WEEK­END WAR­RIOR

NAME: SHAN­NON THICKPENNY // AGE: 40 LO­CA­TION: AUCK­LAND // OC­CU­PA­TION: OWNER/CNC MA­CHIN­IST AT RS WORKS

NZ Performance Car - - CONTENTS -

NZ Per­for­mance Car : Hey, Shan­non. You’re no stranger to these pages, hav­ing ap­peared back in Is­sue No. 220 with your FJ-pow­ered Datto 1600, but this is some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent.

Shan­non: Hey, guys. Yeah, the Dat­sun was fea­tured a few years ago now, and this is one of my lat­est pur­chases. It’s a gen­uine Nis­san Sky­line GTS-R R31 and has only been in the coun­try a few months, as it has taken me quite a while to find a good ex­am­ple. This is car num­ber 643 out of a to­tal 823 units made for mo­tor­sport ho­molo­ga­tion.

We un­der­stand that there aren’t too many left around these days af­ter be­ing pro­duced in such small num­bers and used as ready-to-race track cars in Ja­pan.

I only know of one other ver­i­fied gen­uine GTS-R in New Zealand, which is a caged Targa car with most of the in­te­rior re­moved, etc., and pos­si­bly one other — how­ever, it’s un­clear whether it’s a GTS-X with a GTS-R spoiler, as it has been re­painted white with red and blue Nis­san Mo­tor­sport her­itage liv­ery. I could be wrong, and there may be more hid­ing about, as they do, but those are the only ex­am­ples I know of here.

And you men­tioned see­ing some in Ja­pan?

I did, at R31 House, ac­tu­ally. I vis­ited there on a re­cent trip to Ja­pan, as they’re the go-to place for any­thing R31 re­lated, ob­vi­ously. I was given an awe­some tour of their fa­cil­ity by Re­nato Suzuki, and they had pad­docks filled with every model you could imag­ine. In one pad­dock, they stored cus­tomer’s cars that have never been col­lected, as they aren’t al­lowed to scrap or sell them to re­coup costs, and there were quite a few GTS-Rs that had been crashed or aban­donded. They also had a few pris­tine ex­am­ples of their own tucked away.

Did yours get some love when it was be­ing ped­dled around Ja­panese tracks?

The fac­tory RB20DET-R has been re­built, and a few ad­di­tions, such as a pod fil­ter, ad­di­tional in­jec­tors on the in­take, and Trust in­ter­cooler, have made their way onto the car, as well as an af­ter­mar­ket ECU that has raised the rev-limit up to 8000rpm, so I would guess it saw a bit of fun-time over there; how­ever, I don’t know much of the car’s his­tory, un­for­tu­nately. It did come with most of the orig­i­nal parts though, [so] if I ever felt the need to ‘re­store’ it back to orig­i­nal [I could].

So, do you plan on keep­ing it how it is cur­rently then?

Yeah, the plan has al­ways been to keep it pretty much as it came into the coun­try, apart from a bit of tidy­ing up of the wiring in the en­gine bay and per­haps a nice set of Watan­abes.

It’s a proper gem, Shan­non. Cheers for the yarn.

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