The Nissan Skyline GT-R debuted in 1989. Once nicknamed "Godzilla," it's regarded as one of the greatest performance cars ever made. For 25 years, it was perhaps the juiciest of the forbidden fruits in the American car market, accessible only in video games.
While you can now import a Skyline GT-R into the States and drive it wherever you want, it's not quite the same as experiencing a new one. Nissan now has a way to do that...but it will cost you.
As spotted by Autoblog, Nissan will follow the example of manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover by launching a Skyline GT-R restoration program through its in-house tuner NISMO in Japan.
The process is painstaking. NISMO strips the car down to its bare metal, testing the chassis for imperfections with laser precision and protects it against rust. NISMO disassembles and rebuilds the engine and drivetrain, refurbishing or replacing each part as needed. NISMO can also upgrade the engine with its performance parts. They deep clean the original interior or replace it with modern, more fire-resistant materials from the current GT-R.
The car won't just look perfect, either. A NISMO test driver shakes it down on a Nissan test course, checking a list of variables to make sure it feels right. The result, which can take six months to a year, is a better-than-factory-new vintageNissan Skyline GT-R.
But here's the catch: the cost for the restoration, even by bloated Radwood-era standards, will take your breath away. The starting point is ¥45 million, which converts to around $432,000 at present. That figure doesn't include costs to source the vehicle, which NISMO can do for you, or ship a car to and from Japan. For that money, you could buy both coupe and cabriolet versions of the Porsche 911 Turbo S. But for the right enthusiast, the cost won't matter.