Values of early Nissan Skyline GT-Rs rise significantly in Japan as supply struggles to keep up with high demand from the USA
A UK-based Skyline specialist has confirmed that prices of good condition early Skyline GT-Rs have ‘doubled’ in Japan, due to a huge increase in demand from the US market. This comes a mere ten months since the first GT-R could be legally imported into the USA under the 25-year rule.
In the USA, the 25-year import ruling means that cars are finally exempt from strict US import guidelines after 25 years, meaning US collectors are finally able to buy, own and drive non federalised classic cars legally on American soil for the first time.
The rule was initially introduced in 1988 to combat foreign cars that may not meet American crash tests, safety standards, and acceptable emission levels from using public highways in North America. Many naysayers believe the rule was also drafted in to protect US car dealerships and reduce grey imports.
A recent classic to become hot property in the US is the Nissan Skyline R32, the first examples of which went on sale in August 1989. London-based specialists Harlow Jap Autos told us that demand for the 1989/1990 cars had ‘gone through the roof’.
‘We have found the early model R32’s (1989/1990) on average have doubled in value in Japan. The really clean examples have gone through the roof, and are selling for decent R34 GTR money.
‘As the years go on we can only see the prices increasing, as the demand for them, not only in the US but elsewhere, is rapidly growing.’
Many other classic performance cars from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s have seen price increases generally, with added demand from the USA also drawing from the limited supply. Icons such as the Skyline, Lancia Delta Integrale and BMW E30 M3 (and even cool hot hatches like the Peugeot 205 GTI and Renault 5 GT Turbo) have been flooding into the USA.
The BMW E30 M3 is also very much in vogue at the minute, with prices for the very best examples skyrocketing. Produced between 1985 and 1992, with later models now available to the US import market. A spokesperson for London-based BMW specialists Hexagon, told Classic & Performance Car of how American buyers have actually been pre-ordering such cars in anticipation of the 25-year rule coming into force.
‘An E30 M3 convertible was purchased from us by a customer in New Jersey. We stored the car for him until the cars 25th birthday, and then arranged shipping on his behalf. So yes we’re sure that customers are bearing this in mind.’
In addition, Hexagon expects values of the E30 M3 and others to continue to soar, despite more cars becoming available under the import ruling year-on-year: ‘Certain models such as the E30 are very sought after and hugely desirable and increasingly hard to source, so values will increase without doubt. But with all collectors of rare and sought after cars, the desire of ownership may counteract the costs involved.’
Words: Joe Diamond