No one can deny the awesome-ness of the Nissan R35 GT-R, a totally new platform which made the legendary Godzilla more frightening. Regardless of the rivalry on the Nürburgring with the supercar royalty from Stuttgart, the GT-R remains the weapon of choice for tuners and power hungry car owners alike. No car could match the tunability of the GT-R, at least in cost. Being a Japanese export, the car has a legion of aftermarket performance parts support from big tuning houses in Japan, Australia, the UK and the US of A.
This stunning R35 resides in the UK, owned by a young Malaysian medical doctor who is aiming to become an orthopaedic surgeon soon. A close friend told me of the stereotype; doctors and accountants usually drive boring and safe cars such as a Volvo or the typical Mercedes-Benz, but nowadays there are a lot of doctors who break the monotony by going into fast cars. I’m not talking about Porsches and Ferraris but JDM specials such as this GT-R.
The good doctor is no stranger to cars. Andrew, who has already driving an N16 Nissan Sentra (Sunny in some markets) when he was much younger then moving on to the white Toyota Vios you see above, not only did he managed to get some tracktime with the cars but also modded the cars with in-car entertainment (ICE) as well.
Then upon arriving in the UK to start his studies in medicine, he got himself a rather sedated BMW 116i SE. This would fit very well with the doctor-persona but a die hard car nut he was, thus after 8 months of ownership the little BMW was part-exchanged for something else.
A red Mazda RX-8 soon followed. A mighty fine rotary engined car, and although it had its problems with the lack of torque, I’m sure the doctor had some good fun wringing the rotary on the upper rev limits of the engine. Various mods had also gone into the car; bodykit, wheels, exhaust and sound systems to name a few.
Then in 2010, the God of Fortune took fondness on him (perhaps with a little nudge from the God of Cars too ). The R34 GT-R had always been the dream of his, but when you can afford the R35 the choice would be pretty obvious. Foregoing the last Skyline to carry the GT-R badge, the doctor brought out his cheque book and the rest is history.
The car is a UK model, with the brochure suggesting 480 horses which is no sloth. In factory stock form, the GT-R can outgun most stock supercars with ease. I’m quite happy with the 400 horses I have in my BNR32 and I think I’d be even happier with 480 horses, but as the car responds easily to tuning , I could sense the difficulty in Andrew keeping the car stock. He finally relented to the modding bug after just 3 months of ownership. The fast GT-R was about to become much faster.
As a UK car, the MFD is in English rather than Japanese in the JDM GT-Rs. Easier for the driver to understand what he would be looking at as various graphs and gauges mean absolutely nothing except being interesting graphics if one does not know Japanese.
Being in the UK, Andrew is not deprived of options as many tuning houses and workshops cater not only for the GT-R but also for the whole JDM scene. He got to know SevernValley Motorsports (SVM) located in Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire which is 48 kilometres west of Birmingham. Getting advice from a tuning house which does not only 650horsepower GT-Rs but also has a GT-R showcar pushing upwards of 1,200 horsepower is not really healthy for the wallet, but throughout a year of planning and step-by-step upgrades, Andrew’s car would finally reach the final (maybe) tune of 650 horses courtesy of SVM’s 650R conversion.
Besides the array of modification in the 650R package which included the COBB AccessPort tuned by Ben Linney from GTC Racing Technology (GTC), 1000cc injectors, SVM’s own intakes with MAF, GFB Respons TMS blow offs, GTC heatwrapped downpipes and full unresonated SS Milltek exhaust system, the car was given a cool plaque announcing that the car was tuned to SVM’s 650R specifications.
Exterior-wise, the car could only get much angrier. Sitting on Projex UK 20″ Niche Circuit wheels with GT-R centre caps which are 10j at the front and 10.5j at the back with deep concavity and lowered on Tanabe GF210 springs the car is superbly low without jeopardizing its handling. A GTC 4-light kit, Mine’s carbon fibre rear spoiler and front grille completes the angry look.
Andrew’s car is not just a showcar. He has taken it through a 1,600 mile tour across Europe including a visit to the Green Hell, the Nürburgring. With all that power comes great responsibility, and the doctor knew he had to improve his driving as well. He had taken various basic and advanced driving courses and recently got his National B Racing License (the real deal, not the one in GT5 ).
The matte-like red is not the original colour of the car. It was originally in grey, but as wrapping cars with vinyl is all the rage in the UK, Andrew got onto the bandwagon and decided to wrap the GT-R. He contacted his old mate Paul of PW Pro and had his roof wrapped in satin black while taking his time to decide what colour to wrap the rest of the car. Satin white was in the cards but in early February 2012 Paul got a full catalogue of satin colours. Andrew chose satin red right on the spot.
So what’s next? Andrew has plans to shakedown the 650R setup at an event this coming March. Blessed with a variety of airstrips, he will test the GT-R in a rolling 30-130mph as well as top speed runs at a 2.5 kilometre RAF base runway). Plans are in the works for more carbon fibre, larger air filters, gearbox upgrades, new COBB software and of course better brakes!
Don’t mess with this angry bird as it will get angrier.
Thanks to Dr Andrew Cheah for the amazing photos and detailed information about his beast and it has been a pleasure sharing them with our readers. We hope to see this GT-R run in the streets of Kuala Lumpur when he comes home.
Photos: Dr Andrew Cheah
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