Didn’t get a Lexus this holiday season? Good, we say. If you’re going to make rash, irresponsible financial decisions, you gotta think bigger than some lame ES350 in Moonbeam Beige Metallic from a December to Remember—we suggest throwing in a heaping scoop of “rotisserie restoration” and “dealing with trans-Pacific international customs” to your powdered egg nog mix with this barn-find 1973 Nissan Skyline GT-R currently for sale in Hokkaido, Japan, as recently reported on by The Drive and resurfaced a few months ago on Reddit.
Look, I know you were all jazzed up about presenting your guy or gal with an anodyne mid-grade crossover lease complete with the big ol’ red bow, but don’t forget you can buy those oversized bows online and slap it on pretty much anything you want—including the aforementioned Nissan. This dusty red coupe is one of the semi-obscure second-gen Skyline GT-Rs that only ran for a single model year as part of the so-called “Kenmeri” Skyline family, named after the delightfully chipper young couple (Ken and Mary) featured in the contemporary television commercials. That’s right—instead of some evocative nickname like Hakosuka (Skyline) or Godzilla worn by the first-gen and third-gen GT-Rs respectively, this high-revving, tire-squealing sports coupe takes its nickname from a car commercial.
It’s a complete car according to the listing, meaning the desirable 2.0-liter S20 inline-six is present, returning a very healthy 158 horsepower and 131 lb-ft to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. Compared to later generations of Nissan GT-R—R32, R33, R34, and the current R35—the driving experience of the first two generations of GT-R is characterized not by sake-spilling twin-turbo all-wheel-drive launches, but the same rear-wheel-drive, naturally aspirated smoothness as a 240Z or Toyota 2000GT.
You don’t have to worry about your S/O’s car-dork aunt gifting the same thing either, as only 197 Kenmeri GT-Rs were sold before the ensuing 1973 Oil Crisis eliminated demand and the GT-R nameplate was canceled until the R32 generation debuted for 1989. Of those, only seven left the factory in red, making this Kenmeri GT-R one of the most collectible and rarest Japanese classics we’ve ever seen come to market. Think of all the bonding you two could do as you clean the carbs and rebuild the brakes—not that this will need more than sympathetic restoration, considering the mothballed GT-R has reportedly covered only 31,000 original miles.
This car has apparently remained up for grabs for quite some time, with some reports pegging this car sitting on the open market for the past four years. With an asking price of around $338,000, that’s hardly surprising, but as values of these rare Kenmeri GT-Rs continue to climb, that begins to look less and less ridiculous. Plus, if you can’t be bothered to perform the restoration yourself, Nissan would be tickled pink to restore it for you, provided the rather clandestine NISMO restoration program isn’t just for R32s and you can afford the staggering $432,000 bank hit. Of course, it’s too bad you missed out on the pristine example that sold five years ago in RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction; it sold on a relatively paltry high bid of $176,000.
If you think this will be the perfect last-minute gift for someone—or yourself—head over to Yahoo Auctions Japan to bid or get in touch with the seller.
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