My cheap first modification to the UK’s cheapest R35 GT-R

As I’m sure I made abundantly clear in the introduction to my nuclear Datsun, a few things really needed to change in order to get a package I was happy with. I’m a little frustrated to report that on closer inspection my oem front lip appears to be in a much sorrier state than I thought. I’m going to source a replacement part, not sure wether it will be carbon fibre or a standard part. The corroded boot struts are high priority as I hate the idea of broken parts on my most expensive purchase to date. I’ve joined the “Batallion” and been immediately put in contact with Nissan approved body shops. To have some light oxidising on my doors addressed under warranty. “Crosses fingers and clutches a rabbits foot”.

Exhibit “A” a humongous rubber ring with some tread on it.

On a couple of spirited drives I’ve been simply in awe of the Nissan. It’s power and drivetrain make the transition from wafting home comfortably, to rocketing down the M1 as if you’re tearing through the Mach-loop in a Typhoon. However my car was letting me down slightly already. A good detail and some glaze made the bodywork look fantastic from a far but the blue wheels were really detracting from the car’s presence and charisma. I’ve always been “hands on” when it comes to ownership of fast cars. Wether it’s dropping oil or painting callipers. I take pride in doing what I can myself and learning a new skill in the process. In defence the blue wheels were a quality job, freshly powder-coated and immaculate. Just an awful combination for a metallic grey supercar.

One of the first wheels curing in what little sun we get through the winter.

So what was the process? How did I get here in a just a few hours on a Tuesday afternoon I hear you ask inquisitively…

Well essentially 20 minutes online and £30 later I had 3 cans of Vinyl spray paint or “plasti-dip” in my basket. These were ready to collect in the morning. I didn’t want to paint the wheels myself “properly” as I feel that would do the GTR a disservice. However the blue needed to go. It’s a beautifully simple way of enhancing your car’s appearance. I literally washed the wheels, gave them a going over with a towel, masked off the tyre valves after removing the covers and centre caps. They were ready to go. 1 shallow coat followed by two thicker and the blue was now covered. It’s a little worrying at first as the “paint” appears to run heavily but dries into a pretty smooth finish. I always dress my tyres whenever I wash my cars so this prevents any vinyl sticking to the sidewalls. You can simply wipe it off once you’re happy with the finish of the wheels.

First wheel complete. Calliper cleaned and dressed during wait times.

So what exactly do you need if you fancy a quick and cheap colour change? As mentioned earlier I used 3 cans of plasti-dip. I had some soapy water and a few old micro-fibre cloths. Due to the lack of prep required I would suggest using two low profile trolly jacks as I was able to do the car a side at a time. With both wheels removed concurrently. I found this a good time to give the callipers and suspension struts a quick clean. I then polished the callipers to prevent dust from sticking in the future. I feel this really enhanced the gorgeous metallic bronze Nissan bestowed upon them when new.

Golden hour and sumptuous satin black wheels.

I see myself opening a can of worms, with enthusiasts being divided here. But hear me out. I’m a big fan of getting a car looking it’s best as quickly as I can during my ownership. However British roads are laughable in the winter months. Lashings of Grit, soil , rainwater and horse sh** meant it seemed a waste to spend hundreds of pounds on fresh paint. When they’re effectively going to get battered by adverse road conditions. No doubt looking their worst for the upcoming show season. Less than £30 and a few hours of my time I’ve bonded with my new car. The thing I loathed is gone, I can look upon my GTR with adoration and pride. It exudes class once more as it did a decade ago. I’m very pleased to have been well received in the “Batallion” and I hope my next update to be with two freshly painted doors courtesy of the Nissan warranty department.

A standard example of R35 GTR oxidisation.

Wish me luck in my hunt for a new front splitter that won’t break the bank!

Published by Sam Busby

a big nosed bearded idiot who likes to write about cars. Lucky enough to have owned a few quick ones too.

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