Could we be experiencing peak GT-R right now? With the insane attention Nissan’s performance icon is enjoying globally, I feel like I’m living back in the year 2000!
Except it’s better than that, because there’s never been a more ideal time to fine tune, modify and perfect these cars. In my mind, it’s led to a GT-R rebirth of sorts.
Last weekend’s R’s Meeting, once again held at Fuji Speedway, had an electrifying atmosphere – something I hadn’t experienced since its very early days.
I’m not sure if I am interpreting this right, but with all the international attention the GT-R is receiving, I feel like it’s helped reignite the passion of Japanese owners.
A lot of that probably has to do with the fact that their cars have tripled in value (insert grinning emoji here), but hey, I’ll take it.
I’ve seen a lot of people leave the GT-R world in favour of European and American sports cars, but many have now flocked back for a taste of that old school feel and rawness that makes these cars so damn addictive.
With this event, the 12th R’s Meeting, GT-R Magazine have stuck to their successful recipe of keeping things small and not trying to do too much. And with Japan having now reopened to the world, seeing familiar faces from overseas was so refreshing.
I’ve got a few stories planned from this event, but we’ll kick things off today with a walk through Fuji Speedway’s upper paddock area where R’s Meeting was held.
After visiting Yasui-san’s secret storage compound in Osaka last year, I was glad to see the special Rs that make up his insane collection – part of Global Auto – out in the sunshine.
While the 400R is a significant Skyline in its own right…
… It’s always special seeing a Z-tune R34 in the flesh. Not even Nismo bring out their examples, so props to Yasui for keeping us GT-R nerds drooling.
Finishing off his line-up – or at least part of it – was this Nismo GT-R on BBS LM wheels.
What R’s Meeting does really well is showcase every aspect of GT-R tuning, not just the performance side of things. This includes all the shops crafting bespoke wide-body conversions and dropping cars on air suspension.
There were glimpses that Japan’s once manic GT-R drag scene still has some life left in it, and that some people were always waiting for a four -door R34 GT-R. The latter never came of course, so the next best thing is to build your own.
I’m a massive fan of Auto Gallery Yokohama, their no-frills time attack style and the parts they continue to develop help the whole scene evolve.
Shibata-san at R31 House has decided to jump out of his comfort zone – specializing in and having the biggest R30 and R31 stock in the country – to do something with the second generation GT-Rs. He had this complete BCNR33 on display which has been completely restored to showroom spec.
I arrived at Fuji Speedway 30-minutes after the gates opened at 7:00am and, just like any other event in Japan, the place was already packed. It’s crazy how early people arrive at venues, but despite that there was a steady stream of amazing Rs still rolling in, including this ex-MCR demo sanyon.
I’m always interested to see what parts companies like Trust are working on, and it’s cool that their R34 GT-R demonstrator keeps evolving. In one of my upcoming posts I’ll be taking a closer look at a new component they’ve recently released. Hint: you can see it in the engine shots above.
While Mine’s needs no introduction, it wasn’t their R34 that was stealing all the attention this year…
Their collaborative BCNR33 Skyline GT-R build with Built By Legends was (mostly) completed just a few days prior to R’s Meeting. This is such a special creation that I’ll be showing you all the details in a little spotlight, and then following that up with a full feature before it’s shipped off to its lucky owner in the US.
The white R34 above is another amazing BBL project that we’re keeping an eye on. Garage Yoshida, the specialist shop that strips down, reinforces, spot-welds and preps in minute detail all of Built by Legends’ cars is almost done with it. It’ll then be sent over to Mine’s for reassembly.
I’ve always been a fan of how Midori Seibi modifies their GT-Rs. The approach is similar to the way Mine’s does things – if not a little more extreme and track-focused – but these days they cater to whatever the client requires.
This R34 has just been refreshed; it’s simple but effective with all the important performance parts in place.
On the other side of the spectrum, you can always expect Phoenix’s Power to hit hard when it comes to power and looks.
Their customer base is mainly made up of R35 owners, so they really have their VR upgrade engine packages sorted. Most of their builds are around the 1,000hp mark, but many push higher numbers.
That spectrum can take a sudden turn with surprising builds like this wild R34 on air.
The twin top-mount turbo setup was receiving a lot of attention, and how could it not with those welds.
Nismo had a display of CRS (Clubman Race Spec) specials, a package that along with various chassis refresh options and complete engine kits are keeping the Omori Factory very busy. In fact, the last I heard there was a one to two-year waiting list on everything.
Kazuhiko ‘Smoky’ Nagata and his Top Secret team had their usual selection of Wangan-spec GT-Rs on show.
Like every other prominent GT-R shop Japan, they too have done a u-turn and come up with their own complete cars marketed towards overseas buyers. Plus, Smoky has been busy with the new Z, rushing to develop parts and complete a demo machine in time for the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon, which is now just a couple of months away.
No event in Japan would be complete without a RAYS wall of alloy awesomeness. It’s always a fun stop to contemplate your next wheels.
Another great build was this ex-RGF demo car, which Powervehicles is currently looking after for a customer at their Ebisu Circuit base.
The R34 looks amazing, but I’m told it’s going to be given a bit of a refresh very soon. I’m hoping we can shoot at Ebisu’s Higashi course one of these days.
Top Rank, a performance car trader that acquires a lot of GT-Rs, had a booth showing off this crazy-low mileage R34. I think it had something like 500km on the clock!
Tomei Powered has added a full exhaust to their ‘Genesis’ complete RB28 display engine so people can visualize the path the Expreme titanium exhaust takes. It’s pretty straight, so awesome for flow.
I made sure to stop by the Auto Select booth for a chat with the guys. I’ve always loved their style.
It’s so much more in-your-face than anything built up in the Kanto area, where tuners are under so much scrutiny from the authorities. In Kansai, the letter of the law isn’t followed so strictly when it comes to vehicle modifications, so enthusiasts and tuners have always gone all-out.
This is one serious-looking R34; the owner obviously likes her GT-Rs with some track flavor.
The question here is, which one would you choose?
There was another 400R that people could get a little closer to at the Nakane Racing display. It’s crazy to think that these cars are now worth 10 times what they originally sold for.
GT-R Magazine has always worked closely with Nissan for this event, and one of the big drawcards is the cars they bring out from the automaker’s Heritage Collection.
Not to mention some of the legendary engineers who worked across most generations of the GT-R’s development.
A bonus for GT-R owners attending this event is an opportunity to have their cars featured in a GT-R Magazine insert.
As such, all day long there was a continuous line of GT-Rs slowly moving towards the areas where the magazine’s photographers were snapping away.
It’s here that you find some amazing rare cars, like the Autech R33 GT-R two images up and the stunning Hakosuka GT-R above.
I hope this post has gotten you into a GT-R kind of mood, as there is a lot more to see from R’s Meeting 2022. Check back soon for the spotlight post!
Dino Dalle Carbonare