This 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R Just Set an R34 Auction Record

The Skyline GT-R isn’t the only JDM car, sporty or otherwise, that’s eligible for importation these days. However, its iconic status within the automotive community makes it one of the most popular—and most desirable. Some Skyline GT-Rs have sold for similar prices to used modern R35 GTRs. Others, though, have commanded even higher prices. And recently, one 1999 R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R set a world auction record.

A 1999 R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec broke auction records on Bring a Trailer

A Midnight Purple II 1999 R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec on a road
1999 R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec | Bring a Trailer

Several high-valued R34 Nissan Skyline GT-Rs have popped up for sale in recent months. The 1999 V-Spec example that recently sold on Bring a Trailer, though, is a bit special.

While it’s not the most expensive R34 Skyline GT-R ever sold, it’s now the priciest one sold at auction, Hagerty reports. The previous record-holder went for the equivalent of $313.4K at a 2020 Japanese auction, GT-R Registry says. This 1999 model, though, sold for $315,187. With the buyer’s commission, that works out to $320,187.

The gray front seats and dashboard of a 1999 R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec seen through the open doors
1999 R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec front interior | Bring a Trailer

Part of the reason for this 1999 R34 Skyline GT-R’s price tag is that it’s a V-Spec model. Like the standard R34, it has a 2.6-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six engine, a six-speed manual, all-wheel steering, and all-wheel drive. However, the V-Spec’s AWD system has an active rear limited-slip differential, GT-R Registry notes. It also has carbon-fiber front and rear diffusers, as well as sportier, lowered suspension. And inside it has an expanded version of the standard multi-function LCD screen.

This 1999 R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec, though, has two more features that contributed to its $315K final price. Firstly, fewer than 300 R34 V-Specs were painted Midnight Purple II like this car. And the second reason for the high bid has to do with why all R34s are rising in value: its Show or Display status.

Why is the R34 Skyline GT-R so expensive?

It’s worth pointing out that all Nissan Skyline GT-R models have gotten more expensive in recent years. That’s partially because auction-goers’ tastes are shifting towards 1980s and 1990s cars, especially performance-oriented imports. Hence why a pristine 2000 Civic Si sold in 2020 for $50,000.

The other reason for rising GT-R values is because they’re finally eligible for importation. There’s significant pent-up demand for this JDM icon fueled by genuine performance and Fast and Furious memories. That’s why R32 GT-R values climbed after it became 25 years old, Hagerty explains. Then when the newer, more advanced R33 became import-eligible, it, too, became more valuable.

And since the R34 Skyline GT-R “is the one everyone wants,” Road & Track muses, it’s generally the most valuable. That’s why, even though it’s not 25 years old yet, examples in Japan are already spiking in value, Hagerty notes. As of this writing, the cheapest examples Toprank Importers have stored in Japan cost roughly $140,000.

That last part is the other reason why the 1999 V-Spec went for over $315K on BaT. As of this writing, there are only two ways to legally own an R34 Skyline GT-R in the US. The first is finding one of the handful federalized by MotoRex. And the other is by importing a 1999 V-Spec or 2002 M-Spec Nür under the NHTSA Show or Display rules, R&T explains. The latter is what the seller of this Midnight Purple II V-Spec did.  

Was this V-Spec model worth the high price?

The rear 3/4 view of a a 1999 R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec on a road
1999 R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec rear 3/4 | Bring a Trailer

So, to summarize, this 1999 R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec’s auction price stems from a combination of desirability and rarity. Plus, it only has about 40,000 miles on the clock as well as Ohlins dampers.

That being said, this V-Spec model might not be the auction record-holder for longer. A 10-km M-Spec Nür is about to head to auction and might go for close to $500K. And in three more years, the first R34s will turn 25. That might shift the market values somewhat.

But for now, the winning bidder has one of the only US-road-legal examples of a highly desirable 1990s JDM supercar. $315,187 is admittedly a steep price to pay for any car. But in terms of emotional satisfaction, it might be worth it. Not to mention, the bidder now owns a genuine record-holding vehicle.

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