To buy or not to buy?
It’s taken 25 years for this to happen, and it’ll happen again in another two and eight years. 2014 was when the 25-year US import ban ended for the Japanese-built R32 Nissan Skyline. Its successors, the R33 and R34, were launched in 1993 and 1999, respectively. But the R32 is more than good enough for now. In fact, it’s downright wonderful, and you can buy one for around $20,000. Seriously. Thing is, we highly doubt it’ll be that affordable in the years to come. Just look at the cost of once affordable Ferraris, specifically the 308.
A few years ago you could buy a decent one for around $35,000. Today, in some cases, that number has tripled. What was the cause? Several factors, among them general brand popularity, but also because of increased demand.
A generation that grew up watching the 80s hit TV series “Magnum PI,” with star Tom Selleck driving a 308, could now afford the car they craved as kids. Today, Millennials, who grew up watching the "Fast and Furious" movies and playing video games like "Gran Turismo" and "Forza," are going to want to make the switch from virtual reality to reality itself. A $20k-$25k R32 Skyline is very doable, and Millennials are already picking up on this. According to Hagerty Insurance, in 2014 quotes for 1989 Skylines increased and continued to do so in 2015 for 1990 R32s. In just those two years, quotes increased by 377 percent. 2016 has so far been very good for ’91 models.
Yet consider this: All Skylines (with the exception of today’s R35) are right-hand drive. This makes the car both even more unique and, well, a bit difficult to live with. For example, drive-thrus are suddenly an inconvenience. But apparently buyers don’t give a shit; they want to own the car they spent hours driving with a game controller. Being in the driver’s seat is what matters. Not at all bad for a quarter century-old sports coupe powered by a twin-turbo straight-six with 276 hp and all-wheel drive. Now 276 hp isn’t really all that much, especially by today’s standards where a base V6 Mustang has 300 ponies. But nothing else drives like a Skyline. Some hooning is required. So, back to the original point:
Will the R32 increase in value in the coming years? Should you go and buy one for the price of a new Honda Civic and just deal with those right-hand drive annoyances? Yes. Though nothing is guaranteed, Skylines are well-built and have proven to be reliable enough even as the years go by. If you want to begin investing in cars and don’t have the money for an older Ferrari, Porsche, or any classic American muscle car, the R32 Skyline is a perfect place to start.