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The latest episode of Motor Trend’s Ignition series takes a look at the Nissan GT-R lineage. The segment features glorious engine sounds from the R35, R32 and Hakosuka Skyline GT-R. All cars were driven hard by host Jason Cammisa on the curvy roads of the Santa Cruz Mountains. I am especially excited about this short film because the R32 shown was built at Z Car Garage and currently owned by customer and friend Alex M. If you have not seen the video yet click on the YouTube link below, and continue reading for a behind-the-scenes look:

 

When Motor Trend reached out to us for a GT-R feature we happily obliged by providing the R32 GT-R. I had the wonderful opportunity of delivering the R32 to the set and spending a day with the filming crew. So what was it like to be on the set of production? It started in the morning on a weekday in May when I picked up a freshly detailed R32 from the shop. After a splash of 100 octane I proceeded to drive the Skyline on (what else?) Skyline Blvd:

 

It was a thrill driving the R32 GT-R up HWY 9 and 35, and I finally arrived at my destination. I met up with Jason and director Anthony Esposito at Alice’s Restaurant, a popular hub for gearheads enjoying the surrounding twisty roads. We had breakfast with the crew and I couldn’t believe I was eating blueberry pancakes next to Jason Cammisa! My hero from Head2Head, which I recommend as the chemistry between him and Jonny Lieberman is highly entertaining!

 

We hopped in the GT-Rs and headed out to the first shooting location to acquire “beauty” shots before the action footage. This, dear zcarblog readers, was an epic moment as I was treated to the simply orgasmic sounds emanating from the S20-powered Hakosuka GT-R.  The 3 GT-Rs:

 

The 1971 Hakosuka Skyline GT-R

 
 

The authentic, KPGC10 Skyline is owned by enthusiast Tom Knudsen. Learn more about Tom’s passion for vintage J-Tin from our friends at Japanese Nostalgic Car.  It’s hard not to shoot endless pictures of this rare, iconic beauty:

 

The 2017 R35 GT-R:

 

The 1992 R32 Skyline GT-R

 

Jason and I took the R32 out for test drive before filming. Again I was a little star struck sitting shotgun. When I drove it up Skyline Blvd earlier that morning I had not given it the full throttle but Jason on the other hand didn’t hold back. We were both pretty giddy driving it on boost. He’s a carnut like the rest of us and enjoys his track days and building/working on cars. He’s seriously funny too, follow him on Instagram

 

 
 

While the crew was setting up, I had an enlightening chat with Tom about vintage Japanese cars and historic racing. He raced back to his garage to bring a vanity plate for the Hako and returned in his 1973 Porsche 911E. Then a random yellow NSX showed up.  All of this combined with sweeping views of the Bay Area would make any gearhead happy:

 

 
 

In addition to the NSX and numerous hikers/cyclists that stopped by, traffic on Skyline was getting heavier throughout the day. This would clearly impede filming, but I learned an interesting (apparently common) solution: hiring off-duty CHP officers to shut down the road for 15 minutes at a time:

 

That 15 minute window was frantic to me but the entire team was calm and collected with each cycle, accomplishing all desired footage.  I was thoroughly impressed.  On the other hand, after traffic was released by the CHP the passing drivers were either visibly frustrated or genuinely in awe of the triple Skylines that were holding them up!

 
 

Weather conditions were not favorable for recording sound. It was extremely windy and cold and though I wasn’t dressed for the chill I managed to find warmth and solace in the heated seats of the R35. Kudos to Dennis the sound guy and camera crew for making the best of the conditions. I even witnessed Anthony do some wild acrobatic filming hanging out the back of a Tahoe while driving in reverse!

 
 

Simon, Wiley and Anthony adorn the R32 with a myriad of camera/sound recording devices:

 

By 6pm the session was called and with the fog rolling in, our R32’s role was completed. The team would continue filming the KPGC10 and R35 the rest of the week.

 

All good things must come to an end and I drove the Skyline back to the shop and relinquished the keys:

  
 

Thank you MotorTrend crew for the hospitality! It was a memorable experience and the video turned out great. We are sad to report that Jason left Motor Trend after this episode but I was fortunate to watch him and Anthony work their magic in person. I wish them the best!  More pictures in the gallery below
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The Z Car Garage R34 Skyline GT-R!

Filed under: Events,Featured Cars and Projects
by Alvin G @ 3:27 am on March 1, 2017

 

It is #WaybackWednesday how about a nice little stroll down memory lane with us? In 2004 we were lucky to own a 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-spec. We sold the R34 in 2006 and never heard about it until 11 years later and a few days ago Sean from Import a Vehicle.com informed us that the very same R34 had resurfaced. And it was for sale. Yes, after all these years it still looks fantastic!

 

At the time we purchased it in 2004, the R34 was 1 of 11 Motorex Skylines that were fully legal to own/drive in California. The R34 is currently not legal to import into CA until it meets the 25yr rule (like the R32) in 2024, making this specific car rare fruit indeed. Sean even sent us a picture of the original 5/2006 sales receipt from Rob, found inside the car. This started the reminiscing…and the fact that I didn’t give our Skyline a proper send-off blog post!

 

From 2004 to 2006 we had an absolute blast with this car. You couldn’t go anywhere without drawing a crowd. It made all the right noises with fireballs coming from the APEXi exhaust and distinct BOV. It was Bayside Blue. Here she is, Bayside in front of (conveniently) the Bay Bridge at the Treasure Island Meet in 2005:

 

We attended many shows, always driving there and never trailered.  Hot Import Daze 2006:

 

In October 2015 we drove down to Los Angeles for the car casting of Fast and the Furious 3. No,  the R34 didn’t make it into the movie, but our friend Chad’s LHD G35 did! (Right) The R34 bookends the Z Car Garage display at the 2006 Silicon Valley Auto Show. I always find a way to squeeze my roadster into the shot, I mean c’mon…it’s an R34 Skyline GT-R!!!

 
 

Make no mistake the Skyline was not a garage queen either in our hands. At Sacramento Raceway in 2004 it ran an 11.2 second 1/4 mile! This ranks pretty high on my all-time favorite car memories:

 
 

Putting Skyline’s vicious ATTESA to the test on the track at Thunderhill Raceway in both wet and dry conditions in 2004/2005:

 

A short video compilation of the R34 in action. Don’t expect any HD quality, it was 12 years ago!

 

I asked Rob what his fondest memory of the R34 was:
 “Just after buying it I was driving to William’s to get some paint correction done on the R34. On the freeway people were circling around the car and taking pictures. They had no idea what was going on with the driver inside though. Here I was in a car that I grew up pining after and now my feet were connected to its pedals and my hands were on the steering wheel of it. It was surreal”

I remember washing the R34 before it left for transport. I also remember driving it for the last time and ogling all its crazy features. What a masterpiece of Nissan engineering. It may have been supremely heavy and undesirable amongst hardcore Skyline enthusiasts but it was magical for us.


To this day, the R34 has remained on our (update coming soon) website!

Thank you Sean for thinking of us and for making people’s dreams of owning rare Japanese vehicles come true. Good luck and we hope the new owner enjoys the Skyline as we did!

 

More pics in the gallery
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1,750hp Cruise: Fun Run Pictures 1/3/15

Filed under: Events,Featured Cars and Projects
by Alvin G @ 2:37 am on January 4, 2015

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How do you start the New Year off on the right foot? Drive your Nissan/Datsun! Today I joined Rob and Lou for a nice drive through the South Bay foothills. Rob and shop dog Kane drove the 820hp ZCG 300zx Twin Turbo, Lou drove his 470hp R32 Skyline GT-R and I drove the 460hp Datsun 510.

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Our route included stops at both Uvas and Calero Reservoirs with a nice mix of long sweeping curves and windy, single lane farmland roads with picturesque bridge crossings:

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At Uvas Reservoir we met a nice gentelman and his tubbed ’66 Chevelle:

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Before departing we made our final stop to admire just how “right” Lou’s R32 looks with the new VOLK TE37SL wheels. Amazing car!

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We hope you can enjoy driving your car in 2015. Follow the blog and Facebook for upcoming fun runs!

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Click after the jump for more pictures!
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Lou’s R32 Skyline GT-R

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 1:38 am on September 15, 2014

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Lou S is a long-time friend and customer of Z Car Garage. He is also an avid sports car fan with a interesting collection including a 3.2L FairladyZFD RX-7, Mazda RX-4, and Dodge Viper GTS.   Adding to this stable is his 2nd RHD vehicle, a 1992 Nissan Skyline GT-R. For most fans of Japanese sports cars this “R32” supercar is highly regarded and quite popular. Not familiar with this model? Find out what makes it special over at JNC.

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Lou acquired this Skyline from previous owner David C who had extensive suspension and engine work performed at ZCG. Lou wanted to make it his own so he visited us for some upgrades and tuning! Wheel aficionados will immediately notice the VOLK TE37SL wheels, sized 18×9.5 and finished in high-metal bronze. We think the TE’s are easily one of the best looking wheels for the R32, good taste Lou!

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Perfectly framed by the TE’s spokes are Stoptech calipers/rotors at all four corners. The Ray’s valve stems color-matched to the “TE37SL” sticker is also a nice detail:

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Adding to the list of choice parts is a full titanium exhaust system from Tomei. This includes downpipes, test pipe and the Expreme Ti muffler:

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The quality and detail of this exhaust system is impressive, please click on the pics for larger views. We think it adds a little sportiness to the car’s rather understated (by today’s standards) aesthetic. It also sounds sublime.

 

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The R32 was much louder than I anticipated. At idle it has a loveley burble and part throttle acceleration produces a semi-truck like turbo hiss…very audible from outside but never obnoxious. Under full throttle however, there is an absolute orchestra of sounds from the exhaust and turbo…it screams and reminds us how unmistakable the RB is!

 

With the new exhaust we re-tuned the Haltech to a healthy 412hp/311tq to the wheels:

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I personally love this car.  A few more pictures…

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Lou is having a blast driving his R32 and recently attended Cars and Coffee at Canepa. We love how he chose to take Skyline/HWY 9 as opposed to the freeway. Enjoy the Ride Lou!

 

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More pictures in the gallery to enjoy below:




Three GT-Rs In 1 Week: Jay’s R35

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 7:01 pm on March 12, 2011


As if the last 2 posts about GT-Rs didn’t get your juices flowing…This silver beauty belongs to Jay E. He found out about ZCarGarage through one of the most popular GT-R forums on the web: The North American GT-R Owners Club, or “nagtroc”. This is the place to be for all things R35-related!
Jay made the trip to ZCG from SF to have some new, aggressively sized wheels/tires and springs installed. Here are a few shots with the OEM rolling stock:

Jay chose wheels from ADV.1, specifically their ADV5.1 model. This is a lightweight forged monoblock wheel with a simple, yet clean look. You can find more info on ADV.1 wheels HERE

The thin-spoke design really let’s those gigantic rotors and Brembos pop. Wheels are 20×11 up front with a 295/30 tire and 20×12 in back with a massive 335/30 tire! The rear wheel also has a subtle concave spoke design that looks killer from a rear 3/4 view. ZCG’s Fred M installed the Eibach Pro-Kit springs to complement the larger wheel/tire package.


With the 2012 GT-R just coming out we are seeing more and more R35 owners modifying and driving their cars!
Plenty more shots in the gallery, enjoy!
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