Supercar Survivor: 1992 Nissan Skyline GTR

When you think of Nissan, you probably think of its typical passenger cars like the Maxima, Altima, Sentra, Pathfinder, Armada and maybe even the 370Z sports car. What you probably don’t think of is the 565 horsepower, $113,000, animal that’s known as the GT-R. There is an American spec one sold by U.S. dealerships but chances are you haven’t seen more than a handful of those in the wild. But before there was the modern GT-R, there was the Skyline GT-R and since they were generally only meant for Japanese consumption, you really don’t see these often on our shores. Now that they are over 25 years old and can be imported, you are starting to see more of them, like this 1992 model I spotted for sale in Manassas, Virginia and listed here on craigslist for $33,599.

The car in question is a Skyline GTR R32 and though it doesn’t pass Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, (FMVSS) which prohibits U.S. importation, there is an exception for a vehicle that is at least 25 years old and that’s the case here. The most important thing to consider here is the fact that the seller has a clean Virginia title.

These were considered “supercars” because of the power, rated at 276 horsepower per a Japanese car maker’s “gentleman’s agreement”, the real output of the twin turbo-charged 2.6-liter inline six-cylinder is 327 horsepower, driving through a five-speed manual transmission and connected to all-wheel drive. Performance statistics claim 0-60 mph times of 4.7 seconds with a quarter-mile run in 12.8 seconds. The Skyline GTR’s nickname is Godzilla!

The interior is pristine and shows no sign of wear in spite of its 82,000 miles. The seller indicates that the cloth interior is unique but I’m not sure what it should have had that makes cloth unique. Being a true Japanese model, it is right-hand drive! There is no mention of structural issues or rust but there is no visual evidence either. And being only 27 years of age and the pampered nature of this example, I would imagine that corrosion is not an issue. But the Hagerty Insurance guide indicates that rust can be an issue with these due to annual Japanese snowfall and the fact that these are generally used as everyday drivers so it is important to check the car thoroughly.

This is the most expensive car that I have reviewed for Barn Finds. The MSRP, when new, was north of $100,000 though the information is sketchy because they were priced in Yen. Reviewing Hagerty price guides, their estimate for a 1992 in excellent condition is $54,500. Obviously, this is would be an expensive acquisition but you’d probably end up with the only one on your street, neighborhood, city, county, maybe even state. So what do you think, is it worth investigating?

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Comments

  1. Miguel

    I don’t see what all the hype is about with these Skylines at all.

    Like 1
    • Bobby

      Have you driven one?

      Like 1
    • Drake J Nailon

      The originals like this R32 model were game changing. If you had ever ridden in one driven by someone who knew how to get the most out of it you would understand the hype.

      Like 2
    • OIL SLICK

      “These were considered “supercars” because of the power, rated at 276 horsepower per a Japanese car maker’s “gentleman’s agreement”, the real output of the twin turbo-charged 2.6-liter inline six-cylinder is 327 horsepower, driving through a five-speed manual transmission and connected to all-wheel drive. Performance statistics claim 0-60 mph times of 4.7 seconds with a quarter-mile run in 12.8 seconds. The Skyline GTR’s nickname is Godzilla!”

  2. JP

    Yeah… I’m sure parts are abundant and repairs a no-brainer. A contemporaneous Mitsubishi VR4 has the same power at half the price or less, and the steering wheel’s on the “right” side.

    Like 1
    • Drake J Nailon

      Actually Nissan has been making new parts for these for several years now and finding folks who understand them is really not that hard. In fact most Nissan dealers will service them just like your Altima.

      Like 1
  3. lc

    I was stationed in Japan while serving in the Navy in the early 90s. Don’t think that I’m going to tell you that I saw this ‘Godzilla’ Skyline because I don’t recall seeing them. Or maybe it’s because they didn’t stand out to me. What I do remember, while walking along the sidewalk in Tokyo by the military hotel New Sanno, was a porsche, another car that looked like a Fiat, and even a VW bug all usually parked along the sidewalk. Maybe the Nissan Skyline blended in with all the other Japanese cars, kind of like how the suvs blend in with each other here. lol.

    Like 1
  4. JimmyJ

    0-6 4.7sec 12.8 quarter in 1992?
    I don’t know what the hype is about either…….
    That’s untouched. This car can reliably throw 600hp on the ground.
    If it was American you’d say it was the greatest car in the world but it is definitely 10x better than anything the Americans were making in 92.

    Like 5
    • JP

      Supposedly you can get ~1000+ hp out of a VR4, but probably not reliably. That might be hype-worthy…

  5. JimmyJ

    VR4 is another underrated Japanese car that was miles ahead in technology

    Like 2
  6. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    I believe they don’t use salt in winter in Japan which helps avoid rust.

  7. TimM

    These cars are fast and they handle well too!! The prices are going up but a few years ago you could get them pretty cheap and give most Ferrari models a run for there money!!!

    Like 1
  8. GTRfan

    These are very special cars, you need to drive one to really get it. The grip and the way they launch is amazing! The RB26DETT engines pretty much only came out in these cars, and they are like a 2JZ in terms of being able to handle high boost and make big power without opening them up.

    They also have legendary status in New Zealand and Australia as they raced at Bathurst and cleaned up the V8 fords and GM cars, they were so effective they were banned.

    Like 2
  9. w9bag

    I can’t believe that I’m seeing this. A guy that I work with has this exact same car; same color and everything ! He got it earlier this year, and it is beautiful. It was strange getting in the left side door, and not seeing a steering wheel ! Around the same miles, and I believe that he gave in the low 20’s $. What a strange coincidence.

    Like 1
  10. Jay E.

    A head turning car when seen person. This and the NSX were both eye catching designs and had remarkable performance in their day. You will be talking to people all the time if you drive one of these.

    Like 1

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