2 Fast, still 2 Furious
The selling power of car appearances in Hollywood, especially in movies geared towards petrolheads, is well documented. Until the turn of the century, this inspired marketing hack was reserved for the automotive elite or, on the odd occasion, an everyday example like the original Mini in The Italian Job. That all changed with the street racing movement that took hold of car culture in the early 2000s, influenced primarily by the initial entries into the Fast and Furious franchise.
In 2022, the series sits at ten films including one spin-off and several other projects in the works. Along the way, it has certainly contributed its fair share to the success and cult-classic status of many of the unique and distinctive cars that it has cast throughout the years.
Each instalment has had its own success stories. The inaugural film (The Fast and the Furious) featured many memorable examples, not least of which was Brian O'Conner’s Toyota Supra, whilst Dominic Toretto’s Dodge Charger R/T appears in most chapters, not to mention Han Lue’s VeilSide FD RX-7 in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
In a similar vein, the aptly-named second movie, 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) propelled the Nissan Skyline R34 to the top of most car fans’ lists. From the opening car meet scene and the R34’s dramatic entrance in its striking silver and blue colour scheme, viewers were hooked.
The R34’s reputation had also been fortified by an appearance in the 1999 video game Gran Turismo 2, its popularity quickly became evident to the game developers as it has featured in many of the subsequent Gran Turismo titles that followed.
A swathe of pop culture references and an already-burgeoning Skyline fanbase – owing to the success of the R34’s predecessors: the R33, R32 and the seminal PGC10 of the seventies – along with increased performance figures meant the Skyline lineage reached its zenith in the late nineties with the R34.
Power was officially capped at 276bhp – a horsepower-limiting agreement between the era’s Japanese car manufacturers – but that adage apparently fell on deaf ears, with Nissan engineers allegedly extracting north of 300bhp from the R34’s 2.6-litre twin-turbo straight-six.
Market values have seen a sharp spike in recent years owing to the R34's looming maturity. By the year 2024, it will surpass the 25-year import rule and be eligible to be imported into America. As a result, average values have proportionately risen from approximately £30,000-40,000 half a decade ago to well over £100,000 in 2022.
The introduction of the import rule itself and the theatrics that came with it created an insatiable appetite for Skylines in America. Specialist importer Motorex originally pursued a time, and money-consuming exercise of crash testing outgoing R33s to enable importation of the R34, to no avail.
With the all-important 25-year mark firmly on the horizon for this model, R34 values are only set to rise further as interest in the USA continues to build.