Do you own a Japanese sports car from the 1990s? If so, your retirement is paid for. Because at the current trajectory, previously near-worthless Japanese metal will be valued at around $1billion a piece by 2030.
Supras, worth under £10,000 in TLCB’s home nation just a decade ago, are now up to £50,000. MR2s, which were scrap value just a few years ago, now make £10,000. And the humble Nissan 240SX – even a knackered ‘project car’, now costs five figures, with good examples north of £20,000. For a thirty year old Nissan!
We don’t pretend to understand it, but we suspect much of the hype is down to the video games Gen-X-ers and Millennials played two decades ago, which were awash with modified Japanese metal.
The resultant phenomenon today is a boom in ’90s Japanese sports cars, with all of them ending up looking likes this; 1saac W.’s superb modified Nissan Silvia / 240SX. Wide wheels, silly camber, a phat exhaust, and huge aero tick all the drifty boxes, and you can take a closer look at 1saac’s immensely valuable Nissan at his photostream.
Click the link above to pay the Drift Tax, whilst we rue the fact that Gran Turismo didn’t feature the sheddy old Rovers that make up TLCB carpark instead of ’90s Japanese sports cars…
Our sneaky Elves have unearthed another new-for-2023 LEGO set, and the names just keep getting longer. This is the brand new Speed Champions 76917 ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’ Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34).
As featured in the Oscar-winning 2003 ‘The Fast and the Furious’ sequel… wait, no that’s not right… Ah yes, the awful 2003 ‘The Fast and the Furious’ sequel, Brian O’Conner’s modified Nissan Skyline GT-R was as integral to the plot as street racing culture, something about drugs, and saying ‘bruh’ in every line of dialogue.
LEGO’s officially-licensed Speed Champions set recreates Brian’s whip really rather well to our eyes, with a decent balance between brick-built detail and decals, utilising plenty of ‘SNOT’ techniques.
Aimed at ages 9+, the Speed Champions 76917 ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’ Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34) set includes 319 pieces, a ‘Brian O’Conner’ mini-figure, and will reach stores in early 2023. Will thatSupra be next?
This is the Calsonic-sponsored Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 from the early-’00s Japan Grand Touring Car Championship, but of course, you probably already knew that.
Whilst Alexander Paschoaletto‘s brilliant Skyline GT-R R34 doesn’t say ‘Calsonic’ anywhere on it, we (and most likely you) would have recognised it anywhere. That’s because this car is burned into our psyche (and retinas) from Gran Turismo, where it has, in various generations, featured as one of the star cars for over two decades.
White 3D-printed wheels, blue bodywork, and a yellow sun-strip have transported us right back to hours of early-’00s pixellated racing, and you can join us at the Deep Forest Raceway courtesy of Alexander’s photostream via the link above.
The Nissan/Datsun 280Z/Fairlady Z was never quite as pretty as its 240/260Z predecessors. However previous bloggee SP_LINEUP aims to address this by making his 280Z Fairlady well… a bit fatter. Unlike your Mom however, SP’s Fairlady Z wears its wider bodywork superbly, with black arch extensions, a front splitter, and phat exhaust. There’s more to see of SP’s modified Datsun on Flickr – click the link above to make the jump.
Japan’s ‘Bōsōzoku’ scene is a sub-genre of car culture that we really don’t understand, but that we’re really glad exists. Ralph Savelsberg is too, having created this magnificent Bōsōzoku-ed Nissan Skyline C110 complete with a wild bodykit, skywards exhausts, and a cool-looking Japanese character to drive it. See more on Flickr at the link.
If there’s an unmodified R32 Skyline GT-R in existence, we’re yet to see it. And so to today’s creation, which has also cast OEM originality aside in order to create something rather more special. Which does mean it features a few non-LEGO parts, but seeing is the real car upon which it’s based features a few non-Nissan ones, we think it’s alright.
Built by Gray Gear of Eurobricks, this Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 recreates the car from the Wangan Midnight cartoon, including custom wheels, a replica straight six engine refitted with a single-shot turbo, and a few bodywork parts not officially produced by LEGO, seeing as they don’t come in black.
The model also features a working six-speed gearbox, all-wheel-drive, all-wheel independent suspension, functioning steering, plus opening doors, hood and trunk. There’s more to see for all of that at the Eurobricks forum via the link above, whilst we fall deeper into the Wangan Midnight YouTube rabbit hole.
It’s an entirely Technic day today here at The Lego Car Blog, starting with this; LoMaC‘s neat Nissan Skyline R34, complete with a working six cylinder engine, steering, and opening doors, hood and trunk. Oh, and some Shelby-esque racing stripes, which means it gets the Elves’ seal of approval. Building instructions are available and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link.
Nissan’s current range of vehicles is about as interesting as a Brothers Brick parts cataloguing evening. Still, it used to be more noteworthy, particularly in the ‘90s when the brand made several sports cars and sports sedans, including this, the 300ZX.
This excellent Speed Champions style recreation of the 300ZX comes from regular blogger SP_LINEUP and there’s more to see at his photostream. Click the link above to view a Nissan that won’t send you to sleep, a maybe dream their rumoured new 400Z heralds a sports car return.
The Elves have been working hard lately, and we have a bumper haul for you today. These are two of their finds, both ’90s Japanese sports cars, both roughly Speed Champions scale, and – most importantly – both with pop-up headlights.
SP_LINEUP‘s modified Nissan 240SX (above) and dazzz99‘s Honda NSX (below) capture the details of their real-life counterparts brilliantly, and remind us of a time when Japanese cars were at then top of their game.
This is a 1970s C110-series Nissan Skyline GT-R, known as the ‘Kenmeri’ because the advertising campaign for the C110 Skyline featured a couple called Ken and Mary. Yes, really. Still, Nissan’s marketing department were to take British old people’s names literally soon after, with the ‘Silvia’, ‘Gloria’, and even the ‘Cedric’.
Back to the C110 GR-R, which was only sold for 6 months – and only in the Japanese domestic market – before the oil crisis of 1973 ended sales at less than 200 units. High performance cars were looked down upon in Japan during the crisis and the Kenmeri was quickly pulled from production, making it an incredibly rare car today.
TLCB regular Jonathan Elliott has added one more C110 GT-R to the list though, with this brilliant 7-wide Speed Champions style recreation of Nissan’s rarest Skyline variant. Jonathan has captured the real car beautifully there’s more to see at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump.
Here at TLCB we whole-heartedly welcome the addition of Nissan to the LEGO Speed Champions line-up, and hope it leads to a few more partnerships with Japanese auto makers (Honda or Toyota anyone?). However the first officially licensed Nissan set – the 76896 Nissan GT-R NISMO – is not LEGO’s best effort, with more detail derived from decals than actual bricks. Still, if we were 7 we’d absolutely love it.
Cue previous bloggee Simon Przepiorka, now known as SP_LINEUP, who has constructed his own 8-wide Nissan GT-R, and it’s superb. With not a sticker to be seen SP has successfully captured all of the GT-R’s design hallmarks in wonderful accuracy, and his model features opening doors and an opening hood too.
There’s much more of SP’s brilliant Nissan GT-R NISMO to see at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump to an altogether better GT-R.
LEGO’s new 42111 Fast & Furious Dom’s Dodge Charger set revealed here last month will bring one of the franchise’s most iconic cars to bedroom floors all around the world. There is another car from the movies which is just as famous though; Brian’s bright blue Nissan GT-R R34.
Found by one of our Elves on Brickshelf, this is spiderbrick’s Technic recreation of Brian’s R34, built in a gloriously old-school style that matches the 1990s car with the bricks that were around at the time.
Merging classic Model Team and Technic styles, spiderbrick’s R34 GT-R includes all of the necessities for it to earn the ‘Technic Supercar’ title, including a working straight-six engine, a 5-speed gearbox, independent suspension, all-wheel drive, and all-wheel steering.
Not all Skylines are equal… You may know the Nissan Skyline as the all-wheel-drive turbocharged supercar killer, but the reality is it’s much more than that. By ‘more’, we might also mean ‘less’ though, as this boring 1600cc estate car is in fact a Nissan Skyline.
The Skyline name in Japan (and elsewhere) is used on standard family boxes as well as the turbocharged monsters that were exported to Europe and America, which are based on these humble beginnings.
This particular Skyline is a C110 series, produced from 1972 to 1977 and marketed as the Datsun K-Series in some export markets. A GT-R version was available, fitted with a 2000cc straight-six, but most were 1600 and 1800cc inline-fours making well under 100bhp. The estate, as built here by previous bloggee Matthew Terentev, was a peculiar thing in that it had no windows between the C and D pillars, making it sort of a van. Until we looked this up we had assumed Matthew had chosen to blank off the rear windows to hide the Power Functions remote control components that he has fitted to his model.
As it turns out, his design is remarkably accurate and one that’s worth a closer look. You can do just that at his Nissan Skyline 1800 Wagon album on Flickr. Click the link above for the most boring route into Skyline ownership…
Nissan have joined LEGO’s awesome Speed Champions line-up for 2020 with a set that’s a bit… stickery. The official 76896 Nissa GT-R NISMO set will no doubt fly off the shelves, seeing as seven-year-olds a) love the GT-R and b) love stickers, but we’re not sure that using decals for even basic shapes such as headlights is really the point of LEGO. Flickr’s Simon Przepiorka (now known by SP_LINEUP) agrees, and as such has created his own 1:24 scale R35 GT-R with bricks* rather than sticky pictures. Matching LEGO’s own 8-stud wide Speed Champions sets, Simon’s Lego Godzilla looks far more appealing than the one you can buy, and you can take a closer look at his photostream via the link above.
*Save for a red pin-stripe and the fact that the images look suspiciously digital…
It’s 2020 Speed Champions reveal time! Uncovered by one of our elite Elves thrown over The LEGO Company HQ’s wall a few weeks back, this is the brand new 76896 Speed Champions Nissan GT-R NISMO!
Slotting in between the previously revealed 76895 Ferrari F8 Tributo and excellent 76897 Audi Sport quattro, 76896 brings another real-world manufacturer into the Speed Champions line-up. The new Nissan GT-R NISMO joins the range in LEGO’s new 8-wide style that has become uniform across the latest Speed Champions sets, allowing them to look (mostly) to scale side-by-side as well as being able to fit two mini-figures.
Aimed at ages 7+ 76896 includes 298 pieces, a mini-figure racing driver, and a lot of stickers, forming the racing livery, front grille, air intakes and even the headlights.
It’s not really a look to our tastes, as we much prefer the brick-built rear to the be-stickered front, but we suspect that if you’re seven you won’t mind at all (when you’re seven stickers are awesome).
We also suspect that the new 76896 Nissan GT-R NISMO will fly off the shelves, with the GT-R being one of the poster cars for the Forza generation and also becoming the first Japanese car to be recreated as an official LEGO set.
We hope that the new Nissan GT-R’s arrival heralds the possibility of further Japanese manufacturers deciding to partner with LEGO (Toyota Supra, Lexus LFA or Honda NSX anyone?), but even if not – and although this particular Speed Champions set is a bit stickery for us – the arrival of another real-world manufacturer is something to be celebrated, particularly with a car as legendary as the Nissan GT-R
The new 76896 Speed Champions Nissan GT-R NISMO set is expected to cost around $20 and is due to reach stores by the end of the year.