NorCal GT-R Meet at Boardwalk Nissan – 7/20/14
I’ve always thought it was pretty bold for Nissan to keep their halo car badged as a Nissan here on American shores; when people spend a lot of money on a car here, they want that fancy badge cachet to go with it. And decades after the Japanese graduated to making excellent cars, there unfortunately remains a stigma on anything from the Land of the Rising Sun. With a brand-new GT-R now with a sticker price into six figures, the question is often posed: Who would spend that much on a Nissan? Well…these guys.
Showing up early pays dividends, because you can watch everyone roll in.
It was definitely interesting seeing how the more slammed cars tackled the entrance to the parking lot. For most cars, it’s a very shallow slope that presents no problem, but there’s always something interesting about watching lowered cars with big lips struggle to drive up and down things.
It was fairly warm, with an air temperature in the low 80’s. But as the day went on, the tarmac just got hotter and hotter; I have no idea how the security guys were able to handle themselves.
I’m not exactly sure why, but instead of being directed into the spectator lot in the back, I was chosen to park up front with a pink Jeep and a BRZ. Interesting. It was actually fantastic because I just left everything out in my car in plain sight. I know that you shouldn’t have to worry about your stuff at a meet, but sadly I usually feel I have to.
Since the GT-R has staggered wheels from the factory, the majority of owners will tend to keep it that way.
Nice selection of carbon fiber pieces on the backside of this thing.
Detail of the carbon fiber duckbill trunk lid.
Color is unfortunately not something you see much in the GT-R world. Of course, Nissan doesn’t exactly offer the most appetizing color palette–in 2012 they finally added a beautiful blue to augment the existing white, black, grey, silver and two shades of red.
Wait, what’s that? Yeah, they let a 370Z park amongst the GT-Rs…it’s amazing the size discrepancy between Godzilla and the humble Z-car.
There was a DJ spinning tunes, and I think that dude may have been trying to photo-bomb my pic…
The fighter-plane look seems to be on the rise. But why strictly for a nostalgic era? I want to paint my car’s tail like an F-35!
I love HRE wheels; the vast majority of their line is very tasteful and of course, they produce a high quality product. But yo, HRE…what’s with the big rims? For example, I would love to see the Vintage Series in anything smaller than the current minimum of 18″…
Everyone can agree that the Martini livery is classic, but not everyone can agree on its execution. It doesn’t always go well, you know–check out the Porsche 991 Martini Edition for proof. But I don’t think it’s exclusively suited to vintage stuff, because the new Williams Formula One car looks resplendent in its matte white finish and tricolor stripes, for example.
This GT-R? It grabbed me right away and drew me in. I didn’t ask what was up with the Diet Pepsi–maybe it’s like how Nakai-san is famous for Stella Artois? But I did confirm that the whole livery was custom-designed for this car.
The owner told me his next car is a McLaren 650S–which will feature a Gulf livery. Very cool. Although if it were my McLaren to wrap, I think I’d have a 12C in a Sunoco livery, echoing the Roger Penske McLaren M6A that Mark Donohue raced in Can-Am.
Wrap Bros. I’m really starting to warm up to vinyl wrapping, because they seem to be ever-increasing in quality, both in the material used and the wrapping style itself.
This right here is more up my alley. A bit of wheel gap and a lot of tire.
Sexy wheels, sexy brakes.
A lot of people think that “stance” and “flush” are nasty words to describe a car, but I would argue it doesn’t always have to be this way. This GT-R has great stance on its hellaflush, brake-dusted wheels.
Three identical cars, right? Well, no. Which front bumper do you like? What about front lip? Clear or amber turn signals? At single-model meets, tiny individual choices begin to stand out.
I always remark that black cars are rolling mirrors for their propensity to reflect, well, everything, but this chrome-wrapped GT-R has every black car nailed in that department. Try taking a picture of that thing without yourself showing in it! If vampires were real, they would be highly prized in the world of photography.
You know what, I’m really glad this guy parked on the end; I love bright silver wheels. But these days, darker wheels are definitely in fashion; just scroll up and down this post for proof. Doesn’t matter what color your car is–white and silver are out, black and gunmetal are in. This is slightly a downer for me, because I think silver gives a really fresh, athletic look. Even though this car is silver (like many other cars at the meet) and stock (like many other cars at the meet) it still caught my eye all day, every single time I walked past.
Speaking of unique wheel colors, what about bronze? These HRE’s look great and the car sits damn near perfectly on them.
Okay, the wheels aren’t pushed out absolutely as far as they could be, and the car could be lower. But for some reason, that’s the allure for me: it looks like you could jump into this thing and wail on it all day over any road. Remember, there are plenty of sexy roads out here, but it seems like they haven’t been paved in decades (which is pretty much true).
There’s a completely stock GT-R interior for you.
Texas, eh? I wonder what kind of power this guy is packing.
Another couple shots of the Martini wrapped car.
The new headlights are pretty interesting.
On a side note, the view out of the front of those houses is kind of strange.
I need that window banner for my car!
There was a little lineup of cars with their hoods popped. I didn’t see much going on there, but maybe that’s the beauty of the setups?
I love this color. Not sure about the factory red engine cover though.
Rocket Bunny stuff is all over the internet to the point where you’d almost think that you see them on every corner. Well, I’ve only seen a couple Rocket Bunny 86’s in the wild, and this was my first time seeing the GT-R kit.
Right when I pressed the shutter, this little dude took off. I wish I could cite my impeccable timing, but it was actually pure luck…
I dig how the new TE37’s have engraved logos in the spokes, as well as that machined ring around the lip.
Don’t forget about fuel!
Although it wears a Rocket Bunny kit, it bears the signature of Nakai-san of RWB on the dashboard.
Not too many people showed up in something other than a GT-R, but this Mustang was one of the coolest.
More spectator parking.
Black and white and grey all over.
Yet another view of the Martini GT-R.
Interesting green badges front and rear on this one.
If you saw my other post on the subject, you’ll know that I absolutely love wide, slow pans like this.
Another interloper! Again, another sports car that the GT-R absolutely dwarfs…
Speaking of getting dwarfed, what about this bro dozer??
Brendan got some shots on his GoPro as he flew it around the show…really looking forward to seeing the video.
One more of the chrome wrap…there were dudes hanging around it all day so I couldn’t get an isolated shot.
Thought this looked pretty good in front of this very “USDM” housing.
Same cars but with another white one in the mix…
They say that BBS LM’s look good on everything…this set on Pilot Super Sports further proves the point.
Another CF duckbill-equipped black one.
Fancy tips galore!
You might be familiar with this car from the internet…I first saw this car on Instagram actually.
I wonder if this guy will ever rock a license plate, haha.
Lot of smaller aero (like the duckbill trunks) but there weren’t many big spoilers like this one.
Kind of a bummer that reflective vinyl seems to have inherent “orange peel”…I hope they eventually develop a reflective solution that’s as smooth as paint.
Aesthetically, those are some of my favorite tires of all time: Toyo R888. I just love those square shoulders and the aggressive tread pattern.
Contrast that with Michelin Pilot Super Sports which, while being an excellent tire in their own right, are quite a bit uglier with their rounder sidewalls and all-season looking tread pattern.
Lots of OVERTAKE parts. Man, I love that brand name.
Another interesting looking tire, the Nitto INVO.
I know the new headlights are the hot thing, but I like the older black-housing lights a lot.
No idea why this widebody dude was parked to the side…nor why he has a huge body kit and sunken ship wheel fitment. All I know is that it looks ready for a top-speed highway run.
Nice front lip there. Also, this demonstrates that sometimes it is simply impossible to match body panels that are different materials. Look how the bumper is the same shade, but the flake reflects differently…
Now THIS was a treat! Amongst all the OEM monochrome shades in attendance, this was a breath of fresh air.
Don’t mind the A/C condensation…
A bit more Rocket Bunny action since this was one of my other favorite cars at the meet.
Super clean and simple.
Okay, the Z doesn’t look so small here.
At this point I just went around grabbing some random snaps as people started to head out.
I made my way to a good vantage point to shoot people leaving…but first, some panning practice.
Gotta warm up, ya know? Seriously…I always have to do some warm-up pans before I nail any.
After shooting a few cars on the way out, Brendan asked me if I wanted to go on the roof of the four story building overlooking the meet. Hell yeah! Every single spot in the lot was taken up at one point, hence why some cars had to start parallel parking up at shop at the top of the frame.
White, but a little different…
Yes! I managed to capture the silver on silver one!
Nice little detail, took me a few times looking at this car to pick up on it.
One last one of the Rocket Bunny, because even though the internet seems to be flooded with RB kits, you hardly ever them in real life. I’ve been a TRA Kyoto fan for years now, way before they blew up on the internet, and I’m glad to see that none of the coolness factor has been lost…
Normally I try to keep a positive tone–there’s already way too much “hate” flying around the internet these days–but I gotta pause here for a WTF moment. This brand new GT-R has a $117k sticker and features seat material that feels like my grandma’s throw pillows. Seriously, that velour seems like it would be more at home in a 1981 Chrysler Cordoba, NOT a six-figure flagship supercar. Hell, my $25k Scion’s seats are wrapped in way nicer material. And that ricey blue? C’mon Nissan…
At the very, very end of the meet this 300ZX on CCW’s rolled up. I’ve touched on this a couple times already in this post, it’s a valid point: almost everything that seems “played out” on the internet these days is actually very rarely seen in real life.
Interestingly, the interior was absolutely immaculate–it looked like a time capsule.
Well, that’ll do it for my coverage of the GT-R meet. Hopefully you saw something you liked, even if you’re not exactly a GT-R fan.