🔧 BUILD My Quest for an R34 Skyline GT-R V-Spec

General Information

Summary: this thread has been a progression of my hunt for a GTR in Japan, The first post here will serve as a summary of that progression with some hyperlinks to specific posts. Please feel free to join TCG if you are brought here to follow along and as I intend to do quite a bit with it in Japan before it is imported to the states in 2024.

So I'm starting this thread to document and discuss the process of finding and buying a R34 GTR. I think the value of these cars is only going to go up especially once they are fed legal to import. There are some grey market cars down here in Houston but I don't think it's worth the hassle to buy one only for it to be potentially seized later although there are quite a few down here currently. This leaves me with only a few options to import.

First is my criteria. Below is a general guideline of what I'm looking for but ultimately I can change a little on this if the value proposition is greater than the criteria of what I want in a car. For instance if I find a car meeting my spec for 140k lets say but then a rarer and nicer example pops up for 160k that I think will be more valuable later that will sway my decision potentially.

Acceptable criteria.

  • Year: 1999 or 2000 (Fed legal in 2024, 2025
  • Color: Bayside Blue
  • Mileage: Low miles preferred, but higher mileage considered if condition is well maintained
  • Trim: Vspec is preferred but would consider other higher trim packages.
  • Modifications: Stock is preferred but willing to consider bolt-ons, coilovers, wheels.
  • Condition: must be in top grade shape, I do not want a project car.
My budget is going to be a bit wide but I’m trying to target anywhere between $120k-$180k depending on what candidates become available. I also need to consider storage of the car in Japan which after discussing with TopRank is about $300/month for indoor storage and Garage Defend is appx 250/month. If I assume getting a 1999 this will be around $8-10k to store until it is ready for import. There are other fees, tariffs, shipping, that I’ll need to pay as well.

so what say you TCG? Has anyone gone through this process already or have recommendations? I’ve already reached out to Top Rank Imports as they seem to be the primary importer for these cars but willing to work with smaller well respected importers as well such as garage-defend.

Post Summary
  • it is worth mentioning as I went through this process I found that Doston at Garage Defend was going to be the primary contact to look at candidates and source only the best condition cars to buy. We spoke many times though out this process and watching his videos for years now I knew he would be the best person for me to work with. TopRank is starting to push back on finding cars and willing to store cars that are only in their inventory. By all means I think Toprank is a high caliber company but limited on finding the right car for me. Doston has a reputation of pushing back on cars/customers with questionable history or condition. I can respect that as there are cars people pay top dollar for that have major issues. Finding a respectable importer is key here to not being ripped off as they want to maintain a higher reputation in this space. Dare I say, selective on who they will work with. The history of this purchase is as important to the value of the car itself so I only want to work with someone that imports 100% by the book and only quality cars.
Here are candidates that we ultimately passed on.
  • First Candidate. TopRank Silver GTR Vspec. Although I liked this car and was able to work out a decent deal for it including the shipping and storage until 25 year legal, I ultimately wanted a bayside blue car and decided not to peruse this one. Although throughout this thread I went back and forth on possibly buying it, which I'm glad I did not settle on
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  • Second Candidate. GooNet Exchange car. I decided against this one ultimately as the dealer did not want to budge nor did he want to sell it outside of the country for export. The price of the car at just over 20 million yen ($176k) would have been the top of my budget and left very little room for storage or any modifications we would want to do with the car. The kicker as well is that it had a "repaired" history which could be anything minor or major but not much is known. Doston ultimately doesn't want to sell any questionable history on cars so he thought it would be best to pass which I agreed.
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  • Third Candidate. CarSesnor car 1. I had Doston chime in on this one. He knows the seller and he is trying to get more than my budget allowed. Doston thought it would be best to skip on it because 3 years is long enough of a wait and this car being a later 2000 would put me into early 2026 before I could get the car. He thinks if I were waiting out that long then maybe go toward a vspec2 car but thats an even longer wait. We passed on this one but it was a beauty and supposedly a S-Tune car from Nismo although we didn't look at it long enough to see if it was legit.
    • 1635518567644.png

  • Forth Candidate. Harlow Car 1 in UK. So I was told by Chris at Driver Motorsports that there are some really pristine cars in the UK that may be worth me looking at at Harlow. They had a very nice vspecII car that I liked alot but the color was just not what I wanted although I ran some numbers. Talking to Doston he sourced that very car for Harlow. Ultimatly its just not the color I want and the longer wait is not something I'd like to hold out for so I passed.
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  • Fifth Candidate. Garage Defend car 1. Not going to spend much time on this one but Doston had a guy ahead of me in line for a blue vspec so this got sold to a guy in Australia that same day. It was also a 2000 car so that much longer of a wait. The good news about this is that I moved to the number 1 position for the next blue vspec car he gets his hands on and gave them a deposit for the position.
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  • Sixth Candidate. CarSensor car 2. Doston went to inspect this car and pressed back on buying it. It was once used as a circuit car and had been previously modified and reverted back to stock. He thought mechanically this could lead to some future headaches and also had some wear and light surface rust. He didn't want to have anything to do with it. Looks like a great car and the original listing on carsensor has since been removed so maybe it sold or was taken down. Car is a bit smelly and the seats are quite worn. Overall not a good collector grad option so we passed.
    • 1635519546848.jpeg

Here is the car that I purchased.
  • Seventh and final car from Garage Defend/Manaboon. This whole process took less time than I thought it would as I was expecting to go back and forth for months if not a year, but I knew that if the right car popped up I would have to move fast. Manaboon is the sister shop to Garage Defend and if you saw in some of my posts, Doston had said they have another one coming in later in October. Well this is it and they posted it for sale on Saturday Oct 23rd. Doston and I talked about it that day and I sent a small deposit awaiting more information for the car to stay in first position. It is clean title with no previous history. Mileage is genuine with documentation to back it up. It comes with all the books and service history. Was garage kept and has 76k kilometers appx 47k miles and condition is perfect for a 25 year old car. There are some minor blemishes that we'll address from rock chips and paint but they will correct that as part of the purshase agreement. Outside of the ztune body parts, catback exhaust, and radiator the car is largely stock which is huge for me as it's rare to find one with so little done. I made the offer to buy it on Sunday and got the invoice/wiring instructions on Monday. Car was marked as sold on Tuesday when funds were received.
  • Underbody shots can be found here.
  • Purchase done here
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Modifications List

Gav'sPurpleZ

If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail
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I thought you were calling me a turd at first since WD is my initials :rofl:

Yeah I think that guy is kinda funny albeit cringy but hey he makes that YT f you money
Yeah, the stuff people will watch.
I would be doing other things with that type of money but people crave destruction
 

FirstWorldProblems

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Something is off on that car. There is no carbon rear diffuser which comes on the vspec cars and the cluster is the base model one. The only midnight purple cars that are show and display exempt are vspec ones.
Is going from Japan to Canada to US a legal way to skirt the 25 year law, or is it illegally imported?
 

Mook

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willizm

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BAT verified it has the proper docs, supposedly.
They may have paperwork that states the car is legally imported and verified that but if NHTSA and the feds want to make it a problem they have all the ability to do so because on their list unless it's a vspec it isn't approved and someone fraudulently filed for the exemption (probably as a vspec) and got it approved by someone that didn't know any better. It's like if you sneak contraband through the post office and it gets delivered to you house it doesn't make it legal because it was confirmed delivered.


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Mook

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