Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Buyers Guide 1999-2002
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.
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 (Feb 2021) normal R34 GT-R in decent shape sell for around $115k in Japan. Special versions, low km versions, can get much, much more than that ($300k+). 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 $200k USD. The Show or Display legal R34, and MotoRex R34 already trade hands for more than that.
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.
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.
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.
V-Spec II N1
V-Spec II Nür
V-Spec (Great Britain)
V-Spec (Hong Kong)
V-Spec (New Zealand)
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 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.
These are registrations, and adds up to : 11577 cars (GT-R Registry 11578)
Normal(Series I and II) - 3977
Vspec - 4192
Vspec N1 - 38
GB - 80
Vspec II - 1855
Vspec II N1 - 18
NZ Vspec II - 2
Vspec II Nur - 717
Mspec Nur - 285
1st model 1-8-1999
Vspec N1 1-8-1999
2nd model 8-26-2000
Vspec II 8-28-2000
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|
- 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)
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 here. ETS Pro hydraulic diagram
Suspension and Alignment settings for Nissan Skyline GT-R. R32, R33, and R34.