I just put up ten more pictures (non-watermarked) of the Midnight Purple R35 GT-R project we did for SEMA. For a link to these pictures, please visit:
Good press is always welcomed! One of the car’s sponsors, Mobil 1, sent me scans of the latest SEMA news magazine. It turns out it is also online:
SEMA used this article to share their choices for the industry’s most influential 14 cars that were at SEMA Las Vegas 2008. Our white GT-R was selected as the only Japanese car in the list!
I’m very proud to write this post. A while ago I had this idea in my head that I wanted to build a Midnight Purple R35 GT-R for the SEMA show. At the time (and for many people, all the way up until they saw the car) most people thought I was crazy. Fortunately Mobil 1 understood and also my client Brandon who owns the Mobil 1 car understood. They gave me a chance to do what I wanted to do, and I’m very grateful for it.
The goal of the car was to beat Nissan on the punch on their SpecV and to build a timeless car for my client Brandon and my sponsor Mobil 1. Now looking back we can see the cars side by side and see if I succeeded:
This is the new Nissan SpecV
And this is the car I designed many months earlier, before it was announced that the SpecV would have purple special paint and before the final specs came out:
So lets see how my custom GT-R did looking back after the fact when compared to the new SpecV from Nissan
1. SpecV has authentic purple paint from Nissan – CHECK, so does Mobil 1 demo car air freighted in from Japan.
2. SpecV has a titanium exhaust – CHECK, so does Mobil 1 demo car, plus we have titanium high flow cats as well for more weight reduction.
3. SpecV has a dry carbon wing – CHECK, so does Mobil 1 demo car with even more downforce
4. SpecV has brake ducting – CHECK, so does Mobil 1 demo car with Zele front bumper (not quite the same, but I’m counting it anyways)
5. SpecV has a carbon fiber front grill – CHECK, so does Mobil 1 car
6. SpecV has upgraded brakes for racing use – CHECK, so does Mobil 1 car (although Endless Mono vs carbon ceramic so we take a bit of a loss there)
7. SpecV has more power – CHECK, so does Mobil 1 (actually Mobil 1 puts out much more power than SpecV)
8. SpecV has carbon reclining sports seats – CHECK, so does Mobil 1 (although ours are carbon/kevlar backed Bride reclining seats rather than SpecV Recaros)
Plus as a bonus we have a color matched/burned Amuse exhaust and more carbon fiber parts including a carbon roof as well as side skirts, rear under spoiler, fender outlet ducts and more:
Overall I think we did a pretty good job of beating Nissan to the punch despite going into it blind on a lot of things…sure I had a hunch that Nissan would bring back their legendary Purple again, but with no spec list or information on the SpecV I’m pretty impressed with how well we nailed it.
So when I debuted the car on TheRealJDM blog, many of the blog readers here asked me to show you pictures of the car before the graphics got applied. I wanted to hold back on those until a moment like now when we could compare it in more OEM appearance to the SpecV. Now’s a great time to see the Mobil 1 car without the BBS LMs and without the MS-R / Mana-P graphics.
and of course this is how it ended up once it was finished:
for the history of the Mobil 1 build and more pictures please see this link:
I’m ready to take on more projects for 2009 so if anyone wants me to build them a custom car, I’m just about ready to start another project!
Also to all media – We have two different professional photo shoots on this Mobil 1 car that we can offer, we’re currently taking offers for magazine covers. If you’re interested please contact email@example.com
This one shocked me…
Somehow the purple gt-r is currently in 2nd place behind the Lamborhini Reventon on cardomain.com’s top exotic cars at SEMA 2008.
I love the purple car (obviously) but this one really surprises me that it’s gone this far.
Will it stay #2? Go to #1? Who knows…voting is still happening. I’m just shocked to find the car in that list.
I love this car. Is it wrong for me to love my work? I mean, I created it…so would that be like incest? I hope not, lol.
A little insight into my head: I’ve really enjoyed seeing the reactions of people regarding the two cars (white and purple) I prepared this year. Its been fascinating to compare my expectations of public perception between what I thought it would be versus what it actually is.Â Although both GT-Rs function almost equally in all areas of driving/performance, I made both designs nearly polar opposites in terms of perception and image. Almost exactly as I planned, the two cars appealed strongly to two very different types of enthusiasts. Its fascinating how it has worked actually. Despite both cars being nearly the same, we’ve been able to have some people love one car and dislike the other, and vice versa.
Here’s how it sums up:
White car: Magazines and media are absolutely going crazy for the white car. I’ve never seen anything like the media frenzy the white car gets. It is aggressive, it pops out from any background in any lighting and the media loves it. For those exact same reasons, those with conservative ideals, purist ideals, or those that look at it as a would be daily driver dislike it. I will say this personally…I’ve driven on the wangan in Japan quite a few times times and I’ve been passed at high speeds by the most menacing of JDM tuned cars, and nothing I have ever seen is more hardcore than watching this white GT-R blast past me on the 405 freeway. The street presence the white car has at night is crazy…I cant quite put my hand on it, but my best guess as to why that is would be mostly because of how we painted the rear of the car (and since it’s white)… I think.
Purple car: Still very hot with media, but not as hot compared to the white car. Yet with purists, actual GT-R owners and those who would envision owning one of these cars, this one is the clear winner in those areas. The critics often choose the purple over the white car because its less flashy and more understated function whereas the white car seems to remind people of D1 or Time Attack because of the loud graphic design. This is the car more people can see themselves driving. It is my image of what I felt Mobil 1 would like for their brand. Something high end, luxurious and with a certain almost OEM+ quality. Tuner, but not too tuner looking if you will…
All in all, I love the feedback both the good and the bad. Its fascinating to see what design can do to people’s perception. Thats why I love this stuff. No one car can satisfy everyone, but between these two cars it looks like there might just be something for everyone. I know speaking for myself, that these two cars represent the two different styles and tastes I have. I still cant decide which one I like more, I love them both like children.
So these pics I’m sharing I took two days ago.Â After another magazine shoot, I parked the car in the middle of the road and just took a couple of pics for myself. I thought I’d share them because I haven’t had many good pics of this car to share with everyone yet.
Two bonus shots in hi-res:
I owe so many people a huge thank you! This SEMA was a hard fight to the finish. Fortunately after setup on Tuesday at SEMA I could look at the various projects with complete satisfaction. Some may love or hate the two cars I designed, but once I saw them complete I felt personally satisfied that I prepared the very best GT-R I was capable of at this very moment in time…and I did it twice in two different styles/concepts (Mobil 1 car and Toyo car).
Between my satisfaction in the successful completion of my two big projects of the year, along with the satisfaction of seeing so many of my clients and friends at SEMA whom I worked with to get their parts in time for SEMA…it was a wonderful week.
I pride myself on working with the best in the industry. This means: the best factories, the best designers, the best installers, the best brands, the best clients, the best staff, etc…I think the quality showed this SEMA. I may not be the best on my own, but I can sure pick the best. I consider the skill of identifying quality much more valuable than the skill of creating quality single-handedly. Sure I had a big part in these projects, sure I drove myself to the brink of destruction in the production of these cars…but they would not have been anything without my partners and friends.
Manabu, Nakane, Ito, Brandon, Anthony, Shibuki, Shin, Andy, Neil, Kurita, Nagata, Kobayashi, Bun, Dom, Kent, Ben, Jonathan, Jun, John, Seita – you are a few of the many that I owe my extreme gratitude to. Thank you for your friendship and support. Without you this SEMA would not have been the same.
Here’s a couple of highlights of the show for me:
Both Brandon and Anthony were kind enough to offer me full creative control of their car builds. Both of them did not know a single thing about their cars until they saw them first hand Tuesday morning. Brandon knew his car was Midnight Purple but thats about it… There’s a TV show called Extreme Home Makeover where the owners of their home freak out when they see how their home has been “pimped” if you will…The expression of Brandon and Anthony as they saw their cars for the first time was priceless, and reminded me of that show…Whatever confidence I had that I did right by them, it meant nothing until I saw their reaction. That was the true validation of a successful project. The above picture is Brandon with his car for the first time since he shipped a stock silver car to me by boat from Hawaii not even 4 weeks ago.
Never in my life did I think I’d have my name on a billboard. Seeing a PDF of an image from Mobil 1 is one thing…seeing a billboard on Las Vegas Blvd is something entirely different. Mobil 1 has been far too kind to me, I will continue to work hard to keep their confidence.
The above picture link I left in 2600 resolution without watermarking (a file so big I cant even show it here). I’m still humbled that Toyo gave my GT-R project their best/front placement in their booth. Regardless of how great of a job I could have possibly done, there was no way humanly possible to beat ASI’s Bentley GTR. I was proud to have my car next to what I felt was one of the most impressive cars of the show. Plus, earning the respect of ASI and forging a new friendship was priceless…
More later…Give me some more time to catch up. I’m 1000s of emails behind right now.