If you’re struggling to get your head around the R34 GT-R market at the minute, we don’t blame you. Having rocketed in price over the last two years, to the point where Bayside Blue GT-Rs that were routinely changing hands for around £23,000 back in early 2015 were commanding double that at the beginning of this year, there now seems less certainty over where values are heading.
On the one hand you’ve got people asking huge sums for the rare, limited production cars like the NUR S1 recently doing the rounds on Social Media, while at the other end of the scale recent auction prices in Japan for regular GT-Rs are showing signs of levelling off. And then there was the shock of the Sotheby’s Auction sale here in the UK earlier this year, where a GT-R generally considered to be worth over £40k went for £25,300.
All of which could make you feel a little nervous about sticking money into an R34 right now. But you probably shouldn’t worry.
First up, all the evidence points to the Sotheby’s sale as being a freak one-off. Great for the guy with the top bid when the hammer fell, but don’t expect other R34s to suddenly start changing hands at half price. Why was it so cheap? We think it mostly comes down to a case of right car, wrong location. Sotheby’s is more used to dealing with mainstream European classic metal.
But is an R34 still a sound investment? R34 prices doubled in two years, and the truth is we’re unlikely to see a spike like that again – except perhaps when the cars become eligible for importation to the US in 2024 under the 25-year rule. Although some people are already buying cars and putting them aside in preparation, the real effect won’t be felt until 2024 itself, and that’s a long way off.
In the meantime though, values are unlikely to fall. The R34 is one of the most iconic Japanese performance cars, a cultural titan immortalised in console games, motorsport and on the big screen, and that will continue to buoy prices.
Auction prices in Japan have stabilised over the last 9 months, but starting prices rarely come below 4 million yen and demand remains strong.
If any GT-Rs are going to find their values softening, it’s going to be badly maintained and/or badly modified cars. Stick with the limited-run cars like the Nür, or standard cars in OEM condition – or ones sensibly modified with NISMO parts – and you’ll struggle to go wrong.