Saturday, May 12, 2018

Internet Fame or Real Life Enjoyment?

Over the past weeks I have received quite a bit of comments and messages about my little project: from people surprised to hear that the car won’t be stock anymore to lots of enthusiastic comments pushing me to go all out with the project. I’d never thought this blog would reach out to so many people around the world and I’m happy to see that is serving its purpose. Since I started writing I always kept in mind my teenage years, when a BNR34 (in Italy at least) was just a mirage and low-resolution photos, Best Motoring videos and Gran Turismo were all we had to fuel our passion.

I wanted to share my passion for cars (especially this car) with as many people as possible, especially those who, like me many years ago, don’t have the opportunity to own a Skyline GT-R or simply wonder what it feels like to live with one in Japan. I wanted to do it genuinely, in a way that reflects Japanese car culture, where a F40 LM owner would park his car at Tatsumi and chat with you without any urge to show off (true story). I wish the same could be said about the R34 community, but at least online seems to be a different trend. Way too often I run into owners and importers boasting about their car being the lowest mileage, rarest, cleanest (I think “mint” is the term) and other nonsense. God forbid if the car has been fitted with a Nismo engine: that would take the bragging rights to levels that are simply out of scale. I even ran into an Instagram account where somebody went as far as publishing a self-made list of where they thought their car would fit in the R34 food chain (very humbly positioning it below the Z-tune and above the CRS) just because is fitted with a Nismo engine. So you all can know: his car is that special. 

I think these people are missing the point. Those who have minimal knowledge will know that, over the years, Nismo has built crazy stuff and one-offs for some of their customers, especially back in the days when it was a lot less corporate. God knows where these cars are hiding now, especially amongst the reserved Japanese owners. So, please stop it: it’s 2018 and, as long as you have money, everything is for sale. That doesn’t equal passion though. Most importantly, money doesn’t buy relationships (which is what usually gets you the really special stuff), nor experiences. I’d rather drive the wheels off a rusted out, crashed R32 around Japan and make memories with it, than flexing on Instagram about a low mileage Nismo engine that never gets driven. I’m a huge fan of seeing people do the best they can with what they have, and do it with genuine passion and enthusiasm, and that’s the ultimate message that I hope to share through this outlet.

Until next time.

16 comments:

  1. I think I know the group of people you mentioned... Annnnnnnd they are claiming Omori Factory actually made an oversea phone call just to say congrats. If you ever dealt with Omori Factory before you would know thats utterly BS.

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    1. Honestly I don’t remember as I’m not on Instagram myself. I think it was a shop or an importer, but I remember it made me smile. And yes, I’ve been to Omori Factory more times that I can count and the idea of these guys making an international call to congratulate somebody is laughable. They have one girl who barely speak basic English...they’re not Pagani or Koenigsegg!

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  2. Yeah i believe that specific car has a fsport-r.. One of eight apparently? And is the same spec as a CRS with a higher spec engine than R2. Where would you position the car if not above a standard CRS?

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    1. Nismo built more than 10 FSR in year 2015 along, in fact, one their recent blog showed F-sport No.283 came in for a service. CRS is more about a complete rebuild and refresh on the power train & chassis. Meanwhile your car -- when bought off auctions -- is barely half as complete as the factory demo car.

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    2. Actually you are wrong. The car had the full factory chassis refresh as a CRS. Also you should contact nismo and ask for FSR production numbers. If images were allowed i would upload the email for you from nismo. It is impossible to have built that many as the FSR uses the RRR block and ztune cams. Not than many exist of either.

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    3. *comment above is not mine*
      Not trying to take anything away from the car: it’s a beautiful car. But I just don’t see the point of “positioning” it in the first place, especially if it sounds a lot like an attempt to basically say that it is the best 34 that money can buy after the Z-tune (it’s not). I think whoever has enough money to buy that car should have probably past the urge to enter a penis measuring contest. Back to the F-sport: great engine and just a tiny touch more lower RPM torque than a R2, but a different feeling as it was developed with a GT-touring image in mind, aimed to a mature (“otona” as they would say in Japanese) customer base that didn’t want the aggressiveness of the R-line engines. What gains in slightly more lower-band torque it pays in terms of power band distribution, as the tune is a bit softer and loses responsiveness and aggressiveness compared to the 2.6l displacement. This was also the same feedback that Kozo Watanabe gave when he was given the first F-sport to test drive...and the same reason why Mine’s left the displacement untouched on its N1 democar (Niikura-san makes a similar comment about better response in the world famous Best Motoring video). So, without taking anything away from what is a fantastic car, it would probably still be slightly muscled out by a freshly built R2 (ever wondered why Nismo put this engine in their democar and not the 2.8?). And, again, Nismo built crazy stuff back on the days, included a complete car based on a Silver Nür for a rich 30 years old...and somewhere in northern Japan an owner possess the most valuable standard BNR34 on the planet: a full stock Silica Breath M-spec Nür with barely 300km. Not to mention the 1/1 MP3 original Z-tune. The list goes on. Cars are meant to be enjoyed, not posted on the internet for a flex - that’s my point.

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  3. Ale we are currently at the track enjoying our personal bnr34s at a track day. I just find the comment about dick measuring a bit unwarranted as yes, the car sits and is a showpiece for a business but we have more than just that car that we actually do drive hard and enjoy. As for the placement of the car it was in terms of nismo built cars and yes im aware of the 1 of 1 purpl3 ztune and any low km mspec nur in silica is far lower in terms of production. If i could upload pics i would love to show you how we enjoy our personal cars. I dont see anyone with a ztune or highly collectible car tracking them or beating on them. One aspect of ownership is collection, another enjoyment from the machinea they are, and we do both. Is my point.

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    1. Apologies, reading through the later comments I just realized you are the owner of the car, which I didn’t after reading the first one. There was no intent to make this anything personal at all, nor to offend: this blog is all about the passion we share about this car. I did read that comment somewhere on the internet (either Instagram or Facebook), but I believe it was posted by an importer, not you the owner. In any case, hope no offense taken and I totally share your point of view of taking enjoyment out of both collecting and driving cars. I myself I am guilty of not driving mine as much as I preach. The post wasn’t meant to be an attack to the lucky Nismo engine owners, just a personal reflection of how sometimes things get a bit blown out and the web banter is rarely backed up by real life driving and experience. I don’t know you and I’m sure it’s not your case.
      Enjoy your car, it’s surely a fantastic machine and you should definitely take photos of your track days (why not?)!

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    2. Seems like your view on things are pretty similar after all.
      So for the greater good - just meet up, have a chat, take some pictures and make a blog post of it ;-)

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  4. I completely agree. As a fellow owner of a BNR34, I've noticed a huge drop in the number of people willing to take their examples (around 25+ in my city) out for occasional drives. The old days seem to be over. Most, especially the local few NUR specs are hiding away, only ever coming out for the perfect weather and at a chance to show off at Cars and Coffee.

    Personally, I see collecting cars to be garage ridden pointless and almost greedy in a sense. I honestly see more Koenigseggs hitting the streets in the US more so than the R34 GTRs here in Australia.

    I feel as if the demand from the US market will only make it worse in the years to come. I drive mine everywhere I can, whenever I can and plan to do so for a very long time.

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    1. Personally I don’t have an issue with collecting cars, as long as it’s done properly, which means actually taking the car out every now and then and go for a proper drive. Wether you are a track-nut or just enjoy cruising around, I think is important to stay true to oneself.

      I don’t drive mine very often, but when I do take it out I surely use it the way it was meant to. Additionally, doing proper maintenance, refreshing the car and adding new bits and pieces are all enjoyable parts of the ownership experience and, most importantly, contribute to create the true character and allure of the car.

      A machine without a story is really just a bunch of metal in my opinion.

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  5. As a BNR34 fan and a car model collector, I assume that is a 1/43 scale model of Omori Factory CRS? If so, that is a very elusive car model! Your posts about your insight to R34 ownership, especially in Japan, are all welcome reads. Keep it up.

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    1. Hello and thank you very much for stopping by. Yes, correct, that is a 1/43 model of the CRS, it’s a limited run of 240 pieces that was sold at Nismo Festival some years back.
      Although I have slowed down quite a bit, miniature model collecting is also one of the hobbies that I kept up from my younger days; I have amassed over 100 pieces over the years. I wonder if they are worth posting?

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    2. Of course they are worth posting. Why wouldn't they be?
      If its part or related to car culture, its always worth posting :-)

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  6. Hello again and good day. Only now was I able to visit your blog again, and see that you replied to my comment. Like someone said, I do agree that if you find the time, a post about your car model collection would be worth posting. I'm sure most other car enthusiasts are also car model collectors.

    Also worth noting is that you live in Japan, which for me is a very good place to be a car model enthusiast, in fact I would say the best place to be. I have been to Osaka and Kobe a few times, and their model stores are just filled with so many rare goods. I'd say, what more if compared to Tokyo right?

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    1. Interesting, I’d never thought about it. My collection is mostly composed by vintage and modern Japanese GT racers, mostly JGTC, Super GT and some Group C, but very few street models. Some of them are very old, almost 20 years.

      This actually reminds me that I haven’t taken them out in a while!

      I’ll work on it and try to put together a post worth reading!

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