Inside Global Auto’s Secret Skyline GT-R Stash

Show me a warehouse full of Ferraris and any other exotic you might want to throw in there, and you might be surprised at my lack of excitement. It’s not that I’m jaded; I just don’t get excited by supercars as much as I used to.

But, let me into a corrugated iron storage garage full of rare Skyline GT-Rs and you better have a defibrillator handy.


Thankfully though, before bringing me to his secret storage, Yasui-san of Global Auto told me what was inside, just so that I could prepare myself.


This isn’t about sheer volume; if you want to see that you can check out my recent story on Global Auto’s main yard. What’s kept in here are prized possessions, and as you can see from the keys in the blue box, they’re nearly all GT-Rs. And one BMW. Oh no, sorry, I mean Toyota…


This is the very first time that anyone’s been able to point their camera inside the storage warehouse, and I’m very thankful that Yasui-san extended me the honor. Then he went even further, taking the time to move cars around so I could shoot a couple of them outside.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve shot a Z-tune, so the most prized possession of the collection was definitely one I wanted to grab some snaps of. To get to it however, we needed to move the white car parked alongside.

The N1

After shifting some more R34s and a bunch of boxes, the Skyline made it out into the daylight.


This is without a doubt the second most valuable BNR34 after a Z-tune. Only 25 V-spec II N1s were ever built, and this example is in pristine condition. I’m not sure how many of the 25 still exist, as most were destined to become Super Taikyu race cars, but for anyone else who secured one for a street car, they got the rawest, lightest BNR34 of them all. Raw, because on top of the N1-spec RB26 with non-ceramic N1 turbos and an engine oil cooler, they were stripped of a few things. The most obvious was the air conditioning and audio, but I need to go full otaku and list all of the deletions.

– Rear wiper delete

– Rear fog light delete

– Remote control entry system delete

– Vanity mirror delete

– Cabin air filter delete

– Antenna panel delete (along with audio head unit, replaced by a blanking plastic plate)

– Glovebox damper & glovebox light delete

– Superfine hard coat delete (the special clearcoat Nissans of that era received)

– UV cut glass delete

– Red door marker lights deleted & replaced with reflectors

– Deleted electric adjust for door mirrors & non-body color-matched door mirror color (black)

– Leather-wrapped e-brake lever trim delete

– Non-painted carbon hood

– Any body color as long as it was QM1 White


This example still has the factory protectors on its metal sill trims.


Total mileage, not even 14,000km. Absolutely wild.


With the N1 out of the way it was time to bring the Z-tune back to life. This is a car that Yasui-san has had in his arsenal for years, Z-tune #2 – the first customer car after Nismo’s own #001 prototype that I drove during the press launch. The hand-built RB28 sparked into life at the first twist of the key, and while it was being moved outside I had a clear view of the rest of the cars.


And strangely for me, it was actually an R33 that I looked at next.


Compared to the Z-tune and a V-specII N1, a 400R could be deemed not as rare – but let’s not forget the importance of this particular model. This is the car that put Nismo on the map in the late 1990s, and one that may well be the best ever execution of an R33. Or would that be the RWD R33 GT-R LM homologation car?


Only 750 or so V-specII Nürs were made in the final 1,000 car run, where each R34 had an N1-based engine. The remaining 250 were M-spec, the Mizuno-specials that came with ripple-control dampers that delivered a slightly more supple ride.


When BNR34 production kicked off in December 1998 ready for the January 1999 launch, 300 Midnight II cars were built and offered up to early buyers. There was one of these in the far end of the warehouse wearing a full Nismo body.


Of course, along with the cars themselves, the market for parts is just as crazy – both for stock items and select tuning bits. Just to entertain myself every once in a while, I’ll go onto Yahoo! Auctions and look at what the original Nismo titanium strut tower brace for the R34 goes for. This is a part that you could pick up from Omori Factory for ¥69,000 (approximately US$630 in today’s money) back in the day. They went out of production in 2003 or 2004, because the price of raw titanium increased and Nismo couldn’t justify making them for their original price. I’ve seen them listed for ¥1,000,000 (approximately US$9,100) recently. And no, I haven’t used too many zeros.

If you’re looking for any R34 GT-R part, there’s a good chance you’d find it in here.

The Z-tune

I consider myself pretty lucky as I got to see the Z-tune development up close back in the day, all the way from the Z1 and Z2 mules to the final production car. At the aforementioned press launch, I got to put car #001 through its paces on the Ashinoko Skyline toll road up in the mountains of Hakone. To top it off, I was commissioned to shoot the build of the very last Z-tune in 2006 by the customer that bought it, so I’ve always felt a close connection to this ultimate R34 model.

Taking the Global Auto Z-tune out and shooting it brought back all those memories, and I have to say it felt very special all over again.


I mean, this was BNR34 perfection for many years. I still think it is, despite many of its aspects having been surpassed by the evolution of RB tuning.


The 2.8L RB that was finalized for production took over where the 400R’s RB-X left off. The engine was ran at way over 600hp for a good year in the Z1 mule, and it spent its time being abused around Fuji Speedway and Tsukuba Circuit.


It was then de-tuned to about 500hp (Nismo figures were always somewhat conservative) and given the Z2 nomenclature.


That would be the final spec that would equip the 16 cars that were built in 2005 and 2006.


Being the tuning arm of a manufacturer means that Nismo has to ensure longevity is at the center of everything it produces. With this engine it was a fine balance between cost and performance, which is why the Z2 engine was never going to be anything crazy, just an ensemble of tried and tested N1 and Nismo parts embellished with a few bespoke touches. We all know that with modern turbos, a fuel setup devised in this millennium, and an ECU with a tad more processing power than an Hitachi calculator from 1988, this engine could be run at 750hp for eternity. But that’s not how official manufacturer cars work – especially those that are meant to represent the pinnacle of performance. You over-engineer and then de-tune and you are left with safety. Safety is good in cases like these, plus we have all the tuners in the world showing us what you can really do with an RB.


The Z-tune was always going to be a collector car; something bought to be stored away and admired rather than taken to the track and abused. Back in 2005, the Z-tune’s close-to-¥20,000,000 (US$180,000+) asking price was an astronomical figure for a Skyline GT-R; today it’s a bargain for a high-mileage, poorly-cared-for Nür.


Whatever you make of it, there is no hiding the fact that this is the most legendary Skyline GT-R of all time. We’ll see these cars change hands for 10 times what they cost new sooner than you think.


Which kind of makes you wonder what a V-specII N1 with 13,000km on the odometer will fetch…


Ah yes, do you remember the unmistakable BMW key in the blue key box at the beginning of the story? This is Yasui-san’s A90 Supra project car, a very nice example sitting on RAYS Volk Racing TE37s. Given the company, it wasn’t really worth a second glance on this particular day, but I promise to take a closer look at it the next time I’m down in the Kansai region.


Right, where were we? Ah yes, Z-tune and all the glory that comes with being the most sought after iteration of an already highly sought after model.


Nismo really did throw the entire catalogue at the car. It even came with a pair of coolers that were originally developed and fitted to the 50 V-spec models that were officially sold in the UK in 1999 through the Nissan Middlehurst dealership. One for the transmission and one for the rear differential, they each came with their own external pumps, deemed a necessity for the European market as everyone there spends the majority of their time either doing 200mph on the Autobahn or hard-lapping the Nordschleife. At least that was the understanding at Nissan in 1999.


I assume 1999 was the year that Connolly Leather was in full fashion, possibly the reason that the 50 UK BNR34s got a full leather interior and eventually the reason that the Nismo Z-tune also received a bespoke upholstery trimmed in the famed English shiny leather. Connolly went bankrupt in 2002, so maybe Nissan stockpiled a few hides? While I did like the red suede inserts on the center of the seats and door cards, I never – and still to this day – quite understood the steering wheel choice.


With 35,000km on the odometer, at least this car was fully enjoyed by its previous owner. With that said, Yasui-san sent the Z-tune back to Nismo a few years for a certified full refresh, a very wise move for a car of this caliber.

After spending a few hours at Global Auto, I really did leave with a massive grin on my face. I stopped caring about the whole BNR34 value thing and how parts and maintenance have skyrocketed; I was just happy to have spent time with modern legends and be reminded of the amazing 20 years I’ve enjoyed the GT-R scene in Japan and elsewhere around the world.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare



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The once pure JDM fandom has been relegated to vain reminiscence and ruthless speculation. Pathetic.


Don’t disagree, and it’s shops like Global Auto or JDM imports hoarding cars and driving prices which are responsible, not really owners.
This results in wannabe owners being priced out while concurrently ruining current owners’ enjoyment by making usage paranoia-inducing.
So while the article is nice and the cars incredible, it is also a bit bittersweet.


Simple supply and demand. The buyers are paying the prices being asked. If they weren't, prices would not sustain or increase. Happens with anything that from the outset was cool (cars or otherwise). Now that many can be actually legally owned and registered here, there are more buyers, with the means. Of course the highest quality ones are kept aside. Like anything else collectible.


Your comment talks about demand, mine talks about supply being artificially constrained.
The former (demand) is a healthy way as the market determines the price equilibrium of a good based on what should be known supply.
The latter (supply) is not, as it artificially creates inflation that is not warranted by market equilibrium forces.

Lastly, the fact that the cars are all “POA” further highlights that it is speculation and not supply / an enthusiast looking to preserve the legacy of cars


There is no artificial constraint of supply. There are plenty of cars out there to buy right now. Of any spec GTR ever made. The market has determined the going rate. Hence why pricing is what it is and isn’t going to change. Just say you missed the boat. It happens to us all at some point in real estate, cars, stocks and any other commodity.


The fact that parts have skyrocketed indicates that GT-R ownership is now on par with any exotic ownership.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's been like that for at least 3-4 years now


I'm still drooling for that Z tune, always love the car's look. I also loved that Bayside blue and Midnight purple Z-bodied R34. Awesome article!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks Juan!

Rod Millington

For me personally, I couldn't care less about any of the cars that are in there when compared to the 400R, Z-Tune included. I think that is the most special of the special editions that Nismo made regardless of production numbers.

That being said, all the JDM legends that I grew up with will be properly outside of my price range by the time I move back home to Aus and have them available again. But then again, I'll also be trying to buy an unaffordable house so maybe that's a good thing...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

400R is indeed a very special car


Back in the Gran Turismo 4 times, when it came to the BNR34 I was all about the V-Spec II N1. The Nür was surely cool but the sheer purity of the N1 was overwhelming. And that unpainted carbon hood... I mean, come on!
Seeing this V-spec II N1 shot by you DIno it is the first time in my life that I see this exact model other than in Gran Turismo. And it's so well kept! Man you made day so good.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Glad to hear Alex :)


I may be part of the minority but I have stronger pull to the lines of the R33 GTR, which may be nostalgia from Gran Turismo and having hours on hours of racing it in game before I really knew much about Japanese cars as a whole. That being said, the odds of me owning one here in Canada is getting lower and lower as prices keep climbing higher and higher out of my price range. Perhaps one day I could own one.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I always found the lines too rounded and the headlights to be disproportionately sized. That said, over the last year or 2 I've started to like them more and more

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Somehow I was expecting to see the N1 and 400R here, but not the Z-Tune! Not disappointed!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I try not to disappoint! lol



Not trying to be funny but why don't you hang out in Germany for a month and do multiple stories about tuner shops there. There sure is ALOT of coverage about JDM. Sheesh! ABT, Caracature, Techart, RUF, etc. are in Germany. You always seem to have 3, 4, 5 stories about Japan and then 1 or 2 about GDM.(German Domestic Market.) Can we balance it out?


Rod Millington

Something something pandemic... something... lives in Japan... something.


When overseas travel is permitted again, Germany will be one of the first places we get back out to.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah would love to spend some time in Germany! Haven't done a proper SH trip there in years


What about a little meet at the Ring? We'll make sure to bring some GTRs :)


alright well im getting too old for speedhunters now.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

LOL how


Next year, you'll go to buy an R34 and the seller will tell you that the price on the windshield is in dollars, not yen.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Soon yes


WOW, just WOW


Well done all around. That was a fantastic read. Thank you!

Dino Dalle Carbonare



Great cars shouldn't be stashed. It should be driven like it was intended to.
Just please don't trash or total the car.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Some of us try to do that!


Beauties!! What a collection! I've spot one v-spec 2 N1 on sale in UK listed on Pistonheads... price on demand surprisingly lol here is the link just for the pleasure of the eyes:

Good Article Dino! Have a French magazine with a test of the Z-tune where your name is mentionned so cool to see you you are still around these


Funnily enough the car the advert describes and uses for it's pictures is indeed the example in this article. Reckon it's some sort of scam.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Oh memories!


you know what really sucks is that someone's gonna buy that N2, and completely destroy it because people dont respect anything and just do it for attention.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I don't think much of that happens with these cars?


Beautiful! IF you head over to Aus for WTAC you should check out Vspec performance's fleet of very rare cars (mostly skylines) in Melbourne.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I have been there. And lost the pictures due to a corrupted card and then rescued most of them. I wonder if you guys want to see that? It was like a 2 years back


I think it's worth a post!


I just CRYEd from the pictures
Long Live GTR

Dino Dalle Carbonare airconditioned garages? lol


Awesome! What a collection! I've spot a V-Spec 2 N1 on pistonheads.. no price indicated surprisingly lol
Here is the link just for the pleasure of the eyes:

Good article Dino! Nice to see you are still around these beasts :D


I would love to even have a base R34 at this point. I am not picky on it either. Anyone I can get I will be happy.


The best engine RB26

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Not exactly stock lol


Thanks for the amazing article Dino, for me a Z-Tune, a V-Spec II N1 and a Dark Grey Pearl or Midnight Purple 400R is the ultimate Skyline trio in my fantasy garage lol.

Miguel - Newera

Wow! What an incredible nest egg of a collection. Kudos!


I got to meet the 001 nismo z tune a few years ago on a rally, what an amazing car that is.


400R deserved more coverage, the millage afaik is much less than that on the n1


The R34 GT-R V-Spec II N1 is currently listed for sale for 84 million yen!

Filippo Soccodato

Thanks Dino we dream through your articles
Saluti da Schio