To folks of a certain age, the R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R will always be the one that got away. Though on the expensive side at £50,000ish when new back in 1999, used examples were selling for half of that only a decade ago. But given their status as a staple of the modified scene, finding a good stock example is becoming ever more difficult. When you do find one, it’ll be accompanied by a price tag that’ll double (if not triple) its original worth - and just wait until they’re eligible for US import next year.
So the days of the affordable R34 GT-R are, sadly, long gone. But if you’re happy to spend big money on arguably the most iconic Japanese car of all time, then there’s a whole world of Godzilla goodness to explore. Yes, you’ll need to budget in excess of £150,000 (emphasis on the 'excess' bit), but with that sort of cash, you’ll be looking at pristine examples like this Bayside Blue GT-R and those lightly breathed on by some of Japan’s finest tuners such as this V-Spec II. A proper Nismo model is still out of reach (even with this very healthy budget), though it does get you this: a Tommykaira R-S.
If you’ve never played Gran Turismo, then the Tommykaira name may be unfamiliar to you. While the Japanese tuning firm doesn’t seem to be particularly active these days, it was one of the major independent tuners of the '80s, '90s and '00s, creating some of the wildest creations to come out of the country at the time. It didn’t limit itself to one manufacturer, either, though it built up a reputation for being a Nissan specialist, which is where you’ll find the outfit’s properly crazy stuff - and it doesn’t get much crazier than this.
Tuning companies love chasing big horsepower numbers with R34s (think 1,000hp plus), though Tommykaira often took a more holistic approach with its projects. The RB26DETT in this GT-R received a slew of upgrades, including turbocharges from the N1 homologation special, in-house turbines, intercooler, exhaust system, radiator and a remap to bring power up to 435hp - decent by today’s standards and positively rapid back in 2000. The suspension was also heavily upgraded with Tommykaira-spec Bilstein gas-filled dampers, 25mm lowering springs and a new strut brace. No, it’s not the fastest R34 there is, but it should be one of the best to properly drive.
Then there’s the way it looks. Tommykaira’s bodykits can be a little bit Marmite (see this Micra M13), but the R-S certainly has the wow factor nailed. Both bumpers have been replaced with the company’s own design, and if take a look underneath you’ll see a vast carbon fibre diffuser at the rear. Whether it or the giant dual-layer wing makes any downforce is anyone’s guess, but there’s no denying it looks utterly bonkers. A complete contrast to the interior, though there are plenty of Tommykaira logos that serve as a reminder that this ain’t no ordinary GT-R.
That’s reflected in the teeny production numbers, too. Only 100 Tommykaira R34s were produced, and it’s believed only 34 of those were R-S tunes. Number 90 here has covered 47,795 miles since work was complete back in 2000 and, according to the ad, it’s never been exposed to the UK’s salty winter roads. It is a lot of money at £169,995, but it’s far from the most expensive R34 and is nearly £100k cheaper than the equivalent Nismo version. Pocket the change, put some of it towards winter prep and have at it - just as TK intended.
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