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Why the Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R Is Still the Best

PSA: Godzilla is king of the concrete jungle.

There is an overwhelming amount of evidence for the excellence of the Nissan Skyline GT-R. Powered by a twin-turbocharged inline-six motor and equipped with a sophisticated all-wheel drive system, this car was a dream come true for many enthusiasts. The first Skylines came about in 1969; however, it wasn’t until the introduction of the R32 two decades later that they started to gain real attention. 

Although these cars never officially made their way stateside, Skylines have now begun to pour in from overseas. The NHTSA’s 25-year import ban on non-US-legal cars expired in 2014 for 1989 model year vehicles, and that means the R32 is now fair game to bring to the states. As for how some people manage to bring over the newer R33 or even the highly sought-after R34, there are legal loopholes like registering it as a show or display car (though this severely limits the number of miles one can drive in a given year). Another, riskier way is registering it as a different car altogether—say a Nissan S-car. The latter is not a good idea, as getting caught will likely lead to your precious Skyline getting crushed.

This particular R34 Skyline GT-R is from Canada, where silly 25-year rules don’t apply. Matt Farah took it for a run and had an absolute blast:

Even with very minor modifications, this car looks, sounds, and (according to Matt) drives amazing. The owner plans to bump the car’s output from 360 whp to 600 whp. Definitely worth following this build and checking out more photos of the car.

The R34 comes from a time when LED DRLs weren’t a thing; when GPS navigation was just being introduced and was a rather expensive option; when stick was superior to a dual-clutch, computerized gearbox controlled by paddle shifters. The R34 is on the cusp: it lacks all of those modern-day features, but still has onboard computers to make the most of your driving experience.

Imagine if this car was originally sold alongside the NSX, RX-7, and Supra; it certainly would have ignited fierce competition between them, and would have made Skylines today, and the R34 in particular, more attainable.