News 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 reports.

See our caution

9th June 2005

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)

18th May 2005
Our local correspondent reports an RV8 coming up for auction in Japan tomorrow.
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 popular colour.

16th March 2005
Our local contact has reported this morning "another surprise" that:
Woodcote Green 1948 with 21,000 kms, the third RV8 that was withdrawn last week, is now entered for auction again so the set of three cars is there again!

15th March 2004
Our local contact has reported this morning "what a surprise - of the three RV8s that were withdrawn last week when they appeared not to have made their reserves, two have reappeared at auction this week, and now one has a higher grade on the auction report!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!"
Woodcote Green 2116, registered in 1997 with 34,800 kms.
Woodcote Green 1890
, registered in 1997 with 26,183 kms.

10th March 2005
One of our local contacts reports there are three RV8s up for auction today but no details are available other than the basic information.
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.

7th March 2005
Nightfire Red 0868 has been sold at auction to a UK buyer - further details awaited.

Woodcote Green [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.

11th February 2005
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".

3rd February 2005
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.

Nightfire 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.

Woodcote Green 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" which 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.

2nd February 2005
Oxford 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.

20th January 2005
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, registered 1996.

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".

19th January 2005
Woodcote Green 2210 appeared today at the JAA auction. The auction report shows it was registered in 1997 and has 29,700km recorded.

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
12th January 2005
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
Woodcote 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 low".
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 points" box.

4th November 2005
One of 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 follower.

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) misted up.

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.

4th October 2004
(1996) Woodcote Green 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 "which is
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
Woodcote 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".

21st September 2004
Oxford 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
Woodcote 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
Woodcote 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. (1.9.04)

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

(1996) 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)

30th June 2004
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.

(1996) 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.

We understand 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.

25th June 2004
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.

17th June 2004
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.

Earlier reports are in the RH column

V8 Register - MG Car Club

For 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.

RAWS updates
In 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)

RV8 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". (13.4.04)

Prices 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.
The rational 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.
New 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 in Japan.

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 reports
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.

Considering 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 option.

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.

Other useful notes

RAWS update 29.9.04

What to pay for an RV8

RV8 price trends

RV8 import trends

RAWS impact on
Australian RV8 imports

Reassurance with RV8 reimports

RV8 auction system in Japan

RV8 auction news from Tokyo

"Dirty seats" on RV8 auction reports

Understanding RV8 auction reports

RV8s for Sale
private & trade adverts

Earlier RV8 auction news reports

12th May 2004
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.

14th April 2004
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.

13th April 2004
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 below.

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.

28th February 2004
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.

27th February 2004
Our new local correspondent has sent a report of two RV8s at auction yesterday

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 to pieces.

10th February 2004
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.

Woodcote 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.

15th January 2004
Our 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".

13th January 2004
Our RV8 auctions correspondent in Japan reports that there is an RV8 up for auction at the JAA auction on Wednesday this week.

1995 Woodcote 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
Our 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".

10th December 2003

Our new RV8 auctions correspondent in Japan reports that three RV8s have been seen at auction this week - all Woodcote Green.

1995 Woodcote 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 nice".

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.