Last year’s Monterey auctions introduced the Nissan Skyline to guys who, until that very moment, thought a Hakosuka was an octopus-based snack. Similar head scratching occurred moments later when two decades-old Toyotas and a Mazda followed and sold for big bucks. After that, every automotive journalist, blogger and guy with an AOL account was shouting from the rooftops about the “arrival” of the classic Japanese car. This year, RM Auctions hopes to capture the magic again with the the Hakosuka’s successor, a genuine one-of-197 built Kenmeri GT-Rs.
Fewer than 200 Kenmeri were built in GT-R spec. At the generation’s debut in 1972, Nissan had an ambitious racing program planned, but pulled the plug when the 1973 Oil Shock struck Japan. As a result, only 197 were built with the GT-R’s S20 motor, the same four-valve-per-cylinder, triple-carb, twin-cam straight six that resides under the hood of the Hakosuka GT-R and Fairlady Z432. Of those, only 195 were offered for sale to the public. It would be the last GT-R until the moniker was resurrected in 1989 with the R32 Skyline.
RM is also offering a 1967 Toyota 2000GT, Solar Red, chassis MF10L-10083, a “completely unrestored” survivor said to be the first (ie, lowest serial number) LHD example sold in the US. The 2000GT is already a solid million-dollar baby, and it will be interesting to see what this slightly more special example goes for. Notably, RM is listing in its “Pinnacle Portfolio” of select auctions where it sits in good company.
Back to the Skyline. Like the Hakosuka last year, this will be the first Kenmeri to be offered for sale at a major classic car auction outside of Japan, a significant landmark. The car presented in this auction is serial number KPGC110-000127. What is particularly enticing about its presentation is that the studio shots mimic that of the official photos issued by Nissan back in at the model’s launch.
Since the intended audience is comprised of die-hard originalists that would rather lose an ear than abide a single screw without an official Nissan part number, the brochure recreation photos are the perfect choice. The Hakosuka sold for $242,000; what will the Kenmeri achieve after a year’s worth of J-tin hype?