The words Holy Grail get tossed around a lot among car collectors. The words have a spectrum of meaning depending on where you sit on the collector car fence: the Holy Grail for a Mustang fan won’t be the same for a Cadillac collector, which won’t ring true for a Jaguar enthusiast, etc.
The Pick of the Day, a 1991 Nissan Skyline GT-R in low-mileage original condition, is a true Holy Grail car for the many young proponents of performance machines from Japan. This is the street version of the technological marvel powered by a twin-turbocharged inline-6 with all-wheel drive and rear-wheel steering with which Nissan dominated Group A and Touring Car racing during that era.
“The almighty Nissan Skyline GT-R,” starts off the Philadelphia dealer’s description of the car in the ClassicCars.com listing. “The mere name itself makes the hair of a young enthusiast’s neck stand on end, as this was Nissan’s crème de la crème, their signature dish, and their greatest creation.
“These cars were respected and revered for being mind-blowingly quick off the line and a fierce contender in the corners.”
Of particular interest to the Fast and Furious crowd are the performance cars from the Land of the Rising Sun that never were imported to the United States, so-called JDMs for Japanese Domestic Market.
The Nissan Skyline looms with mythical proportions in any discussion of JDMs. Except for a few demonstrators and gray-market cars, Skylines were not sent here, leaving many salivating with unrequited lust for their legendary performance. But now that many have passed the magical 25-year mark under U.S. rules, the survivors can be brought in as collector cars.
And so it was for this example, which was imported from Japan in 2016 after a lifetime of one-ownership and in pristine original condition with just 11,433 miles on its odometer. The dealer notes that there are a few minor issues arising from the lack of use during all those years, and a few blemishes in the all-original paint and interior, but this appears to be an amazingly intact example of a legendary car.
The dealer provides a very extensive narrative about the Nissan in the advertisement, including the service notes of the car from its apparently fanatical owner, which is a good thing. The records are provided, the dealer explains, because the originals are in Japanese, as are the other books, labels and instructions. The JDM folk find that to be cosmically exciting stuff.
This is a car that one has to “get,” since its styling and trim seem modest compared with many of the outrageous designs of its time. But for those who understand what’s below the surface, the Skyline offers a passport to JDM nirvana.
Naturally, the Skyline was only built with right-hand drive for Japanese roads, but that’s also a JDM selling point. Fortunately, it has been untouched with updates or customization, which also makes it special indeed.
The asking price for this rarity is $75,000, and the buyer would have to count on spending a few more thousands to get it back in road-ready condition. Of course, every mile added lowers its value but it would certainly be a shame to keep such a hot performer on static display.
As an added incentive, the Skyline is a bona fide future classic, as rare performance icons of the 1990s grow in popularity. If cared for properly, it will only increase in value.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day