So taking a break from the Interior Modernization project - I have to publish my Speedhunters article first before continuing here - sorry everyone but thanks for understanding. As a preview however, I will mention that, the Speedhunters article will be about my visit to pick up my car from Worx Autoalarm after the leather dashboard had been installed, along with some optional extras! And my excuse for the delay is that I was waiting for Dino, who had come along with me, to share the photos he had taken because frankly, I am barely competent with a camera.
Anyway - I was lucky enough to be offered a Guest Pass (and an A Paddock Parking pass - right up with the race drivers and Nissan execs) to attend this year's NISMO Festival which took place last Sunday, so naturally I decided to go. While I took a lot of photos, what I'm posting here of course relate mainly to the Skyline R33. Dino was there in his professional capacity (check out his Speedhunters article here for a more comprehensive look at the Festival), and my friend Alessandro, who owns but really doesn't drive his 34 GT-R, was also there and posted his impressions and some good photos on his blog.
Because there are so many photos, I've split this post into two parts, in chronological order following my day - Part 1 will be arrival until lunch, and then Part 2 from after lunch until the end. Which, if you read Dino's article, you know it took us 6 hours after leaving to get home...
Anyway we started the day early - I woke up at 0500 and picked up Dino, figuring he'd have a few tricks to share - I don't like crowds and I don't like traffic, so I was hoping by traveling with him I could avoid those. I also figured he could make some key introductions for future GT-R projects.
|Note the A Paddock parking pass in the front windshield.|
As we then made our way to the main pit area, we ran across many of the vendors setting up for the day - at Nismo Festival famous and not so famous vendors set up their wares, usually selling items at fairly hefty discounts. Some of the items include cars! Dino and I killed some time chatting with Nakayama-san at Mine's, as well as a few other people at these shops.
|This was not for sale, but it sure did attract attention.|
|These used BCNR33 parts WERE for sale...|
|90,000 yen for a beat up Nismo dual blade carbon spoiler. I passed.|
|For those of us into model cars...|
|Yokohama Tires, showing off their tire and wheel range. Next to HKS...|
|The Cockpit Wako cars, and in the back the main Pit Building|
We started peeking into the various pits in the Pit Building and the drooling started...
|Oh wow! The prototype KenMeri Racer that never got a chance to race!|
|And two legends right here! The original Hakosuka race cars!!|
|No crowds! Sneak peak of these awesome R33 machines...|
|No people! Sneak people of the inside of the Nismo Heritage Parts display tent (more on that later)|
|I have no idea why my iPhone reversed the photo, but this is what I was given to wear around all day.|
|But even this Guest Pass didn't give me access to everything. The Press Room, for instance, was off limits to me...|
|But the Guest Room was open to me.|
|Very cool. Reserved tables (for me) are always nice!|
|And the staff came running over, so naturally I asked for a coffee, black.|
|Some diehard fans in the bleachers already. Too cold for me!|
After enjoying a few biscuits with my coffee, I heard a commotion outside on the parking lot side, so went to take a look.
Oh right. It's 0800. That means gates are open to the public, and those who have been waiting patiently (even some from the day before!) are now rushing in to try to grab bargains from the vendors!
It was just about then that Dino texted me that he was on the move; so we headed downstairs to check out the action.
|The view from the second floor - you can just make out my Lexus.|
|R31 and Z goodness. Check out Dino trying to get the perfect shot.|
|All 5 generations on display here!|
It's JDM Lightning McQueen!
|I think it was about this point where I realized it wasn't a GT-R...|
|But who cares! Well done!|
While this isn't a video of the 33 machines, this is the kind of noise (music?) we experienced when checking out the pits.
Without Dino, Alessandro and I then wandered over to the exit gate to the track, curious to see what kind of machines were being driven back in.
|You can just make out the lead R35 GTR Pace car|
|Holy smokes! Two beautiful 400Rs!!!|
|And just like that, off they go back to their special parking lot...|
|This BCNR33 with NISMO striping.|
Speaking of NISMO, we then walked over to the tent which was showcasing NISMO's new Heritage Parts Collection.
|The intercooler isn't new, but those brake lines and period correct R32 GTR brake calipers are!|
|New fuel tank too.|
We found Dino and then followed him back to the pits where we also found these cars again.
|Ready to go!|
|Almost forgot about this one!|
|Of course, Japanese bento lunches|
|This tent grabbed my attention first.|
|Inside they were selling various NISMO parts at a small (10-15%) discount.|
|Discounted and tempted but my wallet and bank say otherwise|
|I have one of these somewhere... gotta find it.|
|Interesting - I forgot to ask why Nismo was selling Tomei Powered parts... (likely used in one of their engines)|
|But I was likely too late. All the good stuff gone. Here is the line for the BNR32/BCNR33/BNR34 related parts.|
|Very cool - the 390 Race car!|
My host however was trying to find some Nismo Festival limited edition model cars, and so I lost him, but I did see that some model cars were on sale.
|Hey I just saw the real thing in the pits!|
|This one too!|
|Ok that's expensive.... 30,000 yen for a model? I have parts I want for my actual car...|
|New Nissan LEAF. Uh, no gas engine there sir.|
|Red Nissan Serena with their ProPilot technology (I wonder if it could be retrofitted to my GT-R...)|
|NISMO Note. I'm actually curious about this - would it be significantly better to drive versus the regular Nissan Note?|
|That's more like it. Although the design getting a bit old...|
|Quite beautiful bottom layer, with assortment of chicken, vegetables and fish|
|Top layer had two different kinds of rice dishes and some tempura|
|Tamura-san, or Mr. GTR!|
In any case, an eventful morning. The afternoon would prove to be just as excited, stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon...