact,
Fred Jenns, reports "this car was offered at auction on
13th July in Yokohama as a Grade 4B car with a recorded 32,600kms.
Apparently it was sold but then turned up again with, I understand,
signs of a close encounter with a utility pole". Fred
quotes from the notes "quite nasty, front RH seriously
pranged and steering wheel bent".
It's certainly a pity this car was damaged so badly as Oxford
Blue cars are in demand in the UK.
15th September 2004
Green 2030 with an incredibly low mileage (5,926km) with service
history. Marks said to be repaired (no filler). Underside below
rear bumper has taken a knock or been scraped but buyers will
check before bidding. Update: this car went for a very high bid
price probably based on the low mileage.
14th September 2004
Green VIN?? is at JAA Tokyo tomorrow (Wednesday). Although
the auction report is cut off it is a grade 3 car for some reason.
Looks to be covered in considerable dents and scratches, and the
large note in scribble says that the "front right inner is
bent". Clearly it will need to be checked carefully as that
may not mean just the inner wing, but might possibly be the frame
(chassis). It was registered in 1997, is a one-owner car and records
only 7800Km. The start price is very high presumably the seller
reckons its age and mileage outweigh the condition, or maybe it
is an easy fix. We shall see when we check it out.
31st August 2004
Woodcote Green 0500
is reported on the auction condition report as Grade 4(B) with
16,000km recorded. It is up for auction at the USS auction on
Thursday 2nd September. As it is pre-VIN0644 it almost certainly
has the earlier LT77S gearbox rather than the later R380 unit.
Our local contact reports the "start price" for this
car is Yen 780,000 and if this follows the usual convention of
indicating around half of the final figure the seller is hoping
for, then it is unlikely to sell. He would not expect this car
to exceed Yen 1,200,000 but feels we may be seeing the continuation
of the trend towards milking every Yen out of the remaining RV8s
in Japan. (1.9.04)
2nd August 2004
Woodcote Green 2067 turns up on eBay
- an RV8 auction report back on 10th December 2003 noted "1996
Woodcote Green 2067 is Grade 3.5 with an interior grade C
so it is probably well used which seems likely as it has an unusually
high mileage at 101,000km. These high mileage cars may not be
so bad but clearly need close inspection, but it is often the
type of RV8 the discerning buyer for a specialist RV8 reimporter
in the UK would dismiss out of hand". Fred Jenns reports
that what appears to be the same car is offered on eBay with,
we understand, a recorded mileage of only 65,200kms - he wonders
whether it drove backwards all the way from Japan! (4.8.08)
Our local correspondent reports that two RV8s are due to appear
at the USS Tokyo auction on Thursday 1st July.
(1995) Woodcote Green 1388 is Grade 4, interior B (not bad)
with 44,638km and a service history. The comments on the auction
condition report state that this car has a "Nakamichi Audio
system" fitted - which apparently is one of the best you
can get. All marks on the bodywork have been removed. The seats
are "a little dirty" but our usual comments apply.
We understand there is also a note on the auction report which
mentions (presumably to the auction house) "please keep
this car under cover". This might possibly suggest
the car could suffer leaks if left out in the rain. So it will
be worth checking that if you you should see this car later.
Woodcote Green 1925 is Grade 4 with an interior Grade C
(grubby) with 31,868km and a service history. It's a one owner
car first registered in July 1996. We understand the auction
condition report states the wood console "has a lot
of cracks and the seats are worn and dirty".
29th June 2004
Our local correspondent reports that two RV8s are due to appear
at the JSS auction on Wednesday 30th June. Unfortunately the
auction condition reports from this auction do not identify
the cars by their VIN number (hence we use "NNNN"
below), so anyone thinking of purchasing a reimported RV8 will
have to make a mental note look out for these cars if they eventually
turn up in the UK or elsewhere.
(1996) Oxford Blue NNNN with 16,330km, a service history,
only slightly marked on the body and no adverse comments. It
appears to be a top class car.
Footnote on 30.6.04 - Chris Watkins of HS Imports has
been in touch to say "I bought the Oxford Blue RV8 at
the JSS auction today and it will soon appear on my website.
He adds that Oxford Blue or Nightfire Red RV8s are fetching
about £2,500 more at auction in Japan than Woodcote Green
cars and of course that differential is then compounded by import
taxes. Still it gets them over to the UK and into enthusiasts'
hands!". UK enthusiasts looking for a top class, low
mileage Oxford Blue RV8 reimport will be pleased to hear this
one is coming to the UK. Good quality reimported RV8s in a colour
other than Woodcote Green are getting rarer by the month.
(1996) Woodcote Green NNNN with 32,200km.
from our local correspondent that "the notes say the
windscreen frame is rotted (rust), the rear windscreen is split,
the weatherseal has been repaired (this probably means that
black silicone has been gunned into various holes), and he right
front pillar appears to be rusty (possibly rotten) with holes
in it". It would seem prudent that if this car is offered
to you in the UK, you should have it examined by an RV8 expert
as the whole weatherproofing around the windscreen may have
been compromised. There is just a possibility that this problem
area might be cosmetically dealt with at a surface level when
the car is prepared for sale by a second division trader.
Woocote Green 1925 is Grade 4, interior Grade C with
31,865km recorded. The auction report indicates it was first
registered in June 1996, the interior is "dirty" (but
see the links on "dirty seats" and the grading system
in the RH column of this webpage) and is a one owner car with
a full service history. The marks indicated on the bodywork
have all been removed. The elm burr dashboard is noted as cracked
and our local correspondent says there is an extra Japanese
character there which means "a lot". Unfortunately
on a previous occasion we had someone grumble about one of our
reports on the state of the dashboard of an RV8 appearing at
auction, so let me say the comment above is from a report which
is necessarily secondhand and we have no way of verifying it
unless you can read the Japanese script on the copy of the auction
report below. So if you are at all concerned by any aspect of
our reports, then get someone to translate the auction condition
report for you! Quite frankly that is a prudent thing to do
in any case and a good UK RV8 reimporter or local trader will
be pleased to do that for you as part of their service! Fortunately
most members have been pleased with the flow of auction reports
on this webpage.
reports are in the RH column
Woodcote Green 0942 is Grade 4C with 18,837km recorded.
A translation of the auction report below indicates this car
has power steering and a service history, and all scratch marks
on the body have been repaired. The interior is dirty with cigar
burns, and there are several cracks in the dashboard. Some of
those cracks are recorded as up to one centimetre wide, presumably
missing flakes of Elm burr veneer. This car appeared at auction
last year on 27th March when it had 17,960km recorded - see
auction news archive.
RV8 specialists in the UK are able to get the Elm burr dashboards
and door cappings repaired very easily.
V8 Register - MG Car Club
enthusiasts looking for an RV8, this webpage should provide useful
information on the level of activity and an indication of the quality
of some of the RV8s passing through recent auctions in Japan.
Please note the information on each car indicated by the auction
report cannot be relied on and any prospective buyer must ensure
a vehicle is carefully checked by a reliable local engineer or trader
who physically inspects the car and is experienced with RV8s and
able to judge condition and quality.
December 2004 Jim
Dolbel has sent a note saying "Just received some important
news that of yesterday 23/12/04 Stuart Ratcliffe of RV8 Cars has received
his accreditation under the new RAWS regulations to resume RV8 imports
into Australia". So brace yourself for some renewed interest
at the RV8 auctions in Japan. Stuart Ratcliffe sent a note saying
"Accreditation as a RAW ( registered automotive workshop )
came through yesterday so we are now able to comply vehicles for Australia".
(24 & 23.12.04)
In May 2003 we first reported that a new set of regulations
had been introduced in Australia which had effectively stopped Aussie
enthusiasts importing RV8s. Gavin Brown, who runs the MG Car Centre
in Launceston Tasmania, provides an update and suggests it may be
another six months before Australian buyers are back at the auctions
in Japan. Report as RV8NOTE215 (29.9.04)
auction price trends update
For some time
now we have been watching to see what happens to RV8 auction prices
in the first half of 2004. Chris Watkins has previously reported the
flow of RV8s coming to auction has slowed and the quality has varied.
He feels that "it is safe to say that average condition cars
(Grade 4) are now certainly commanding the prices we used to pay for
top grade (Grade 4.5) cars. From the report (see below) top grade
cars are expected to return much more than a year or so ago. I suppose
this is a sign of things to come as the supply dwindles".
at auctions in Japan?
Members may have wondered why our auction reports do not mention prices
at auctions in Japan. Well this is because the auction system in Japan
seems to be run on a different basis to those in the UK with only
members of the auction having access to recent price information for
each model, but not for individual cars. We understand that hammer
prices are published on a two-weekly basis under each model and year.
Earlier this year we mentioned a price of a tatty RV8 in one of our
reports on this webpage, and then shortly after an overseas trader
sent the V8 Webmaster a curt email effectively insisting that releasing
prices "was not in the interests of the market and the various
stakeholders - including the end customer".
Surely both economic theory and common sense suggest that restricting
information to one group operating in a market will tend to result
in a less than perfect market? No doubt V8 enthusiasts will have their
own views on this but for the time being our RV8 auction reports have
no prices - only information gleaned from the auction reports for
individual cars which show their VIN, colour, mileage and condition.
bidding activity of reputable specialist RV8 reimporters or their
local representatives at auctions in Japan will of course be to bid
for individual cars at up to what is in effect their "residual
value" for the particular car. The residual value will be derived
by working back from the likely market price back in the UK or Australia
for the particular quality of car less all costs including bid price
and associated charges, shipping, and all servicing and preparation.
In a note available on this website on the factors influencing
RV8 prices in the UK - see What to
pay for an RV8 - we suggested that vehicle quality is by
far the major factor, together with of course colour of course. With
signs that some tattier RV8s are beginning to appear at auctions in
Japan, buying from a reliable RV8 reimport specialist with experience
of the auction system in Japan, a close knowledge of the model, and
a good reputation in the home market - UK or Australia as the case
may be - for quality and fair business dealing will become increasingly
important. See our prices update
on 13th April 2004.
local auctions contact
We now have a new RV8 auctions contact in Tokyo who
is providing news of RV8s appearing at some of the auctions in Japan,
with useful views on the cars and photos of the cars, including a
copy of the auction condition report. The auction condition report
is a useful guide but should not be relied on when closing the purchase
of a reimported RV8 - it is wise to get a professional inspection
of the car to check its mechanical condition and quality. We also
have reports from time to time from Gavin Brown in Tasmania
who is in constant touch with the auction houses in Japan. From time
to time we will also have additional comments from Chris Watkins
(who runs the specialist RV8 reimporter, HS Imports, in Somerset)
with his views on the UK market and on the RV8s appearing at auction
system in Japan
For an explanation of how cars are sold in Japan and the auction
condition report, see our note on RV8s
at auction in Japan. The aim of this webpage is to let V8 Register
members and prospective purchasers of RV8s have news of the RV8s passing
through the auctions in Japan. Our earlier auction news reports reports
are available on our auction news
archive. For translations of the Japanese terms used on the auction
condition sheets, see our RV8 auction
report translations webpage.
Reports of "dirty seats" on auction
Many of the RV8 auction reports have the note "seats worn and
dirty" which may seem puzzling as many of the RV8s at auctions
in Japan tend to be low mileage vehicles. For an explanation, see
our note on dirty seats.
buying an RV8?
For UK based members considering buying an RV8 you have two
options - appointing a local agent based in Japan to bid for
a car to your requirements and arrange deregistration formalities
and shipping or you can use a specialist RV8 reimporter
based in the UK with a reputation for quality and reliable trading.
See our note on these reimporting options
which highlights some of the issues and concerns you will need to
consider before making your choice. Using an experienced RV8 reimporter
with a reputation for quality cars and trading integrity who is based
in the UK with good contacts with the auctions in Japan is our recommended
Where can I find a specialist RV8 reimporter?
See our listing of the RV8 Reimporters.
In Australia we have had good reports of the MG Car Centre at Launceston
in Tasmania which also has good RV8 servicing and spares back up.
The information set out here is provided by a local auctions correspondent
in Japan. We have been unable to check or verify any of the auction
information supplied to us and consequently do not vouch for or imply
that it is accurate. It is reported here simply for general information
and visitors to this website should not rely on any information provided
here when considering or making a purchase of any of the RV8s mentioned
above or the purchase of any other RV8. We recommend you deal with
a reputable RV8 reimporter and have any vehicle you wish to purchase
inspected by a suitably experienced and knowledgeable motor engineer
who has direct experience of RV8s and the key areas of mechanical,
bodywork and trim concern with the model. V8 specialists recommended
by our members as providing good quality spares and services are listed
in the V8LIFELINE.
to pay for an RV8
Australian RV8 imports
with RV8 reimports
auction system in Japan
auction news from Tokyo
seats" on RV8 auction reports
RV8 auction reports
private & trade adverts
RV8 auction news reports
Woodcote Green 1076, at auction back on 10th February
2004, has finally arrived in the UK and has been bought by Nick
Birchett in Cornwall who reports that the car is in very good
condition. Nick reports he has found on inspecting the car in
Somerset that the bodywork is fine with only a few small scatches,
the bonnet was replaced under warranty in Japan, the leather
trim is fine although Nick plans to have a comprehensive valet,
and the reported cracked Elm burr veneer is confined to the
a small area on the fold down glove box cover so it does not
need a complete refurbishment of the dashboard. So Nick feels
the car is much better than the cautionary tone of the report
below from our local auctions contact might have suggested.
Nick also reports the reimport arrangements, using a local agent
and then preparation for UK registration by an associate of
the local trader in the UK, are also working well. He hopes
to have the car before too long.
Another high grade RV8 was sold
at auction today which our local correspondent feels was a better
example than the RV8 sold at the Tokyo auction yesterday. Today's
car is believed to have attracted a slightly lower price but that
price was still more than most specialist RV8 reimporters could
offer at this time. But are these signs of RV8 prices beginning
to turn up as Australian buyers come back into the market as the
RAWS restrictions come off downunder? Well it is reported a group
of overseas buyers were at the auction today - surely it cannot
be long before Australian RV8 enthusiasts are buying again!
Woodcote Green VIN TBA is Grade 4A with 29,000 km recorded.
The VIN has not come through but the auction form does note "BP"
on the offside which stands for "body packing", the
Japanese term for filler.
Woodcote Green 1236 was sold yesterday at the Tokyo auction
and as expected the price was quite high. The auction report mentioned
a "dirty seat" which was thought to be the usual cautious
comment but upon inspection the passenger seat was worn out! On
the face of it this was at odds with the very low recorded mileage
on the auction report. Well one possible explanation might be
that this RV8 could have been used as an exhibit. There has been
at least one other case in Japan where an RV8 belonged to a restaurant
owner who had the car located at his restaurant as an "attraction"
and wedding couples particularly enjoyed having their photo taken
posing in the car! In fact that owner had even gone so far as
having a painted backdrop resembling the English countryside!
In that case the interior was a little tired even though the car
had only recorded a few thousand kilometres.
Details of an exceptional
RV8 due to appear at an auction in Tokyo today have come through
overnight. It seems it will be a high priced car.
Woodcote Green 1236 with only 3,580km recorded, a service
history and one owner. Minor comments on the auction report
include a scratch on an alloy wheel and a dirty seat. It is
Grade 4.5 with a B Grade interior. Chris Watkins comments "I
would say there is no way a UK dealer could afford to bid for
this car as its start price is higher than the finish price
on a few RV8s sold at auction lately. As a rule of thumb the
start price is usually indicates 50% of what the seller expects
to get. This means this will be another high priced car like
the 1998 example reported a few weeks back. If it goes that
way it will be completely unaffordable". It seems one
option for an enthusiast wishing to get a high grade car would
be to commission an RV8 specialist to purchase a car like this
one to order with the V8 specialist acting as agent.
19th March 2004
Gavin Brown from Tasmania
has close contact with the auctions in Japan and has sent details
of an RV8 up for auction on 20th March.
Woodcote Green 0643 is Grade 3.5 with a Grade C interior
and 62,000km. Gavin says "I thought you might be interested
in this because of it's significance, VIN 0643 is the last one
to be fitted with the LT77 gearbox. Grade 3.5 could be a bit
harsh because it doesn't look that bad in the body".
18th March 2004
Our Tokyo correspondent reports there has been a paltry few
weeks for RV8s at the auctions in Japan. The high priced RV8
mentioned in the last report is still unsold after four weeks
but today another RV8 was sold at the USS Tokyo auction - details
Woodcote Green 1904 is Grade RA with a C Grade interior
and 37,250km recorded on the auction sheet. We do not see Grade
RA very often but it refers to "minor accident repair".
We understand the auction report indicates the bonnet has been
replaced and it refers to repairs made to both inner wings and
the front cross member - the "core support" as the
Japanese call it. The interior is noted as "dirty"
but that is not unusal - see our explanatory note in the RH
column. For some reason some of the internal trim has not been
refitted but can be found in the boot! The bodywork has a few
dents and scratches as noted. All in all it seems likely this
is a car traders in high quality RV8s would not wish to take
a chance on. Make a note of the VIN just in case it comes up
later when it would seem prudent to consider commissioning a
close inspection by an RV8 specialist and/or vehicle engineer.
Our local correspondent reports that "as expected, neither
of the two Woodcote Green RV8s up for auction on Thursday this
week was sold. They were bid up to healthy prices compared with
the prices achieved for RV8s only two weeks earlier, but neither
reached its reserve which indicates the seller or sellers feel
better interest is likely to come soon and are holding out for
more money! Frankly the last bid for Woodcote Green 1790 was
so high that it would have been the most expensive Woodcote
Green car I've ever seen". It seems the only way an
RV8 at that price would be a reasonable buy is if it were bought
by an agent to meet a personal order because as a dealer purchase
the UK showroom price would be beyond £17,000 which most
people would feel is very high for a Woodcote Green car - although
bear in mind that this is an August 1998 car, which is presumably
the seller's reason for holding out.
Our new local correspondent has sent a report of two RV8s at
Woodcote Green 1620 has now appeared for the third time
at this auction. It appears that the bids are not reaching the
seller's target. It needs to be bought with some allowance for
work, as it has a chipped front windscreen, the battery is flat
after the weeks at auction, and the wood dash probably needs
changing. None of this is enough to put one off a purchase,
but of course it affects the amount people are prepared to bid.
Mileage is reported to be only 14,793Km or 9,245 miles.
Woodcote Green 1790 is very interesting because it was
not registered till August 1998. This will make a nice difference
to the registration number it could get in the UK if this RV8
is reimported, but in my experience there is not much else to
be gained from buying such a "late" car. Also, this
car now shows 29,000Km. It is a high grade (4.5), so I am sure
it is a nice example, but the seller has set a start price which
is higher than some RV8s have finished at recently, so he obviously
wants a great deal of money for it. Some may consider paying
extra for the late registration, but a dealer would have to
consider the margins available.
What are the concerns with a "late" registered
car? We know of one person who purchased an RV8 brand new
in 1998, when he was told there were only six left in the Rover
Japan stores - I don't think it was Woodcote Green 1790. He
had it three weeks and it had to go back for a brand new soft
top - the original had perished and cracked in the air-conditioned
showroom, and after putting it up and down a few times, it fell
Chris Watkins reports that in the UK he has seen "an
upsurge in interest in RV8s after the quiet Winter months"
but his "business partner in Japan is increasingly saying
that decent RV8s are becoming scarce over there".
Chris adds that HS Imports "managed to find seven
RV8s in Japan over the Winter months, but there are some poor
ones turning up at auction and not much else - it's too few
to suggest a trend, but we always knew the flow of good RV8s
would not last for ever!" . One of his RV8s (Oxford
Blue 0761) is going to a member of the armed forces stationed
in Germany and two of his RV8s, presently on the high seas,
have already been pre-sold. There is news of just one RV8 at
auction today at a new USS auction in Yokohama (near Tokyo)
but it does not come under the hammer for many hours so Chris
adds that "if I get further news I will let you know".
Update on 11.2.04: we have heard from Chris Watkins that
"the RV8 that appeared at the inaugural Yokohama USS
auction sold for a discounted figure which seems a fair price
for a car needing some money spent on it". Chris adds
that "for some reason we are seeing more of these less
than well-presented examples right now - it looks as if the
dealers don't even bother with a valet before the auction!"
Details of the car with information translated from the auction
sheet are provided by Chris below.
Green 1076 with 31,400kms is Grade 4 with an interior Grade
C. The condition report shows the bonnet has been replaced,
the dashboard veneer is cracked and the seats and steering wheel
are "worn out". This might be the Japanese being cautious
as usual over the crinkly leather seats (see our notes on "dirty
seats") but it does cast possible doubt over the low mileage,
although there is a service history book with the car. Maybe
the car was left out in all weathers? The car has had two owners.
RV8 auctions correspondent in Japan reports that there is an
RV8 up for auction at the USS auction on Friday this week.
1995 Woodcote Green 1104 with 32,540 km is Grade 4.5
with an interior Grade B. The seats are described on the auction
sheet as "dirty", a normal comment (see the link to
a note explaining this in the opposite column) and the body
has slight scratches and/or pin dents.
In the UK, Chris Watkins comments that it is "not
a bad looking auction report" and with a "Grade
4.5 it should be good, but this is not always the case as we
saw with the car the other day".
RV8 auctions correspondent in Japan reports that there is an
RV8 up for auction at the JAA auction on Wednesday this week.
Green 1383 with 36,900 km has
a Grade 4A which our local correspondent will check out as the
auction report states that it has a burn on the soft top (presumably
a cigarette hole) and some stitching has separated plus the
dampers on the boot lid do not work, although this is not an
unusual fault. Inside the car, the burr elm on the dash is cracked
around the speedo area. A
subsequent report indicates the car has a rusty windscreen surround.
In the UK, Chris Watkins comments are "given
the faults, particularly the rusty windscreen surround, I would
expect this one to be cheap. Although I would not normally buy
a car of this quality, it could become a good car for the money".
6th January 2004
RV8 auction correspondent in Japan reports that as this is the
first week after the year end break in Japan, it is not surprising
there are no RV8s at the JAA auction on Wednesday, however there
is a nice one at the USS auction on the following day (Thursday).
1995 Woodcote Green 1425 with 15,229 recorded kilometres
is Grade 4.5 with a Grade A interior. It's a one owner car with
a verified service history.
Chris Watkins of HS Imports comments on this report that
he"recently bought an RV8 in Woodcote Green with almost
exactly the same specification as this - very high Grade 4.5
and interior grade A - which is unusual. I don't know the starting
price for Woodcote Green 1425 but if it goes as high as the
price I had to pay for mine the other day, it will be expensive".
Chris adds that "now is a good time to buy though with
the very favourable exchange rate thanks to the US Dollar's
recent plunge". Chris adds that if anyone is interested
in this car, HS Imports will be prepared to bid on their behalf
under their "purchase to order" scheme but you will
have to move quickly so the arrangements can be set up in time
for the auction on Thursday.
Shipping delays from Japan are presently a concern and
Chris adds "you may like to know there have been delays
due to a huge downturn in the number of brand new vehicle exports.
There are simply not enough to fill the ships. The last ship
was due to leave in mid-November and finally departed on Christmas
Eve! The next one is due out on the 18th January. This is partly
seasonal but it has not been this marked before".
Our new RV8 auctions
correspondent in Japan reports that three RV8s have been seen at
auction this week - all Woodcote Green.
Green 1530 is Grade 4 with an interior grade B and a moderate
mileage at 15,328km. It has a service history too. We only have
an auction sheet at this stage but the car is said "to look
1996 Woodcote Green 2067 is Grade 3.5 with an interior grade
C so it is probably well used which seems likely as it has an unusually
high mileage at 101,000km. These high mileage cars may not be so
bad but clearly need close inspection but it is often the type of
RV8 the discerning buyer for a specialist RV8 reimporter in the
UK would dismiss out of hand.
Our new correspondent in Tokyo says "a Woodcote Green
RV8 with power steering was sold at auction today in Tokyo (JAA)
which was bought by Showa Trading who have many clients in the UK
motor trade. It was Grade 4 but looked as if it might have been
heavily repaired and certainly the back panel appeared to have been
replaced. Not such a nice car, which sold for JYen900,000".
It seems this RV8 might be one to look out for with some care. If
we get the VIN we will add that to this report later.