Spotted: Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32)


Among the more frequently visited topics within the wider school of the used car transaction is the notion of what something is worth. Come to think of it, however much we might want to deny it, the whole used car game is based on this one central tenet - and yet the mechanism for deciding the monetary value isn’t as straightforward as people would like to imagine.

Is this Skyline worth the money?
Is this Skyline worth the money?
For newer cars there are trade guides outlining suggested prices, but even these are frequently wrong and fall into the trap of reflecting recent tendencies as opposed to what they should be doing: defining them in advance of any transactions.  

The best-known guides during the period at the end of 2008 and early 2009 made hilarious reading (OK, to me they did). Everything lumpy or exotic fell of a cliff, and then as stocks ran dry and demand rose in January 2009, they rocketed upwards again. The guides were months behind and you mostly had to ignore them.

But the fact is, a car – any car – is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it at the moment they transact. And this is why I often have to count to 100 when I’m trying to strike a deal and my opponent says, “it’s worth more than that.”

Get it bought, Monkey!
Get it bought, Monkey!
Because it isn’t. If the assertion was “I think it’s worth more than that”, then I wouldn’t take any issue, because everyone has a right to an opinion. Forget what any guide, expert or journalist says, the machinery is only worth the amount the potential buyer is willing to pay for it. It goes without saying that the vendor always can always reserve the right not to sell for that price.

I think the cleverest people always buy cars according to this rule. They work out what they would be happy paying. More often than not they are the ones people feel have overpaid for something, and five years later draw large profits having spotted a sleeper before the rest of us.

Where is this going? No idea. Well, rather sadly (and seeing as we're talking about GT-Rs today) it brings me back to an R32 Skyline I was admiring in the classifieds last night. I really must buy one or stop stalking them. Anyways, this one is quite expensive for a 20-year-old Datsun – £11,395.

Famed RB26DETT best when tweaked
Famed RB26DETT best when tweaked
Initially this had me tutting and telling myself “it’s never worth that much”.  This rank hypocrisy on my part I will need to excuse through tiredness, because if it checks out in the flesh and produces the claimed power, this car is easily worth the money.

I’ve been banging on about these for a while now, but the R32 is one of the most significant Japanese performance cars. It created a legacy that has outshone and outlasted the NSX. In fact take a look at the template for modern fast cars and despite Mr Trent’s excellent thesis on how Audi is responsible for the recipe, he was in fact wrong because Nissan was doing it 10 years earlier.

So it’s iconic, it appears to be beautifully modified, it has a power-to-weight ratio that could trouble many a modern,  and to my strange aesthetic senses, it looks perfectly Japanese.

Straighter edges less fussy than later Skylines
Straighter edges less fussy than later Skylines
So the question I have to ask myself is: would it be worth £11.5K to me? Compared to other cars I’ve owned for similar money, absolutely. The only real unknown is how these modified GT-Rs will fare over time compared to the very few unaltered cars out there. Experience tells you that tampering reduces long-term value, but the R32’s legend is based almost entirely on it being boosted at every possible opportunity. So to me it’s one of the few cars that, assuming the mods are good, can sustain them in the marketplace.

Next week: the £27,000 E39 M5, and why it’s good value. That’s a joke, by the way. I think.


NISSAN SKYLINE GT-R (R32)
Engine:
2,568cc 6-cyl turbo
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Power (hp): 280
Torque(lb ft): 271
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1994
Recorded mileage: 39,091
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £11,395

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (129) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Andy616 04 Mar 2013

    MuZiZZle said:
    Say 15k, then you'd be wanting a container, Ro-Ro (roll on roll off, like a ferry) would be £885 on an R34, however someone will drive it on, and possibly steal bits and bobs from the inside frown, possibly even crash it, speaking from experience here!

    So a container would be just shy of £1500, maybe £1200 if you could get half of a 40ft container.

    You also need to pay VAT & Duty on the car + shipping....
    Sorry, perhaps I could have worded my post better, the prices I quoted are including VAT, Duty and shipping (Ro-Ro) and all costs on the Japanese side. Breakdown for the Grade 4 car:

    Cost
    Price of car (FOB) (Yen) 1,180,000 Yen
    Current exchange rate approx 140
    Price of car (FOB) (£) 8,429
    Shipping (£) 900
    Import Duty (£) 933
    VAT (£) 2,052
    Total (£) 12,314


    Add on a few hundred pounds for registration, customs clearance etc. Or, like I said if you wanted to do it through an importer that preps, registers and offers a warranty you'll be looking at another £2-3k maybe more on top.

    Edited by Andy616 on Monday 4th March 18:54

  • MuZiZZle 04 Mar 2013

    Guvernator said:
    Thanks, I was thinking a decent, clean V-spec II would be around the £15k mark which sounds about right, however that last one seems a bit...err...overpriced!
    Say 15k, then you'd be wanting a container, Ro-Ro (roll on roll off, like a ferry) would be £885 on an R34, however someone will drive it on, and possibly steal bits and bobs from the inside frown, possibly even crash it, speaking from experience here!

    So a container would be just shy of £1500, maybe £1200 if you could get half of a 40ft container.

    You also need to pay VAT & Duty on the car + shipping, which is say 15k+1.5k, so 16.5k + 30% is £21,450

    Add a few hundred to get it actually put on the ship in Japan & taken off at this end, the documentation done & sent to you etc etc and your 15k car should be around 22k on the shores of blighty, then you'll have to collect it, prep it and register it.

    things may have shifted because it's been a few years since I imported a car, the shipping rates are current and I was working on 20% VAT & 10% import duty.

    Hope this helps a bit


  • Guvernator 03 Mar 2013

    Andy616 said:
    I've just had a look at the auction price data for the last few months. Finding one wouldn't be difficult if you're not fussy on colour. Prices do vary hugely however. To give you a rough idea these prices are for the car landed based on current exchange rates. (add a few hundred pounds for registration, customs clearance etc.)

    All V-spec IIs:

    Wine Red, Grade R, 83k kms - £9,200 (Repair history, bit of a lottery)
    Silver, Grade 4, 90k kms - £12,300 (Should be a good solid car)
    Gray Metallic, Grade 4.5, 34k kms - £28,000 (Really exceptional car, probably as new)

    Prices are also from an importer that inspects and then ships the cars, you'd have to do all the registering this side and with no warranty. If you wanted to do it through an importer that preps, registers and offers a warranty you'll be looking at another £2-3k on top.
    Thanks, I was thinking a decent, clean V-spec II would be around the £15k mark which sounds about right, however that last one seems a bit...err...overpriced!

  • Bladedancer 02 Mar 2013

    V8RX7 said:
    Either something has rust on it or it hasn't - that is a simple fact.

    I freely admit I have broken laws, quite a few, speed limits every single day - WTF has that got to do with whether a car has rust on it or not ?
    Saying car is rusty because it has rust on a bolt is like saying you're a criminal becasue you've gone 1 mile over speed limit on the motorway.
    Technicaly true but from logical standpoint - silly.

  • Andy616 01 Mar 2013

    V8RX7 said:
    Either something has rust on it or it hasn't - that is a simple fact.
    I agree with you on that one. The advert says "absolutely rust free throughout which means it has original rust free arches, no rust (Not even on bolt heads!) on the front panel" If you go to their website for the extended picture gallery, pic 32 clearly shows surface rust on bolts and screws. Perfectly acceptable and probably better than normal but to state otherwise seems odd. In picture 65 the boot floor looks to have some surface rust too.

    That said, once you wade through the copied and pasted marketing waffle it looks like a really nice car.


    Guvernator said:
    Any ideas what an unmolested V-spec II would cost? (if you could find one)
    I've just had a look at the auction price data for the last few months. Finding one wouldn't be difficult if you're not fussy on colour. Prices do vary hugely however. To give you a rough idea these prices are for the car landed based on current exchange rates. (add a few hundred pounds for registration, customs clearance etc.)

    All V-spec IIs:

    Wine Red, Grade R, 83k kms - £9,200 (Repair history, bit of a lottery)
    Silver, Grade 4, 90k kms - £12,300 (Should be a good solid car)
    Gray Metallic, Grade 4.5, 34k kms - £28,000 (Really exceptional car, probably as new)

    Prices are also from an importer that inspects and then ships the cars, you'd have to do all the registering this side and with no warranty. If you wanted to do it through an importer that preps, registers and offers a warranty you'll be looking at another £2-3k on top.

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