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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Once-in-a-lifetime JDM barn find: 1973 Nissan "Kenmeri" Skyline GT-R | Hagerty Media

Everyone dreams of opening up a garage door to find a long forgotten car hidden under a layer of dust and junk. It is the same as finding hidden treasure, but in the form of a Hemi Cuda or a big-block Cobra. The reality is that stumbling across a neglected car of that caliber is extremely uncommon.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/buying-and-selling/once-in-a-lifetime-jdm-barn-find-1973-nissan-kenmer...
38 REPLIES 38
drjim
Detailer

I hope the seller has all the missing pieces....
Bokeoyaji
Intermediate Driver

What's missing?
geozinger
Detailer

Does anyone else get a weird mashed-up early 70's AMC Matador Coupe/Javelin AMX vibe going looking at this car? I understand the rarity of this car, but I have a hard time imagining this thing selling outside of Japan.
SycloneMt
Pit Crew

I agree. It really is one of the ugliest cars ever produced. But to each their own I guess. 70's was just not a great time for "Classics"
Greg_I
Advanced Driver

They never offered that generation of Skyline outside of Japan. I think the charm is in their reimagining of American styling. It is a love or hate look, many prefer the previous 'Hakosuka' Skyline to the 'Kenmeri.' Looks aside, these have some pretty serious performance chops for an all around touring car.

MoparMan
Advanced Driver

Some beefier tires, and mag wheels would improve the looks of this car 100%. With the black fender flairs and the tiny black tires, it looks as though it's on its tippy toes! At $338K (US) when/if restored, this car is destined to become a static display (IMO).
Rider79
Instructor

It was ahead of its time, with that black plastic crap - now being added to otherwise good-looking cars like the Buick Regal TourX and the Mercedes E450 wagon - around the wheels.
Geok86
Advanced Driver

I agree, I hate all that plastic cladding, and it only looks worse with age. While I would have much rather Pontiac and or Oldsmobile survived than Buick in the US, I actually do like the Buick wagon....EXCEPT for that awful plastic! And whats with the extra “tab” at the top of the wheel well (Range Rover does this too), it just ruins the car for me.
acooper529
Intermediate Driver

MoparMan and geozinger read my mind. Nothing else to add.
40Ford
Detailer

It's not my thing and even if it was it's way out of my budget.
ski522
New Driver

0 bids as of this post...guess no ones jaw has hit the floor yet. Personally for me there are more desirable cars I'd rather have for $338K!
Greg_I
Advanced Driver

To put it nicely, the asking price might be ambitious considering the cost to restore it. But with 197 built, they have a right to ask what they want and hold out hope that someone MIGHT be excited enough to pay it. I imagine they have received plenty of offers that might be more in line with reality (although that would still make it a six-figure car IMO).

Tinkerah
Technician

Please don't think less of me - but I really like it. It's got that early pony car (Javelin/Mustang/Aussie Falcon) shape but is off beat enough that no one I know would be able to identify it. Give that quarter glass profile another look.
RobH
Pit Crew

Cars and the car hobby are a fun place to hang out and no one should think less of you, nor should you apologize for your thougths and feelings about what makes you happy or excited when it comes to cars! As @MisterTorgue has tried to point out to a few opinionated posters, not everyone sees value in the same things. As noted, only 197 were produced and it would have been a VERY stylish, high performance car in that market, during that time. I think it is cool too, but wouldn't be in the running to buy it, whether I could afford it or not. Taste is personal. Tatoos aren't my 'thing' but my wife has two and I still love and adore her. Sometimes people need to keep their opinions to themselves and keep the conversation upbeat about a unique find.
MG54
Pit Crew

Over 300k....Hmmm, HemiCuda, or this thing???
Redvette2
Intermediate Driver

160hp, 1,989 cc DOHC 24-valve S20 inline six-cylinder engine, triple side-draft Mikuni/Solex carburetors, and a five-speed manual transmission. Looks to be in very rough condition...not my cup of tea but for Japanize car aficionados this must be something very special.
VetteKid56
New Driver

Funny thing is when those cars were new they were not very popular because of the high sticker price. This was when people looked on japanese cars strictly for cheap, economical transportation and didn't really view them as performance vehicles plus because of the poor corrosion protection in japanese cars of this era they would rust almost to nothing in 5 years or less in the midwest where salt was used on the roads and most performance minded buyers prefered the 240 Z over a sedan anyway.
LamboEd
Intermediate Driver

Ugh! 300K? I wouldn't buy it for 3K! But to each their own......
Punk
Detailer

I know its rare, but to my eyes it looks like a junker old Datsun 710.
LamboEd
Intermediate Driver

Well stated!!! Rare does not necessarily mean nice....or valuable....'
Now a Muira SV is rare AND valuable!!!
MisterTorgue
Intermediate Driver

I wouldn't say not valuable. If you read the article, one for these cars restored did sell for over $400K. The Miura SV is kind of an apples to oranges comparison. JDM cars have only recently become the new hot thing. One of these Skylines sold for $176K back in 2015. The Miura hasn't appreciated that much since then.

 

Granted, I will say that it isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it is VERY desirable in the right circles, just not all... yet.

Piper
Intermediate Driver

I'll take a half dozen Camaro's thank you.
FairwayJLA
New Driver

Thanks for the JDM oriented update, my guess is it will go for north of 400K U.S. I have an 85 Supra that clearly is somewhat inspired by this classic.
joesurfer
Pit Crew

From someone who's owned a few Z's in his lifetime I bet a big reason for the lack of finding imports like these is probably because they all rusted away to nothing unless continuously stored in a decent garage. They basically disintegrate just by breathing on em.
Punk
Detailer

My dad and I both had 1970s Datsuns. We lived in a salty climate, but rust was everywhere in 4 years.
sharkguy48
Intermediate Driver

$338,000! Another case of more money than brains. (The eventual buyer will probably also want the wrecked Princess Di car for $$$ - because its "rare".) Performance? A 2020 Camry will more than likely shut this POS down.
RetroRock
Intermediate Driver

I remember visiting Australia back in the late 70's, and being a car nut, was struck by the "unique" look of their muscle cars. Aside from the kangaroo bull bars on just about everything I saw, the Aussies seemed to be heavy into anything that you could screw or bolt onto a car to make it look cool. Fender flares, chrome, mirrors, etc...Kinda like the Mods in Quadrophenia...Ok, maybe not quite that eccentric but still pretty funky to a kid from the U.S.
This car is a prime example of what I was seeing out there at the time. Ugh...
Did see a '71 right hand drive fastback Mustang though in a used lot for $4500 AUD. Coolest car I saw out there...
LamboEd
Intermediate Driver

Yeah, a lot of kangaroo bars, you knew they where from the outback! I was in Adelaide for the F1 race the last time they ran it there and there where a lot of exotics around! But I don't remember seeing and muscle cars.
DT
Detailer

Just another overpriced car that only the stupid rich would have any interest in 🙂 Hagerty seems to have forgotten all about us poor boys that can only afford 50K and down classics. Never any good articles for us !!!
MisterTorgue
Intermediate Driver

Must not be an avid reader. This is the sort of article you're asking for, right? If you write for one price, you're not gonna appeal to everyone, if you write about everything you're still not gonna make everyone happy.

 

https://www.hagerty.com/media/valuation/8-cars-and-2-trucks-you-can-score-for-under-15000/

DT
Detailer

Yes I read every article and still contend there are waaaaaaay more articles about overpriced (in the millions of $$) European cars that the biggest percentage of Hagerty customers have no interest in. BTW the link doesn't work and one story does not really make a lot of difference does it ??
MisterTorgue
Intermediate Driver

@DT  You must find something valuable in the articles since you read them all. I feel the articles are better balanced than you claim. Not everyone is interested in muscle cars and hot rods... I for one appreciate a spotlight on an uncommon Japanese car.

 

And look up their cars under $15,000 article from a couple months ago.

DT
Detailer

Hell I'll read the contents on the back of a soup can. I suppose we can agree to disagree since this isn't getting either of us anywhere 🙂
MARK400
Intermediate Driver

I just can`t get past those side mirrors that are popular on Japan made autos. To each his own, but they just seems to distract from the flowing lines of a vehicle.
farna
Detailer

But they are highly effective! Both side mirrors are wide angle, and you see everything down the side of the car -- no blind spots!! I lived in Japan for 26 months (USAF, Kadena AB, Okinawa) in late the 80s and drove several JDM cars (owned a mid 80s Honda Civic four door). I brough a set home and put them on my 63 Rambler American. A few American cars used the forward mounts in the early 60s, but it was rare. I got a lot of questions about the mirror on my Rambler (from some late 70s/early 80s Japanese car, don't recall what), and puzzled looks, but once anyone sat in the car and looked at them they understood immediately... but still didn't care much for them. Unlike US wide angle mirrors, there are no idiot warnings on them.
TimeFixers
Pit Crew

I think I saw one once in my kid's Totoru anime cartoon. They are real!
farna
Detailer

You have to understand Japanese law.
farna
Detailer

Hit send too soon!! There are few old cars in Japan. For most of the populace it's not practical to own anything more than 10 years old. New cars (and <10 years) go through a thorough inspection every two years that includes all maintenance, even rebuilding the brakes. So it's a bit costly. After 10 years the car has to have a YEARLY inspection! There can be no rust-through of the outer body shell. Since the inspection is so thorough and costly there is little maintenance done between them , and it's hardly necessary. Antique and collector cars are just not seen on the roads -- I did once, close to an auto show (which was mostly new car introductions). Laws for antiques and collectibles are very restrictive as far as driving on public roads.