I’ve been on the road a lot lately visiting some amazing people in some equally amazing places. Just this month I’ve jumped from Las Vegas to Dubai to Bahrain to San Francisco with a day or two spurts home in Los Angeles in between travels. Next up I’m off to Arizona, and then Japan (pre-Auto Salon and then again for TAS of course!). I apologize for the lack of my personal posts lately, the traveling has made it impossible to keep my regular blogging pace. I’m going to make it up to you, I promise!
During my stay in Dubai I was fortunate to spend some quality time with my good friend Saeed. I did a quick two day trip to Bahrain, but primarily this trip was about visiting with Saeed. Saeed is one of the very few guys I’ve ever met that I can say is an encyclopedia of knowledge about cars. I can mention any car to him and without hesitation he will instantly have not only a well considered opinion, but more impressively, actual driving experience with the car! For more than a week we talked about cars, life and Dubai in general…the entire time a car never came up that he didn’t personally drive and have a fascinating opinion about. Perhaps he’s the Jeremy Clarkson of Dubai!
I must say that although I have always somewhat liked Porsches, I’ve never considered myself a huge Porsche fan. There are plenty of cars I’d choose over a Porsche…but when Saeed said his favorite car he’s ever driven for a daily driver is a 997 GT2, I reconsidered everything. Saeed is one of those guys who will tell me a car is no good and from that point forward I will have no interest in ever owning one. Its easy to have an opinion about cars, but few have the experience to back it up.
So its no doubt that Saeed has great taste in modifying cars as well. I hope you all enjoy the pictures I snapped of his R35 GT-R, a car that I believe holds the title of the car Saeed has held on to the longest of all of his cars. Despite my love for the Ferrari 599, Saeed got bored of it. Even his beloved 997 GT2 he one day became bored of and he moved on. Somehow, the GT-R is the last car standing….a testament for the qualities and appeal of GT-R ownership in itself.
One thing Saeed and many of my GT-R owning friends all have in common is they all enjoy driving the GT-R more than other exotic cars worth 4x the price. Forget Nurburgring numbers for a minute, the real truth is when you see guys fight over the keys of the GT-R when the other car is a Gemballa Porsche Mirage GT (Carrera GT based) as I saw on a previous trip to UAE. Whether the other car is a Veyron, a Ferrari, a Lamborghini or whatever, invariably the GT-R is somehow always enjoyed more when it comes to actually driving the car. It still surprises me to hear people say that, but it keeps being proven true! To me, that is the most impressive thing about the GT-R (amongst the many).
So how did Saeed modify his GT-R? Well, I cant exactly divulge the engine modifications since there is some value to the surprise factor when he battles a street foe down Jumeriah. The modifications I can discuss are all found here along with a few more pictures:
Lets just say that anyone who replaces every gear in the GT-Rs transmission is someone on a mission…
The car has all of the best parts, as expected from a true car aficionado. The latest mod the car has installed is the Carbon Dry aero hood which is full dry carbon with an aluminum honeycomb core. This hood is so nice, we kept it in our sales office just to stare at it for a while prior to shipping it to Dubai. Very few parts get that level of praise and status over here, at the moment just Super GT Nismo parts and ASM race car one-off parts have held that office display status alongside this hood.
Just from looking at the front profile of the car, you can see the newly installed light weight hood, the auto select front diffuser, Esprit front mount intercooler, Esprit dry carbon intercooler duct, Nissan LED driving lamps, Auto Select Canards and the GT-RR one off carbon fiber mirrors. The rest of the car is equally modified. A full titanium Amuse exhaust is utilized. MCR suspension keeps the car fast yet streetable. The Amuse dry carbon wing keeps the rear of the car car planted at speed. Zele carbon fiber side skirts, rear under spoiler and fender ducts add some subtle style to the exterior as well.Â Then there are the Dymag carbon fiber and magnesium wheels. Saeed is actually tired of those rims at the moment and the car will soon be sporting some flat black Volk G2 20″ rims with R888 rubber. Although not as exotic as a carbon fiber wheels, this new set will surely look even better on the car (more aggressive face profile and offset) and the R888 rubber will allow the car to run even faster on the streets and circuit.
The car’s interior features a heap of GT-RR’s carbon fiber one-off parts. Everything from the Navigation surround Bezel to the reshaped flat bottom carbon fiber and leather steering wheel have been reworked. The car has turned out so nice that despite me being biased against red cars, I really think that this is one of the best private owned, street driven GT-Rs in the world. For me to say that about a red car took a lot of careful consideration. Plus somehow R35 GT-Rs are one of the very few cars that in my opinion look really nice in red. I’m sure Kobayashi-san of MCR would agree with me on the Red. I’d still choose black or white personally, but looking at Saeed’s car has me saying Red is a good color choice for once.
For those disappointed that there was no travel report for this trip, the previous blog posts (from earlier trips) will offer my perspective on the amazing experience of visiting the UAE. Although I’ve learned much more with subsequent trips about the culture and the experience of living out there, my earlier posts can serve as a good introduction to anyone curious about what its like to travel there from an American perspective.
It has been fun watching Saeed’s GT-R evolve over the years he’s owned it. I wonder what the future will hold…whatever it is, I’m sure it will be exciting!