This Is GT-R Otaku Heaven
A Sight For Sore Eyes

And so the obsession continues. Year in and year out, the lure of Nissan’s GT-R badge brings us back to the R’s Meeting, an event that’s evolved into something quite special since GT-R Magazine started it all back in 2010.

It’s a celebration of the cars that so many of us love, but at the same time an awesome way to help the whole community evolve. The car parks at Fuji Speedway are laden with every generation of GT-R, and Japan’s tuning royalty is ready to talk and answer any questions about upgrades.


Visually, it’s on the verge of being overwhelming. Seeing a sight like this never gets old.

For GT-R owners, the mental shopping lists of parts and mods that you want to do to your own car, inevitably gets longer and longer. That’s partly because the whole GT-R tuning scene seems to become more alive as each year passes; the newfound popularity of the RB26-powered cars continuously spawns new parts as manufacturers work hard to get the most out of these older models.


GT-R Magazine does an awesome job of documenting it all, too. The publication has been around since 1994 and is nothing short of a bible for most GT-R owners. Its pages provide a perfect way to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to running, modifying and fixing your car.


It’s always great to revisit the masters, and seeing a world-renowned tuner like Mine’s bringing their cars out is such a pleasure. A brief chat with Nakayama-san, the chief mechanic at Mine’s, confirmed that the company has shifted a lot of its efforts into building complete cars, especially for export to other countries. They’ve seen a huge shift in customers going back to the RB26 GT-Rs, and have adapted to meet the market. It’s a good thing to see and it makes so much sense. Mine’s created a very unique image and tuning philosophy with their cars back in the 1990s and early 2000s, but some of that focus seemed to get lost once they began concentrating on the R35. You could say that balance has been restored.


Top Secret on the other hand has done a good job of bringing in a large number R35 customers, yet managed to retain that ‘we’ll tune anything to whatever spec you want’ mindset that Kazuhiko ‘Smoky’ Nagata is all about. I shot a separate spotlight on the orange GT-R at the back there, so stay tuned for that.


Following the popularity of Nismo’s in-house restoration services, which are showcased with this, the R34 Clubman Race Spec, and more recently the R33 Grand Touring Car, you’ll be all happy to know that development is still continuing. On the R34 at least.


The reason the car was on display without its carbon Z-tune bumper fitted was because of those red pieces of plastic. They are prototype air guides which have the job of cleaning up the air flow coming in through the grille section. By the time they go into production I’m sure they’ll be made out of carbon fiber.


Just like the intercooler piping kit now being offered.


Nismo had other carbon goodies to show off too, like this air guide which works with the Z-tune front bumper’s lower openings and forces more flow towards the center of the brake rotor. It seems like overkill to make this out of carbon fiber, but hey, it’s Nismo after all.


Also on display were new black Nismo LM GT4 wheels, which no doubt will sell-out just as fast as the previous limited-production offerings.


We can’t talk about Nismo without showing at least one image of the new and improved 2017 Nismo R35, which I just have to drive before the end of the year. Given the asking price (around ¥18mil or approximately US$165k), I can’t wait to find out what it brings to the table.

Cool New Parts

Right, let’s talk about parts, specifically the ones that make a real difference when it comes to performance. I’m going to start with HKS, which is in the process of releasing a completely new line-up of Mitsubishi-based turbochargers.


After replacing the old GT-SS and GT-RS with new GTIII-SS and GTIII-RS versions last year, it’s time to roll out the big boys. The GTIII-5R and GTIII-4R replace the T51 and T04Z, respectively. It will be cool to see how these are received in the Japanese tuning industry, especially now that there is so much competition from foreign brands like GCG/Garrett and BorgWarner.


Over at the NAPREC booth, it wasn’t their polished and ported heads that grabbed my attention; after all, I had seen every step of how those are done at their factory. Rather, it was the RB26 intake manifold they are selling in Japan, which is a collaboration with Hypertune in Australia. Along with a 90mm single throttle body version, a six 49mm throttle body setup is offered, the latter probably better suited to a more conservative tune geared towards response and mid-range punch.


Do-Luck is a Japanese tuner that goes against the grain. They’ve always been the first guys to import interesting and innovative products from abroad, and this latest acquisition from Australia –  billet Brypar uprights for the R32/R33/R34/R35 – is aimed at those serious about track performance.


Do-Luck also had their digital G-force Sensor on display, a totally customisable unit that lets you fine tune how the Attessa system reacts, efficiently using more AWD more of the time.


One really interesting thing I spotted was this billet cam cover over at the Jing-R booth. Notice anything different? That’s right, it doesn’t have the big protruding cam angle sensor on the exhaust cam side. That’s been removed and the engine’s running a conversion kit that will be released next month. It’s quite complex and currently requires the use of a MoTeC engine management system, but it opens up a lot of potential for more efficient tuning while also giving the engine a cleaner look.


This is what the rear of the cover looks like.


Jing-R also had this really clean R33 running custom vented fenders on display.


However, it was the lobster tail welding on the titanium piping around the single turbo conversion that took most people’s breath away. Is it better than Nismo’s carbon fiber piping for the twin-turbo setup? Now that’s a hard choice!


A few steps away was the Auto Select booth with some serious GT-Rs on display, including the R34 we looked at earlier in the week. This other san-yon, however, had me quite confused when I took a peek at the engine.


The RB27 embossing on the front cover is pretty impressive, but what I found really interesting is the fact they’ve used RB25 intake cam components on an RB26 head. It’s something I need to investigate more when I visit them next. Essentially they have achieved the opposite of what Jing-R’s done with their billet cover!


And now to something that got me really excited: an R34 running a full MoTeC engine management system with matching C127 color dash display. This is proper race car stuff right here, and the perfect example of how things are slowly changing in Japan as tuners and owners open up to using more advanced solutions from abroad. Japanese parts makers will have to step their game up.


You can have all the performance you want, but power is nothing without control – or rather the ability to shed momentum off efficiently and without fade. The best Japan currently offers is the Endless monoblock caliper system with carbon rotor upgrade. It’s wonderful stuff and more geared toward the R35, so you can imagine how many zeros there would be on the price tag. I was actually afraid to ask, so I just quietly moved away with lots of JDM respectful bowing thrown in for good measure.


If you ask any enthusiast what their dream garage would be like, I’m pretty sure the vast majority would include a car lift. I know I’d have one in mine, and here’s a solution for those who don’t have a lot of vertical space at their disposal. Pretty cool, I thought.

A GT-R Sort Of Celebration

Of course, no Japanese event could possibly be complete without a stage area and lots of important guests being interviewed. It’s always cool to hear the father of the GT-R, Watanabe-san, talking about his baby.


And I spotted his kohai, Tamura-san, in the audience live streaming the talk show before he went up to talk about his take over of the R35 project. This is the man that will dictate what the R36 will be all about, someone I should really have a sit down with one of these days. Maybe we can get him to take out his R32 GT-R with swapped R34 driveline…


Phoenix’s Power is a shop I always stop at whenever I pass by Kyoto. Aside from the fact that they are some of the coolest and most dedicated GT-R guys around, their style is very recognisable; it’s always about big power and no-expense-spared development.


And still on the subject of R35s, one can’t walk past a JUN-tuned car without a closer look. It seems like every second R35 is packing more than 1,000hp these days, and this signature yellow JUN demo car is one of them. Let’s just think about that statement… If 1,000hp has become the norm today, you have to wonder where we will be in another 10 years!


While GT-R specialist Global Auto always has a nice line up of GT-Rs to show (and sell), I was immediately drawn to a car at the far corner of the booth.


A very low mileage and recently refreshed Nismo Z-tune; the holy grail of any GT-R; the unicorn of the breed. The price? They wouldn’t tell me. It seems like the car is indeed for sale, but if you have to ask how much…


In the covered area of Fuji’s paddock I found a rather mouthwatering line-up of R32 drag cars. And I mean serious, 8-second and 9-second machines, which was a rather surprising yet extremely welcomed find. It seems as though the Japanese just can’t move away from drag racing even if there is no dedicated quarter-mile drag strip to properly race on.


As cool as the shop demo cars are, for me, R’s Meeting is about the sight of hundreds upon hundreds of GT-Rs that the public bring out. It’s so much fun walking down the car park lines looking out for special models – like this Autech R33 GT-R 4-door – or just enjoying seeing what owners do with their cars. By this point I was beginning to suffer as I had forgotten my hat at home and the sun at Fuji is always pretty strong. Thankfully, I met some of the guys from Skyline Syndicate in the US who gave me their last spare cap. Thanks for saving my scalp, Larry!


You do get to see some pretty awesome color coordinations too, like this M-spec on matte blue gunmetal RAYS Volk Racing ZE40s.


An original Tommykaira BNR32? I don’t think I’d ever seen one in person before this. The variety at R’s Meeting is pretty wild and very much an inspiration if you are trying to figure out what to do with your own car.


As always, the main paddock was reserved for cars being photographed by the GT-R Magazine staff. Throughout the day there was a constant line of GT-Rs moving towards where four photographers were stationed.


You pose along with your loved one and your picture ends up in the GT-R Owner Collection book that’s released with the next issue of the magazine. Pretty cool, right?


See what I mean? It’s like flicking through a Hyper Rev book, but in real life!


I’ve realized how much I like the dark blue of the R33, especially when its complemented by RAYS Volk Racing’s signature bronze hue, here applied to CE28Ns.


Usually you’ll find a few C10 GT-Rs at R’s Meeting, but this was the only one I saw this year. Perhaps some left before I made my way around to this particular area… It’s always nice seeing the older first-gen cars; it really makes you appreciate how much history that GT-R badge really has.


At the same time as the main event is happening, there’s also a track day running which ends with a drag race and a parade lap with all the cars.


To see who is participating you have to make your way down to the pit area and have a walk around. Check this out, another Autech R33 which looked completely stock.

There’s not much stock with this R32, though.


We’ve seen R34s run all sorts of wheels, but this Nismo-tuned car is the first GT-R I’ve seen on BBS RI-Ds, which are the same rims I run on Project Drop Top. I was impressed by how damn well they work.


Curiously, this same car also answered a question I’ve had since last year when Nismo released the US$2,500 carbon piping kit: How long will it look pretty before the resin discolors with all the heat from the turbos? Not very long by the look. You can see the difference against the Nismo carbon airbox this car has also been fitted with.

I’ll stop right here with this post, but my R’s Meeting coverage is not over as I still have a couple of spotlights to come. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed my GT-R-centric content this week!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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Great article! GTR NEVER gets old! Glad to see mods r still evolving. Dang, i want tat MoTeC C127 color dash display.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Don't we all lol


These things drip cool. The rally for gtr's has been going for decades and doesn't seem to have an end, I love it.
I see a couple of wagons in the paddock there, love those too.


also, bbs look good on everything that's the point

Dino Dalle Carbonare

True that!


Autech 4 doorer is Auuusuhhhm!!


NSFW! Definitely a must-go event. Incredible calibre of GTR's. Very glad to see some Aussie parts there too. giving you some ideas for when you come down for WTAC, Dino? ;)

Very excited for the spotlights to come. Must be hard a job choosing which cars to spotlight haha

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Indeed, Australia leads the way in a lot of areas!


I'm so glad I came to have a look at this - some incredible parts. That Deep Marine Blue 33 on the Rays Ce28N's... how tasteful!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah had to stop, take a look, and actually admit the R33 does look nice!


Are there going to be any spotlight on the Zero-R next to the Z-Tune?


Always glad to see GTRs but...wasn't there a 1JZ meeting there as well?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yes there was, over at the drift course.


Desperately need more of the Red r32 from the Headline photo


I second this motion. Can't stop looking at it. It sits perfect.


Silly question but why do they do the piping in that "lobster tail" look? Is it just purely for the look? Cuz it seems to me you could bend tubing or buy pre bent lenthe and have a much smoother with less welds and get same result. Also wouldn't you want less welds anyhow as there would be less of a chance if having pin holes or cracks develop in the welds, especially if it was on an intercooler?


Bends only come in standard sizes (radius). Compound bends where the radius and center point change around the course of the bend are not 'off the shelf' items and hard to make. So most practical option is to do it as shown. Often times it is done purely for aesthetic reasons though. Also titanium is hard to bend.


Thanks for the info!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's become a way to embellish the engine bay. I'm all for it :)


Love it!


Great article. The carbon y pipes come that colour new, I'm not sure if a different resin from the other pipes is used or not but I noticed the same thing

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's definitely not that color new...


The set I installed a couple weeks ago sure were


Great event with a look of interesting products on display. That digital display really cleans up the look of the car. Also enjoyed seeing that clever solution to having a lift. Only problem is you still can't stand up under it!


That dark blue R33 is soooo sweet. I'd take that one!


Hi...sort waking up to a great assortment of dishes for breakfast.

Something nice knowing the going on on the GTRs. Cool.


Nice write up as always Dino. But I am pretty sure the last Bayside Blue BNR34 was on 18 inch BBS RI-A. The RI-D only comes in 19/20 inch and much thinner design near the center area. Also they come with different center caps and color options as well.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

You are very right! It's the 18 interpretation of the same design, apparently needed a more concave design for structure in the smaller size


Thanks for the in-depth look Dino, this event is plain bonkers and most definitely on my automotive bucket list. Some very interesting stuff indeed, among all the typical eye candy.

I was not aware that Nismo also offered a cold-side carbon intercooler pipe, does it come with the intake pipe or is it sold separately? I am assuming the latter, and priced accordingly.

Also, interesting that HKS has switched back to MHI as its turbo provider. From what I recall, I believe the original T51R was a Garrett-based unit, as were their other signature turbos. Why the change?

Lastly, interesting to see the elimination of the cam position sensor with that MoTeC set-up, though there are other feasible options to split and improve the clarity of the sensor signals for high-power cars.

Good stuff, thanks again Dino!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks, mainly because GCG has taken over Garrett's market in Japan.


Interesting. I guess since Trust/GReddy officially switched over to Garrett, maybe it was simply a competition-based choice as you mentioned.

I do not usually associate MHI with 'performance' turbos per se, but they did work some magic with the EVO VI TME factory unit, so I suppose it is not a stretch.


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With the direction the auto industry is going, with electrification and automization, does anyone think there will ever be another icon like the GTR?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Probably not....the last icons are probably from the 90's but then again that's "our" generation. What will be referred to as an icon in the future is what will materialize from this moment forth. New Supra might be one potential?


Great article Dino. Thanks!!!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks man!


I can't believe mercedes just jacked the GTR name for a car no1 will remember in a year

Dino Dalle Carbonare

LOL, I wouldn't worry about it


FWIW the RB27 with RB25 intake cam components is likely using it for the variable intake valve system. It allows for I believe 10 or 20 degrees of intake cam advance so you can have better emissions and more low-end torque/response but also an engine that revs out properly. HKS VCAM is the same thing but allows for continuous adjustment as a function of load and RPM.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Pretty much


In relation to the Zero-R that is parked alongside the Z-Tune, I remember reading an article years ago, most likely in print media form. The article was about a Zero-R graveyard, where there were multiple decaying examples after the abandonment of the project. Were only #4 rolled off the assembly line, or were there more un-finished examples that have been lost to time?