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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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