CEL­E­BRAT­ING 23

THE AN­NUAL PIL­GRIM­AGE TO THE NISMO FES­TI­VAL AT FUJI SPEED­WAY, WHERE CEL­E­BRAT­ING NIS­SAN’S LONG AND RICH HER­ITAGE IS THE OR­DER OF THE DAY

NZ Performance Car - - Contents - WORDS AND PHO­TOS: MAR­CUS GIB­SON

Pic­ture your­self stand­ing among 10s of 1000s of peo­ple at Fuji Speed­way as train upon train of Hako­sukas, 280Z, R34 GT-Rs, and the rest all roll past like it ain’t no thing — that, ladies and gen­tle­man, is Nismo Fes­ti­val. Join the edi­tor as he ex­plores what he de­scribes as the one event a Nis­san fan never wants to miss.

Take an FIA Grade 1 track, a spat­ter­ing of price­less and ir­re­place­able Nis­san race craft from the ’60s all the way through to mod­ern times, then add in 10s of 1000s of Nis­san-mad fa­nat­ics, and you have Ja­pan’s an­nual Nismo Fes­ti­val, held at the end of last year on De­cem­ber 11. It’s run at the ab­so­lutely mas­sive Fuji Speed­way fa­cil­ity nes­tled in the foothills of snow-capped Mount Fuji, and the scale is so large that you sim­ply get lost in the madness: un­less you de­velop fly­ing pow­ers, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the en­tire event is noth­ing short of im­pos­si­ble, con­sid­er­ing that it’s held over a sin­gle day. But, for any Nis­san fans read­ing this, book your damn tick­ets now — and here’s why.

As soon as you come within a 10-kilo­me­tre ra­dius of the track, you start to get a sense of the scale the event has grown to. All the roads lead­ing to it are swamped with mod­i­fied and clas­sic Nis­sans, many in con­voy, hav­ing come from far and wide. It’s not un­com­mon to see road trains of Hako­sukas, 280Z, and R34 GT-Rs, and we even spot­ted a pro­ces­sion of Nismo R35s mak­ing its way along a coun­try road. We ar­rived early (7.30am), and just the lines lead­ing out the gate could have formed a show worth at­tend­ing, but, as we had been there be­fore, we knew this was sim­ply a taster of the main ban­quet, which would present it­self as soon as we squeezed through the gates.

Ar­guably one of the most iconic liv­er­ies in Nis­san mo­tor­sport, the Cal­sonic Blue has been a sta­ple of Im­pul-built Sky­lines since the mid 1980s

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