What Car Was Made Better Through Scarcity?

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Photo: I, 天然ガス, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, or so they say. Sometimes it’s less interesting to just have something than for it to always stay barely out of reach, tantalizing you with thoughts of what could be. It’s the tease of ownership, the thrill of the chase in actually finding something, and the rarity of having something you won’t see every day. Some cars are simply more interesting when you can’t buy one. But which is the most interesting?

Plenty of cars rely on rarity to hold their value, and to hold the public’s interest. Ferrari is famous for making its cars incredibly rare through its convoluted purchase process, but even Toyota is getting on the scarcity train with the new GR Corolla. Of course, Ferraris and rally-bred hot hatches will always be interesting, but what about cars that would otherwise have flopped?

Image for article titled What Car Was Made Better Through Scarcity?

Photo: Toyota

Picture this: It’s an alternate 2004. You’re watching Shrek and listening to Hoobastank, and eyeing Japan’s latest attainable performance car as it hits American shores. It’s a Subaru, with a flat-4 engine putting 300 horsepower through all four wheels. You’re intrigued, in fact you’re downright interested. But, y’know, you could save a few bucks and get a bit more power with that couple-year-old Nissan at the dealer around the corner. They discontinued it already, so it seems like no one really wants them. You think you’ll go with the Subie.

A world where the Skyline GT-R was attainable in America would be a world where it was less cool to American enthusiasts. The scarcity, from the 25-year import ban, made Godzilla harder to get — and all the more interesting to car folks who couldn’t dream of getting their hands on one.

The Skyline GT-R is my pick, but what car do you think was made the most interesting through scarcity? We’ll collect the top answers tomorrow, so get as extravagant as you’d like.


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