GT-R Festival

You don't have to love Japanese imports to appreciate and love the Nissan GT-R. For many years the GT-R skyline has been an iconic legend. Why? Well me being me I ask a lot of questions so I hit up Google with a few why's and how's. So basically with it's foundations dating back to the mid 60's Nissan became seriously competitive making numerous podium finishes catching the eye of the world who followed Motorsports.

The birth of the GT-R revolution came when Nissan (Datsun) merged with the Prince automobile company in 1967, releasing the first lot of Nissan-Prince GT-R's to the Japanese market on the 4th February, 1969 (oddly enough my birthday! Not the year but I can't help but laugh at the year...yes I know I'm immature but c'mon) Nissan also continued to dominate the motorsport world and here in Australia competing in the Australian Touring Car Championship first in 1990 qualifying 3rd at the hands of Jim Richards and Mark Skaife, but not completing it due a hub failure. But 1991 (my birth year!) seen the GT-R dominate the series with only a handful of losses imprinting its name further into the history books, also in that same year winning the first of its 2 wins in the famous Bathurst, Mt Panorama race before the rules were re-written and it was banned in 1993. With every step of the Nissan GT-R it has earned it's following in being one of most respected cars to hit the market.

I could go on and on with interesting facts I've learnt but if you've been following Andrew Hawkins and/or Motive DVD like I have for many years now, it is no secret that he has a deep passion for all things GT-R and has said it all before. Owning JET-014, he purchased the R32 to become the Motive Garage's Project Budget Supercar, a car he could drive anywhere, anytime with cost effective performance! 
Hearing Motive was hosting a GT-R festival at Sydney dragway I knew I wanted to go, but being held on a Saturday the weekend before I was already having time off work for an event in Tasmania I was worried I would miss it. A very grateful thank you goes out to my bosses for allowing me to have the day off and their understanding of Still Motion Media, my passion and where it is taking me.

Although I drive a Silvia, my first encounter with imports was with a yellow R34 when I was about 10 years old. Since that day I have wanted one and appreciated the Skyline and imports! With no regrets I eventually fell in love with the drift scene, wanting something I could daily drive and weekend slide I ended up purchasing my series 1 s14 Silvia. There is no way I would want to regularly slide my 34 if I had chosen that path. (Maybe a future family car one day....I will always love Skylines!)

Forecasts were not looking good as I went to sleep the night before and they didn't lie, I woke to my alarm and heavy rain outside. With ambitious plans to get up early and head down for some beautiful morning shots I disappointingly hit snooze and went back to sleep. Awakening to drizzle I contemplated even going, I was broke and it was raining, cold and wet but I had got the day off work. So a quick check of the radar revealed it was heading out to sea so I put on my layers and headed down to Sydney Dragway.

Arriving at the Dragway it was still raining with some promising blue sky on the far horizon. Having to park in the car park at the very end of the strip (broke life, couldn't afford prime parking) I waited in the car for 45 minutes as I had forgotten an umbrella and my camera's raincoat. The rain had eased, GT-R'S were rolling in in quantities and it was time for me to go and take some photos. Walking in I didn't really have any expectations but standing at the top of the stairs I was amazed at how many people had braved the conditions to unite and celebrate a passion. They were all lined up in their models enabling a true enthusiast to compare them and move their way through history. From kits to wheels to endless unique engine mods it was like GT-R online shopping in the flesh. A true GT-R enthusiast's heaven....

Motive's event had something for everyone from showing off your times by running your car down the quarter mile in fairly grouped categories to testing your skills out on the tarmac gymkhana course to simply showing off your car in the Show 'n' Shine.

The sun came out, the efficient crew had dried the track which meant it was time to race! I watched a few runs down the drag strip but noticing the large crowd had made their way to the grandstand I slipped out and back down to the car park where there was barely a soul. Allowing me to photograph and completely absorb the beautiful works of art created by Nissan and their dedicated enthusiasts. This also allowed me some one on one time with my favourite, the 1971 'Hakosuka' Skyline. Running into Kevin, the owner, I couldn't help but ask him some questions and compliment him on his ownership of such a beautiful, rarely seen car in Australia. I am actually lucky enough to have one live in my area and see it quite often. Also very lucky as Kevin picked up on my lust for them and had asked if I wanted to sit in the driver's seat! Really? Thank you so much if you are reading this! It made my YEAR! I want one even more now, so raw and so me!

Fun Fact: The R32 generation won 29 races from 29 starts in the Japanese Touring Car Championship.

2002 seen the final R34 models released with an improved engine and larger turbochargers leaving the factory with over 330hp. This R34 G-TR Skyline was called the GT-R II Nur and the GT-R M-spec Nur.

The 34 also had other limited editions released being the GT-R V-Spec which boasted added features including an intake and exhaust temp reading on their LCD multi-function dashboard. And the M-spec which was released with "ripple control" dampeners, enhanced suspension set up and a leather interior.

I really enjoyed the GT-R Festival and look forward to many more, can we get every GT-R in Australia in the one location? I wonder....

I can still see a skyline in my hands one day, we did own an r31 for a while and boy that was a bundle of fun! But If I had to pick one I'm sure you would all correctly guess the Hakosuka but honestly I would own any Skyline as I enjoy each of the models for different reasons. My ultimate if I had to choose besides the Hakosuka would be an R34 GT-R with R35 GT-R running gear, now that would be the perfect combination! And colour..... well that's a hard one! I love the R34 in standard Blue, White and Yellow....

Full album of photos can be enjoyed >HERE<

Photography and write up by Jasmynne Tudor