Right, this is a day late but I’m going to run a wee Advent Calendar in the run up to Christmas. I’ll talk about a different car I’ve seen – or similar – every day between now and the 25th. So for today there are two…
December 1 – Nissan GTR
I have become a little obsessed with these things in recent months if truth be told. I got used to seeing quite a few of them in Japan, but there are hardly any of them in Edinburgh. So it really does surprise me when I see one cruising about the ‘Burgh. I’ve seen three of them now, but this was the first time I had a chance to examine one up close on British soil.
I was taking a group of students out on a fieldtrip (to look at architecture, not to go Godzilla hunting), and as we rounded the corner an unmistakable shape caught my eye. From a distance of two hundred metres the black front grille and low squat shape was instantly recognisable, and as we drew closer the narrow headlights, undulating bonnet and broad windscreen confirmed I was in the presence of a very, very rare car.
The previous paragraph does, I know, read rather like an extract from the diary of someone tracking gorillas in the Rwandan forests, but it’s hard to explain how much this machine fascinates me. A vehicle built mainly for the purpose of firstly going round the Nurburgring as quickly as possible, and secondly making mincemeat of Porsches. This example had a tasteful covering of dirt and grime, with a liberal helping of black dust coating the dark alloys. The little red stripes on the front seats marked this out as one of the higher-spec ‘Black’ editions, but really the only thing that mattered were the three letters G, T and R, in particular the big R slapped on the bootlid.
As this was not a mechanical engineering class the car was of limited academic interest. I couldn’t ignore it though, so it was mentioned in passing as the sign of an affluent area and I was sure to give an explanation of features of the built environment from a position that would allow me to gawp at the Godzilla. Perhaps its the rarity of the thing, maybe it’s the fact that it’s the latest in a long line of cars that goes right back to my youth and what counted as a desirable car during my teenage years, or it could even just be the fact that this is a car that has no right to be built in our contemporary society by a mainstream manufacturer. Either way, the Nissan GT-R is an awesome car and a spectacular sight no matter where in the world you see it. Don’t be fooled by the oval and oblong badge – this is a fully-fledged supercar.