Dec 18 2008

StreetFire Skyline Cruise- Video

Another video featuring Yoshi

StreetFire Skyline Cruise- Video.

Dec 18 2008

Yoshi the GT-R takes on a Nitrous Corvette Rental

Well, as promised the video is finally out, I gave the keys to my car to Garage419, told them I didn’t want to know what they would do with it so long as Matt spanked Gene. Wishes came true


NOS Rental Vette vs Nissan GT-R – Garage419- Video.

Dec 16 2008

3 Reasons Why The New GT-R SUCKS!

So Emil and I swapped cars for a weekend. Me? I took his 997 GT3 to Malibu trying to get him a colelction of speed camera tickets in the Canyons.  Him?  Took my GT-R to a drag strip (really? Not even a road course?).  We each learned a little about each other’s cars.  For me, it’s that Porsche doesn’t make a proper racing seat for a Big Whopper ass like mine. For Emil, well click the link to read his review….

The Cartorialist » Blog Archive » 3 Reasons Why The New GT-R SUCKS!

PS look for video in two days from Garage419 as they pit my car against a Nitrous rental…. Can’t wait to see the outcome.

Nov 26 2008

Did Sam Hubinette throw the GT3 race???

I can’t remember if I posted this or not, but if so sorry for the dupe. A little more behind the scenes from the Head to Head shoot we did last September. I know “Heavy Chevy”and other GT-R haters are always crying “Media Conspiracy!”….hmmm, maybe they’re right? Maybe I’m behind it all….muwahahaha (evil laugh)

Head to Head behind the scenes. Sam Hubinette & GT- Video.

Nov 20 2008

Yoshi in a “Ladies of SEMA Video”

about 50 seconds in my car “Yoshi” shows up in the Conti booth wearing GGI shoes.

The Ladies of SEMA 2008- Video.

Nov 10 2008

My GT-R against Emil’s GT3 at Willow Springs

Torque TV: Head2Head R35 vs GT3- Video.

Nov 3 2008

The GT-R’s of SEMA 2008

Well here it is, the GT-R’s of SEMA 2008, I’m sure I missed a ton of them, but everywhere I looked I saw more GT-Rs each with fantastic mods, rims, body kits and who knows what else. Soo happy to see the GT-R killing it at SEMA 2008

Full Album with thumbnails.

Oct 20 2008

Yoshi the GT-R hits Angeles Crest Highway

Took the GT-R out to Angeles Crest highway a couple of weeks ago and my good friend Josh shot this fantastic video of the event. Great work!

GTR and RS4 in the Mountains- Video.

Oct 2 2008

Video, My GT-R and Me at Willow

I had a ton of fun at this event (big thank you to Torque for organizing this), and it looks like Jonathan finally took the wraps off the teaser video as a prelude of what is to come.  Of course they cut out the lovely Miss Torque, my personal favorite, to see more of her, check out the Gallery below.

Head2Head Season Premier- Behind the scenes- Video.

Sep 17 2008

2009 Nissan GT-R review, Part 1 Delivery

The StreetFire Long Term Test Nissan GT-R
Part 1, Taking Delivery, 0-650 miles

15 years. That’s how long I’ve waited to own Godzilla, and here I find myself on a plane flying into tropical storm Fay pounding Atlanta the day I take delivery.  Even though my wife and I had recently moved with StreetFire from Atlanta to Los Angeles, we chose Nalley Nissan in Atlanta, Georgia to order our car back in February.  I had been smitten with romantic images of taking our new arrival around Road Atlanta shortly after delivery, perhaps even a visit to the Tail of the Dragon.  Now I realize we are going to have to arrange transport back West as I don’t want to break the car in on the never ending monotony that is I40.

Over the past month I have become an avid reader of anything GT-R, and have spent a fair amount of time posting on NAGTROC and the GT-R Register.  I can’t have my morning coffee until I’ve hit the GT-R Blog Sites too! (CBA-R35, 2009 GT-R and GT-R Blog) StreetFire organized a visit to Universal Nissan in North Hollywood to witness delivery of the first GT-R in the United States, and I even got a chance to speak with Steve Millen about his thoughts on the GT-R. But when I walked into the dealership and saw my car for the first time.  Well, I felt like I was 16 again.

My First site of the GT-R

My First sight of the GT-R

Nissan is proud of their flagship and it shows with the white glove treatment I received from Nalley.  The paperwork was quick and painless and I quickly found myself in the driver’s seat.  My GT-R sat roped off on the showroom floor for over a week while I was preparing for my trip.  My salesman, Todd deserves a medal for fighting off hordes of admirers. John Clark, the General Manager, had insured that my car was delivered in perfect condition with only 34 delivery miles on the odometer.  (Delivery Checklist from NAGTROC).

I can see why. The GT-R is a car you have to see in person to appreciate.  It’s a very three dimensional vehicle, with a lot of depth and detail in the design.  Photography tends to flatten the car and remove much of the drama the sculpted lines create.  Perhaps I’ll get our friends from Car Pix to elaborate some time as to why some cars look so much better in person than on film.

GT-R Paddle Shifter

GT-R Paddle Shifter

Nalley Nissan had sent their head mechanic to GT-R service training, to prepare him for both delivery and service. This is the only car I’m aware of that the manufacturer insists your first ride be with a trained technician for proper orientation.  I think headquarters is concerned that someone might mistakingly buy a GT-R thinking it will behave like a Maxima, only to be surprised that the GR-6 Sequential 6 speed makes clunking noises as you roll to a stop, or that 6 pot Brembos with racing pads tend to squeak a little.

Andy Robinson, Nalley’s master technician, was very knowledgeable about the vehicle, and explained how the side vents create a pressure bubble of hot air down the side of the vehicle to aid in aerodynamics. I had wondered what the hood vents were for, and he showed how they dump cool air right onto the turbos when the car is moving, and allow the turbos to vent hot air back up when stationary.  A neat trick to reduce under hood engine temperatures.

These are the things that impress me the most about the GT-R, the car is so thought out. A small ridge on the side view mirror creates an air vortex that is channeled by a crease in the C-Pillar right into the rear spoiler. In later weeks I would learn that the downside of this great aero, is that the GT-R is a dirt magnet like no other vehicle. A price I’m delighted to pay for a 0.27 Coefficient of Drag!

Wind Tunnel Testing

Wind Tunnel Testing

That first time you push the GT-R’s starter button, is more akin to hitting an adrenaline dump on an IV.  You don’t know what to expect, and there is a slight delay as the computer runs through the pre flight checklist before engaging the motor…. just enough delay to build anticipation, I wonder if some Japanese Zen master measured how soon is too soon and how long is too long?  Andy gives me a brief on the multi function display, but I find myself paying more attention to the sounds of the motor and transmission whirring up in preparation of the first drive.

Previously I have owned a handful of V8s (L81, L98 and LS1) and most recently a BMW M3, (my M3 is now For Sale BTW) each with a distinct aural sound.  The GT-R is a distinctly mechanical symphony with a bit of jet turbine mixed in. It reminds me somewhat of the straight cut gears you hear in a racing transmission, which it may be, the GR-6 sequential manual is worth paying attention to, it’s simply brilliant. As I eased away from the dealership, I was stunned by how smoothly we accelerated from a stop and how transparently the gear changes are.  My only other exposure to “manumatics” had been the E46  BMW SMG system which feels more like a high school driver’s-ed simulator.

Transmission, Suspension and VDC

Transmission, Suspension and VDC

Left in Automatic mode the GT-R quickly finds 6th gear for maximum economy.  Andy explains that the normal setting for the transmission is to maximize economy.  The Race setting keeps the car a downshift away from maximum acceleration.  It’s not like the other manumatics where you have multiple settings for shift speed, the GT-R is smarter than that.  It looks at the RPM and % throttle application to understand how the driver is driving, and changes shift firmness accordingly.

The GT-R is not the first car with this sort of dual clutch sequential transmission, but when combined with this chassis and driveline, I think it’s found it’s ultimate expression.  I never thought I would give up the clutch pedal, but how can you not love this gear box?

Magic Happens Here

Magic Happens Here

Tropical storm Fay gave me exactly 15 minutes of dry weather to familiarize myself with the GT-R, and then all hell broke loose.  The word for storm in Japanese is “Arashi” but it could just as easily be “GT-R,” because the twin vortexes made by the turbos apply power to all 4 tires with near limitless traction regardless of how violent the weather is.  The storm simply didn’t matter.  The winds glided undisturbed past the body work and the water parted like the red sea before the AWD.

I left Nalley and proceeded to put 500 miles on the GT-R in some of the worst weather this Florida boy has seen in a long time, and the GT-R consistently performed. I found myself doing a sanity check and pulled into a parking deck at Atlantic Station to look at the stock Bridgestones. I simply couldn’t believe that this tread pattern with the mocking suggestion of water channels could provide this sort of traction in wet weather.

GT-R Bridgestone Tires

GT-R Bridgestone Tires

I horsed the GT-R around some of my favorite Southern switch backs and never once did it lose composure. I hate to say it, but the GT-R is faster and more confidence inspiring in the wet, than my beloved E46 M3 is in the dry.   If you can’t find a GT-R to drive for yourself, then drive a E46 M3 to the limit, and realize that’s what a wet weather warm up lap in a GT-R feels like.

Despite missing a proper Road Atlanta track day, I’m happy Fay gave me a little wet weather exposure.  The GT-R is Los Angeles bound, and doomed to a future of dry desert mountains and eternal sunshine.

Coming soon.
Part 2 How to transport a car cross country.

Photo Resources

GT-R Web Sites

A special thank you to John Clark, Todd Robinson and Andy Robinson and the rest of the team of Nalley Nissan for a fantastic delivery.
(888) 919-6677
1625 Church St
Decatur, GA 30033 (map)

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