How does a Worthless Car turn into a Valuable Classic 15 Years later?

Browsing through the pictures of junkyards I took 15 years ago, it astonishes me what kind of cars were discarded back then, which I consider by now to be valuable classics.

For example, look at the Golf GTI in the picture below. I will have a hard time convincing you that the reason I took these pictures in July 2008 on a junkyard in Lustadt, Germany, was the Nissan Sunny Coupe sandwiched between others cars!

Stacked next to a shed cladded with Eternit plates, this sandwich will make today’s car enthusiast cry. From the bottom to the top, we have a BMW E30 (price in 2024: ~€5,000), a Nissan Sunny B12 Coupe (price in 2024: ~nothing), a Nissan Micra K10 (price in 2024: also nothing, but at least they are now considered cool), and, assuming the body kit was not swapped on, a Golf II GTI (price in 2024: ~€10,000).

The reason I took these pictures was the junk-loaded Sunny Coupe. A pre-facelift SLX model with the 1.6L E16i engine, build somewhere between 1986 and 1988.

I asked the junkyard stuff if they would mind moving the GTI and K10 away so that I could get some spare parts from the Sunny, but they dismissed my request. My guess is that they considered the negligible profit of selling Sunny parts not worth the effort. As such, I didn’t manage to salvage any parts, and couldn’t get an ODO reading.

Both the K10 and the B12 already developed advanced levels of corrosion on the rocker panels and doors, which was likely the reason they ended up here.

It was only many years later that I realized what future classics were stacked underneath and on top of the Sunny. Back then, these cars were so frequent and common sightings on junkyards, that I didn’t attribute much attention to them. Would you have guessed correctly which car became a classic today?

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