Two words: Bayside. Blue. I love R34s! And I’m not alone. Skylines are becoming more and more popular here in the States. I know I want one, don’t you? Well, good news, Ideal fam, today you can own and drive the Godzilla R32 and its modern brother, the R33 GT-R here in America! Street legal! And the last generation of the RB26 Skylines! The R34 GT-R is essentially the Holy Grail of modern Japanese sports cars. And the Holy Grail of the Holy Grail? Definitely the R34 driven by none other than Paul Walker in the fourth installment of the Fast and Furious.
Fast and Furious Future
Alright so, bad news. You may have heard Fast 9 has been pushed back a year thanks to the pandemic. Bummer. YouTube Grilfriend and I were definitely going to see it. I love the muscle cars, she just loves the muscles… But even though it isn’t coming out for a year, rumors are already spreading about Fast 10. Fast 10 will be the the last film of the over $5 billion franchise, and is supposedly so epic that it’ll be split into two movies.
And another rumor, Paul Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner, may make a return appearance in the final chapter of this saga, which is incredible, since Paul passed away years ago. But it’s not impossible. With the help of Paul’s brothers and some high-end CGI, they were able to finish the production of Fast 7 after Paul Walker’s untimely death. And it looks… okay? So, we may see the return of Paul as the series closes.
So Fresh and So Clean
Now, rumors or not, people are pretty pumped to see how the series wraps up. I know I am. Paul wasan automotive inspiration for a lot of people. Any car he touched had it’s value skyrocket. For example, check out this list of his cars recently auctioned off for millions! But one car was absent from that list, arguably the one car most associated with Paul, that Bayside Blue R34, baby.
Why is it so important? Well, for starters, it was the last R34 seen in the franchise. And unlike other Skylines in the series, it was one of the cleanest. No weird graphics, no crazy body kits, it’s just really clean. This was an R34 like we would want to own. And it was dipped in that beautiful blue paint, Bayside Blue, a color so synonymous with the GT-R that they released an R35 in Bayside for the GT-R’s 50th anniversary.
Okay, back to the past, during the production of Furious 4, the iconic GT-R we’re talking about was one of 9 used for the film, but it was the only real GT-R. The other cars were actually Volkswagen Beetles! That’s right, most of the R34s driving on screen were actually fake R34 bodies riding on top of modified VW Beetle dune buggies! And they sure didn’t sound like an RB26. No, the engine in the real GT-R sounded much better.
The Real Deal R34
Paul Walker’s R34 was riding on 550 horses! I wasn’t able to find out exactly what it was running to get that power, but it did sport goodies like Nismo suspension parts, a roll cage, Nismo body parts with an east bear hood, a Rotora big-brake kit sitting behind 19-inch Volk Racing RE30 wheels, a front-mount intercooler and Nismo exhaust, a MOMO steering wheel and custom OMP seats. And it’s a really low-mileage example, rumored to have around 3,000 miles on the clock when it went for sale last.
This thing is sick and practically brand new. But is it a million dollars sick? Easy answer, no, but let’s try and guess how it became so valuable. You see, Paul Walker wasn’t just an actor, he was a car guy. It was in his blood, his grandfather raced Fords in the 60’s! And his gasoline-fueled passion meant he was not just acting on screen in the Fast and Furious, he was also consulting, he would try to keep scripts from being too unrealistic, and try to keep them free of silly terms that don’t make sense. Double clutching, not granny shifting, anyone?
And there’s even talk that he had a say in what cars he would drive in the movies. So, it’s likely Paul chose the Bayside Blue R34 to drive in Fast 4. We know he was a GT-R fan, he had one of the sickest R32 track cars this side of the Pacific! So, it makes sense that when he got his pick, he went with the modern beast that is the R34. That’s pretty damn special if you ask me.
Sadly, the local police here in the States didn’t think it was particularly special… or legal. In 2009, there was a crackdown on illegally-imported Japanese Skylines in America. You see, in the early 2000’s, companies were importing R34s without their engines installed, and then putting them back together Stateside and registering them as kit cars. The feds did not like that, and started impounding GT-Rs and giving owners 60 days to sell them out of the country, or else they’d be crushed.
And this infamous Bayside beauty was one of them! It was quickly sold to someone in Germany, and it sold for $320,000. That’s an insane price tag on what is essentially a lightly-modified R34 that Paul didn’t even own. But that auction happened when Paul was still alive and well, so when the car went back up on the auction block again after his death, the price tripled. That’s right, this thing was listed for sale at $1.37 million! That’s insane.
And clearly the value went up because of Paul Walker’s unfortunate passing. I know what you’re thinking, That’s a seriously slimey way to make a buck, profiting off a dead celebrity. But, the good news is, according to the auction website, half the proceeds from the sale went to Reach Out WorldWide, Walker’s charity that puts its focus on helping out during major natural disaster events. Now, we don’t know exactly how much the R34 sold for, but it was appraised at a value of between $800,000 and $5 million. So, it’s pretty safe to say it got nearly what they were asking. And hey, that’s good news, because that cash is going to help those in need!
Now, we all have to wait until 2024 to legally import R34s to the USA, since it was produced between 1999 and 2002. And as of a couple years ago, we’ve seen two 1999 V-Specs change hands for £25,000 pounds and £29,000 pounds, which is roughly $31,000 and $36,000 US respectively. Plus, a 2001 GT-R sold for $68,000 in May of 2017. So, when the R34 becomes legal, do you expect prices to go up? Or down? I guess we’ll have to wait and see…
I think the R34 is just a legend, and it’s crazy to think we’re only a few years away to actually having it legally on US soil. It’s too bad Motorex spoiled all the fun back in the early 90’s when they imported a few R33 GT-Rs and crash tested them so they could be approved by the NHTSA to be run on US roads after some modifications.
So, we could have had legal R34s here about 30 years ago, but Motorex got greedy and started importing R32s and R34s, and claiming they were the same as the R33s. Let’s just say the NHTSA didn’t take that lightly, and shut down the operation real quick. Word on the street is roughly 14 legal R34s were imported by Motorex before they had to close up shop.