When you think of investment-worthy vehicles, you tend to think of rare and desirable sports cars. You know, historically significant cars like an Audi Ur-Quattro or an Aston Martin DB4 owned by Mr DB himself, or something that’s rare in Australia, like an Enzo Ferrari.
But a Toyota Camry – one of the best-selling cars of all time and one of the most common cars on Aussie roads? That’s not an investment opportunity… Unless you mean getting one to make some extra dosh as an Uber driver on the weekends.
Yet it’s exactly this thinking that makes this particular Camry a truly collectible car. These aren’t archival photos: this is an honest-to-god 1997 Camry with only 14,500kms on the clock and virtually in mint condition.
It’s quite easily the rarest Camry in the country – and might just be the most unconventional yet exciting investment opportunity Australia’s ever seen.
Sold new by Fergusons Toyota Pennant Hills, this locally-manufactured Camry CSi in ‘Orpheus Red’ with a grey fabric interior features the optional remote central locking, air-conditioning and automatic transmission. The sellers, North Sydney’s Classic Throttle Shop, even say it’s still got a new car smell.
“Whilst it may not wear a European badge of collectability, obscure and collectible Toyotas are fast becoming a must-have for enthusiasts looking for a connection to their younger days or a step back in time to point where life was just that little bit different,” they argue.
We’d tend to agree with them. It’s genuinely a piece of Australian motoring history, and something worth preserving. The reality is that people usually don’t look after cheap economy cars because they’re not seen as collectible or worth preserving. People will look after a McLaren but not a Mitsubishi, if you catch our drift. The same goes for old 4x4s or utes. They were cars that were meant to be driven, and driven hard, and not something to be squirrelled away.
It means it’s often actually harder to find well-maintained examples of old economy cars than it is to find well-maintained old performance or luxury cars… And this is one well-maintained Camry. It really beggars belief.
Sure, people might think you’re crazy for buying a 90s Camry – the sort of thing you’d see battered and bruised in a supermarket carpark – but as time goes on, these things are just going to get rarer and rarer, and potentially highly valuable.
It’s also a rather affordable investment opportunity: they’re only asking $14,995 for it. Sure, that’s double what you’d normally expect to pay for a decent 1997 Camry, but this is more than decent. Plus, it even comes with its first Fergusons Toyota scheduled service ready for its new owner. Now that’s hilarious and definitely adds value.
What we really want is for Toyota Australia or even head office in Japan to buy the car and preserve it in a museum somewhere. That would be truly fitting. Or, you know, you could just daily drive it. You weirdo. Check it out on Carsales.