Saturday, January 7, 2017

The World's Cleanest BCNR33

So, after months of texting, chasing, cancelling and rescheduling, I have finally made it: I managed to get up close and personal with Aki's BCNR33.
Courtesy www.r33gt-r.com/
It all began in late summer 2015, when I casually ran into Aki and a group of BCNR33 owners at Daikoku Parking Area during a night out with Dino. Shortly after sending the nowadays obligatory Facebook friend request I started learning more about the car and Aki's ownership philosophy on his blog. As we both have a pretty serious case of OCD, we connected right away and it quickly became obvious that we share similar views when it comes to owning our cars. 
My car and Dino's at Daikoku
New Years is one of the few times when Japan really slows down and we took advantage of our empty schedules to work on his car. As Aki is throughly documenting the works on his own blog (and we haven't finished yet) I won't mention much about it, however it was a good chance for me to take a close look at his R33.
Aki bringing out his car
Aki's BCNR33 is a superb Series 3 in Sonic Silver (KR4) that he has owned for now over 10 years. After enjoying it in its stock form for a while he started slowly modifying it to his tastes, improving both look and performances. While it is no secret that the BNR34 is my dream car, I always had a soft spot for the smoother, elephantine lines of the BCNR33. However, I would be lying if I didn't admit that both models look a bit goofy in their original stock form (at least today).

Aki's car is the perfect example of how few tasteful exterior touches, combined with a spotless paint job and a great set of wheels can make a Skyline GT-R look so right. This is what actually grabbed my attention that night at Daikoku: while we were surrounded by all kind of JDM goodness, one car stood above all with showroom-grade detailing on the body and an aggressive, yet understated look. 

So, let's start with the exterior: the car sports Nismo 400R side skirts, a rear spoiler carbon blade, custom colored semi-matte black Volks TE37 (18x9.5) and sits on a set of freshly rebuilt Öhlins DFVs. Like I said, just the few right touches: less is more.
Details
The closer I looked the more I discovered new details or hints at important mods, like the presence of R35 GT-R brakes and rotors that Aki had installed long before they were released by Nissan to the general public.
R35 380mm rotors and brakes
One of the biggest surprises lied on the back  of the car, or better, underneath it: Aki has managed to fit a genuine BNR34 carbon rear under diffuser to improve handling and aerodynamic efficiency. I have seen few BCNR33 fitted with similar options, but never a BNR34 genuine part and it really adds to the character of the car.

Talking about hints, what about this subtle Mine's sticker that never went on sale?

This is no sticker-tuning: the car does actually have an original Mine's works engine that produces around 500ps. This is an unique spec, in between Stage 1 and 2, that was configured to Aki's needs and tastes.

The Mine's signature engine cover is not for sale and reserved to genuine works engines only.
Mine's RB26 
Aki's signature touches can be found all over the engine bay as he spent years selecting the highest quality parts making sure that, not only they improved function, but also looked right, like the lovely Nismo titanium strut tower bar.

I did have the chance to start the car on a different occasion and was absolutely impressed by the engine response and sound courtesy of the full titanium Tomei Expreme Ti exhaust: weighing in at a mere 7.35kg it saves an enormous amount of weight and is a real thing of beauty.

Other features include a long series of rare Mine's and Nismo parts as well as a Getrag 6-speed transmission fitted by the takumi at Nissan Prince Motorsport.

Like every, true Skyline GT-R lover, Aki's car is a continuous work in progress, a quest to achieve the ultimate driving feeling and look. The list of modifications and improvements that Aki has made over the years is virtually too long to be covered in this post, but this is the type of tuning that I like: functional, tasteful, understated and refined in its smallest details.

I really believe that the ownership of RB26 powered GT-Rs has acquired a new dimension now that these cars are getting older, making the process of keeping them fresh and in shape as enjoyable as driving full throttle.

Aki has plenty of things in the works for his BCNR33, you can follow his journey on:

http://www.r33gt-r.com/

Until next time.

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