Rare R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R Z-Tune Is The Most Expensive Of Its Kind

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But don't believe the prices you've read about.

UPDATE 08/22:CarBuzz has spoken to the vehicle's owner and confirmed the price paid was misreported in initial news reports.

A US car collector who reportedly paid $1,985,000 for a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R Nismo Z-Tune has set the record straight, saying that while this particular Z-Tune is the most expensive example ever purchased, the original reports greatly exaggerated how much he paid.

The Z-Tune is the rarest of all R34 models, with only 19 built. Nismo wanted to make 20, which is a nice round number, but in the end, it could only source 19 used R34 V-Spec II cars.

Demand for R34 GT-R models is exceptionally high, but there's a good reason for that. We'll dig into this phenomenon later, but for now, you need to know that this Z-Tune broke the record and then some.

It's not odd to see an R34 go for supercar money these days, and some of the rarer models are worth around $400,000.

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Our last record of a Z-Tune up for sale shows that interested parties were willing to pay up to $600,000, but that was seven years ago.

Why exactly are R34 fanboys so excited about the Z-Tune? Apart from the scarcity, it has an extremely interesting history. Nismo had to convince Nissan that it needed to be made, so it purchased a 2002 V-Spec II and applied several engine upgrades borrowed from its Le Mans racing cars. The Z-Tune has a stronger engine block, and it was bored out to 2.8 liters. Nismo added a set of upgraded turbochargers, and the result was 493 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque.

For the record, that's more power than the first batch of R35 GT-Rs introduced in 2007, which "only" had 480 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque.

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Nissan then gave the go-ahead for Nismo to buy several used cars to turn them into Z-Tunes. All of the vehicles had less than 18,000 miles on the clock. All but one car was painted Z-Tune Silver; the remaining one was finished in Midnight Purple III.

Other racing bits were also added. The vents on the hood are functional, and the Z-Tune is slightly wider to accommodate the wider wheels. Sachs provided a racier suspension setup, and it boasts a Brembo brake setup explicitly designed for this car.

Another reason why it's so special is the method Nismo used to build it. Every car was stripped and rebuilt by hand. Nismo even added additional welds and replaced several parts the customers would never see with carbon fiber.

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That brings us neatly back to demand for the R34. As you might know, the R34 is still a few years away from legal import status. Not that it matters, because there are allegedly warehouses full of rare JDM classics just waiting for the deadline to arrive. Legend has it, these cars are already spoken for.

The Playstation Generation is now flush with cash, and the R34 is one of the ultimate poster cars from that generation. It's the same reason the generation before is spending big money on cars like the original Lamborghini Countach.

458destroyer on Instagram - the owner of the car and a well-known supercar collected renowned for dropping big bucks on the cars he wants - is the lucky owner, who took delivery of the car in December last year. When you check out his feed, you'll see there's no cash shortage. He wouldn't tell us exactly how much he paid - for obvious privacy reasons - but did say he is thrilled to finally have the Z-Tune in his collection.

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