Japanese car auctions can surprise at times, with prices for desirable cars suddenly skyrocketing into rare supercar territory.
In another sign of the year 2020 bearing bad news for the masses, the price of Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R examples continue to climb further out of reach for most.
The latest marker for this is a new Japanese auction record price for the model, in the form of a relatively rare Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 GT-R M-Spec Nur fetching a whopping ¥33,205,000, which works out at $437,000. Ulp.
This price is the auction figure for the car only, too, and doesn't include auction fees and any other costs associated with buying a car from Japan.
With taxes and compliances, we're looking at a $500,000 Nissan Skyline GT-R.
This breaks the last record noted by trusted Nissan Skyline GT-R tracker GT-R Registry earlier this year, a similar variant M-Spec Nur which sold for 30,005,000 yen, or A$395,000 (see below).
According to the Registry, the three most expensive M-Spec Nur GT-Rs which have sold at auction in Japan were painted Millennium Jade, a pale metallic green fairly unique to the variant.
The latest to break the sale record had only 6817 miles on the odometer and was given an excellent auction grade of 4.5/5.
This leads us to believe that even a global pandemic cannot slow the march of Japanese modern classic car prices, with even relatively mundane cars selling for wild money in good condition.
GT-R Registry also notes many records and high prices have been paid in the last few months in Japanese auctions, with its average price tracking at A$145,000 for any R34 GT-R.
Registry claims this three month period is up 49.6% from the previous quarter in terms of prices paid.
V-Spec Performance's R34 M-Spec, currently for sale
Here in Australia, classified ads have attempted to follow price rises, with five R34 Skyline GT-Rs currently advertised for between $200,000 and a massive $600,000, which is an M-Spec Nur advertised by Melbourne specialists V-Spec Performance.
And earlier this year, this 2002 Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R V-Spec II made news as well.
It isn’t the super-rare Nur edition which rounded out the R34, only a few more than 700 of those were built, so it’s not the R34 people are normally scrambling over each other to buy. In fact, there were almost 1900 V-Spec IIs built. But this one’s only had one owner, with 5721km travelled.
As first noted by Prestige Motorsport, an Australian-based importer of primarily Japanese classics, the GT-R V-Spec II in question sold for ¥20,395,000, which translates directly to AUD$276K.
The aforementioned ‘Nur’ is able to fetch a little more than this in perfect condition and with sub-5000km showing on the odometer, as evidenced by a 2019 sale by Japanese auction house BH Auction.
A well-used V-Spec (not a V-Spec II) sold in London through RM Sotheby’s for £25,300 (AUD$49,088 now) in 2017.
Prestige Motorsport manager Geoff Risbey calculates that to have the R34 V-Spec II landed in Australia, you’d be looking at just short of $400,000 after taking into account luxury car tax, shipping, and other purchase and rego fees.
Sure, the V-Spec features plenty of additional kit over the standard GT-R, including carbon splitters, diffusers, and a bonnet made of the stuff with a NACA duct.
Our favourite Nissan Skyline GT-R stories
It also has lower, sharper suspension, better brakes, and a few trim details like white stitching inside and aluminium pedals.
Its running gear is still standard GT-R, with a ‘206kW’ RB26DETT inline six. While 206kW and 392N are the official output claims, the two turbos attached to the 2.6-litre engine are widely known to have been producing couple of dozen more horses from factory.
So, does this mean Australians must now be actual millionaires to justify the purchase of a low-mileage, rare version of a Skyline GT-R? We certainly hope this is just a one-off.