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Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Buyers Guide 1999-2002

Sean Morris Posted on March 4, 2020

MotoRex R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R US Legal

The R34 version of the Nissan Skyline GT-R is the holy grail of Nissan Skylines for the Fast and Furious generation. There is a lot of bad and false information out there about them, so we will try and set forth some true information about these JDM icons.  What is the best R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R for you? How much does a US legal R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R cost? Can I buy a car now, import it, and not register it until it is 25 years old?  These are just a few of the questions about the R34 that we will answer in this post. 

R32 GT-R Buyers Guide

R33 GT-R Buyers Guide

Nissan Skyline Index and Information Page

How to buy and store a R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R

MotoRex R34 GT-R Paul Walker Fast and Furious

The R34 is a evolution of the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R, not a revolution. It is a refinement on what the R32 GT-R set out as a base car. The overall layout of the car, the tech, even many of the mounting points of major components are in the same location.  The R32, R33 and R34 GT-R all used the RB26dett. That is a 2568cc, twin turbocharged, inline 6 cylinder engine. Iron block, girdled main caps, oil squirters, oil cooling channels in the pistons. Aluminum head, indivdual throttle bodies, coil on plug. For 1989 this was pretty crazy tech. By 2002, the old RB26 was a bit long in the tooth. The emissions sucked, no OBD II system existed, and the emissions laws effectively killed nearly all the "old school" cars in 2002. Supra, Z, RX-7, S15, and R34. We are asked to speculate on pricing in 2024. Currently normal R34 GT-R in decent shape sell for around $60k in Japan. Special versions, low km versions, can get much, much more than that.  Storage costs vary on inside vs outside, maintenace, and registration.  In 2024, we speculate that the most normal, plain versions will trade hands for over $100k USD.  The Show or Display legal R34, and MotoRex R34 already trade hands for more than that. 

Toprank Imports R32 R33 and R34 GTR Buy at Auction and Store in Japan Legally

 

Under 49 U.S.C. § 30112(a), a person may not permanently import into the United States a motor vehicle manufactured after the date that an applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) takes effect unless the vehicle complies with the standard and is so certified by its original manufacturer. This prohibition applies to both new and used motor vehicles, but does not apply to motor vehicles that are at least 25 years old (based on the month and year of manufacture).

 

So there are a few legal ways to import vehicles to the United States, and a lot of illegal ways to smuggle in cars. To start with the illegal ways, we have heard every story in the book. People doing illegal things, want to try and misdirect, lie, falsify information, anything to scam someone out of money.  Some buyers are aware, some claim they are victims.  We believe that any buyer should be informed about what they are buying, and they should be prepare for any consequences of owning an illegally imported vehicle. If there are any concerns that a vehicle is being falsely represented, there are resources available to check on the vailidity of claims. The first being the NHTSA at (202)366-5291.  https://www.nhtsa.gov/importing-vehicle  For the R34, there were about 15 vehicles imported and legalized by MotoRex. Each of these vehicles has what is called a Bond Release. A copy of that letter can be obtained from the NHTSA. We have seen fake bond releases, so calling and checking may save you a huge amount of money and time.  There are several legal race cars here in the US. A couple of ex JGTC - now Super GT R34 GT-Rs. There are also several ex Super Taikyu R34 GT-Rs.  All of these vehicles were legally imported, and have the documentation to back up this legal import. A car you illegally import and race without NHTSA and EPA approval, is an illegal car. Saying it is a race car, doesn't make it legal. 

JGTC R34 GT-R at Speedconcepts

 

Then there are Show or Display legal R34 GT-R.  The NHTSA has approved two versions of the R34 GT-R for Show or Display. The first one is the 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R Vspec (early edition) or Midnight Purple II.  282 cars made.  Now over 21 years old and EPA exempt. Just because the Midnight Purple II is approved, that does not mean that Midnight Purple III has been approved. A MNP3 vehicle has not been Show or Display approved, and was not properly imported. Some people are misguided by others that will try and scam people out of money, on the basis that no one has been caught, "recently". Don't get trapped by scammers. Read the rules and regulations, ask the authorities if there are any questions.  If you think you are immune, then you tread at your own risk.   The next approved version of the 2002 R34 GT-R is the Mspec Nur. 285 Mspec Nur.  The issue with this car is EPA. Since it is newer than 21 years old it is not exempt. However we do know a person that got a very limited, very restricted EPA exemption to import a Mspec Nur. There is a legal path if you are willing to put in the effort. If you think it is difficult to do it legally, wait until you are caught with an illegal car, like Kaizo

Why is a Midnight Purple II a legal car, and Midnight Purple III an illegal car? 

Show or Display Approval letter for a midnight purple II R34 not a midnight purple III R34

There were a number of different versions, and special models of the R34 GT-R. Some are more rare and desireable than others.  People in the United States need to realize that there are cars in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and England that may never leave those countries. The owners will have them forever. There are cars that are very difficult, or near impossible to obtain.  When you have a worldwide desireability for a vehicle, and only 11,578 built, demand is going to exceed supply. Figure the first cars are over 21 years old now, many have been destroyed over the years. The actual number of cars available for sale is pretty low. 

GT-R
V-Spec
V-Spec N1
V-Spec II
V-Spec II N1
M-Spec
V-Spec II Nür
M-Spec Nür

V-Spec (Great Britain)
V-Spec (Hong Kong)
V-Spec (New Zealand)
V-Spec (Singapore)
V-Spec II (New Zealand)

GT-R registry has a great amount of information about the R34 version of the Nissan Skyline. You can find out everything from the Nismo Z-tune, of which only 19 were built, to the cost to have Nismo Omori Factory refresh your R34 as a Clubman Race Spec or CRS. 

R34 GT-R Specifications and Options from GT-R Registry

 

R34 GT-R When they turn 25 years old for the US Monster Truck meme

R34 is the reference that is used to refer to the 1999-2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R. The R34 GT-R was the third generation of the RB26DETT powered modern Nissan Skyline GT-R. In 1989 Nissan brought out the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R that introduced the RB26, and their advanced all wheel drive system called ATTESA. The R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R used the same engine and transmission as the R32, but the chassis was changed, stiffened, and the ATTESA system was improved. For the R34 the engine was still the RB26, but the transmission was swapped for a six speed from Getrag, the V160.

1999-5798
2000-1881
2001-2166
2002-1732
___________________

These are registrations, and adds up to : 11577 cars (GT-R Registry 11578)
 
US Legal Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Not a Trap, buy this one and be on the legal Team

Normal(Series I and II)  - 3977
Vspec - 4192
Vspec N1 - 38
GB - 80
NZ-5
HK-10
Singapore -10
Vspec II - 1855
Vspec II N1 - 18
NZ Vspec II - 2
M-Spec- 366
Vspec II Nur - 717
Mspec Nur - 285
 
Production Dates
1st model 1-8-1999
Vspec 1-8-1999
Vspec N1 1-8-1999
2nd model 8-26-2000
Vspec II 8-28-2000
Mspec 5-8-2001
Nur 2002
 
BNR34 Color or Paint Codes

The campaign color of the R34 Skyline GT-R was the popular TV2 - Bayside Blue. Its named Bayside, for the popular roads near the bayside of Tokyo. However the most popular color was QM1, white

TV2 - Bayside Blue
 

QM1 - White
KR4 - Sonic Silver
KV2 - Athlete Silver
GV1 - Black Pearl



AR2 - Active Red



EV1 - Lightning Yellow

LV4 - Midnight Purple II(Only 300 produced)
LX0 - Midnight Purple III

Why is the color called Midnight purple? Check the link out for the most likely answer.

WV2 - Sparkling Silver
QX1 - White Pearl
EY0 - Silica Breath


JW0 - Millennium Jade
 
R34 Chassis/VIN Numbers
  • BNR34-000001 (first production chassis/ VIN number)
    • BNR34-000051(first car in FAST)
    • BNR34-000105-000200 are missing in FAST
    • BNR34-005866 (Last 1999)
    • BNR34-007131 (Last early 07/2000)
  • BNR34-400001 (first late R34, new factory 09/2000)
    • BNR34-400597(last 2000)
  • BNR34-404495(last production Vspec II, 8-29-02, WV2)
  • BNR34-404483(last production Mspec, 8-28-02, EY0)
 
R34 GT-R Vspec Differential. This is an active diff
 

The R34 GT-R got an upgraded ATTESA, or all wheel drive system.  The R32 system worked well for the time, but it was refined in the normal R33 GT-R, further refinded with an active LSD on in the Vspec R33.  The R34 GT-R did even further improvements in the ATTESA system. ETS-Pro.  Some more information hereETS Pro hydraulic diagram

Suspension and Alignment settings for Nissan Skyline GT-R. R32, R33, and R34.


R32 GT-R Specifications and Production Information
R33 GT-R Specifications and Production Information
R34 GT-R Specifications and Production Information

 
The R34 GT-R has aluminum hood and fenders, except on the Vspec II, which had the first mass production carbon fiber hood. That hood also had a NACA duct in it, to help direct air to the rear turbo, to cool it. If you look at the hood, there are provisions in it for it to fail in a front impact.  Cool technology for a factory car starting in 2000.  The plastics, and dissimilar metals mean that the factory paint doesn't always match 100% to the eye. We have seen a ton of these cars, and it is the way they were built.  The surround around the taillights, the rear bumper, the trunk often seem off just about 1/2 a shade. 
 
R34 MFD replacement screen
 
The MFD displays often crack and go bad.  Nearly every recent R34 we have seen, has a bad MFD.  However there are replacements available. There are two different normal screens.  So make sure you know what you have. ~$300 http://bit.ly/R34-MFD
 
Getrag. The R34 Transmission. The V160  6 speed. The Getrag is similar to the transmission used in the MK IV Toyota Supra. The input shaft and main shaft are unique to the GT-R on both transmissions, the rest of the internal parts are interchangeable. The Getrag is loud at idle. The synchros aren't that durable. Even though the Supra guys run them pretty hard, we break weird hard parts in them. All wheel drive can put a hurting on a transmission.  The prices for the Getrag are getting up over 10k a trans. With the parts gettting harder and harder to get, a sequential almost starts to look appealing. http://bit.ly/V160-R34
 
Early R34 seats grey
 
Seats.  The stock early seats are grey.  They are a great seat. High bolsters, special fabric with grip spots on it. The later seats are black. Both seats are highly desired, with the later seats being even more sought after. The bolsters wear like the R32 and R33 before it. As far as we know, the fabric is not available.  The current prices seem to be $5k-$10k for a set of black ones. The seats fit R32, R33, and R34 GT-R, and all the S chassis with minor modifications. http://bit.ly/R34seats
 
 
Jack points and rust.  Like the R32, and R33. It is easy for someone to jack an R34 incorrectly, and damage the side sills or pinch welds. This can also be a ripe area for rust. So check them.  Cheaper cars will probably be damaged here. More expensive nicer cars, should have good pinch welds. 
 
R34 GT-R Vspec rear diffuser
 
The Vspec version of the R34 got addtional aero that the non Vspec did not. The rear diffuser is carbon fiber, large difficult to ship, and expensive. There is a jack point on the oem vspec diffuser.  The front lower lip on these cars is plastic and hollow. It is often split. It is not an expensive part, and we consider it to be sacrificial. 
 
 
 
 
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