There were only 250 Nissan Skyline GT-R M-Spec Nur cars ever made, and this one is filled with enough rare and valuable parts to make any Nissan fan drool.
You know you’re obsessed with GT-Rs when you start a business to sell the excess ones you’ve bought. That’s what happened with Allen Cheng, founder of the legendary V-Spec Performance in Victoria, Australia. Starting off with a single Midnight Purple III R34, he soon progressed to owning so many he had to get rid of some, and having realised selling them could be a viable business, he opened V-Spec in 2011. These days, the business has grown to be what is undoubtedly Australia’s premier GT-R specialist sales outlet. One that, as well as similarly rare GT-R parts, also runs the Charge Speed Australia brand. Oh, and in case you hadn’t guessed from the images, they have an impressive workshop, too.
However, before they built this car, for all the company’s knowledge, expertise and ability to get rare cars and parts in, V-Spec didn’t really have much of a name for itself. Things had definitely improved after the signing of sales manager Simon Ong, who himself drives an R34 V-Spec II Nur and works hard within the community to promote the company, but V-Spec still needed a kick. So, there was only on thing to do, right? Yep, the team decided to build a proper demo car. Obviously it had to be something that would show off not just their ability to source some of the rarest and highest quality cars and parts the GT-R world has to offer, but also show that they could be unique and bring imagination to their work. The end result was this – their 2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R M-Spec Nur, complete with a range of wish-list componentry.
So, let’s talk about what they’ve done. Obviously, the biggest change from the norm is the naked carbon front end. Simon says the decision was taken early to go this route, as it would best show off the insanely expensive Nismo Z-Tune dry carbon body parts. “We obviously wanted to be different, and we knew that, with the price for one of these dry carbon kits, not many people in Australia were going to have them, so we wanted to go down that track”. Simon says the plan was to leave it raw too, but eventually they coated it with a layer of clear, which serves to make it look cleaner. The coating also leads to a rather weird tactile sensation, as the dry carbon has all the lumps and bumps from the raw weave that you’d expect, but the clear makes your fingers glide over them in a way your brain has trouble processing. There is no doubting the finish is unique though, and in our eyes, the mix of semi-gloss black front-end, Millennium Jade mid and rear sections, plus black accents from the Superior Sport carbon wing stays (one of the few non-Nismo parts, simply because Nismo don’t make stays) and super-rare 19-inch Nismo LM GT4 Omori Factory wheels, gives this car a whole new take on the traditional black-and-gold combination often seen in other builds.
It’s worth talking more about those wheels too, as they’re another example of V-Spec’s (and specifically Allen’s) obsession with finding low-volume and discontinued parts. Any hardcore Nismo nerd will know the Omori Factory LM GT4s are a limited-run part, complete with unique machined logos and made to celebrate the facility where Nismo, until recently, spent its entire life. However, perhaps only the real super nerds will recognise how rare these 19-inchers are, as while 17 and 18-inchers were recently reissued by the company, the 19s only came out once, so while numbers are uncertain, there are likely only a handful in existence. Simon says even tracking down one set was difficult, and any you find today will cost more than £3500 a set. Of course, Allen being Allen, he managed to find two sets, so he’s got spares if needs be. “He has one set of silver in the showroom, then he bought another pair from someone else, then another pair from someone else again. Then, because one of the pairs was already black and the other pair was silver, we had a think about whether we could get the black ones redone [in silver], but because it was too hard and too expensive, it was easier to get the silver pair painted black. So we have one set of blacks and one set of silvers. Because Allen’s such a collector and enthusiast, anything rare and discontinued, he’s gotta have!” Simon laughs.
The rest of the car is a treasure trove of rare, discontinued, or just prohibitively expensive, Nismo parts – all tracked down or ordered by V-Spec. The car came from Japan with a full R1 engine, giving it 500hp or so thanks to the better turbos, exhaust manifold, cams, a different tune and countless other things, but to ensure extra ‘Nismo-ness’, V-Spec also ordered the company’s dry carbon intake and intercooler piping. Behind the engine, the previous owner had already fitted a Super Coppermix twin-plate clutch, which remained in fine condition, so there wasn’t much point touching that, but V-Spec did go for a Nismo 4.11 GT LSD. As for the suspension, it came with Nismo sway bars and the entire Nismo Circuit Link set, so again, there wasn’t much work to do, but the Apex N1 coils were swapped for Nismo R-Tune ones to keep the theme going. The F50 Brembos it arrived with were set to stay, but a few weeks after this shoot we were told R35 items were replacing them instead. Interestingly, the rear bumper, which had the ‘Skyline’ logo shaved, did stay, but no one was keen on the wing-less rear end it arrived with, so another factory bootlid was sourced, along with a stock wing and Nismo carbon gurney flap. Of course, Nismo LED tails finish off the back-end. Finally, to rectify the prior owner’s other ‘interesting’ exterior design decisions, V-Spec ordered Nismo side skirts and rear pods to match the already-fitted rear arch extensions.
Keen eyes will spot there are two non-Nismo mechanical items on the car; an ARC Super Micro Conditioner radiator and a Power House Amuse R1 Titan exhaust. The radiator was put in because not even V-Spec could find a Nismo item before the shoot (long since discontinued and basically a unicorn), while the exhaust was a rather high-level placekeeper for a Nismo Weldina titanium model they fitted later.
Having finished the car and teased it on social media, the only thing left was for V-Spec to show it off for real, and for that they had the perfect platform – the inaugural GT-R Festival in Sydney. Trucking the car up there (driving it up would involve the hassle of removing the lip spoiler and finding a workshop close to the venue to re-fit it), they were sadly greeted by pouring rain for the first half of the day, but the stunned looks and large numbers of photos posted on both traditional and social media meant it had done its job regardless.
“All over Facebook people know our company now,” says Simon. “Soon after the show, we had someone travel from Sydney just to come visit us, because when we took it up to the festival, a lot of people saw it and now they know who V-Spec Performance is. So, the reaction was good. It did what we wanted – we wanted people to know who we were, become friendly with us and have chats, and we’ve achieved all that”.
In terms of how the car actually drives, post-upgrades, Simon says it drives pretty nicely, as you’d expect. Being a demo car, it doesn’t get driven around too much, but he says that the R1 engine “definitely feels more raw than your normal RB26”. “It feels more like a race car with that engine. Response is faster and it’s definitely more aggressive. Maybe it’s the cams, but it’s definitely aggressive. And with the exhaust on it, it does feel like you’re in a bit of a race car. It sticks to the ground like a good ‘un too. Especially because of the size of the wheels and tyres, it certainly grips. It’s nice and solid; it definitely feels high quality”.
Indeed, ‘high-quality’ is what both V-Spec and the demo car itself are all about. There’s no doubt the components on this machine are expensive, but as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. And in terms of V-Spec itself, you clearly get more than just the componentry; there’s imagination, the ability to track down rare items others can’t and the satisfaction that comes with working with passionate, hard-working people. That’s surely worth its weight in Millennium Jade.
Tech Spec: Nissan Skyline GT-R M-Spec Nur
Full 2.6-litre Nismo R1 engine with N1 block, pistons, rings and exhaust manifold, Nismo exhaust manifold spacer, 0.9mm metal head gasket, R1 camshafts, Nismo main and conrod bearings, R1 turbos, Nismo large capacity turbo outlet pipe, Nismo 600cc injectors, Nismo 50mm heat shield, Nismo large capacity air flow meter, Nismo sump baffle, Nismo air filter, Nismo strengthened timing belt, Nismo throttle chamber collar, Nismo oil gallery plugs, Nismo ported and polished heads, balanced and blueprinted rotating assembly, R1 coil cover and Nismo ECU flash tune, Nismo oil cooler, Nismo catch can, Nismo dry carbon intake and intercooler piping, Nismo intercooler, Nismo air intake kit, ARC Super Micro Conditioner radiator, Nismo oil filler and radiator caps, Power House Amuse R1 Titan cat-less exhaust from front pipe back and NGK spark plugs, Nismo Super Coppermix twin-plate clutch, Nismo flywheel, Nismo clutch master cylinder, Nismo GT 4.11 LSD.
10.5×19-inch ET12 Nismo LM GT4 Omori Factory Spec Machining Logo Version wheels with 265/30 Yokohama Advan AD08R tyres, Nismo wheel nuts, Nismo Circuit Link suspension kit, Nismo R-Tune coilovers (f&r) Nismo sway bars, Nismo titanium front strut tower bar, Nismo rear tower bar, Brembo F50 four-piston front callipers (f&r) with 355mm slotted two-piece rotors and Dixcel Z-Type pads (f) and 330mm slotted two-piece rotors and Dixcel Z-Type pads (r), Project Mu G4 brake fluid.
Nismo Z-Tune dry carbon front bumper, fenders and under cover (painted clear), Nismo R-Tune dry carbon bonnet (painted clear), Nismo dry carbon splitter, Nismo side skirts and rear pods, Nismo rear wheel arch extensions, Nismo carbon B-pillar garnish, stock M-Spec diffuser with Nismo fins, Nismo GT LED rear lights, stock R34 GT-R rear wing with Nismo carbon gurney flap and Superior Sport carbon wing stays.
Nismo GT shift knob, silver painted interior trim, new stock R34 steering wheel, Nismo Combination Meter gauge cluster, Nismo floor mats.
Feature taken from Banzai magazine. Words and photos: Chris Nicholls.