So much more than a special colour; this Midnight Purple II Skyline is one of the rarest R34 GT-Rs ever made
By Cam Tait / Thursday, 7 July 2022 / Loading comments
Ask anyone of a certain age who discovered cars during the late 1990s and early 2000s what their dream machine is and there’s a good chance a most of them will say “R34 Skyline GT-R.” “Nice”, you say, “but which version?” After all, there are an endless amount of special edition GT-Rs (of all generations) making a bog standard R34 almost as rare as the litany of sub-variants the company churned out.
We’re all familiar with the Skyline GT-R V-Spec II Nur, seen as the ultimate variant to come from the factory, but there was also the more luxurious (a term we’re using loosely here) M-Spec model, which could also be had with the more potent Nur upgrades. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the N1, a lightweight model with uprated turbochargers and built in incredibly small numbers. Remarkably, though, one of the most sought after R34s isn’t a track-focused special at all, but simply a special paint colour that you’ll only find on the earliest examples: Midnight Purple II.
Resembling one of TVR’s reflex colours, Midnight Purple II is a shifting tint that mixes shades of dark purple and blue. Only three official shades of Midnight Purple were released across the R33 and R34 platforms. The original MNP was exclusive to the R33, while the R34 was available in MNPII and the very purple indeed MNPIII. With only 0.5 per cent of all R34 GT-Rs ever sold being finished in MNPII, it’s one of the most exclusive shades available on the fifth generation Skyline.
This particular model is one of the rarer standard cars, meaning it does away with the front splitter and rear diffuser found on the V-Spec car, plus the tweaked active LSD. But does that really matter when you’ve got that glorious RB26 inline six up front? Most examples of the R34 GT-R produce 280hp (wink wink) and 289lb ft of torque, accessed through a six-speed manual gearbox. It’s still incredibly hi-tech, though, featuring hydraulic rear-wheel steering for improved agility and a trick onboard computer.
As is the case with anything interesting to come out of Japan, finding a clean example can be extremely difficult – but this example ticks a lot of boxes. Not only is a completely stock R34 (rarer than unicorn poo), it’s only had one owner since new and has a full history – with the first service taking place at just 870km. It’s covered 137,429 of Japan’s finest KMs, which works out at to be just over 85,000 miles – so a good excuse to actually use the thing.
True, it’s not the rarest R34. That goes to the N1s, which were mostly bought up by tuners and sold in minuscule numbers. But when you consider that the vastly more common V-Spec II Nur are selling closer to the half a million mark, it makes the £155,000 asking price of this particular model seem like a relative steal. Yes, it’s a fair whack more than the original £54,000 list price for UK versions, but JDM machines are in high demand and none more so than the R34 Skyline. It’s also now eligible for export to the US under show and display rules – so maybe snap it up before they do.
SPECIFICATION | NISSAN SKYLINE GT-R (R34) MIDNIGHT PURPLE II
Engine: 2,568, six-cylinder, twin-turbo
Transmission: six-speed manual, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): [email protected],800rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],400rpm
Year registered: 1999
Recorded miles: 85,394
Price new: £54,000 (UK version)
Yours for: £155,000
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