Rare GT-R NISMO 400R crashes auction site
In the world of Japanese sports cars, the Nissan Skyline GT-R is among the most coveted. Elegant R32s and brawny R34s often overshadow the more understated, tweener R33 generation. For years they were looked down upon for being too big and too heavy, but the R33 GT-R spawned one of the most coveted GT-Rs, the rare and powerful 400R. This fine example of which recently sold at CollectingCars.com.
The buzz from the auction’s exploits led to a flurry of activity and site traffic. Enough, apparently, to crash the site. As a result, the auction, set to end this past Sunday, was given another 24 hours. When the final hammer fell on Monday, May 8, the price had risen to £707,400, or $884,544 including fees. This isn’t the first time an auction site has crashed due to a 400R: last year, one popped up on a Japanese used car auction site and the bid amount actually exceeded the numerical limits of the system. Bidders were reported to have conducted final bidding via phone.
Nissan GT-Rs have risen in popularity and price in recent years, but the 400R’s rarity means that this price is one of a couple recent high-profile outliers. An R34 previously owned by Paul Walker recently became the most expensive GT-R ever sold at $1.357 million, but that price can be chalked up to its provenance. So why did this well-documented R33 with only 61,858 kilometers (38,436 miles) on the odometer bring in nearly eight times more than a run-of-the-mill GT-R of the same generation? Hagerty Price Guide Editor Greg Ingold recently took a deep dive into the 400R and the details of the car set it apart. Just 40 examples of the 400R were confirmed built according to gtr-registry.com, and they implemented technology that Nissan used to take on the world and in their Le Mans race cars. Powered by a 2.8-liter inline-six that was more than just a bored-and-stroked RB26DETT, the NISMO 400R’s RB-X GT2 engine was strengthened to withstand additional stress and the cylinder head flow was improved to increase power. While the standard GT-R was underrated a 276 hp, the aptly-named 400R was rated at 400 hp.
The 400R rides on lowered suspension with Bilstein shocks. It features improved brakes and fender flares that help cover Rays NISMO LMGT1 wheels. It makes extensive use of carbon fiber, including the hood and even the driveshafts. Simply stated, it is among the most significant GT-R trims that ever left the factory. With just 40 known examples ever built, one crossing the auction block is a treat for buyers and auction spectators alike. In fact, this was the first 400R sale with a public price that we’ve ever seen (although others have been offered at Japanese auctions). This beautiful NISMO shows that these rare GT-Rs can bring big money—and website-crashing amounts of attention—regardless of their location.