Monday, June 11, 2018

Project CRS Part 5 - Which Color?

From an aesthetic point of view few things can make a difference as big as selecting the right color when speccing a car. This is quite possibly the most subjective topic of them all: tastes are personal and there is no “wrong” color, but, as always, I found myself over-analyzing everything, courtesy of my OCD.


Let’s make a step back: like many of us my bedroom poster car was a Bayside Blue BNR34 V-spec. This was the flagship color that Tamura-san (who was product specialist on the R34 project) advocated for. It’s said that he used to carry samples of the color at night to analyze their reaction under the glowing lights of Tokyo parking areas. The name was also supposed to be Wangan Blue, but eventually Nissan executives axed it in fear of having their latest and greatest GT-R associated with illegal street racing, so they went ahead and simply translated it to English: Bayside Blue. It was a hit, so much so that roughly 25% of all BNR34 production was in this shade. 

However photos rarely do justice to colors and shapes and you have to see things in real life to really appreciate them. The R34 is famous for its boxy look and sharp lines, which can be clearly seen cutting through its sides, especially the rear quarter and fenders. This is where the flagship color of the car actually works against it in my opinion, as it smoothens away some of the aggressiveness of the lines, especially from a side or three-quarters view. This is an issue that I also found common with the purple colors. White, being associated with race cars in Japan, but a bit too simple for my tastes, was also a very popular choice amongst owners and it accounts for over 30% of total production. So, basically, more than half of the R34 produced were either blue or white.

Truth be told, I had this project in mind way before I bought the car, so I chose purely on condition and color was never a factor (although, knowing that I would have kept the car stock for a while, I tried to avoid black as it’s really not my cup of tea). You may be surprised to hear that for a few years Millenium Jade demanded a slight premium on the used market over the other shades, although, with a total of 300 units painted in this hue, is the most common and least rare Nür color. On the other hand, despite being one of the rarest today, with only 81 units produced, Sparkling Silver was one of the least desirable colors until a few years back and cars in this shade were traded for a couple of hundred thousands yen less than others. Nowadays, with the current speculation, none of this really matters anymore.

The relatively poor color selection for the R34 has often been a topic of criticism and, after seeing in real life all the original OEM colors ever released, I couldn’t deem any of them as a perfect match for the car. But things did turn around a bit when Nismo released the Z-tune in the signature KY0 (often labeled as a bespoke color, but it’s actually a Fairlady Z33 option). A brighter, more modern silver, it really gives the idea of the car lines being cut through by a Japanese katana. It looks extremely simple yet way sharper than any standard color and makes look the late 90’s lines of the BNR34 a good 5 years younger. All of it is amplified by the full Nismo aero kit.

Omori Factory offered to respray the car only in Nissan OEM colors. Besides the above consideration I thought it wouldn’t make any sense to repaint the car in a standard R34 factory hue: I should have just bought it in that color in the first place. Sure, Nür spec cars did not come in certain limited edition finishes like Midnight Purple or Silica Breath, but, and maybe I’m a bit of a purist, I think that the allure of those colors is in the fact that they are limited. A respray would never be like the original. Or so I thought, because after inspecting a freshly resprayed V-spec II in LX0 I must admit that the “purist” argument can easily be thrown out of the window. Heck, even McLaren F1s and Pagani Zondas get resprayed: just pick the color you like! And speaking of purple cars, it seems that something else will also come out of Omori Factory in a similar shade soon. So, what did I pick? Well, all in due time, but I selected a color that in my opinion really suits the character of the car and that I feel will never get tired of.

Until next time.

20 comments:

  1. What purple car?? Dont tell me they are amking another R34 in purple?

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    1. I can’t disclose much, but you will see it soon. I’m sure it will be all over the internet.

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  2. I think the metallic gray color that Nismo paints on their demo cars is stunning.

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    1. Hard to argue with that!

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    2. Or, the classic bayside blue, for me, would be best. It just represents the BNR34 so much. If I recall correctly, the last picture of your Omori Factory tour blog post showed an R34 in bayside blue, with complete Nismo aero, and Nismo Lmgt4s. That for me is just BNR34 perfection.

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    3. I actually outlined in this very post why Bayside Blue, despite being a nice color, is not the best suited to the car (in my opinion).

      Plus I would have been better off buying the car in that color (which is one of the most common) in the first place and avoid respraying, no? ; )

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    4. Indeed, that would be true. The color just looks amazing on the R34, guess you're not that much of a fan though haha.

      Well, since you pretty much ruled out bayside blue and midnight purple, and I'm also sure you won't reveal it til' your color announcement post, still I would like to make some guesses. How about silica breath, or millennium jade?

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    5. Nope, it won’t be a factory BNR34 color, so both Silica Breath and Millenium Jade are out!

      To be honest, I wouldn’t hype too much the color: there aren’t many shades that really suit the body lines in my opinion. I think people will like it, but it won’t be a huge shock ; )

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  3. I'd like to think an R35 and not something like the Juke in Midnight Purple III or will it be IV?

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    1. Nope, it won’t be Midnight Purple III or IV!

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  4. I would not worry too much about the particular color (although it's clear that you care and it's ok to care) but the quality of the respray. If you have not seen the Ammo NYC 964 paint process + clear bra you should take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BV0PMYfc3o

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    1. Well, even with a top quality paint job you’d still better choose a color that does justice to the car.

      Good point thought: Nismo outsources the paint process to a third party, the same that has taken care of their democars. I am no paint expert, but from what I have seen on both the Clubman R34, R33 and R32 the end result is fairly good.

      Saw the Ammo video: extremely satisfying!

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    2. I guess what I mean isn't that color is irrelevant, but color is something that you pick and you will probably get exactly what you're looking for. Quality of the paint + bodywork is really the stuff that would keep me up at night. I have seen a lot of poor attention to detail in bodywork and it is very difficult to unravel those kinds of mistakes and it is extremely expensive to fix a bad paint job. I don't think Omori will disappoint as they have a reputation to protect but there is a lot of nuance to this stuff.

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  5. is it going to ba a color from the r35 colors ? ... anyway I,m sure the car will look amazing with your choice !

    BTW, if they could replace the VIN plate with another one with the new color code that would be great ! as it will come out of omori factory an brand new car. I heard when you do a full restoration & refreshment the car comes out of omori factory with new paperwork and year model is that true ?

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  6. Will keep my color choice under wraps for a little longer ; )

    Interesting point about the VIN, but I don’t think it will be possible as replacing them is illegal as far as I know. You will receive paperwork, but the car year production and registration data cannot be changed by law, regardless of how deep the restoration is. I think this is pretty standard all around the world: restoring a classic Ferrari would not “upgrade” it automatically to a 2018 model. Whatever is engraved on the VIN and frame will stay.

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  7. A guess that has never been mentioned: retaining the stock color, or basically a respray of the stock color? :)

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    1. Nope, as I mentioned, the car will be resprayed in a non-standard BNR34 color, so this is the last time I’ll see it in Sparkling Silver : /

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  8. After reading all the comments and your replies to them, and like someone above mentioned, I would guess it to be the metallic gray color of Nismo's recent demo cars. If I'm not mistaken, that metallic gray color is very similar, if not the same, to a stock pre-facelift R35 GTR color.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Who knows...let’s wait and see!

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    2. Well judging from all the comments here, we all can't wait until the reveal!

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