1999 R34 Nissan GT-R Liberty Walk Is a First-Year Car Preparing for US Import

The popularity of the R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R is currently at an all-time high, as we are just months away from the moment you’ll be legally allowed to import one into the US. And people over in Japan are doing their homework, with a recent example coming from this 1999 R34 GT-R featuring a Liberty Walk Super Silhouette widebody, which is currently up for grabs in the country.

Two and a half decades ago, Nissan built over 11,500 units of the R34 Skyline GT-R. Nowadays, whether you’re looking in America, Japan or any other part of the world, it’s quite difficult to come across an example that hasn’t been modified. So, if you’re going to get yourself a tuner Godzilla, you might as well go for something that’s been freshly modded—such is the philosophy behind this 1999 GT-R Liberty Walk. And before we get to the details of the car, let’s see why Godzilla is so popular, shall we?

The R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R owes some of its popularity to video games and cinema

The R34 GT-R was the final Godzilla iteration from the Skyline era, as the current R35 switched to a different platform. Building on the tuner and video game fame of its R32 and R33 predecessors, the R34 features updated versions of those cars’ RB26DETT twin-turbo 2.6L straight-six and ATTESA E-TS intelligent AWD system.

Sure, the engine only made 276 hp from the factory, but that was due to the 1990s gentlemen’s agreement between Japanese carmakers, so the real-world rating sat at over 300 hp. Besides, the whole deal with this engine is that it can easily be taken to 1,000 hp in stock form, with heavily built versions going way deeper into four-digit horsepower land.

Of course, once the Fast and Furious franchise kicked off in the early 2000s, America was hooked on the R34 GT-R.

This 1999 GT-R is currently for sale in its home country

Liberty Walk swept modern classic JDM fans off their feet back in 2020 when it introduced its Super Silhouette widebody kit for the R34 GT-R.

Wataru Kato, the owner of the tuner, sought inspiration in the Super Silhouette series, Japan’s version of Group 5 racing, as well as in the Bosozoku street car looks when designing the aero. More specifically, this is an R34 take on Masahiro Hasemi’s Tomica-livery KDR30 Nissan Skyline Super Silhouette, a 600 hp beast that won two races in 1982 and five in 1983.

At the time of this writing, the Liberty Walk website offered two R34s fitted with its Super Silhouette kit, but none of them were GT-Rs.

Instead, this Godzilla comes from Stacked Exports, a cars and parts exporter from Osaka, Japan. 1999 was the first year for the R34 GT-R (more on how this affects US importation below), with this example having racked up 170,000 km (105,000 miles) to date.

The vehicle is currently being auctioned off in the Land of the Rising Sun, featuring an instant buy price of 18.88 million yen ($136,000 at the current exchange rates).

Even with the prices in Japan being lower than those for cars for sale in the US, that figure seems on the lower end of the R34 GT-R spectrum. However, you’d have to talk to the specialist regarding the exact state of the vehicle and its history.

How much does it cost to import an R34 GT-R into the US?

Despite no R34 Skyline having been offered in the US back in the day, you might’ve already seen genuine R34 GT-Rs stealing the local Cars and Coffee show. And you’ll even find multiple examples for sale in America right now. However, even if we look past complicated legal provenance stories (e.g., this Paul Walker-driven Motorex R34 GT-R), we’re mostly talking about Godzillas being used under the Show and Display rule, which limits annual use to 2,500 miles.

Fortunately, thanks to 1988’s Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act, which allows vehicles 25 years or older to be brought stateside thanks to their collectible value, it is now legal to bring R34 Skylines into the US. However, the age of each individual car matters—while the R34 debuted in May 1998, the GT-R only entered production the following January. So you’ll have to wait until 2024 before you can have yours brought over.

Some enthusiasts prefer to jump the occasion now and go for a non-GT-R, with these coupes and sedans packing a mighty capable and tuning-friendly 2.5L RB25DET, albeit skipping the ATTESA E-TS intelligent AWD system of the GT-R.

Well, American specialists like Japanese Classics LLCs or Top Rank Importers can handle the importation process and more. For one, the latter’s website mentions a $5,500 flat fee for the importation, which includes transport from Japan to the company’s California dealership. On top of that, you also have to pay a 2.5% import tariff, which may change as the market evolves.

It’s also worth noting the company can help you buy a car from Japan and store it over there before it can legally bring it into the US.

Another important aspect to consider when importing a Nissan Skyline is that some US states have specific emission requirements. One of the most common examples includes the CARB (California Air Resources Board) certification and OBD2 emission testing. However, the R34 GT-R doesn’t feature OBD2, so we’ll have to wait and see if and how each state’s legislation changes as the first R34 GT-Rs turn 25 in a couple of months from now.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here