What is the value of my car?

It's practically impossible for me to answer your most asked question "Hey, what's my car worth?". If I had to answer, it would be - whatever the market will bear.

Ebay has fast become the stock market of vintage collectible items. Final prices of items sold there are the most stable and predictable of any venue for vintage Tamiya. This is because Ebay attracts the largest audience of any Tamiya collector's forum and thus the issues of supply and demand play out in accurately.

The easiest method of checking the value of your Tamiya kit is to do some research on Ebay. Search for your particular car or buggy, compare the final selling prices of those auctions over a period of time. Ebay allows you to search current auctions and completed auctions less than 30 days old. Take into consideration the condition of the item being sold against the condition of your car/buggy.

For some Tamiya products that are rare, you may have to continue your efforts for a month or so before being able to establish an accurate value. On the other hand, buggies such as a Tamiya Frog or Hornet come up for sale quite often. A quick look through the "completed auctions" section of Ebay should be sufficient to determine value on your buggy.

Lastly, prices have shown some seasonal fluctuations on Ebay as well. Sellers tend to do better in the fall and winter months than the spring and summer months. Likely because of Christmas spending and "winter project" syndrome.

And although price fluctuations do occur, what I can tell you is what collectors covet:

Condition of the actual vehicle

This is the single most important thing. What is the condition of the actual vehicle? Mint in box (unbuilt) is the most desirable. If your vehicle kit is in the same condition as it would exist on the shelf of a hobby store 15 or 20 years ago, it will bring in the most money. On the other end of the spectrum, vehicles that are worn, and have home-made (read: hot glue) repairs or parts (read: Popsicle sticks) are worth the least. Typically these are bought for their parts only and hold a low value.

Incidentally, if your Tamiya is in such poor shape, consider selling the kit as groupings of parts. It might be more work, but you are likely to get more money from selling in this manner than selling the whole vehicle. A good example is the rear suspension arms of the Tamiya Frog. Very rare to come by in new condition and so used ones still bring in strong figures in auctions.

Completeness of the kit

In cases, where your vehicle is already built, the completeness of the vehicle is vitally important. The correct tires, wheels and body are the most sought after parts as these typically wear or break first.

Many collectors are also interested in the peripheral items as well. Instruction manuals, decals and original packaging are all items which increase the value of the kit. This is especially true of the original box that the kits came in. They were very large by nature and are highly sought after if they are old and in excellent condition. If you're selling your Tamiya, try to dig up as much of the stuff that came with it as possible. Things that you might find useless (the driver's head that you never used) are valuable to the astute collector.

Resemblance to cover art

In other words, did you paint the vehicle like the instructions said to? Many collectors are looking for buggies, cars or trucks that are painted as it appeared on the kit box. This increases the value of your kit, especially in the case of a difficult paint job such as that for the Sand Scorcher. Or a difficult decal job like the '94 Monte Carlo Mini Cooper.

Performance Parts

This part is tricky. If you have added in performance parts to the vehicle, this typically lowers the value of the car unless they are Tamiya parts or it is exceptionally well done. Most collectors are purists; they want their Tamiyas unmolested.

For used vintage vehicles, you find that many added parts from CRP, Hot Trick or You-G to increase performance or durability. For the most part these parts do nothing to increase the resale value of the car. On the contrary, they often reduce the selling price because the original part is missing. The exceptions to the rules are:

Ball bearings - These tend to enhance the resale value as most owners would have installed them anyway. Some purists who display their cars only do build the kits as it came and they might replace the ball bearings with plastic or brass bearings as required, but that's rare.

Tamiya Hop Up Parts - Official Tamiya performance parts do enhance the value of the vehicle. Many Hop Up parts were very expensive when brand new and thus are rare and sought after. It is helpful in these cases if you retain the original parts. One example of a sought after part is the Tamiya Technigold Motor. If memory serves, it's performance is unspectacular compared to the high horsepower units employed in today's buggies. The Technigold was a 16-Turn motor I believe. But collectors really love these motors because they were an authentic hop-up part for Tamiyas.

Complete Transformations - For some vehicles in the Tamiya lineup, sufficient aftermarket parts existed where the entire vehicle was transformed using aftermarket parts. Hot Trick put out a complete refit for the Frog that only retained the front suspension arms and gearbox case. It changed the Frog from a reasonable off-road vehicle to a race contender. Because these kits were expensive and so extreme in the upgrade, they hold a special value with some collectors.

This list is uptodate as of January, 2005

58001 Porsche 934 Turbo RSR
58002 Martini Porsche 935 Turbo
58003 Tyrrel P34 Six Wheeler
58004 XR311 Combat Vehicle
58005 Lamborghini Countach LP500S
58006 Martini Porsche 936 Turbo
58007 Lamborghini Cheetah
58008 Lamborghini Countach LP500S (CS)
58009 Toyota Celica LB Turbo
58010 Ligier JS9 Matra
58011 Ferrari 312T3
58012 Ligier JS9 Matra (CS)
58013 March 782 BMW
58014 Martini Mk. 22 Renault
58015 Rough Rider
58016 Sand Scorcher
58017 B2B Racing Sidecar
58018 Ralt T2 Hart 420 R
58019 Williams FW-07 (CS)
58020 John Player Sp. Lotus 79 (CS)
58021 Can-Am Lola RM Mk. 01
58022 Datsun 280ZX RM Mk. 02
58023 Holiday Buggy
58024 Sand Rover
58025 VW Golf Racing Gr. 02 (CS)
58026 Renault 05 Turbo
58027 Ford F-150 Ranger XLT
58028 Toyota 4x4 Hilux Pickup
58029 Blazing Blazer 4x4
58030 Honda Formula 02 (CS)
58031 Brabham BT-50 BMW Turbo
58032 Tornado RM. MK. 03
58033 Ford C-100 RM. MK. 04
58034 Super Champ
58035 Wild Willy
58036 Audi Quattro Rally
58037 Opel Ascona 400 Rally
58038 Subaru Brat
58039 Willys Wheeler
58040 Lancia Rally
58041 Frog
58042 Porsche 956 RM Mk. 5
58043 Grasshopper
58044 Mitsubishi Pajero
58045 Hornet
58046 Fast Attack Vehicle
58047 Hotshot
58048 Toyota 4x4 Pickup Bruiser
58049 Toyota Toms 84C RM. Mk.06
58050 Wild One
58051 The Fox
58052 Newman Porsche 956 RM Mk. 7
58053 Road Wizard Formula 01
58054 Supershot
58055 Boomerang
58056 Falcon
58057 Bigwig
58058 Ford F-150 Blackfoot
58059 Porsche 959 Dakar Rally Winner
58060 Monster Beetle
58061 Striker
58062 Hot Shot II
58063 Lunch Box
58064 Toyoth Celica Gr. B Rally Special
58065 Clod Buster
58066 Super Sabre
58067 Thunder Shot
58068 Lotus Honda 99T
58069 Williams FW 11B
58070 Midnight Pumpkin
58071 Sonic Fighter
58072 Avante
58073 Thunder Dragon
58074 Grasshopper II
58075 Terra Scorcher
58076 Vanquish
58077 Mud Blaster
58078 Fire Dragon
58079 Egress
58080 Astute
58081 Nissan King Cab
58082 MadCap
58083 Saint Dragon
58084 Ferrari F-189 Late Version
58085 Avante 2001
58086 Toyota Hilux Monster Racer
58087 Manta Ray
58088 Mercedes Benz C11
58089 Bullhead
58090 Tyrrell 019 Ford
58091 Nissan 300ZX IMSA GTO
58092 Jaguar XJR-12
58093 Bear Hawk
58094 Honda NSX
58095 Lotus 102B Judd
58096 Celica GT4 Rally
58097 Super Astute
58098 Ferrari F-40
58099 Skyline GTR Nismo
58100 Top Force
58101 Bush Devil
58102 Mazda 787B
58103 Jordan 191
58104 McLaren MP4/6 Honda
58105 Williams FW 14
58106 Stadium Blitzer
58107 Top Force Evolution
58108 Mercedes Benz 190E
58109 Nissan R91 CP
58110 Super Blackfoot
58111 Mountaineer
58112 Ford Escort RS
58113 Schnitzer BMW M3 Sport
58114 Footwork FA13 Mugen Honda
58115 Terra Conqueror
58116 Dyna Storm
58117 Lancia Delta HP Integrale
58118 Benetton B192
58119 Toyota Celica GT-Four RC
58120 Axia Skyline GT-R
58121 Idemitsu Motion Mugen
58122 Blitzer Beetle
58123 Dyna Blaster
58124 Super Hornet
58125 Michelin Pilot Cosworth
58126 Lotus 107B
58127 Castrol Civic
58128 Alfa Romeo 155
58129 Castrol Celica 93' Monte-Carlo
58130 Sauber C12
58131 Toyota Toms Levin
58132 Mitsubishi Pajero Metaltop
58133 Jaccs Honda Civic
58134 K-Mart Texaco Lola T93
58135 Calsonic Skyline GT-R
58136 Toyota Prerunner
58137 Blitz Toyota Supra Group N
58138 Renault Clio Williams
58139 AMG Mercedes Benz DTM 2
58140 HKS Skyline GT-R Group A
58141 Jeep Wrangler
58142 Ferrari 412T1
58143 Ford Mondeo
58144 Nissan 300ZX IMSA GTS
58145 AMG Mercedes DTM Promarkt
58146 Chevy S-10
58147 Castrol Nissan Primera
58148 Rahal-Hogan Lola T94
58149 Rover Mini Cooper
58150 Opel Calibra V6 DTM
58151 Calsonic Primera (Ltd. Ed.)
58152 Isuzu Mu
58153 Daytona Thunder
58154 AM General M1025 Hummer
58155 Loctite Nissan Skyline GT
58156 F103RS F1 Chassis Kit
58157 TA02RS 4WD Chassis Kit
58158 Fiat Abarth 1000 TCR
58159 HKS Opel Vectra JTCC
58160 Dirt Thrasher
58161 Ford F-150 Truck
58162 Volkswagen Golf VR6
58163 Rover Mini Cooper Rally
58164 Toyota Celica GT-Four
58165 Nismo Clairion GT-R LM
58166 Isuzu Mu Type X
58167 Toyota Toms EXIV JTCC
58168 Alpine A110
58169 Mustang Cobra R
58170 Toyota Toms Supra
58171 BMW 318I STW
58172 Taisan Porsche 911 GT2
58173 Volkswagen Beetle
58174 Street Devil (Ltd. Ed.)
58175 Honda S800 Racing
58176 Repsol Ford Escort RS
58177 TA03-F Pro Belt Drive Chassis
58178 Honda CR-V Sport Utility
58179 Williams-Renault FW18
58180 Mazda Eunos Roadster
58181 Stadium Thunder
58182 Audi A4 STW
58183 Volvo 850 BTCC
58184 Fighter Buggy
58185 Kure-Nismo GT-R
58186 PIAA Accord VTEC
58187 ALFA Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA
58188 Cliff Opel Calibra
58189 Martini Alfa 155
58190 Honda Jaccs Accord (Ltd. Ed.)
58191 Calsonic Skyline GTR
58192 King Blackfoot
58193 Porsche 911 GT-1
58194 F103 RX Chassis
58195 Alfa Romeo 155
58196 Honda S-MX Lowdown
58197 Porsche Boxster
58198 PIAA Reynard 97 D
58199 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV
58200 David Jun TA03F Pro Chassis (Ltd. Ed.)
58201 Celica Gt-Four 97 Monte Carlo
58202 Mercedes-Benz SLK M Chassis
58203 Nissan R390 GT1
58204 Blazing Star
58205 Mad Bull
58206 Volkswagen Golf VR5
58207 Acura NSX Mugen
58208 Porsche 911 Carrera
58209 Opel Vectora (Ltd. Ed. not imported)
58210 Subaru Impreza WRC 97'
58211 Rover Mini Cooper Racing
58212 Peugeot 406ST
58213 Ferrari F301B F1
58214 Mercedes-Benz CLK
58215 PIAA Porsche 911 GT2 (Ltd. Ed.)
58216 Ford Escort WRC
58217 Volkswagen Beetle
58218 Toyota Corolla WRC
58219 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IV Monte Carlo
58220 Mobil 1 Acura NSX (Ltd. Ed.)
58221 Baja Champ
58222 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning
58223 Penzoil NISMO GTR
58224 Peugeot 306 Maxi WRC
58225 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO V WRC
58226 Subaru Impreza WRC (Ltd. Ed.)
58227 TAO3R TRF Special Chassis Kit (Ltd. Ed.)
58228 Ford SVT Mustang Cobra
58229 Toyota TS-020
58230 Porsche 911 GT1
58231 Wild Dagger
58232 Juggernaut
58233 Castrol Mugen NSX
58234 Suzuki Wagon R RR (not imported)
58235 Mclaren Mercedes MP4/13
58236 Honda S2000
58237 Lexus IS200
58238 Schlesser Buggy Megane (cancelled)
58239 R34 Penzoil Nismo GT-R
58240 BMW "M" Roadster
58241 Ford Focus WRC
58242 Wild Willy 2
58243 TA03RS-TRF Special Chassis
58244 Mercedes CLK-GTR Original-Teile
58245 Alfa Romeo 156 Racing
58246 Stadium Raider
58247 Audi R8R
58248 Toyota Celica
58250 Peugeot 206 WRC
58251 Lexus GS400
58252 Biltzer Beetle Chrome Edition (Ltd. Ed.)
58253 Toyota GT-One TS020 '99
58254 Raybrig NSX '99
58255 Calsonic Skyline GT-R
58256 Juggernaut 2
58257 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI WRC
58258 RC F103LM-TRF Special Chassis Kit
58259 Subaru Impreza German Rally Champion '99
58260 Mercedes Benz CLK DTM2000 Team D2
58261 TA04-PRO Belt Drive 4WD Chassis Kit
58262 Raybrig NSX 2000 (TB-01)
58263 Opel V8 Coupe DTM2000
58264 Castrol Toyota Toms Supra
58265 Toyota bB
58266 Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge
58267 TB Evolution Limited Edition Chassis
58268 Mammoth Dump Truck (1/20)
58269 Loctite Zexel Skyline GT-R
58270 Subaru Impreza WRC Arai Version
58271 Subaru Impreza Rally Car Prototype
58272 Corvette C5-R
58273 Subaru Impreza WRC 2001
58274 TA04-S Chassis Kit
58275 Mad Fighter
58276 HKS Racing Altezza
58277 Subaru Impreza WRC 2001 (painted)
58278 Lancia 037 Rally (Ltd. Ed.)
58279 Mercedes Benz CLK DTM 2000
58280 TXT-1
58281 Ford Focus RS WRC 01
58282 TA04-R Chassis Kit
58283 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup VIP Car
58284 TB01 Evolution II
58285 Calsonic GT-R 2001
58286 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII WRC
58287 Nissan 350Z
58288 Ferrari F2001
58289 Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge
58290 Toyota MR-S Racing
58291 HKS CLK
58292 Ford Focus RS WRC 02
58293 Beams Integra
58294 F201 Chassis Kit (Orig. Bodies)
58295 Mini Cooper
58296 CLK DTM 2002 AMG Mercedes
58297 Raybig NSX 2002
58298 Enzo Ferrari (TB-01)
58299 TB Evolution III
58300 ABT Audi TT-R DTM 2002
58301 Baja King
58302 Enzo Ferrari (TT-01)
58303 Williams F1 BMW FW24
58304 Nissan 350Z Race Car (TT-01)
58305 Subaru Impreza WRC 2003
58306 Neo Shot
58307 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA
58308 Ford Focus RS WRC 03
58309 Twin Detonator
58310 CLK-DTM Team Vodafone AMG Mercedes
58311 Xanavi Nismo GT-R (R34)
58312 Blackfoot -Xtreme
58313 Raybrig NSX 2003 (TT01)
58314 Calsonic Skyline GT-R 2003
58315 Raybrig NSX 2003
58316 Subaru Impreza WRC 2003
58317 CLK-DTM 2002 AMG Mercedes
58318 CLK-DTM Team Vodafone AMG Mercedes
58319 Xanavi Nismo GT-R (R34)
58320 TRF415 Chassis Kit
58321 Super Clod Buster
58322 Porsche Carrera GT
58323 Schnitzer BMW M3 Sport Evo.
58324 Volkswagen Race-Toureg
58325 Eunos (Miata) Roadster
58326 GSDF Light Armored Vehicle
58327 Mercedes Benz 190E Evo. II AMG
58328 Gravel Hound
58329 Calsonic Impul
58330 Xanavi Nismo Z
58331 TB Evolution IV
58332 Citroen Xsara WRC Ralley de Monte Carlo 2004
58333 Subaru Impresza WRC 2004
58334 Rising Storm
58335 Ford Escort WRC
58336 The Hornet
58337 Raybrig NSX 2004
58338 Subaru Impreza WRC 2004 Rally Japan
58339 Raybrig NSX 2004