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!
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...
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?
NISSAN SKYLINE GT-R (R33)
Engine: 2,568cc 6-cyl twin-turbo
Power (hp): 280@6,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 271@4,400rpm
First registered: 1998
Price new: c. £50,000
Yours for: £16,995
See the original advert here