Travis bought another car

Travis

Lexus ES350 - Nissan Skyline GTR
So I went out and bought one of these imported thingamajigs. I got my first taste of what skylines were like back in 2006 when I stopped by Sun's Auto up on the north side. It felt like nothing I had ever driven. Up until recently, the 'car that comes next' had to be faster in either a straight line or around a circuit than the car I was currently driving. I felt like there was no way I could 'downgrade.' With my 2013 Mustang GT and the Boss 302 parts that came with it, the only way for me to step up was to go for a heavily built car or move over to a corvette. At the same time, going faster didn't really mean a whole lot to me since I got into racing heavily with Chumpcar. Sure, tons of acceleration and pushing past 150 on smooth highways is an incredible feeling, but doesn't come close to wheel to wheel endurance racing for me. So a big part of the reason I got the mustang kind of dissipated. Any fun car money was going to go to actual racing as apposed to making my DD faster or going to track days. That started pushing me down the path of wanting something comfortable and sedate to drive on the daily. I can be a fairly frugal person, so I was expecting to end up with something like a much older civic or focus, but I ended up paying more than I intended and got myself an 09 ES350. The NVH levels are wonderful. It has more than enough power. It has more than enough equipment to make me feel like I'll drive it till it dies. And yet, on a whim, I'd still like the ability to drive something that puts a smile on my face instead of lulling me into a coma.

So what for a fun car? Miatas are pretty great. An F body with a forced induction LS1 was on the table briefly. Perhaps a classic mustang. But part of me has always been drawn to the forbidden fruit. I got into cars because of Gran Turismo 3. My best friend worked at blockbuster when it came out, and after all the renting sprees are done, they're left with tons of copies to sell to employees for dirt cheap prices. He hated it and knowing how much I like punishing games, said, "Travis, this game is for you."

And he was right. Boy, was he right. That game opened up a whole new world of cars to me, and I've lusted like a madman over the ones we weren't allowed to have. The Type Rs, GTRs, GTiRs, Kei cars, and rotaries which were supposedly far more reliable than the ones we got.

Before purchasing the Mustang, I came obscenely close to purchasing a state titled R33 through a dealership in...wait for it...FLORIDA! After eating up month after month of developments with Motorex, reading Sean's blog, watching Kaizo rise and fall, I had a very good idea of what risks I could take and what the likelihood of having my car taken was. Considering I'm a bit of a flamboyant driver, I decided to go with something USDM. Once 2014 came around and the 1989 GTRs were suddenly up for grabs, I watched the market intently. The prices ended up being a bit more than what I was expecting, but not too much more. Unfortunately, around the time I decided to buy one, the yen's buying power had skyrocketed and small dealerships had the auction prices by the balls. Knowing that super clean or heavily modded cars were going for 1.8-2 million yen before they even left the country, I decided that buying a car that was stateside was the best route to take. There are all sorts of smaller issues that can crop up, and I'd rather have there be a first owner over here who had those headaches instead of me.

That being said, skyline owners can be huge pains in the ass all by themselves. There are guys out there who will cancel deals after plane tickets have been bought, just because they don't have the balls to tell you they wanted more for their car. There are guys who will try to say that rusted holes in the trunk are normal and no big deal. As an aside, the only rust that wouldn't bother me a whole lot would be in the wheel well fender. There are guys who want to answer as few questions as possible and hope that they get a bite from out of state so they don't have to have a buyer who sees the car before he purchases it. I know of one dealership in Houston who got a dirt cheap blue wingless skyline with loads of rust all over the car and sold it to a guy in Fort Worth for nearly twice the price of what they got it for after the boat ride to the states.

This goes for the car business in general, but is especially true when dealing with imported cars that were never sold here - if you're selling a car and you're hoping to get an ignorant buyer who won't ask the right questions and is not informed, you're trash and you're a detriment to the community.

So, the car I ended up buying was the first GTR I test drove. I went to a dealership who had a bunch, but they insisted on driving the car themselves. On top of being shady as **** and trying to sell a bunch of rusted out garbage like it was mountains of gold, you don't treat your 20k dollar car like it's a Ferrari. At the end of the day, realistically, these cost about as much as brand new civics and accords. Anyway, there was that **** experience, and then I drove the car I bought. But I didn't buy it right away. The price at that time was 21k, which was way more than I was willing to pay for this one. It had some whatever mods on it with some rims that I certainly didn't care for, no working ac, but a pretty straight body. Lots of bolt ons. Nothing glaringly bad, but nothing glaringly positive to raise price either. Plus, I knew beforehand that he got it for 15.5k landed after the boat ride. So knowing that he didn't put much work into the car, I wasn't about to give him an extra 5 grand profit just because the yen became awesome.

I went through a ton of different cars online. JDM Expo was very thorough and helpful when going through their current stock, and for a dealership, were pretty reasonable with their prices. I can't say the same for International Vehicle Importers, Rivsu, or Japanese Classics, but I also didn't go through any haggling with them, so I'm not privy to the prices that they're willing to settle for either. Having been in the car business, though, if you're looking to make 3-5 grand off of every sale, you're not worth my time. I did look at Driver Motorsports, and their prices are also very high, but the quality of vehicles that they're selling is also on a different level from everyone else. Lots of parts on the cars for the buyer who doesn't just want a normal GTR. Part of me is definitely that. And, if I had the kind of cash laying around to buy one of their cars and still be comfortable, I probably would've done that, but it would have dipped a bit too deeply into my pockets and I'd rather be reasonable when dealing with my "for fun" car. I also had to deal with the aforementioned guy in Virginia who we worked out a deal with and knew I would be flying up and, less than a week before my departure date, decided to tell me that the car sold 'just last night' and a guy came by and gave him a cash offer that he just 'couldn't refuse.' Except that the car is still there and for sale. Whatever, ******.

I also test drove and did a bit of haggling with the owner of https://houston.craigslist.org/cto/5808834615.html I explained to him my situation with the car I ended up buying, and told him that if for whatever reason my deal fell through, I would happily and without hesitation pay more for his. And for good reason. It's extremely well taken care of, super clean all around. Fantastic paint, fantastic interior, great looking underbody, super cold ac, and a wonderful seller. I can't say enough nice things about the owner or the car. It was almost like a time capsule. If I was the type of owner who was very thorough in keeping every bit of the car clean and spotless, I would've gone for this car in a heartbeat. But, I'm not that type of owner. I'm pretty rough on my cars. They get beaten up, trashed, and abused. I would've felt like a monster doing such things to this mint R32. If you're in the market for one, please contact the guy and give it a chance.

So I got this thing. I'm not a huge fan of the wheels. Not a huge fan of the hood. Not a huge fan of the steering wheel. But at the same time none of those things truly ruins it for me at the moment. The car has a some intake stuff done it, some adjustable suspension stuff done to it, a bunch of exhuast stuff done to it, and some painted valve covers. There are some very minor upkeep things that I'm going to address and, at the same time, convert the car to E85. I'll bump boost to 14 or so PSI at the same time and sit tight. I think that will be more than enough for me and this car. I don't need a ton of power. I don't need a car that will rip peoples faces off. I just need it to be a car that puts smiles on my face, and I've yet to be behind the wheel of a skyline that doesn't do that, including GTSTs.


















Banana engine! After spending a good portion of the day driving it, I gots to say that I'm getting addicted to boost. I absolutely love the way power builds in this thing, and just how far into the rev range it'll go. This car is going to get driven. The hood is slowly growing on me, and it helps that it's carbon fiber and actually functional. The wheels, less so. Plans for the car - get some more period correct wheels in place, get a sexier front mounted intercooler, bump boost to 14psi (stock is around 11) and get it to run flex fuel for that E85 goodness. Car supposedly gains 60-80hp on E85. A shop owner estimates a max gain of 100 at the wheels with the supporting mods that this thing already has. I think that that's some ricer math, but whatevers. I'm also going to get strut tower bars for the front and rear. Getting used to the way it makes power will take some time. It has very little power below 4k rpm. It's not painfully slow, but it's not quick either. Revving it out to 8k or so and this car feels like a ****ing super hero. To think this **** is 26 years old blows my mind with how it drives. The dynamics are wonderous.

The closest comparison I can get to is the current generation cadillac CTS. Now, I know that sounds super ****ing weird, but the thing is, that chassis is amazing. It's very compliant and relaxed at normal speeds. It gives no indication whatsoever that it likes to go fast. Even when you're just cruising down the highway with cruise control at 80 it doesn't feel like anything special. But start taking long sweeping overpasses or banked swoopy highways at those same speeds and the car turns into a completely different animal. It's reassuring and feels like it's asking for you to do more the faster you go. Some early magazine reviews and comparisons said the same thing and I didn't really understand it until I pushed my moms car around with some gusto. Whereas a corvette always feels like a corvette no matter how fast you're going, these other chassis feel like a wolf in sheeps clothing. Or more like a wolf that doesn't want to get out of bed. I knew I was going to like the GTR, but it didn't really start making me feel awesome until I started abusing it a bit and actually going fast instead of just driving spiritedly. It's fan ****ing tastic.
 

Jeff

Florida Man
So I went out and bought one of these imported thingamajigs. I got my first taste of what skylines were like back in 2006 when I stopped by Sun's Auto up on the north side. It felt like nothing I had ever driven. Up until recently, the 'car that comes next' had to be faster in either a straight line or around a circuit than the car I was currently driving. I felt like there was no way I could 'downgrade.' With my 2013 Mustang GT and the Boss 302 parts that came with it, the only way for me to step up was to go for a heavily built car or move over to a corvette. At the same time, going faster didn't really mean a whole lot to me since I got into racing heavily with Chumpcar. Sure, tons of acceleration and pushing past 150 on smooth highways is an incredible feeling, but doesn't come close to wheel to wheel endurance racing for me. So a big part of the reason I got the mustang kind of dissipated. Any fun car money was going to go to actual racing as apposed to making my DD faster or going to track days. That started pushing me down the path of wanting something comfortable and sedate to drive on the daily. I can be a fairly frugal person, so I was expecting to end up with something like a much older civic or focus, but I ended up paying more than I intended and got myself an 09 ES350. The NVH levels are wonderful. It has more than enough power. It has more than enough equipment to make me feel like I'll drive it till it dies. And yet, on a whim, I'd still like the ability to drive something that puts a smile on my face instead of lulling me into a coma.

So what for a fun car? Miatas are pretty great. An F body with a forced induction LS1 was on the table briefly. Perhaps a classic mustang. But part of me has always been drawn to the forbidden fruit. I got into cars because of Gran Turismo 3. My best friend worked at blockbuster when it came out, and after all the renting sprees are done, they're left with tons of copies to sell to employees for dirt cheap prices. He hated it and knowing how much I like punishing games, said, "Travis, this game is for you."

And he was right. Boy, was he right. That game opened up a whole new world of cars to me, and I've lusted like a madman over the ones we weren't allowed to have. The Type Rs, GTRs, GTiRs, Kei cars, and rotaries which were supposedly far more reliable than the ones we got.

Before purchasing the Mustang, I came obscenely close to purchasing a state titled R33 through a dealership in...wait for it...FLORIDA! After eating up month after month of developments with Motorex, reading Sean's blog, watching Kaizo rise and fall, I had a very good idea of what risks I could take and what the likelihood of having my car taken was. Considering I'm a bit of a flamboyant driver, I decided to go with something USDM. Once 2014 came around and the 1989 GTRs were suddenly up for grabs, I watched the market intently. The prices ended up being a bit more than what I was expecting, but not too much more. Unfortunately, around the time I decided to buy one, the yen's buying power had skyrocketed and small dealerships had the auction prices by the balls. Knowing that super clean or heavily modded cars were going for 1.8-2 million yen before they even left the country, I decided that buying a car that was stateside was the best route to take. There are all sorts of smaller issues that can crop up, and I'd rather have there be a first owner over here who had those headaches instead of me.

That being said, skyline owners can be huge pains in the ass all by themselves. There are guys out there who will cancel deals after plane tickets have been bought, just because they don't have the balls to tell you they wanted more for their car. There are guys who will try to say that rusted holes in the trunk are normal and no big deal. As an aside, the only rust that wouldn't bother me a whole lot would be in the wheel well fender. There are guys who want to answer as few questions as possible and hope that they get a bite from out of state so they don't have to have a buyer who sees the car before he purchases it. I know of one dealership in Houston who got a dirt cheap blue wingless skyline with loads of rust all over the car and sold it to a guy in Fort Worth for nearly twice the price of what they got it for after the boat ride to the states.

This goes for the car business in general, but is especially true when dealing with imported cars that were never sold here - if you're selling a car and you're hoping to get an ignorant buyer who won't ask the right questions and is not informed, you're trash and you're a detriment to the community.

So, the car I ended up buying was the first GTR I test drove. I went to a dealership who had a bunch, but they insisted on driving the car themselves. On top of being shady as **** and trying to sell a bunch of rusted out garbage like it was mountains of gold, you don't treat your 20k dollar car like it's a Ferrari. At the end of the day, realistically, these cost about as much as brand new civics and accords. Anyway, there was that **** experience, and then I drove the car I bought. But I didn't buy it right away. The price at that time was 21k, which was way more than I was willing to pay for this one. It had some whatever mods on it with some rims that I certainly didn't care for, no working ac, but a pretty straight body. Lots of bolt ons. Nothing glaringly bad, but nothing glaringly positive to raise price either. Plus, I knew beforehand that he got it for 15.5k landed after the boat ride. So knowing that he didn't put much work into the car, I wasn't about to give him an extra 5 grand profit just because the yen became awesome.

I went through a ton of different cars online. JDM Expo was very thorough and helpful when going through their current stock, and for a dealership, were pretty reasonable with their prices. I can't say the same for International Vehicle Importers, Rivsu, or Japanese Classics, but I also didn't go through any haggling with them, so I'm not privy to the prices that they're willing to settle for either. Having been in the car business, though, if you're looking to make 3-5 grand off of every sale, you're not worth my time. I did look at Driver Motorsports, and their prices are also very high, but the quality of vehicles that they're selling is also on a different level from everyone else. Lots of parts on the cars for the buyer who doesn't just want a normal GTR. Part of me is definitely that. And, if I had the kind of cash laying around to buy one of their cars and still be comfortable, I probably would've done that, but it would have dipped a bit too deeply into my pockets and I'd rather be reasonable when dealing with my "for fun" car. I also had to deal with the aforementioned guy in Virginia who we worked out a deal with and knew I would be flying up and, less than a week before my departure date, decided to tell me that the car sold 'just last night' and a guy came by and gave him a cash offer that he just 'couldn't refuse.' Except that the car is still there and for sale. Whatever, ******.

I also test drove and did a bit of haggling with the owner of https://houston.craigslist.org/cto/5808834615.html I explained to him my situation with the car I ended up buying, and told him that if for whatever reason my deal fell through, I would happily and without hesitation pay more for his. And for good reason. It's extremely well taken care of, super clean all around. Fantastic paint, fantastic interior, great looking underbody, super cold ac, and a wonderful seller. I can't say enough nice things about the owner or the car. It was almost like a time capsule. If I was the type of owner who was very thorough in keeping every bit of the car clean and spotless, I would've gone for this car in a heartbeat. But, I'm not that type of owner. I'm pretty rough on my cars. They get beaten up, trashed, and abused. I would've felt like a monster doing such things to this mint R32. If you're in the market for one, please contact the guy and give it a chance.

So I got this thing. I'm not a huge fan of the wheels. Not a huge fan of the hood. Not a huge fan of the steering wheel. But at the same time none of those things truly ruins it for me at the moment. The car has a some intake stuff done it, some adjustable suspension stuff done to it, a bunch of exhuast stuff done to it, and some painted valve covers. There are some very minor upkeep things that I'm going to address and, at the same time, convert the car to E85. I'll bump boost to 14 or so PSI at the same time and sit tight. I think that will be more than enough for me and this car. I don't need a ton of power. I don't need a car that will rip peoples faces off. I just need it to be a car that puts smiles on my face, and I've yet to be behind the wheel of a skyline that doesn't do that, including GTSTs.


















Banana engine! After spending a good portion of the day driving it, I gots to say that I'm getting addicted to boost. I absolutely love the way power builds in this thing, and just how far into the rev range it'll go. This car is going to get driven. The hood is slowly growing on me, and it helps that it's carbon fiber and actually functional. The wheels, less so. Plans for the car - get some more period correct wheels in place, get a sexier front mounted intercooler, bump boost to 14psi (stock is around 11) and get it to run flex fuel for that E85 goodness. Car supposedly gains 60-80hp on E85. A shop owner estimates a max gain of 100 at the wheels with the supporting mods that this thing already has. I think that that's some ricer math, but whatevers. I'm also going to get strut tower bars for the front and rear. Getting used to the way it makes power will take some time. It has very little power below 4k rpm. It's not painfully slow, but it's not quick either. Revving it out to 8k or so and this car feels like a ****ing super hero. To think this **** is 26 years old blows my mind with how it drives. The dynamics are wonderous.

The closest comparison I can get to is the current generation cadillac CTS. Now, I know that sounds super ****ing weird, but the thing is, that chassis is amazing. It's very compliant and relaxed at normal speeds. It gives no indication whatsoever that it likes to go fast. Even when you're just cruising down the highway with cruise control at 80 it doesn't feel like anything special. But start taking long sweeping overpasses or banked swoopy highways at those same speeds and the car turns into a completely different animal. It's reassuring and feels like it's asking for you to do more the faster you go. Some early magazine reviews and comparisons said the same thing and I didn't really understand it until I pushed my moms car around with some gusto. Whereas a corvette always feels like a corvette no matter how fast you're going, these other chassis feel like a wolf in sheeps clothing. Or more like a wolf that doesn't want to get out of bed. I knew I was going to like the GTR, but it didn't really start making me feel awesome until I started abusing it a bit and actually going fast instead of just driving spiritedly. It's fan ****ing tastic.
Thanks Travis.

Agreed on the wheels. I can dig the hood
 

Travis

Lexus ES350 - Nissan Skyline GTR
You're my bro, Jeff. And you are awake at some pretty silly hours considering how much physical labor you're putting into your new place.
 

Jeff

Florida Man
You're my bro, Jeff. And you are awake at some pretty silly hours considering how much physical labor you're putting into your new place.
Sleep is for the weak.

Also yesterday was a drinking/football day[emoji106]
 

Wandler

@nwandler
Excellent read as always Travis. From the pics that car looks very clean. I agree with the wheels but other than that nothing criminal done to that thing. I look forward to reading updates.
 

Travis

Lexus ES350 - Nissan Skyline GTR
Travis had mentioned something about doing a lot of gay orgies so I'm guessing it came pretty easy

Also, depending on the type of porn I'm looking at, I like to be able to use the mouse, so left handed jerking is something I had to get used to. And the shifting is super ****ing weird, but only for feeling out first gear. The rest are pretty easy. Rev matching is coming along slowly, but it's not nearly as easy to heel-toe as the mustang. This car is, so far, everything I wanted it to be. It's positively fantastic in all ways. At slower speeds it feels like a normal car that's been lowered to be more responsive to steering input. Power doesn't come on until about 5k rpm, but boost is so intoxicating. Above 80mph it feels exactly like the corvette. After it gets up to speed the car just urges you to go faster and faster, and none of that is apparent when driving sedately. I feel stupid saying this, but that's exactly how my mom's cadillac CTS feels, except obviously much more smooth and refined. Once you start taking long swooping overpasses at 80 to 90mph, the car just does it and tells you that it's at home and you should feel free to do more. The contrast to that is that the corvette always feels like a supercar. ****ing ready to go all the time. Always direct, tons of power everywhere. To think that this car is 26 years old blows my mind. How Nissan followed it up with the G35 and 350z is so miserable. Why the japanese accepted that as the only fun RWD car in their lineup doesn't make sense to me. Even a GTST has far better driving and acceleration characteristics when compared to a FRS/BRZ.

I don't have any remote bias to older cars. But damn does this put things in perspective.
 

Travis

Lexus ES350 - Nissan Skyline GTR
Cool car and good read. 14psi seems tame for e85. will the stock turbos not support more?
Danger zone is 16psi. The ceramic blades will eat themselves near that point, so yeah. 14 is still plenty safe and will make more than enough power for me to be happy. If I come across a dirt cheap turbo setup, I'll consider swapping them out, but I'm in no hurry to chase 500whp. Car is great as it is.
 

stang101

^Bryan^
Bumping an old thread. Very cool car, Travis. Would love to own one myself! Currently own a 2016 STi, had my v6 stang 10 years ago already! :crazy:
 

Boogie

Well-Known Member
I still freak out when I see one, even over here. It's really rare to see one that hasn't been tarted all up to be honest. Looks like a load of fun man!
 
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