Nissan Skyline GT-R (R33): Spotted

The rise in used values for various Skyline GT-Rs - thanks to a global Skyline Gran Turismo fascination, and the availability of cars in the US - is a much discussed topic on PH. Where once upon a time (a time not that long ago) you could buy an R32 GT-R NISMO for £15K, that's no longer the case. Really, really not the case.

Same goes for the R34 of course, its status helped by starring roles in the Fast & Furious movies and a wealth of video games. Oh yeah, and it was fairly exceptional to drive. UK cars very seldom come up for sale, while the very best JDM imports now well above £50K.

So what about an R33 GT-R? It's never been the favourite, heavier than the R32 and less brutally attractive than the R34, though of course it shares so much with what defines those cars. The twin-turbo RB26 is officially in the same state of tune, all the clever four-wheel drive tech is present and, while the styling may be a bit blobby in places, there are still some trademark GT-R cues present. It's hard to imagine anybody mistaking it for anything other than one of those Skylines, basically.

Arguably the R33 has been tuned more than either of the other generations, perhaps because it's taken until now for truly mint ones to be appreciated. Even this silver UKGT-R, one of just 100 ever imported, has been tickled to 400hp. Nobody can help themselves!

But then there's this GT-R. It is mechanically standard, a point that will be repeated for emphasis: this 20-year-old Nisan Skyline GT-R is mechanically standard. Hang on, that exhaust look rather large, doesn't it? Alright, as standard as you're going to get in 2017. The wheels have been swapped too (but look superb) and the driver's seat is aftermarket, though otherwise it's bone stock. Or whatever the phrase is now. A bone stock Series 3 R33 as well, with the last raft of improvements before the R34's introduction.

That this car comes with a Japanese service history, two years of dry use in the UK and just 80,000 recorded miles are all good signs. Missing grille aside it could be said the R33 is even starting to look pretty good as well, though that could be supporting the underdog cause a little too strongly...

The price? £16,999. Not perhaps the bargain R33 Skylines once were, but still very tempting in the current market for Japanese performance. Heck, for all performance cars. Against something like this lovely RX-7 the Nissan maybe doesn't compare too favourably, but when a JDM E36 M3 was for sale at £20K with more miles the Nissan looks better value. Swings and roundabouts, isn't it?

For canny GT-R buyers the R33 looks like the place to spend your money now. They've risen with the other models, yet with US imports a little way off and the others still in high demand, they haven't skyrocketed yet. And surely you heard the same about R32s a few years ago, didn't you?

 2,568cc 6-cyl twin-turbo
Power (hp): 280@6,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 271@4,400rpm
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1998
Recorded mileage:82,000
Price new: c. £50,000
Yours for: £16,995

See the original advert here



P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (40) Join the discussion on the forum

  • amckay 10 Aug 2017

    The R33 always looked more sorted from its stance than the R32 to me, particularly the front. Definitely a GT-R and agree it's a smart buy if you want in.

    Beyond £30k, it's difficult for me to imagine not veering off to Supra, RX-7 or even NSX at a point. They all have great Super-90s-Japanese night racer (only Special Stage 5 ofc) vibes for me.

  • Joeguard1990 10 Aug 2017

    Haven't read the actual advert yet, but that front end definitely isn't standard.

  • Durzel 10 Aug 2017

    Prices just seem to be nuts on cars at the moment, I guess it's the whole zero capital gains tax element of them. I sold my R33 GTR LM Limited for £21k back in 2003... should've kept it for depreciation proof motoring smile

  • GregMac 10 Aug 2017

    Just stumbled across this gem on eBay. Make sure you're sitting down first.

  • KarlMac 10 Aug 2017

    I've taken the gamble, although mine is far from standard it's a pretty desirable spec for anyone wanting to go for big power. I'm not looking to retire on the profits but I'm hoping in a few years it will cover what its cost me while I get to own one of the iconic Japanese supercars of the 90s.

    Gratuitous pic inbound

View all comments in the forums Make a comment