Attention whores? Yes, it's true; these colorful Nissan yell for attention on the outside, but look a little closer and you'll see they're far from trailer queens. You're lookin' at two street- and track-driven warriors. Neither is stanced out and they both share similar modifications to the chassis and motor—no crazy engine conversions or forced induction kits but just the right amount of mods to improve the car's ability to attack the road course while still keeping the reliability and comfort level for the street. The GT-R and Z are also reader-built rides, which makes them that much sweeter to showcase in our annual Nissan issue.
Let's face it; there isn't much that compares on the road today to the Nissan GT-R. The R35 is a powerful, balanced and basically turnkey track car. It performs leagues past other similarly priced competitors, giving any Godzilla owner the biggest bang for their buck. And while it still has a price point of $100K brand new, pre-owned R35 are dropping into the $40K-range so there's a reason to get one more than ever—that is, if you earn more than what we do here! But for people who have the means and can appreciate the GT-R for what it is, they have a vehicle they can really take advantage of like Tim Pu from Irvine, Calif. He picked up this '12 model and already knew what to expect. "The GT-R is a fast car!" he exclaimed. "But I also wanted to have that 'wow' factor, too. It also had to be a streetable car that served track duties a few times a year." And what better place to modify the car than The R's Tuning in Tim's own hometown?
The R's Tuning is a fairly new tuner but we've been seeing nothing but sexy machines coming out of their shop, such as last year's Nissan issue cover car. So with the mission to make Tim's GT-R pop on the street, nothing says "look at me" better than bright yellow, right? Precisely! There's possibly no color that screams for attention more than the yellow wrap used on this R35. But underneath the vinyl is what makes this car special—a mash-up of carbon-fiber body parts. The front bumpers, side skirts and hood are from Top Racing—ultra-rare in the GT-R community and all made of carbon-fiber. These parts were actually the first Top Racing R35 parts imported into the U.S. according to The R's Tuning. The madness didn't stop there with Password JDM fenders, also constructed of carbon-fiber and modified by The R's Tuning to flow. The rear fenders are from Wald, while the diffuser is something to admire—a combination of Wald and Difflow pieces—while the Seibon dry carbon-fiber trunk features a monstrous spoiler from Kognition. It's hard to believe that with all these different companies used on the exterior, a car would come together nicely. But it definitely makes it one of the most recognizable GT-Rs we've ever come across.
The fly bodywork is only just a piece of this R35's puzzle though. The R's Tuning continued on to develop the right handling package for the car. First, the chassis received a KW sleeve kit designed to work with the factory struts and mounts, also giving the GT-R a tad sportier ride. New camber arms were also thrown in to help align the car with -2.5°—an ideal setup for the car's street and track duties. For rollers, 20x11" Volk Racing G25 wheels along with 285-series Nitto NT01 tires provide impeccable grip for the all-wheel drive beast.
As for power, the twin-turbo V6 already puts down more than enough for a guy like Tim with a factory-rated 530hp and 448 lb-ft of torque. But who doesn't like more? Without going overboard, The R's added an MxP downpipe and exhaust, an upgraded fuel pump, HKS intake and Cobb Tuning flash. With some ECU tuning by SP Engineering, the 3.8-liter improved to 545hp and 535 lb-ft.
While many might look at Tim's spec list and consider it minor, it's done with the right purpose. The car breaks necks as it did in the Mackin Industries booth at SEMA last year. It's also a solid car to spend hours cruising on a long road trip, as the GT-R proved traveling back and forth from Orange County to Las Vegas for SEMA. And lastly, it can dominate on the track as it posted some of the best results and lap times in last year's Optima Challenge. Straight up all-star status if you ask us!
2012 Nissan GT-R
Owner Tim Pu
Hometown Irvine, CA
Engine HKS intake and spark plugs; MxP downpipe and exhaust; Deatschwerks fuel pump; Cobb Tuning AP005 software flash; tuned by SP Engineering
Footwork & Chassis KW sleeve coilover kit; The R's Tuning camber arms and rollcage
Brakes Project Mu steel braided lines; dry carbon-fiber front brake ducts
Wheels & Tires 20x11" +15 Volk Racing G25 wheels; 285/35R20 Nitto NT01 tires
Exterior Top Racing carbon-fiber widebody front bumper, hood and side skirts; Password JDM carbon-fiber widebody fenders; Wald International rear fenders and carbon-fiber diffuser (top section); Difflow 5 Element diffuser (lower section); Seibon dry carbon trunk; Kognition rear wing
Interior Recaro Pole Position seats with The R's Tuning brackets; Schroth six-point harnesses; AutoTecknic shift paddles
Other awesome R35 GT-R's featured in pbskids history:
The R's Tuning
While only featured in the Fast & Furious 6 for a few seconds, this BenSopra-kitted R35 is still one of our favs. Not just pretty on the big screen, it's also 800hp and was handpicked by Paul Walker to be in the movie.
Capable of 1000hp with a JUN 4.0-liter stroker kit and Trust/GReddy turbos, plus carbon-fiber body kit and custom blue paint, this JDM GT-R is pretty hard to beat!
Featured a few years ago, this GT1 racer is swapped with a 5.5L V8 and converted to rear-wheel drive. How badass!
We wouldn't have guessed it but two-time NBA champion Andrew Bynum rolled around in this widebody Wald GT-R. It's too bad he was traded off the Lakers and hasn't been as good since!
Got the Blues
It feels like forever since we featured a 370Z in the mag. We honestly try every month to find one that's sick enough to show you. There have been plenty of stance examples and hardcore track cars, but finding one with the best of both worlds is slim to none. But we finally hit the jackpot once we discovered Jonathan Sackett's matte blue beauty at SEMA last year.
Jonathan lives in Chicago and the majority of the work on the Z was done by him and his buddies in his garage. The car was shipped to The R's Tuning before SEMA because there was a small chance that his Z could've landed a role in the next Fast & Furious movie. No word yet on that, but Jonathan knew his prized possession was in good hands and we couldn't let the car go to waste in Southern California without a photoshoot.
Like the GT-R, the beauty of this car is that it's driven on the street and track while having a panty-droppin' exterior. The front fenders impressed us first. Inspired by the BenSopra widebody kit, Jon had ANL Autobody in his hometown fabricate the beautiful pieces. "We cut the fenders, drew the lines out and rolled the extra piece in. The fins are made of carbon-fiber. The rest is pretty much the stock aluminum fender that we rolled in," explained Jon. "For five weeks, we worked on them and incorporated custom side skirts to match."
From there, wheels and brakes were picked out. "I had installed the StopTechs and then bought Enkei PF01s that would clear the brakes," he continued. "The offset made the wheels stick out too much. Since we were doing all this body work on the car, I thought why don't we just make everything wider?"
The Z went back to the body shop, as the front Stillen bumper and the carbon-fiber Amuse rear had to be widened. The side skirts and rear quarter panels required more work to flow with the wider setup while the vented front fenders were also redone so the Enkeis could sit flush.
Just when Jonathan thought work was done to the body, he had another brilliant idea for the rear. "I was always a fan of dual center-exit exhausts. Maybe because I'm a huge Formula One fan. So that's where the idea to put one started. The body shop and I went and welded the custom v-band exhaust all the way to the headers up through the center of the car. We did it without sacrificing the rear fog light—that also flashes when I brake like an F1 car," he mentioned. We definitely dig the overall motorsport feel of Jon's Z. Finally, complementing the bad-ass exhaust setup was a custom duckbill spoiler installed on the rear hatch.
With the body complete, the car was painted its factory grey color, but of course that's not what you see here. After seeing The R's Tuning GT-R that was featured at SEMA two years ago and also in the Fast & Furious 6 movie, Jonathan followed suit and wrapped the car in the same matte blue.
Up to bat next was the chassis. Jon cared about every dollar spent and part that went into his car so he wasn't going to put junk in his ride just because it was sponsored or because everyone was using it. So Jon started with the suspension installing Swift Spec R springs. "Out of the hundreds of reviews I read, they were the one spring that focused on true performance. As for the brakes, I improved my driving using the stock brakes, and then moved to pads, then rotors and finally bigger brakes after getting to a threshold. These StopTechs are amazing now!"
At its current state, the Z is completely dialed-in without going overboard or having maintenance issues. "I have advanced my driving with this car and didn't do too much at once. The car would always be faster than my driving and I would build it more once I got to a limit, then I'd push myself further. When the time is right, I'll continue to tune the suspension and engine more," he concluded.
The R's is already planning a more extravagant rollcage and new steering column, but honestly we like how the car sits. Now it can be driven day in and day out, plus it looks extremely unique in the Nissan community. We hope it'll inspire other Z33/Z34 owners to do their homework, think outside the box and build show-stopping cars that aren't afraid to be driven.
2009 Nissan 370Z
Owner Jonathan Sackett
Hometown Chicago, IL
Occupation firefighter paramedic
Engine CSF radiator; Stillen intake; Fast Intentions long-tube headers; custom 3" exhaust; Z1 34-row oil cooler; Uprev tune
Drivetrain Six-speed manual with Nissan VLSD upgrade
Footwork & Chassis Swift Spec R springs; rollcage
Brakes StopTech 380mm front, 355mm rear Trophy race brakes with six- and four-piston calipers, stainless steel lines and track pads; Stillen brake cooling duct system
Wheels & Tires 18x9.5" +15 front, 18x10.5" +15 rear Enkei PF01 wheels; 275/35R18 front, 315/30R18 rear Toyo Proxes R888 tires
Exterior custom widebody Stillen front fascia, front fenders, rear quarter panels, side skirts and carbon-fiber Vestito rear bumper; Aerojacket carbon-fiber rear wing; Craftsquare carbon-fiber mirrors; Seibon carbon-fiber B-pillars; matte blue vinyl wrap
Interior Sparco Evo II seats, five-point harnesses and R325 steering wheel; Works Bell short hub and Rapfix II quick release; NISMO shift knob
Thanks You The R's Tuning; Element Graphics and Design; CSF Racing; A&L Autobody; Aero Jacket; Tire Stickers; special thanks to all my friends and family
Notice the stickers on Jonathan's Z? He was inspired by the Rauh-Welt Porsches and how each RWB car has a theme and name behind it. It inspired Jon to name his own 370Z, and after a quick listen to Daft Punk's hit song, it hit him! While we're not sure if the car really gets Jonathan lucky, it's definitely a cool phrase, so cool Jonathan's even come out with his own clothing and stickers with the name. Hook us up with some shirts, bro!
The R's Tuning and the Fast & Furious
In our last Nissan issue, The R's Tuning BenSopra-kitted GT-R graced our cover. At the time we shot it, we knew it had plans to make it in Fast & Furious 6 but had no clue how much exposure it would get. Months later, we watched the movie and you can see the car in the final scene parked in the driveway. While a quick appearance, it's pretty awesome this 800hp GT-R we first saw at SEMA '12 in the Mackin booth made it on the big screen! According to R's Tuning owner Ricky Kwan, their relationship with the F&F franchise will continue with possible cars being used in an upcoming Toyko Drift 2 movie. Our fingers are crossed!
Hotter than the Amuse 370Z?
No doubt, the hottest outfit for the Z34 has always been the Powerhouse Amuse kit. But it's also been the most played out kit for the chassis of all time! Do you think Jonathan's beats it? You tell us! And if you if you think you have a 370Z we can't miss, e-mail us at.