What you are seeing here is the beginning of something extremely special. Appearances can be deceiving at times and what may look like a completely stock BNR34, this Skyline GT-R is not only a one of a kind car, but will soon be transformed into a true beast. If you have followed our coverage of the Bonneville Speed Week you will know what people go through to try and chase that goal of going as fast as humanly possible with a given vehicle. Back in 2009 Yoshi, the owner of this yellow R34, went over to the US with the Dandy team, part of the crew that campaigned the FC3S RX-7 we have all seen. It was that initial impact with the vast expanses of the salt flats that awakened something within Yoshi; he decided there and then that he would at some point have to try this high-speed thing out himself.
Back in Japan Yoshi, among some pretty cool other cars, is the proud owner of this 1998 BNR34. Yes it's not a type-o, this car was built in 1998, not on the same production line as the 1999~2002 R34 but at the Nissan R&D prototype department. This is a "Production Trial" car, hand-built by engineers and initially used as a press car that was given to journalists to test and assess. The shell was spot welded to achieve higher torsional rigidity and the engine was put together using specially selected components, meaning that parts like pistons and connecting rods were carefully weight matched to assure that silky smooth, vibration free operation only finely balanced engines have. The turbos were set to run at slightly higher boost pressure too for a slight boost in power. There are only two of these cars in existence, the second a Bayside Blue V-spec model which is owned by the Nissan test driver responsible for the Tochigi plant test department.
The exterior has been kept stock, only the optional oil cooler and bumper intake/outlet having been fitted. After much pondering Yoshi decided that he wanted to base his Bonneville build on this very rare R34. The idea is to have Dandy Tanaka turn the car into a 1000 HP monster with a goal of reaching the 400 km/h mark, or 248.5 mph when the car will enter the 2012 event.
I met up with Yoshi a few months back at Quest, the shop that was given the job to come up with a safe enough roll-cage to not only pass the safety requirements of the Bonneville event, but strong enough to sustain a flip over onto the roof…which is precisely what happened to the Dandy FC3S last year, almost killing the driver. Yoshi and Dandy are definitely not taking any chances!
Once done at Bonneville Yoshi will ship the car back to Japan where he will continue to use it as a street car, albeit with a little more power than now! This will mean that the cage will have to be as less intrusive as possible…
…allowing the BNR34 to remain road-legal. As Yoshi stresses this GT-R will not be tuned into a race car, so if he manages to achieve his goal it will be come one, if not the fastest, GT-Rs in the world.
The special 300 km/h (186 mph) speedometer will need to be changed for something with a slightly more wider speed scale!
Chassis number 000081, hinting that this is not your normal BNR34.
The engine, despite its very special components has remained stock all these years. As I type this, the car is now sitting in the Dandy workshop, the engine in pieces ready to receive a complete re-build which will include many special-order parts. Yoshi has yet to decide if he wants to use the car with the normal final gear (and 4WD) which will allow for a max speed of around 390 km/h (242 mph) at 9,000~9,500 rpm in sixth gear. The second option would be to vary the final gear accordingly to achieve a potential top speed of over 400 km/h (248.5 mph) but loose the 4WD.
Later on in the month I will be dropping by Dandy to check out how work on this very special project is proceeding. Option magazine in Japan are also following the build closely!
Yoshi has truly been captivated by the atmosphere of Bonneville and has embarked on what is without a doubt a pretty crazy journey! Needless to say we wish him the best of luck!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare