Friday, May 5, 2017

Midnight Purple III V-spec Condition Check

Golden Week is in full swing and so far I've been making the most out of it. Many people have reached asking for more posts about GT-R (or JDM) specialist shop and a couple of days ago I paid my first visit to GT-Garage. Located in Chiba, this shop has currently on display one of the most talked BNR34 on the web: a completely stock Midnight Purple III V-spec.

I was greeted by the shop manager, Nakamura-san, who, not only was super friendly, but also an all out RX-7 fanatic, having owned 5 models over the years!
We started chatting right away and he kindly brought the car inside the workshop area for me to have a look: beside the paint looking a bit roughed up (nothing that a good wash and detail cannot fix), it looked like it just rolled off the production line.

The polished silver wheels and the matching rear spoiler flap are signature touches of this specific hue and it's becoming increasingly hard to see models on sale still equipped with them.

Midnight Purple III must really be seen in person to be fully appreciated; although this is probably the most sought after color by collectors, I am personally not a huge fan. I love the deep purple that can be seen from a perfect side or front view, but I really don't like the maroon shade that prevails from from three quarter or anytime you are not perfectly parallel to the car, which is basically most of the times. 

A completely unmolested engine bay and 44,000kms on the odometer bring the value of this car to a round 8 million Yen. 

Bearing the "GGJPRWYR34ZDA1BKCE" option code, this specific model is one of only two LX0 colored V-spec to be fully equipped with sat-nav, 6-speakers audio system and side airbags, but surprising lacked the remote lock function.

The interior was almost completely perfect, besides some normal wear and tear, the failing screen on the MFD and the fact that the original owner was a smoker. 

Nakamura-san pointed out that the car was originally located in Kobe, as confirmed by the Nissan Hyogo sticker on the rear.

Despite looking great from the outside, this GT-R is proof of how storage and ownership history trump mileage any day when it comes to assess a car conditions and how difficult is becoming to find clean BNR34s: the seal on the left strut tower has failed and the structure visibly begun developing rust.

While this may look like an easy fix to the untrained eyes, removing the whole seal will likely reveal rust all around and inside the junction, all the way in between the panelsA quick look under the wheel arch showed rust creeping out of the welded panel, which means that the damage is not merely superficial: while not in immediate need of restoration, the car one day will definitely need some serious work, which unfortunately will require cutting through the struts.

This is a very sensitive part for the BNR34 as Nissan didn't put any seal in the inner wheel arches, making the car very vulnerable. A simple yet effective way to preserve this area is to spray it with protective rubberized foam: this, not only will prevent water from infiltrating, but also protect the structure from the inevitable banging from small rocks and debris picked up by the wheels. The photo below of Mine's very own democar clearly shows how much stress the wheel arches are subject to when not properly protected.
© Speedhunters
Additional details that, in my eyes, stained the car pedigree were the absence of detailed maintenance books (only 7 years worth of history) and the fact that it had proof of valid shaken (Japanese biannual roadworthiness test, mandatory to keep a vehicle on the road) only two times. Still, a collectors item for sure, and I hope it will be cared for by the next owner.

After chatting for a while we then moved outside where several other BNR34 were on display, including three M-spec!

This type of storage conditions are far from ideal, but covered parking in Japan is indeed a luxury, even in the countryside. Most owners usually do their best to cover their rides when parked outside, but, as Yamada-san at Nismo explained, this usually backfires, especially if the cars don't get driven often: the incredibly humid Japanese summer combined with the heat generates dangerous amounts of condensed water that gets trapped under the waterproof covers. This is why we see so many low kilometers Skyline GT-Rs affected by rust.

The thick layer of dirt on the cars was honestly painful to watch.

The best dealers that work more on quality rather than volume tend to keep all the cars inside their showrooms, but this is nearly not enough to make up for years of bad storage conditions, as the engine bay of this 10,000km M-spec confirmed.

On the other hand, this fantastic Savanna RX-7 was a great example of how a car should be kept and maintained over the years.

One day I wouldn't mind owning one of these classics.

Nakamura-san is a real car enthusiast and we end up chatting for a while before I headed back home. Chiba looks indeed very different from Tokyo...

Until next time.

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