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May 7, 2020

Nissan Skyline GT-R Costs When New in Japan : Yen to Dollar Conversions

All Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 colors
All Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 colors*

Twenty five or thirty years later, it can be difficult to find information out about certain things, especially if you were not alive at that time.  When it comes to the Nissan Skyline GT-R, some people get prices, values, current market, and what they originally sold for, fairly confused.  Values in a used car market are tied to supply and demand.  If there is a big demand, and the supply is small, it is likely that the market cost for the vehicles will go up. If there is no demand, and a large supply the costs will most likely be low.   When the US market opened up, in 2014 for 25 year old 1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R, we saw the prices of the cars double, triple,and quadruple.   One thing that a lot of people don't realize, is that in 1989, these cars were pretty expensive. 

R32 GT-R New Pricing
  • 1st model 8-21-1989 
    • 4,445,000 yen 
  • Nismo 3-11-1990
    • 4,441,000 yen 
  • 2nd model 8-20-1991 
    • 4,510,000 yen 
  • 3rd model 2-3-1993
    • 4,545,000 yen 
  • Vspec 2-3-1993
    • 5,260,000 yen 
  • Vspec II 2-14-1994
    • 5,260,000 yen 

These prices are in yen. If you live in Japan, and are paid in Japan, then yen is the price, the historical value against the dollar, or US dollar really don't mean anything.  Currencies and values can change a lot over the years.  In the US, $1 is $1.  For that dollar in a certain time, you get that equivalent value in merchandise.  If its worth $1.30, or $0.70 in Japan, only matters if you are in Japan, and you are paid in US dollars. 

Today 5-7-2020 Google says it is 106.39 Japanese yen to One US dollar.   In the last 5 years, that exchange rate has been anywhere from 126 yen to a dollar, to about 100 yen to a dollar.   So what does that actually mean?  Nothing if you are in the US and doing business in the US only.  If you are buying cars in Japan, then it goes something like this:

1,000,000 yen today is about $9398.65.  Or in order to buy 1,000,000 in Japanese yen you have to spend $9398.65 in USD. 

If the rate is 126 yen to a dollar, it then costs you $7336.51 to buy 1,000, 000 yen
If the rate is 100 yen to a dollar, it then costs you $10,000 to buy 1,000,000 yen

Back in 2012, when we bought our first cars (NISMO's under Show or Display), the rate was 79 yen to a dollar.  So that math is  - 1,000,000 yen = $12658.23

So between 126 yen to a dollar, and 79 yen to a dollar, which the rates have been over the last 8 years,  buying that 1,000,000 yen can vary your cost by over $5000. As the prices go up, the spread increases. 

8-21-1989 when the R32 GT-R went on sale, the exchange rate was 142 yen to a US dollar.  In 1989, exchange rates ran from 129 yen, to about 150 yen to a dollar. 

4,445,000 yen / 142 yen to a dollar is $31,302 (1989) dollars.  According to one internet calculator $31,302 in 1989, would be the equivalent of $65,157 today.  So by no means was an R32 GT-R an affordable car. It was a fairly exclusive sports car.  That 142 yen to dollar rate, if we used todays 106 yen rate, makes it look even more expensive.  There is a lot of information on the internet about historical exchange rates, and inflation calculators.  Figure out some of the costs of the R33, and R34 GT-R prices when new, based on the information below. 

1995 Nissan Skyline GT-R R33
1995 Nissan Skyline GT-R R33

R33 GT-R Pricing When new

  • GT-R    4,7850,000 yen
  • Vspec   5,290,000  yen
  • N1        5,990,000 yen 
  • GT-R    4,825,000 yen
  • Vspec   5,330,000  yen
  • N1        5,990,000 yen 
  • LM Limited    4,998,000 yen
  • Vspec LM Limited   5,503,000  yen
  • GT-R        4,885,000 yen
  • Vspec       5,390,000 yen
  • N1            5,998,000 yen
  • 4 door Sedan  4,985,000 yen

MotoRex R34 GT-R Sold by Toprank Importers
MotoRex R34 GT-R Sold by Toprank Importers

R34 GT-R Pricing when new

* GT-R 4,998,000 yen 
* Vspec 5,598,000 yen 
* N1 5,998,000 yen 

1-8-1999 Midnight purple II (300) 

* GT-R 5,298,000 yen 
* Vspec 5,898,000 yen 

1-7-2000 Midnight purple III 

* GT-R 5,148,000 yen 
* Vspec 5,748,000 yen 


* GT-R 5,048,000 yen 
* Vspec II 5,748,000 yen 
* N1 6,098,000 yen 


* Mspec 5,950,000 yen 

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