The craze for Japanese sports cars really got kick started in the nineties, when Initial D became insanely famous, Japanese sports cars became insanely good, and the best bit of all, they were cheaper and much better than the European rivals. So they are fast, reliable and insanely good value for money.
There are however, some more expensive than others. These are cars that are super rare, got away with more than 280ps (remember the gentleman's agreement of cars over 280ps?) and had a ludicrous price tag. Here are five of the rarest.
1. NISMO 400R
Frankly speaking, the Nissan R33 Skyline GT-R was a bit disappointing, the car got heavier than the R32, it wasn't as fast, nor was it as good looking as the R32. Drivers complained that the driving dynamics weren't as good as the old one, simply because of the extra weight. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't that good either.
This yellow monster, however, is a whole different story. NISMO went all out to make sure the 400R is rightfully rare (99 units) and expensive. They've specifically made a new engine for the 400R - RB-X GT2, which was manufactured with a reinforced cylinder block and cylinder head, metal head gasket, pistons with cooling channels, forged crank shaft, forged connecting rods, N1 turbine with reinforced actuator and all that good stuff, most of which were not offered for the RB26DETT.
There are of course some more noticeable parts fitted apart from the engine modifications, like the NISMO LM/GT1, wrapped around in 275/35/R18 all-round, which was unheard of back in the nineties. It's also fitted a new steering wheel, put in a titanium shift knob and all that good stuff. The end result was a R33 GT-R that finally deserved to be called a GT-R.
2. Honda Civic Type R Mugen RR
We never got the FD2 Civic Type R in any other parts of the world, apart from the Japanese themselves of course. So seeing an unmodified FD2 is rare enough, let alone a Mugen tuned one.
It's not hard to see why we never see the red track weapon. Because Mugen never made enough, 300 units to be precise, all 300 were sold within 10 minutes of going on sale. That's how excited people were, and how extremely rare these Civic RR are.
Under the bonnet we have a two-litre four-cylinder K20A engine, fitted with uprated camshafts, uprated valve springs, large carbon airbox with direct feed, carbon intake manifold cover and a twin-exit Mugen exahaust from the headers back. Of course, you can't miss the gorgeous red paint that Mugen put on as well, isn't it jaw-dropping?
3. Subaru Impreza 22B
When we talk about rare Subarus, many combinations of different alphabets and acronyms would spring to mind - the S203, S204, S402, Type RA-R, P1 even. But the one car that's captured every single Subaru fan's heart, is undoubtedly the 22B.
Subaru Australia chief engineer Hiep Bui once said in an interview that, despite Subaru never officially announced the 0-60 time of the 22B, the Sonic Blue rally-bred road car can 'unofficially' pull a 3.9-second 0-60. 'Unofficially'. That is faster than most supercars in the nineties mind you. And it's still remarkably respectable today.
The incredible time was thanks to a 2.2L flat-four turbocharged engine under the bonnet, of which was fitted with a metal head gasket, forged pistons, sodium-filled exhaust valves, and hollow-stem inlet valves.
Only 424 22B were ever produced to celebrate Subaru's 40th anniversary, and what a birthday present this is.
4. NISMO GT-R Z-Tune
The 400R up there might be impressive and all, but this here, is the true holy grail of all Skylines. This, is a NISMO Z-Tune, and isn't it absolutely stunning?
In 2003, NISMO was given permission to produce 20 Z-Tunes to celebrate NISMO's 20-year-anniversary. But at the time, the R34 GT-R was discontinued, so NISMO searched all around the country, and found 20 minters from the second-hand market that had less than 30,000km on the clock, and took them into the workshop.
In the workshop, they stripped the entire car down to the bare chassis, 19 of them cars were painted in this special Z-Tune Silver. The remaining one remained Midnight Purple, as the car came from the factory, letting it be the rarest GT-R of the bunch. After they've painted the car, they'd fit a whole new carbon fibre front end on the car, drop in a 2.8L RB26DETT, with the block from NISMO's GT500 race car, and the cam rods, crankshaft, and block GT500 spec balanced. Also the twin turbos were swapped out for ball bearing turbos, plus other bits and bobs in the drivetrain and suspension.
The end result speaks for itself, the Z-Tune is the most desirable of all the GT-R, and chassis #001 went up for sale for £400,000 in 2015, that just shows you how much people adores these cars.
5. Honda NSX-R GT
The NSX-R was widely regarded as one of the best sports car to come out of Japan. With a world's first mass-produced, all aluminium chassis, a suspension setup fine tuned by Ayrton Senna, a 3.2L VTEC engine sitting proudly in the middle, and a short-throw 6-speed gearbox sending power to the back wheels, it really is the best that Honda can offer.
Just when Honda wanted to put a stop on the production of the NSX, because they were selling very poorly for whatever reasons, Honda suddenly announced in 2005 to produce five of these NSX-R GT as a final hurrah for the NSX, also to comply with the Super GT production-based race car homologation requirements. The NSX-R GT features a widebody kit, a fake roof scoop, and that's it.
They've also put a rather hefty price tag on it - fifty million yen. Ouch. As a result of the minute differences between the normal NSX-R and the GT, and the rather ludicrous price, only one of the five GT were sold. It is believed that Spoon, the Honda tuning company bought that very car, but it is somewhat unproven.