With just 6 or 7 mods applied to this pristine 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec in highly sought-after Midnight Purple II Limited Edition trim and almost immediately you're thinking: "Lowered and wheels don't make a build!" You've read it 1,000 times and heard it even more and we get it, but in the case of Mike Montgomery of Nashville, Tenn. and his dream car GT-R, it's not a "build" he was after.
Nissan's RB26DETT power plant all but begs for modification—this you know. Incredibly stout, even by modern standards, the twin-turbo 2.6L is well known for making incredible power reliably, and the aftermarket surrounding the dynamo, even a few decades after its birth, is still booming. So, what's Mike's problem, anyway? Don't think of it that way. For a moment, put aside your mega-boost levels and nasty, snarling big turbo aspirations and take a few things into consideration.
The first is its rarity. This particular model only has 281 siblings, making it one of the rarest GT-Rs ever created. Subtract the portion of those that have been modified (presumably heavily) and having an almost stock version brings considerable value to the table.
Secondly, in order to legally poses this car in the U.S.—something I'm sure you're wondering how the hell Mike pulled off—wild modifications take that idea out of the equation entirely. So, unless he was willing to make this a trailer-only affair, he's required to show some restraint. Fortunately, he can take some of that pent up need to modify and apply it to a few of his other cars, which we'll get into in just a moment. Let's first chat about that Stateside legality.
Mike purchased this car way back in 2016 while living in Spain—a region that, like the U.S., has strict guidelines about imported vehicles. Originally, he'd saved up enough money for an R35 and with only around 40 examples in the entire country, he began searching the U.K. online in order to track one down, knowing there were far more available there. He probably would have located and nabbed one, too, had he avoided the urge to tap that "R34s for sale" tab. He adds, "I saw a for sale ad from Torque GT in the U.K. for a 1999 Midnight Purple II V-Spec. It mentioned that it had 'show or display' approval for U.S.A. import, which I had no idea existed." The designation is afforded only to those vehicles that carry a very limited production run, like 282, for example. The idea was to put the car in storage while in Spain, and with plans to move back to the U.S., eventually import it in 2020.
In 2018, Mike ran across an ad from Driver Motorsports for a heavily modded R32 in, of all colors, Midnight Purple. "Car was insane, with an HKS-built 2.8L stroker, Brembo F40 kit, basically all the right mods. I contacted Driver and ended up buying it to hold me over until the R34 arrived." He notes that Driver Motorsports' customer service and attention to detail was so overwhelmingly positive that he kept in contact with them, and upon hearing about Mike's R34, they offered to give him a hand importing it right away. "The show or display approval is not difficult as long as the car meets the requirements of a 1999 Nissan Skyline GTR V-Spec Early Model Limited Edition. That translates to a '99 Midnight Purple II R34 GTR V-Spec. Since there were only 282 offered, it qualified. Once we got the show or display approval, the import process was easy."
Get to know Mike and you quickly realize he's no different than you or your car friends. He jumped into the automotive circle in the late '90s, even attending Super Street's road tour to the NOPI Nationals back in 2000. He'd cut his teeth with a 1990 Civic and later moved on to a fifth-gen. Prelude in his late teens that he remembers adding mods to as quickly as his bank account would allow, even working two jobs to put everything he had toward his car. "I remember looking up to the TT Supras and Skyline GT-Rs and seeing the big power gains they were getting. On Supra forums guys were spending more on their wheels than the price of my car. It gave me a drive and goal to pursue where one day I wanted to own those cars." Like many, life happens, and marriage, kids, home buying and all of the other necessities that seem to pull you further from doing car things added up, and Mike admittedly drove painfully boring cars for years while waiting to make his move. And what a move it was.
The guy that found a Limited Edition R34 now has the car on U.S. soil, legally. Along the way, he picked up a built R32, also in Midnight Purple and also sporting bronze TE37. In addition, he's added a JDM Supra TT to his stable ,which is currently under the knife getting a slew of changes including a new color, which we're pretty sure you can figure out without even asking and the wheels, well, you get the picture—Mike likes what Mike likes. He closes with this, "It took me 20-plus years of work, but now finally I have several of my dream cars in the garage, which I am thankful for. I have no real background in the industry, no sponsors—just a guy who loves cars and worked a long time to get what I wanted." According to Mike, once the Supra comes back home his collection is complete, but we're pretty certain that's not the case. '90s-era JDM supercars in search of a Midnight Purple and bronze TE37 makeover, this is your invite!