Saturday, August 18, 2018

Japan Touring & New Resolutions

700km: that’s how much I’ve driven my car in the past 15 months - not a record to be proud of, but I thought I’d come clean about it. How did it happen? Well, I guess I’ve fallen into the “let me garage-queen my expensive GT-R” trap hole. Jokes aside, it is hard to drive the wheels off of something that, not only is expensive, but also means so much to you. While this may be understandable, it should never reach a point where you are limiting the experiences you are making in life. Life is short and can be very unexpected, as I’ve been reminded by some recent events in my personal sphere. But, as far as it concerns the car itself, two events have contributed to give me an extra kick in the rear and a final wake up call, with one of them being the latest GT-R Magazine issue. 

Every year the staff takes their cars for a tour through different regions of Japan, meticulously documenting the route, main stops and sightseeing spots, all while taking beautiful photos of the cars in some of the most dramatic locations you can imagine. It looks amazing and I can only imagine the pleasure of driving a R34 on these roads. How stupid would it be not to do that at least a few times a year? I’m obviously biased, but I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a big part of the world and Japan has some of the most amazing roads and sceneries I’ve seen. Being it the natural habitat of the GT-R probably contributes to increase the allure I guess.

And then there is the car, which is probably every collector’s nemesis: a 300,000km R34 V-spec II Nür - likely the highest mileage model in the world. At the same time, it is also probably the most serviced model of its kind out there: through years of meticulous services at top local tuning shops, I guarantee that you wouldn’t guess it has even one fourth of its actual mileage. It’s kind of sad that most of these cars today will never be driven in such a way ever again and I’ve been guilty myself for letting mine sit for a while.

An additional lesson is the one that I’ve been learning as I am documenting the work in progress on my car at Omori Factory: 16 years later it’s in fantastic shape, even before the restoration - these cars can (and have to) be driven and still be in top condition. They are not as fragile as many owners end up thinking and can last forever as long as they are well maintained. It would be extremely dumb for me not to drive my car once I’ll get it back, especially when I can go back to Omori for a service in less than 40 minutes.

Finally, the last, small wake up call came this Wednesday, asI found myself crossing a pedestrian bridge in Akasaka and took the photo below. If you are a 90’s kid and have played Gran Turismo, you’ll recognize this view: it’s the main straight of Tokyo Route 246, a track that is a perfect virtual reproduction of its real-word counterpart (albeit you can’t actually race in Tokyo). I must have spent hours lapping this circuit as a kid, fantasizing how would it be to drive in real life, now I’m actually here and own my dream car, but don’t drive it as much to “preserve it”. It doesn’t make any sense.

Whether is hitting the winding roads or drive through some of Tokyo’s best streets, I promised myself that I’ll do a lot more driving moving forward and I hope I have inspired a few owners to do the same. You can’t make memories out of a low digit odometer.

Until next time.

3 comments:

  1. I think I am not alone in saying this, that we (your blog readers) are excited to see your R34 after it is done, and we do hope you take us along in your drives and journeys. Cheers!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and thank you for the nice message! Please stay tuned and I’ll do my best to keep the content coming!

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  2. Though I'm not a BNR34 or any Skyline owner myself, recently I seemed to have fallen into the trap hole like you mentioned earlier where I don't really drive my own beloved car very often.

    The thing is, I'm not particularly worried about the mileage as mine is already quite high at 220,000 km as it was previously always driven by my family members. The thing that I am more worried of driving the car in my place is, accidents. Be it small dings or scratches, it really can happen easily especially if I bring my car out to city or town areas with crowded parking. Even though I believe we are all careful with our own beloved cars, we really can't do much to control the actions of other careless people. That unfortunately, is a common thing to happen in my country, Malaysia. People who accidentally open their car doors and ding your car or they just happen to scratch your car with whatever that they are carrying while walking pass your car. Sometimes, there are also reckless driver who don't really follow the common traffic rules. The thought of harm and accidents coming from these people always put me in fear when I am driving my car out.

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