Hondas and Datsuns haven't made up a key part of any classic car collector's collection so far, but with a generation having grown up with them, perhaps it's worth looking back over their recent history.

The Acura Integra Type R, with just 3850 made during four years from 1997, was built for racing. Its light (though toughened) body and re-worked suspension allowed the hand-crafted engine to propel it at great speeds.

The 1990-2005 The Honda/Acura NSX was Honda's first genuine supercar, and its engineering is acknowledged as having contributed towards the McLaren F1. The NSX is an all-rounder, being quick, responsive and good looking.

Mazda Miata - You wouldn't think that this roadster was collectible, as it was made in great numbers between 1990-7, and it wasn't even the fastest of its generation. But it just feels fantastic to drive, and really brought sports cars back to the front of the American mind again. It's the ones in top condition that are worth looking after.

The Honda CRX Si: The second of the two versions of the CRX, this one produced from 1985-91, the pocket sized Si added a bit more power, and brakes more suited to coping with what it can do. A little bit of interior decorating went on too.

The Toyota Corolla GT-S has become a sought after sports car for two reasons: firstly, its 16 valve 1.6 litre engine, and secondly, because it is the car driven by a tofu delivery boy in a manga cartoon (at least in the US version). TV show cars are incredibly popular in Japan. It was made from 1983-7.

Despite the successes of the RX-3, it was the RX-7, made from 1979-85 which made Mazda popular in America. The beautiful two door sports coupé appeared in Car and Driver magazine's 'Top 10' five times.

Produced from 1971-8, the Mazda RX-3 surprised many with its success in competition, and made itself particularly popular in Australia. The cars remain in demand, and the ones on the market are becoming steadily more expensive.

1970-1973 Datsun240Z (also known as the Nissan S30 or Nissan Fairlady) was fast, smooth-running and beautiful, and generated affection in the US, where it was reasonably priced for such a high performance car.

The Datsun 510, made from 1967-73, has mainly gained a reputation for being a good basis for modification. Whilst only moderately performing in the state it rolled out of the stock room, it would be moulded into a winning force by successful teams including Brock Racing Enterprises.

Made back in 1964-66 the first Hondas were the Honda S600s, and some significant work went into the little two door roadsters, though the engines were essentially version of Honda's more familiar motorbike technology. 

If you're looking to invest in a classic of tomorrow you could do worse than look to Japan.


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