A pilgrimage to a festival of everything GT-R
CARambla is meant to be a mix of different voices from a deep cauldron of automotive enthusiasts, a platform for our different driving passions as well as the brands and models that moves us. Largely two words, CAR which is self-explanatory and “rambla”, which loosely means “a broad avenue”. There are many sets upon subsets of automotive enthusiasts as well as an infinite number of tribes, CARambla is a platform for these perspectives as well as voices to be heard.
Dexter Lim, GT-R Club PH Founder as well as the owner of D-Spec Garage, lives and breathes Godzilla, a nickname dubbed by foreign press to the iconic R32 Skyline GT-R, in reference to a new monster from Japan. But actually the origin of the name is even more shrouded in mystique.
The GT-R name traces its lineage all the way to 1957 where the Tachikawa Aircraft Company was renamed Fuji Precision Industries. It was one of their very first models, the Skyline, which also started to gain an association with the popular movie monster by appearing in several films by Toho/Fuji Media. But it was really the press from down under, then Japan’s most important export market that cemented the infamous nickname when the legendary R32 GT-R dominated the Ford Sierra Cosworth and won the Australian Touring Car Championship. A feat that caused the Australian press to call the car, “Godzilla, the monster from Japan.”
Dexter is the pre-eminent local enthusiast for Godzilla in the Philippines who is almost singularly responsible for the growing vibrant Nissan GT-R scene. Enjoy his story on his recent GT-R immersion in Japan:
This time the Race paddock beside the track was full, then the R owners lined up in batches to max out their gas pedal as they run at Fuji Speedway.
As you can see with the photos, I had a fun time with my GTRclubPH buddy who is currently staying here in Japan while I take care of his GT-R in the PH at my shop D-Spec Garage.
Then after seeing the cars run from the track, we took the underground walkway going up to the main event grounds near the entrance. It is where all the other merchandise, shop displays, aftermarket tuners, food and talk show with Race Drivers even Tamura-San on stage was happening all at the same time. It was like the lower event area of NismoFest was transferred to this location.
Now the happiness starts by seeing wild and rare Rs after going up from the tunnel. Like the silver 400R (the area had 3 400Rs 2silvers and 1blue) then as you walk you'd see aftermarket tuners like Top Secret, Liberty Walk, Garage/SS Active, Mine's, Blitz to name a few. Most of the cars you will see displayed are owned by real enthusiasts and not the typical ones from DNA Garage or Omori. But then, of course, the annual display of the Nismo Clubman Spec cars where on display as well which I've seen for the 4th time at Fuji.
Beside it was the Motul booth with a chance to talk and have pics with Tsugio Matsuda beside his Super GT racecar, which we did. haha! 😂 Then, of course, Nismo R35s were everywhere while you walk and explore the individual booths of the event. Also seen along the way were Z-tunes, M-Specs, Nur editions, R-Specs, and racecars. There where super mint OE examples as well, asides from the show ready tuned cars on display.
And then just after the Manufacturer's booth was the talk show area and then a bit further near the entrance was the GT-R Magazine's booth and host of the event, where you will see the 2020 Nismo GTR, Green #73 Skyline Kenmeri, The Unicorn GT-R LM which I had a chance seeing several times in Zama and a lot more. Besides the area had a die-cast store and tons of everything else skyline or GT-R related. Anything that will make you happy but will sure make your pockets empty.
A further walk would bring you to more GT-R cars by guests just casually parked, giving you nothing but Rs in your view and these are owned by the visitors of the event. Just across the food area are more parked cars, but what caught my eye was this rare Autech 4door R33 GT-R and an unexpected R33 Roadcar owned by T.Matsuda himself complete with red interior and his name stitched on the seats. An exciting sight to see especially to die-cast collectors like me since you only get to see them in miniature size. So that was a definite treat for me.
I can type all day and tell you what I experienced but this will take longer. Overall it was another memorable experience for any Nissan or GT-R fanatic to attend to. A place where the true essence of tuning and love for the R badge exists. It was an event that again fuelled my passion and encouraging me to share that love with others who love the GT-R badge and ultimately the Nissan Marque making them part of our R-Tribe! 😊 #GTRclubOfThePhilippines