If you like your Japanese metal, chances are this ain’t the first time you’ve seen this monster of an R35. It was built by the Japanese driving god Smoky Nagata as a development car for Top Secret, the world famous tuning specialists.
Anything Top Secret produces gets a lot of attention, but this 1,100–plus bhp GT-R grabbed the headlines for winning the Nardo High Speed Challenge in 2013 with an outrageous record speed of 377.242kph. Yes, that’s exactly 234.407mph! But, while we all dream of owning a true super-modified supercar like this, Lewis Petrie is the lucky man who made the fantasy a reality. Just how the hell did he pull this off?
“Well, it started off as a tongue in cheek suggestion and just ended up as a real opportunity” says Lewis. “But this isn’t a car you can just turn up and buy. It was more of an invitation I was honoured to accept.”
This may seem a bit strange to us in the UK, but in Japan it’s not just money that talks. Cars are viewed more personally and many will not sell a car unless they approve of the buyer.
Only after years of building a high-spec R34 GT-R with a host of Top Secret parts and visiting Japan several times was Lewis considered worthy of this responsibility.
Given that this R35 is a Top Secret demo car the finer details of the build are, well, top secret! We do know the GT-R was built to a mighty spec by Smoky to serve as his own car, take on track challenges and to display at shows. This meant pushing the limits in every area possible, testing and fitting Top Secret custom parts everywhere along with the best of HKS and GReddy kit.
The priority was top speed, so as well as the extensive engine work, the transmission was heavily worked along with the chassis to allow and cope with such insane speeds. As well as the outright performance mods, the car is literally covered in carbon fibre with a stunning aero package.
The most iconic change though is the colour, as the unique gold paint job is reserved only for Top Secret demo cars. It lets you know immediately this is a genuine TS car and something extremely special.
Considering this GT-R is built for outright speed, the cabin is surprisingly packed with normal things and not stripped out as you may expect. There’s no rollcage, the back seat still remains and it even has carpets! Although, maybe ‘normal’ isn’t the best way to describe it, as Bride seats, Takata harnesses, a Top Secret steering wheel and lashings of custom carbon dominate the interior.
It has a real cosy cockpit feel and you get the impression it would be a comfortable, relaxing place to be while soaring past the 200mph barrier, as you do.
Elsewhere on the car, the closer you look, the more you find. Such as the hidden tow hooks. This clever design allows them to fold in behind the front bumper and rear numberplate.
Also, the rear spoiler has a DRS system where hitting the brake pedal automatically adjusts the blade angle, acting as an air brake to create more drag and downforce. Really, the level of detail inside and out is staggering and overall makes this such an incredible piece of kit.
Lewis has no plans to change anything. He still feels like it’s Smoky’s car and his job is to look after it on behalf of Top Secret. If anything, he may alter the mapping as it’s been de-tuned to around 900bhp for road use.
The level of respect Lewis has for this R35 is clear and proves he is the right man for the job. Smoky and Top Secret chose wisely!
OWNER: LEWIS PETRIE
TECH SPEC: Nissan R35 GT-R
Top Secret G-Effect aero system package; Top Secret front bumper; Top Secret carbon DRS spoiler; Top Secret carbon boot; Top Secret over fender; Top Secret carbon sideskirts; Top Secret carbon wings (front); Top Secret carbon bonnet; hidden tow hooks.
Top Secret built engine – VR38 RX 4L GReddy Engine Stroker Kit internals; HKS camshaft; HKS valve springs; HKS head gasket; TD06-25G turbo set; Top Secret ti manifold and front pipe; Top Secret exhaust system TV-Pro; Top Secret intercooler system; GReddy intake piping; GReddy ECU; HKS boost controller; GReddy fuel delivery system; Top Secret surge can system; GReddy DCT cooler.
Kansai Service differential; Ogura clutch; Top Secret uprated gearbox internals; uprated 2-5th gear, High Speed 6th gear set for top speed runs; NEKO final drive kit; over 1,100+ bhp with 1,200Nm torque now de-tuned to 900bhp with 950Nm torque (at wheels).
Top Secret TSS coilover set; Swift spring set; Brembo brake callipers; Top Secret brake disks; Endless brake pads, Top Secret strut braces; Top Secret suspension arms; Enkei SR01MG 10x20in (front) and 11x20in (rear) wheels; Bridgestone Potenza 255/40×20 (front), 295/35×20 (rear) tyres.
Bride Zeta seats; Takata harnesses; Top Secret steering wheel; Top Secret mat set; Top Secret gearknob; GReddy 2.5 bar gauge; Top Secret custom carbon dash; door cards and centre console.
Jurgen at JM Imports; Dave at DMC Performance; Kenneth Blank, Jamie, Johnny, Top Secret and,
of course, Smoky Nagata!
Words and photos Steve McCann