1995 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec

#44514. S/N BCNR33001731. 153k kilometers (95k miles). “Replacement 2.7-liter rb26 inline 6, Holset HX50 turbocharger, 5-speed manual transmission, Attessa all-wheel drive, Super hicas four-wheel steering, Spark Silver Metallic exterior, gray cloth upholstery, imported to u.s. from the Netherlands in 2017, rear window wiper, Mishimoto four-inch intercooler, Ecumaster Emu Black ecu, 18-inch BBS LM 20x10 wheels, Dutch service records.” Condition: 2-. SOLD AT $61,950. Bring a Trailer, 3/12/2021.

With the rise of earlier ’90s R32 Skylines in the collector-car market, we are about to have a snowball effect when it comes to newer generations. The R33 is the middle child of the three most-popular Skyline generations. A lot of enthusiasts tend to regard the R34 or the R32 as the most desirable Skyline to own, leaving the R33 out of the discussion. But the R33 is currently the newest Skyline Americans can import into the U.S. under the 25-year rule. With the GT-R being the trim level to own, Nissan started building more limited variants of the GT-R trim, such as the V-Spec sold here. Understanding the differences in R33 GT-Rs gets even more difficult, as there are also Series 1 (1995), Series 2 (1996) and Series 3 (1997–98) models. These series have slightly different variations, such as fog lights and headlights. I expect this will cause some models to start demanding more money at auction than others, an effect that will eventually carry over to the R34, as it has similar variants. Now is the time to start saving for the inevitable frenzy of R34 sales when they start becoming eligible for import in 2023. Until then, the R33 will still cause other in-the-know drivers to do a double-take at seeing a Nissan Skyline on the road. Well sold. 

1997 Nissan 240SX SE

#44219. S/N JN1AS44DXVW102030. 40,000 miles. “2.4-liter inline 4, 4-speed automatic transmission, Deep Fuchsia Pearl, gray cloth upholstery, fog lights, power-operated sunroof, 16-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, air conditioning, cassette stereo, manufacturer’s literature.” Condition: 2-. SOLD AT $15,750. Bring a Trailer 3/9/2021.

The 240SX comes from a long line of 2-door, rear-drive sport coupes from Nissan. The earliest version that the U.S. received was the Datsun 200SX, which is the second generation in the Silvia series of S-chassis cars. (Although the 240Z/Fairlady Z isn’t considered to be from the same series, they are cousins with a lot of similarities.) This post-facelift “kouki” S14 was born into a world where drifting existed in Japan but was not (yet) popular in the U.S. Here, the 240SX was just a sporty Japanese car. Once these became used cars and dropped in price in the mid-2000s, enthusiasts started snatching them up. With the ready availability of aftermarket parts and drifting landing in the U.S. around that time, the 240SX became popular to modify. Stock examples like this one are now nearly impossible to find. This car would have done better if it weren’t for its peeling hood, cracked bumper and the undesirable automatic transmission. A paint correction with a few repairs would have pulled this car higher. Well sold and bought for now. 

1996 Toyota Soarer

#0455814645. S/N 552 (last 3). 103k kilometers (64k miles). “2.5-L 1JZ-GTE I6 turbocharged R154 manual conversion, replaced with genuine MT ECU, slit rotor, aftermarket muffler, aftermarket front and rear bumper, Euro taillights.” Condition: 3. SOLD AT $10,170 (1,115,000 yen). Yahoo Auctions Japan, 2/07/2021.

Most Japanese luxury cars go through a similar cycle of ownership. They start with one or more affluent and mature owners. Once a car reaches 15 years old, rolls over to six digits, or big-ticket maintenance is required, however, a younger generation picks it up. The Soarer — or as we know it, the Lexus SC300 — is one of these cars. What was a fun car for the wife to drive to the country club now rides an inch off the ground. The original owner would probably consider this ruining the car and the new one thinks he has finally made it look good. While the Japanese Soarer came with three different engines, including the 1JZ-GTE in this example, our American-market SC300 was equipped with the 2JZ-GE, a powerful and very capable motor also found in the Lexus IS300 and Toyota Supra. This only reinforces the interest of younger owners, who might modify them into “bippu” or VIP-style cars, which are very low to the ground with large chrome wheels. Others might use them as drift cars, adding body kits and wings, or even build a 9-second drag-racing car. Yes, that’s the kind of aftermarket support the 2JZ-GE has. The biggest downside to the SC300 is the scarcity of a stock manual transmission, and this Soarer has already had the automatic transmission exchanged for a manual, which certainly helped its higher sale price. This car was well sold for the U.S. market, where you can still find stock SC300s, especially when considering the additional import cost. ♦

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