Friday, March 30, 2018

Sakura & Hakosuka GT-R

Spring is in full swing and with it comes the famous sakura season, an event that is highly celebrated by Japanese people. So, I thought I’d share something different for a change.

After all I do receive quite a bit of messages about life in Japan and hanami  (花見, literally "flower viewing") is one of the most famous local traditions. 

Here a few shots that I took these past days around my house.

A car guy sharing flower photos? Perhaps age is really kicking in; eventually it didn't take long before I ran into a R35 GT-R.

And took the opportunity to visit a small local temple close by.

Then proceeded with my stroll down Sumida river.

All the way to Odaiba.

Where I ran into an original Hakosuka GT-R at Toyota History Garage.

Of course, I had to take a couple of close ups of the details.

And the vintage GT-R badge.

Incidentally, it was sitting next to another great classic.

Mandatory sunset photo in front of Tokyo bay.

Hope you enjoyed the shots.

Until next time.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Wangan Upgrades & New Parts at NPCT

One of the things I love about Tokyo is how the city is always evolving. Despite the already hyper complicated infrastructure and the massive scale it covers, seems that the government and developers always find new ways to improve things, including highways.

If you are driving from Ginza, getting to the Wangan just got a littler easier and way cooler form the beginning of this month. Namely, they managed to erect a massive bridge from Harumi-dori that connects to and from the access point of the expressway while rising above all of the surrounding structures, including the Yurikamome monorail.

Stuff like this is usually found in video games, but you know, the Japanese like to take things a step further. This also means no more traffic lights and reaching Tatsumi PA just became a one straight blast affair.

So, as you probably guessed, two weeks ago I gladly put the new route to test and quickly stopped at my favorite parking area before heading to NPCT. Luckily I managed to get there just minutes before the owner of this 570S left, on his way to a McLaren-only meet-up.

Beautiful machine and incredible details; I wonder how it feels to drive one of these.

The owner of this brand new GT3, on the other hand, was quite chatty and happy to check the GT-R out. Turns out he used to own a BCNR33 in silver years ago.

Quick stop by NPCT to pick up two new parts; this time I parked the car outside.

And took some time to check Sugimoto-san at work as he was busy fitting this white V-spec II with a new set of brakes and rotors.

Namely this massive Endless set-up.

The before-after difference couldn’t be any more evident.

So, here are the two new parts: can you guess what they are?

On my way home I stopped by a place that most car enthusiast won’t recognize at a glance, but have most likely seen at least once...on TV. Remember Keiichi Tsuchiya’s cameo in Tokyo Drift? That scene was shot just a few meters away from this exact spot close to Tokyo fish market.

Until next time.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Nismo 400R

Today, what was supposed to be a quick stop by NPCT to pick up some new parts (more on this soon) turned into an up and close encounter with the holy grail of BCNR33s, the NISMO 400R.

This specific car is actually owned by Nissan factory driver Tsugio Matsuda, who competes in the Super GT GT500 class and is also a regular at NPCT.

With the car all opened up, how could I resist? I just had to get close and dive in the details.

Something that this car has plenty of, starting from the engine bay.

Where the 2.8L RB-X GT2 engine takes the center stage literally and figuratively.

Nonetheless, it is surrounded by a plethora of Nismo bespoke part, like the titanium strut tower bar.

“Nissan Racing Technology by Nismo” - love it!

The standard air box is gone, replaced by twin high-flow filters.

While additional cool air is channeled inside the engine bay thanks to these carbon fiber guides.

A theme that continues on the exterior of the  car, with another lightweight guide in front of the intercooler.

Also loved the vintage NISMO racing radiator cap.

The all important 400R badge.

And, of course, the serial number plate, certifying that this is chassis number 27.

The car is obviously equipped with original brakes and rotors.

And, to my surprise, I discovered that the Bilstein dampers were part of the original set-up, along with Nismo springs.

One part that I was never a fan of are the three-piece forged wheels, or rather their color. I think they would look ace in black or dark titanium silver.

The NISMO theme continues on the inside, with a bespoke speedometer and steering wheel.

And seat headrest stitching - this logo works so well on the 400R!

We live in an era where whole wheels can be made out of carbon fiber, but the old school construction of the hood is something else.

As well as the two-pieces, adjustable rear spoiler.

Nice little touch, the bespoke logo on the exhaust.

This model is also finished in Sonic Silver, one of the best colors in my opinion.

The vintage, properly aged Nissan Prince sticker tells us that this car was delivered to its original owner in Yamaguchi prefecture, southern Japan.

How cool is this? Here they are, 22 years apart, the maximum expression of Nismo know-how sitting side by side.

I know which one I would take.

Until next time.