Nissan Skyline GT-Rs

The Skyline GT-R humbled The European Automotive elite. But which would separate us from our savings? 

Words: Chris Chilton Pictures: Richard Pardon



s comebacks go, this one hit harder than cult comic Bill Hicks taking apart a heckler. In 1989, Nissan resurrected the GT-R badge for a new kind of performance coupé and over the following two generations cemented its reputation as a legend.

There had been GT-Rs before. The story actually starts back in the late 1960s with the PGC10, first a four-door saloon, and later, a KPGC10 coupé. Five decades on, the GT-R is now a standalone model, rather than a top-spec version of Nissan’s Skyline coupé.

But the GT-R’s reputation was built largely on the back of three cars sandwiched in the middle – the R32, and its R33 and R34 successors. Through a combination of race wins and exposure to a new kind of car enthusiast via computer games like Polyphony’s Gran Turismo and the Fast and the Furious movie franchise, the GT-R badge became as well known as M3 or GT3.

The GT-R’s cult following, and growing realisation of this car’s importance in the history of great fast coupés, means prices are rising fast. You’ll pay more than double what these cars would have cost only a handful of years ago, and some of the rarest have smashed the £100k barrier.

But a GT-R isn’t out of reach yet. We gathered three generations of GT-R from R32-R34 with the help of Devon-based specialist Torque GT to try them all and answer the question – which is best?

The full version of this article appeared in issue 8. You can purchase that issue below:

Lewis PlumbNissan, Skyline, GT-R, R33, R34, R32, Nismo