The Day R34s Took Over Fuji Speedway
The Invasion

It seems like it was only yesterday that I was roaming the upper parking lots of Fuji Speedway surrounded by an endless sea of Nissan Skyline R34s in celebration of R34 Day (3/4).

Just like 7’s Day (7/7) and 86 Day (8/6) after it, R31 through R34 Skylines models are celebrated during the first week of March across Japan. And every year, proud R34 owners meet up at the country’s most iconic race circuit for a day of festivities.

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The 2017 event was great, so I was eager to see how this year’s would differ. How would the turnout compare? Would fresh new faces stand out in the crowd, or would it be the same group as last year?

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That last question was an interesting one for me, because since I moved to Japan and began attending events like this, many faces have become familiar. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t want to see the same faces because a lot of these people have become my friends, but the lack of fresh faces confirms the notion that the younger Japanese generation just aren’t interested in cars.

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This especially rings true in Tokyo where having a car is not really necessary thanks to one of the best public transportation systems on the planet. In fact, unless you’re a hardcore petrol-head, the cost of simply owning a car – taking into account a place to park it – is a real challenge in Japan’s capital city.

The difficulty in finding a parking space on the upper side of Fuji Speedway meant that my question about the turnout was answered; the venue was just as packed as it was last year with people driving from all over Japan for the event.

One thing I did notice, however, was the lack of BNR34 GT-Rs. With domestic values still climbing and no sign of them leveling off anytime soon (a BNR34 V-specII Nür with only 10km on the clock sold for a little over US$300,000 at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon), more owners are thinking twice about taking their precious cars out and even harder about making any modifications to them.

That’s where the ER34 and HR34 come into play. With their prices under control – for the time being at least – many owners are turning to these models and letting their imagination run wild.

This year’s ‘dress up’ contest was a strong indicator of this; the cars on show ranged from drift-spec builds to static monsters eating up pavement.

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For the drift contest, points were be rewarded to those with aggressive entry speeds, minimal corrections, and tire smoke – just like in the D1 Grand Prix.

One noticeable change from 2017’s event was a reduction in the number of vendors showcasing their products. Of course, the big name brands including Tomei, Bride, URAS, and Work Wheels all made an appearance, but the lesser known shops that showed up last year were nowhere to be found. I had to pry myself away from the Tomei booth before I emptied my bank account.

With my wallet safely tucked away, it was time to take one last look through the parking lots before calling it a day. A thought lingered on my mind as I paced up and down row after row of R34s…

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Will there be a day when the ER34s become as valued as the GT-R? I’m thinking no, simply due to the fact that almost three times as many ER34 variants rolled off the production floor compared to the BNR34.

With so many being turned into drift projects and borderline missiles, however, I wonder how that will affect the pricing of a clean, unmolested examples.

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Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Ron Celestine
Instagram: celestinephotography

The Cutting Room Floor
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27 comments

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1

No way, a R34 Day and Dino wasn´t there ? ^^

2

Haha, Hell can freeze over ;)

3

hehehe Ron you´ve made my day XD

4

I really dig the front end look of the HR34! Never seen it before. I imagine as with other JDM vehicles that develop large drift enthusiast followings, the prices of clean HR and ER examples will go up substantially as the availability of clean chassis' dwindles. Great photos btw!!!!

5

It was actually the first time for me seeing one in person myself to be honest. Everyone usually has ER34's here so was a nice little treat ^^. That's also what I'm think in regards to pricing but only time will tell! Thanks!!

6

Thank you for the really cool coverage, Ron. Keep up the great work! You have a bright future ahead of you. Been following you for a minute now. Take care.

7

Thank Tonio ^_^ I really appreciate it!

8

I'm willing to BET that someone will build a model of the gold-wrapped 34. Lol

9
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

It's strange that this article comes 2 days after Top Gear's Japan special episode, and that Matt LeBlanc bought (and damaged) an ER34 in it. Is the timing intentional? Lol!

If you ask me, the value of the non-GT-R R34s will also climb, albeit at a much slower rate. I'm saying this due to the surging popularity of Japanese sports cars from the 90s, and as the Gran Turismo-playing generation grows older, the more in demand these cars are.

10

It's more simple: we are OLD, the 90's cars are now 20-30 years old models.
My neighbor still believe i can't handle his gen1 golf GTI because of its massive power while my daily driven/work car with high fuel efficiency rate it more powerful, he's still charmed by that nasty hatch and will never get convinced. Sure it's more raw and fun to drive while mine is fkn boring but you got my point. His situation is not curable, and never will be, and the disease will hit us very soon.

11

Hmmm I think I'll be ok with that disease when it comes!...if it hasn't already hit me lol

12

lol HmMMmmM !!

That's a good point. I didnt think about that. The Gran Turismo playing generation now, or when it first came out (my time). If it's my time then your absolutely correct lol

13

I'm amazing that Greddy didn't bring out there new toy to the event because of how sweet it is.

14

Yah, I was a bit surprised by that as well

15

Nice coverage! Shame you didn't stay until the parade laps at the end of the day. The view of the Mt. Fuji during the sunset behind all the R34s on the track was stunning.

16

Thank youu and it really is! Unfortunately, I had another engagement that night and if I had stayed till after the parade, there was no way I was going to make it back to Tokyo at a 'decent' time. Traffic on Sundays heading back to the city is stupid after 3pm ...

17

Ron- do you know about Tokyo Extreme Racer Zero and the Wanderers you used to have to beat in that game? The white R34 with the PIkachu is definitely a Wanderer on the C1 inner loop!

18

Oh wow no I didn't know that ! I never got around to playing that game so I missed the reference!

19

The two R34's next to the MSY Garage tent...are they wearing a Maziora paintjob perhaps?

20

FYI R31 day is 31st July (7th Skyline, 7th month)

21

Would this be in Japan?

22

Thanks for the coverage Ron.
Quick question: is the absence of GT-Rs to do with a) your explanation or b) the preference for the R Meeting which is GT-R-centric? 3/4 appears to be a celebration of *R34s at large and maybe an opportunity for others to enjoy themselves at the Fuji Speedway?

But yeah, shame that GT-Rs are turning into garage/show queens on which one frets to put miles...

23

Hmmm.. Honestly I think a combination of both? 3/4 day is a celebration of everything R34 but I think it is geared towards the younger crowd. A lot of young people drifting, and getting their hands on a ER34 is 'easy'...easier lol. R's meet is def more GT-R Centric and older crowd so if they come out, its gonna be mostly at R's meet.

24

I really thought this article was for Dino until i clicked the link and the cover image popped up with your name and when i scrolled down i was waiting to see your manes together like the most recent coverage you were making. Don't get me wrong, but It's like GT-Rs (specially the 34) and Dino are bonded.

That aside, if the police fleet will be like this R34 up in the article the criminal rate will escalate in a very high rate (including me).

25

Haha noooo, I completely understand that logic. I think normally it's correct ^_^

LOOL

26

So much love for the 4 door Skyline

27

It's funny to think that a few years ago if I was able to buy an R34 it had to be a GT-R. Its only in the last while that I'm beginning to appreciate the GTT. I may only be 18, but the GTT is definitely a more realistic goal than a crazy-expensive GT-R

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