1993 NISSAN SKYLINE R32 GT-R unmodified Japanese performance icon For Sale
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|NISSAN SKYLINE R32 GT-R|
A rare example of an original and unmodified Japanese performance icon
1993 NISSAN SKYLINE R32 GT-R
Odometer Reading: 123,464km (76,720 miles)?Chassis Number: BNR32-303652
Gearbox: 5-speed manual
Colour: Crystal White
Interior: Blue/grey fabric
If the Gran Turismo video racing games formed an integral part of your growing up experience, then you’re probably already extremely familiar with the Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R. Even if you’ve never actually seen one in the metal. When the first GT game took the Sony PlayStation by storm in 1997, the R32 was one of its stand-out drivable cars, with the 1989-1994 high performance Skyline one of the models of choice you desperately battled to upgrade to once the appeal of your lightly tuned Mazda Demio GL had begun to wane.
The R32 Skyline GT-R has remained a staple of all the GT games to this day. 23 years after the release of the original racing simulator, the current Gran Turismo Sport still offers the high performance Nissan as one of the cars players can aspire to acquire. Why? Well, simple - because it’s an absolute motoring legend.
It was in 1957 that the ‘Skyline’ name was introduced by the Japanese manufacturer Prince, to denote its luxury model. After the company merged with Nissan in 1967, the moniker jumped ship to the Nissan brand with 1968’s C10 variant. Its new custodian regarded it as a performance badge, with the first GT-R appearing in 1969. As the flagship Skyline, it focussed on delivering speed and style.
However, the GT-R only started to become a phenomenon during the late 1980s. This was the decade when otherwise relatively humble saloons and coupés found themselves being injected with awesome amounts of power and performance; think Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth, BMW M3 and (slightly later) Lotus Carlton, and you’ve some idea of the exalted company the R32 was keeping. Intended as Nissan’s main weapon for Group A racing, the pure-bred motorsport versions featured electronically-controlled all-wheel drive with twin-turbocharging boosting power to 599bhp. They became so all-conquering and adept at crushing their opposition that the nickname of ‘Godzilla’ was soon applied to the type. And justifiably so.
Road cars were a little tamer, with 276bhp on tap, but with two Garrett turbochargers they still delivered an incredible drive. Top speed was 156mph, with a 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds. And although they were quite large machines for the time, weight was saved by fitting an aluminium bonnet and front panels. R32 production continued through to 1994 when the new R33 took over the mantel.
Although the Godzillas earned themselves an enviable international reputation, they were never officially exported to the UK, and it was only from 1997 that limited numbers started to make their way over here, as used vehicles. Most people who ‘drove’ GT-Rs in the Gran Turismo games have probably never come across one in the real world, let alone slipped behind the wheel. However, The Market now offers the rare chance to acquire one of these incredible machines in original, unmodified form. Just imagine the envious glances you’ll get from Mazda Demio owners. And pretty much everybody else too.
The true appeal of this Nissan - well, aside from the fact that it’s a R32 Skyline GT-R of course - is that it managed to survive the first seven years of its life in Japan without being meddled with. And then, when it came to Britain in 2010 (via noted Skyline specialist Middlehurst Nissan), subsequent keepers also resisted the temptation to do what happens to so many Skylines, and tweak and tune it. As a result, it’s a GT-R entirely as nature and Nissan intended back when it built in summer 1993.
‘It’s not been chipped or breathed on in any way,’ says its current owner James, although he does note that the steering wheel seems to have been retrimmed at some point. This lack of messing is potentially good news for the car’s mechanical health; for example, too much boost can cause the turbocharger blades to shatter and take out the engine when they do. The comparatively low 76,720 miles - as the recorded 123,464km on the odometer equates to - is also a positive. High mileages can result in issues such as oil pump failures, but the sub-100k figure of this one should be reassuring to any prospective owner.
On the Outside
Almost half of all R32 GT-Rs wore Gun Metal Grey paintwork, so the rarer Crystal White of this one is refreshing. And it suits the imposing angular lines very well. In sunlight, the car positively glows - it’s certainly eye-catching. Overall condition is generally excellent, and all the more extraordinary when you consider the originality; its three recorded owners have obviously looked after it very conscientiously for it to survive in this sort of order after 27 years. Even the inside of the fuel cap flap is spick-and-span, with a scattering of Japanese stickers still in place.
The purity extends to the wheels, the proper Nissan alloys, which are free from any scuffing. Even the centre caps with their idiosyncratic ‘We produce with Spartan air’ slogans (a reference to filling the tyres with nitrogen) are all present and correct, and the Nissan-branded calipers behind the spokes are so clean that they look like they could have been fitted yesterday. There are a few stonechips here and there, on the wheels and caps, but nothing to really detract from their overall appearance. The rims are clad in matching Yokohama Ecos ES300 225/50 R16 92V tyres and although there’s plenty of grip left, the rubber does date from 2007.
Being so original and untouched, the body does invariably display a few blemishes. There’s some minor cracking on the bumper adjacent to the left-hand side air intake and some paint missing from its right-hand counterpart. The lower front spoiler exhibits some stonechipping on its right-hand side and scraping underneath (not visible in everyday viewing - we had to crawl beneath to see it), presumably from a high kerb. There are also a few spots of missing paint under the bootlid lock and some tape holding the cracked right-hand side reversing light lens together. Elsewhere, it looks like some sort of skid pad has been removed from the underneath of the front of the left-hand side bodyskirt - again, it’s not noticeable under normal viewing, you need to get underneath to see it - and the right-hand bodyskirt trim is slightly loose towards its front, presumably thanks to a tired clip. Some of the wheelarch lips display light chipping and the left-hand bonnet hinge mounting stands slightly proud compared to its counterpart on the other side.
However, such small imperfections are hardly surprising on a car over a quarter of a century old, and should be easily rectified if a new owner wants utter flawlessness. To our mind though, they’re all part of the car’s story and do not take anything away from what is a very handsome and arresting example of the R32 breed.
The numberplates sport Middlehurst Motorsport branding, and there’s also a Middlehurst tax disc holder and rear window dealer sticker - all authentic period touches.
On the Inside
Even given the lovely exterior, just how nicely the interior has survived still comes as a pleasant surprise. There are some areas that look almost brand new and untouched. In fact, our images don’t really do the cabin justice. The fabric seats - blue with grey inserts - don’t photograph as well as they look in reality; the shadows and texture make them look a little dowdy when, in actual fact, they’re remarkably well-preserved. The front and rear passenger ones are simply excellent, with the back bench looking like it’s hardly ever been presented with any posteriors. The driver’s seat does have a few small marks here and there, but nothing like you’d usually expect from a car that has covered over 76,000 miles. There’s minimal wear to any bolsters and certainly no rips, tears or weak areas. Above, the grey headlining is spotless.
The steering wheel has been retrimmed, and still looks so fresh that we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that everybody who has driven the car since has worn gloves. The same can be said of the handbrake and gearstick, the gaiters of which are immaculate with perfect blue stitching. The carpets are very tidy and protected by genuine Nissan Skyline deep-pile over-mats, complete with Japanese tags. These have only minimal signs of wear.
There’s hardly any patina to the dashboard, and everything electrical or electronic seems to be functioning as intended, even the digital clock. The gauges all behave as expected, as do the warning lights, and all readings are normal. The switchgear has hardly any deterioration; symbols and labelling aren’t discoloured or worn away, as you might anticipate with a 1990s car. Even the boot/petrol flap release lever, down by the side of the driver’s seat is in a condition more likely with a car just two years old rather than 27. The ashtrays appear to have not even seen coins or sweet wrappings, let alone cigarette ash; they’re that clean inside. It’s a similar case with other cubby areas too.
The passenger side of the fascia does display the characteristic Skyline ‘bubble’ that strikes many of these cars as they get older, with weakened adhesive allowing an air pocket to develop under the dash covering. This is such a common issue that enthusiasts have developed ways of resolving it without having to remove the dash.
The stereo is a JVC KD-G502 CD/digital receiver of around 2013 vintage. It works, and doesn’t look out of place in an interior 20 years older than it is. However, for anybody craving true Far East authenticity, the factory-fit Clarion CT239 cassette/radio unit is in a box in the boot, if you want to go properly retro. Another subtle addition, albeit in-period, is the HKS turbo timer under the driver’s side of the dash, to allow the turbochargers to cool down before switching off the engine. It’s totally in-keeping with the car, as this fifth generation HKS gadget was sold between 1989 and 1994.
Speaking of the boot, it’s also in great nick, with just a few age marks apparent in places. There’s some dangling (but insulated) wiring under the far lip, presumably associated with audio equipment. Lift the carpets and it’s still all good, with the cavities and crevasses showing signs of wax treatment. The spacesaver spare wheel is the original, dated 1993, and doesn’t look like it’s ever seen Tarmac.
The engine bay has been very detailed; we struggled to find any grime at all, and there’s certainly no evidence of any leaks. Incidentally, the fluids are all of a healthy colour and at the correct levels. While checking the screenwash, the cap slipped down the side of the reservoir tank and couldn’t be easily retrieved. So, if you’re wondering about its absence in our shots, it’s just temporary and it will be back in its rightful place when the car goes to its new owner.
There’s no hint of any DIY tinkering under the bonnet; it all looks completely standard and free from amateurishly-added wiring, bullet or crimp connectors, additional pipework or anything that simply shouldn’t be there. In fact, there seems to have been care taken to preserve the engine bay, with several Japanese information stickers still in place. A check around the suspension strut tops reveals no crustiness or apparent weakness.
The blue chassis and data plate is in its correct place on the bulkhead, with the chassis number also stamped into the metal alongside. Fortunately, they both match. Although GT-R engine bays can get very hot,the insulation underneath the bonnet doesn’t seem to have been affected at all.
Turn the key - which is, incidentally, the original GT-R-branded item, yet another originality plus point - and the engine readily bursts into life with a smooth and steady idle There are no worrying noises and blipping the throttle results in an instant rise in revs, with no hesitation or missing. There’s no blowing from the exhaust, just a nice bass rumble.
Look underneath, and it’s obvious that comprehensive undersealing has been carried out. Aside from the occasional area of superficial surface corrosion, as you’d expect with any car, it’s all tidy, solid and sound, and a scan of the MoT certificates reveals no history of corrosion over the last decade. Still, with just over 11,000km (around 6800 miles) covered in that time, it’s not much of a surprise that the British climate hasn’t had a chance to wreak any real harm on the Skyline.
The V5C is present and correct, and is complemented by a folder of other paperwork, including lots of MoT certificates. The current ticket runs until 2 April 2021, incidentally. You’ll also find the original owner’s manual, in Japanese, but with rather amusing cartoon drawings that do make you wish you could read the language to find out what the hell is meant to be going on.
In addition, there’s the Japanese service book, export certificate (handily with a companion English translation), DVLA numberplate authorisation certificate, some Middlehurst sales correspondence and an assortment of invoices for work. The most recent bill is from April 2020 and includes a cambelt change - something that needs to be done every 100,000km (60,000 miles) or five years - so that’s one significant expense the new owner won’t have to worry about for a while.
These cars are set to "pop" soon and right now we know of NO other unmodified car on offer!!
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