2001 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 M-Spec
It would surprise most classic car anoraks, but the Datsun name dates back to the early 1930’s. Datson (as it was originally known) was purchased by Nissan in 1934 and the name was changed to Datsun to closer associate the brand with its country of manufacture, being Japan. The sun is an important symbol within Japanese culture. The red circle on the Japanese flag represents the sun. The name ‘Nissan’ originated during the 1930’s as an abbreviation used on the Tokyo Stock Exchange for Nihon Sangyo. At this time Nissan controlled foundries and car parts businesses.
Datsun built cars, trucks and other commercial vehicles, however, it wasn’t until the late 1950’s that the car manufacturer started to become internationally recognised. Things got better for Datsun and their family cars were popular and sold well. In 1961 Datsun introduced the Fairlady (SPL213) sports car at the Tokyo Motor Show where the car caused somewhat of a sensation. Interestingly, this car predated the launch of the MGB, though it wasn’t until October 1962 that the Fairlady (SP31) was introduced. This car was a real pioneer for Japanese sports car manufacturing. Others soon followed with Honda introducing their S600 and Toyota their Sports 800 shortly thereafter.
The late 1960’s and early 1970’s were good times for Japanese car manufacturers and their sports cars were suddenly taking the world by storm.
The best was yet to come for Nissan and in late 1969 Datsun introduced their S30 which was sold as a 240Z. Datsun’s new car was powered by either a 2.0 litre or 2.4 litre straight six engine with between 130bhp and 150bhp depending on the specification. Either way, the 240Z was a great driver’s car and its sleek fastback lines drew comparisons with Jaguar’s iconic E-Type. The 240Z evolved into the 260Z, 260Z 2+2 and the 280Z. The second generation of Z cars – being the 280ZX and then the third and fourth generation 300ZX were great sellers but it was the first series of Z cars that is today seen as the ‘best of the breed’.
In 1966 Nissan merged with the Prince Motor Company, with a view to bringing more upmarket cars into its model range. The Prince Skyline, introduced in 1957 and the Prince Gloria, introduced in 1959 were regarded as market leading Japanese luxury cars back in the day. Nissan wanted to introduce a performance car and successfully compete on the race track. The Nissan Skyline GT-R was introduced in 1969.
The Nissan Skyline GT-R is today recognised as one of the greatest sporting cars ever built. The early models were raw, but they were well built and delivered outstanding performance. They were very successful race cars in period. Just under 2,000 cars were built through until 1972 when the second generation GT-R was built. This model was short lived as the fuel crisis hit hard and Nissan ceased production after less than 200 examples were built. The writing was on the wall and Nissan also withdrew from motor racing.
In 1989 Nissan reintroduced the Skyline GT-R with the model designated as BNR32, most commonly abbreviated to R32. The car was powered by a 2.6 litre inline six cylinder DOHC engine with twin turbo chargers rated at 276 bhp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The high performance engine was coupled with an advanced four wheel drive system called ATTESA E-TS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain with Electronic Torque Split – which incorporated a five-speed transmission, LSD, multi-plate clutch and a hydraulic unit. Channelling all the power to the rear wheels in normal conditions, it could shuffle up to 50 per cent to the fronts if required. There was even rear wheel steering, or HICAS (High Capacity Actively Controlled Steering). The car was a beast! It was quoted as being able to achieve 0-100 km/hr in 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/hr leaving the best from Porsche and BMW in its wake. The Skyline GT-R R32 was a huge success for Nissan with almost 44,000 examples built in just over five years of production, which spanned three defined series and a number of limited edition models.
In early 1995 Nissan introduced the Skyline GT-R R33, which was in fact a very similar car to its predecessor in many ways. The R33 carried on the R32’s success and circa 16,500 cars were built through until late 1998.
The final iteration of the Skyline GT-R was the R34 introduced in January 1999. The R34 was shorter in length than its predecessors and even more technologically advanced. The fundamentals of the engine remained unchanged, though the R34 has better power delivery and more torque. The twin ceramic intercooled turbochargers effectively eliminate turbo-lag and even though the R34 tips the scales at 1,666 kg (compared to 1,430 kg for the R32) it will out performance the R32. The power is fed through a new six-speed close ratio Getrag gearbox. Also, the R34’s body is stiffer and the aerodynamics of the car have been improved. A real feature is the LCD multifunctional display in the centre of the dashboard which provided more information on the car’s engine and general statistics than one could ever imagine. The final R34 was built in August 2002 after circa 11,500 cars were built. During production there were again a number of limited edition models built which are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts the world over.
The Nissan Skyline GT-R’s have developed a cult following and they are now recognised as one of the very best performance cars ever built. These cars dominated race tracks all over the world and are today nicknamed ‘Godzilla’, as a result of their sheer dominance.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 2001 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 M-Spec. This car is listed on the GT-R Registry. It was built in October 2001 and finished in ‘pearl white’ (colour code QX1). The majority of the R34’s built, in both the first and second series, were the base model GT-R or V-Spec. In May 2001, Nissan introduced the M-Spec which was based on the Series II V-Spec, but had special ‘ripple control’ dampers, a revised suspension set up, a stiffer rear sway bar and a leather interior with heated front seats. The ‘M’ on the M-Spec stood for Mizuno who is the chief engineer of Nissan. The only other change was the removal of the carbon fibre bonnet which was replaced with the standard aluminium bonnet. Nissan built only 366 Skyline GT-R R34 M-Spec’s, making this one of the rarest and most collectable GT-R’s ever built.
This car was sold new into Japan and its early history is not known. It was acquired by its current owner in Japan in December 2014. There is a Japanese export approval on file dated 17th December 2014 and an Australian import approval dated 23rd January 2015. The car arrived into Australia and was immediately complianced. The RAWS Compliance Report is dated 27th April 2015 and the car was first registered in NSW as JR026. The car was purchased through USS Tokyo, which is a Japanese auction site based in Japan. There is a CarVX Vehicle History Report on file which at the time of the auction designated the car as Grade 4B. The first character summarises the overall condition and 4 = great grade with minor issues only and the second character is the inside grade and summarises the condition of the inside of the car. B = good condition with some imperfections. This report also notes some mileage history and for this car it notes the mileage as 57,600 km on the 21st September 2012, 60,800 km on the 24th September 2014 and 61,247 km on the 4th December 2014.
As soon as the car arrived into Australia it was given a major service, the front and rear brake pads & rotors were replaced and a new battery & new tyres were fitted. There is an invoice on file for $2,800 for the work done.
Today this Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 M-Spec has only 63,439 km on the odometer and it presents as a stunning example of this legendary Japanese sports car. With so many of these cars modified, it is great to be able to offer an extensively original and unmolested example.
The R34 GT-R M-Spec was only offered in four colours – silica brass (122 cars), black pearl (39 cars), sparkling silver (112 cars) and pearl white (93 cars). Whilst this car would look great in any colour, we think that the pearl white is unique and really suits the car. The paint work is in excellent condition all round with only a few very minor blemishes here and there. As you will see from the photos the rear bumper has discoloured and this will be painted prior to delivery to its new owner. All of the exterior trim, front & rear bumpers and the glass are in very good condition. It should be noted that there is some kerb rash to the left front and left rear wheels.
Inside the cabin the car is in excellent condition. The seats, door cards, carpets and even the dash, which is known to crack, are all excellent. The only exception is some minor wear to the bolster of the driver’s seat. The devil is in the detail and we love the GT-R branded sports seats, which fit like a glove, the racing style pedals and the sheer simplicity of the instruments and controls, which are in working order. The air conditioning works well and blows ice cold air. The boot looks to have never been used and the engine bay is exceptionally clean and tidy.
We just completed our first drive of the GT-R R34’s predecessor, the GT-R R32, and were quite frankly ‘blown away’ with that car. It exceeded all expectations and now we were ‘hot seated’ into the R34. Would we be disappointed? Nope . . . Again, first impressions are extremely positive. Like the R32 everything is minimalistically simple, the driving position is comfortable and not surprisingly the engine starts easily at the first turn of the key. Like the R32, the R34 is unexpectedly refined as you drive through traffic, however, you quickly realise that this car has ‘an edge’. The four instruments in front of you are as basic as it comes . . . the large speedo and tacho are boxed by a smaller water temperature gauge on the left and fuel gauge on the right. But it just works! When you want to know anything else you go to ‘mission control’, which is the LCD multifunctional display in the centre of the dashboard. This will tell you everything you need to know to pilot a space shuttle! The primary text is English but there is lots of Japanese!
It’s time to drive! The freeway on ramp is ahead, you slow to a crawl in case you have to give way to through traffic. There is none . . . it’s time to go. This car has some ‘turbo whistle’ from the exhaust and plenty of ‘turbo woosh’ from the engine bay as the car takes off! The R34 has a six speed gearbox, which is precise and direct. Within the blink of an eye and after a few gear changes everything goes blurry. . . this is a fast car! The acceleration is breathtaking, however, the brakes are also up to the task, pulling the car up in a hurry and importantly in a straight line. The car handles impeccably and there are no rattles or squeaks
It is hard to believe that this car is 20 years old . . . it could be a new car, but thankfully there are no paddles. The six speed manual gearbox in this car is ‘just perfect’. . At no stage do you feel uncomfortable behind the wheel. It is exhilarating yet so easy to drive.
The car is fitted with an ASTTX turbo timer, a Pioneer satellite navigation system, a DEFI control unit with an aftermarket turbo boost gauge & water temperature gauge mounted on the drivers A-pillar and an aftermarket gear lever. A new A-pillar trim will be supplied with the car so if its new owner wants to remove the aftermarket gauges and return the car to ‘standard’ it can easily be done.
There is a spare wheel and jack in the boot but no tool kit. The car also comes with a custom car cover.
Japanese sports cars are really good news and gaining popularity exponentially. There have been some wonderful displays of Japanese sports cars in recent years at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and at some of the world’s premier car shows including The Quail and Motorclassica.
The Nissan GT-R R34 is right up there with the best and this car being 1 of 366 M-Spec examples built is one for the true collector. It is a fabulous car!
- Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 M-Spec.
- 63,425 km