• Exceptional Type A 'Spirit R' Mazda RX-7
  • Superb 1998 Subaru WRX STI Coupe
  • Rare, brutish 1997 Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 2-Door Wagon
  • Three interesting and rarely-seen small classic Hondas

Japanese cars have become increasingly collectible in recent time, particularly sporting ones and with continuous demand from customers, Shannons have listed another 12 examples in its upcoming Timed Online Summer Auction from February 22-March 1.

The most desirable the dozen is an exceptionally clean, very late Limited Edition Type A 'Spirit R' Mazda RX-7.

Finished in the model's signature colours of Titanium Grey with red Recaro seats and presented in superb condition, Build Number 1483 of just 1500 is one of the last 2002 Spirit R models produced and was imported into Australia in 2021 with 57,802km showing on its odometer.

Owned by a Sydney collector with a particular passion for Spirit Rs, he set out to find the best possible example. So as you'd expect, the car being auctioned has great provenance and is supplied with its original delivery wallet, books and spare key.

The only exception to its standard specification is the fitting of aftermarket Greddy coil-over shock absorbers for improved handling.

Indicating a believed-genuine 57,802km at the time of cataloguing, the overall condition of the car is exceptional, including its underside, according to Shannons.

Definitely a Mazda rotary to collect, it is expected to sell in the $150,000 - $170,000 range.

At a similar performance level is a 1995 Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R Coupe, whose odometer showed just 110,074km when catalogued.

Privately imported by an earlier custodian, and wearing a low volume import plate stamped 5/99, this beautifully preserved R33 GT-R shows little wear, even when inspected from underneath.

The current owner has had the car for more than 10 years, and it wears period correct tri-spoke Super Advan Racing SA3R alloys that really suit the car.

With its high level of presentation, it represents great performance value at its guiding range of $70,000 - $80,000.

Another modern Japanese performance car is a sought-after 1998 Subaru WRX STI Coupe, with all its STi special items present and in working condition.

Coupes are generally more desirable to collectors and enthusiasts than their four-door sedan counterparts and this is especially true of the Subaru Impreza WRX STi.

Remarkably, even the intercooler sprayer still works, meaning the keen owner can send cooling fluid directly where it's needed. The centre diff lock controller is another item that often ceases to function but not in the case of this superb example, which gives every indication of having been cherished throughout its life to date.

With its huge potential for appreciation, Shannons expect it to sell in the $60,000 - $70,000 range.

The STI Coupe is one of two Subaru Impreza WRXs in the Summer online auction.

A 2002 Subaru WRX STI Sedan with a rally pedigree is being offered with 'no reserve', but is expected to bring $40,000 - $50,000.

Although not one of the special rally-bred two-door limited-edition WRX STi models of the late 1990s, this WRX STi sedan shares the same pedigree and performance, delivering blistering performance combined with everyday practicality in an affordable package.

Presented in great condition throughout including an original factory STi exhaust, its only performance modification is aftermarket coil over suspension , otherwise this white with BBS gold alloys 2002 STi is as it come from the factory.

Another unlikely Japanese performance vehicle of a very different type is a rare 1997 Pajero Evolution 2-Door Wagon that was built by Mitsubishi to win the Dakar Rally, which it did for an incredible 10 consecutive years. 

One of just 2,500 road-going versions of the factory Pajeros built between 1997-1999 with larger ground clearance, a massive aero package, pumped mudguards, larger 16-inch, 6-spoke rims with chunkier rubber, bespoke suspension and a 209kW version of the model's twin overhead camshaft 3.5-litre V6 that propelled it from 0-100km/h in 8.1 seconds, it is today a rare and sought-after vehicle by Japanese vehicle enthusiasts globally.

The example being auctioned was privately imported from Japan in 2019 and presents in excellent 'survivor' condition with an impressively clean underbody.

With its odometer showing 180,756km at the time of cataloguing –  the majority covered in Japan, it presents in excellent survivor condition, with its chunky, ready-for-Dakar shape and its original factory wheels ensuring that this rare, time-warp wagon would be a talking point at any car club gathering.

As its appeal is sure to grow in coming years, it is expected to sell in the $65,000 - $75,000 range.

Another Japanese with serious performance credentials is a limited edition 1994 Toyota Celica GT-Four Group A Rallye Coupe.

This very desirable two-owner Coupe is a genuine ST-205 Celica GT4 homologation special and the 39th of the 77 cars delivered to Australia.

With just two owners from new, the GT4 was factory fitted with the only options available when new: air-conditioning and a glass sunroof. However its first owner added Simmons 18in multi piece alloy wheels, a Fueltronics Turbo Boost controller and a three-inch stainless steel exhaust, while the current owner had the Celica resprayed in its original dark blue around a year ago, with the front seats since re-upholstered in full black leather.

As a result, the Celica presents in good condition throughout now, belying its indicated 150,000km. It is being sold with its original black leather wallet from Marion Toyota containing its Owner's Manual, Service book and Audio supplement.

With its condition and known history, this limited-edition 1994 Celica will appeal to Japanese performance car and rally fans alike at its expected selling range of $25,000 - $35,000.

Two other Japanese sporting cars from a similar era is a 1993 Nissan 300ZX 'Targa' Twin Turbo Coupe ('no reserve'$25,000 - $35,000, as is a privately-imported 1993

300ZX turbo Coupe in great condition that has been in the hands of the vendor for the past nine years , which is being offered with 'no reserve'.

Other now-rarely seen Japanese sporting cars in the auction include a 1989 Mazda RX7 Series V Convertible ($22,000 - $28,000) a restored and performance-enhanced 1985 Mitsubishi Cordia 'Turbo' Coupe ($20,000 - $30,000).

Meanwhile, at the budget end of the Japanese offerings, there is a tidy and now rarely-seen 1970 Honda N600 Sedan ('no reserve' $7,000 - $9,000), and two vehicles offered in 'Project;' condition– both offered with 'no reserve'– a 1971 Honda 1300 Coupe 7 ($12,000 - $16,000) and a seldom-seen 1984 Honda Acty Mini Van ( $4,000 - $6,000).

To view all auction lots, visit www.shannons.com.au To talk to a Shannons Auction Team member directly, call the 1300 078 500.