I bought the first Gunmetal Grey R35 GT-R in the UK

Japanese performance magazine feature

Cast your mind back to 2007, I was 12 and likely being a little shit at school. Nissan however was unveiling the newest addition to the GT-R franchise at the Tokyo auto show. The R35 was set to be released early 2008 in Japan and 2009 to most of the rest of the world. In May 2008 This example and my newest acquisition “V23 GTR” (which in Japanese translates to “Nissan GTR” hence 23 being the racing number bestowed upon their cars) officially arrived on UK soil.

AutoExpress feature


Being one of the Very first R35s to enter the UK my GT-R has spent a lot of time in magazine features and road tests. Notably being driven to Lemans for a piece by drivers republic (Chris Harris, Jethro Bovingdon and other driving heroes of mine). The R35 featured at the Silvertsone drivers club as a show piece whilst one of Nissans press cars faced off against a BMW M3 and 911 GT3. Again in 2008 it featured at the Ace Cafe GT-R meet as the first R35 to attend before then featuring on the cover of Japanese Performance magazine in February 2009. (which I now proudly own 2 copies of) 1 for the cars paperwork and one for keeping. She features again on the Cover of Redline magazine with a Porsche 996 Turbo shot at Canary Wharf (a magazine I’d love to get my hands on!) Auto Express then pinched the car in December 2008 for a piece entitled “old and new” against a green R32 GT-R (see picture above) with both cars driven at Thruxton circuit. I’ve also got the GTROC booklet from the R35 GT-R track edition launch, where the car is also featured with a small write up on its spec, I believe this is dated 2010. Finally the car was photographed for “Everyman Driving Experiences” remaining on their posters and in books for several years. See picture below.

Everyman Driving Experience

Servicing and Tuning

The car was introduced to Iain at Litchfield immediately for the clock change to miles, all necessary registering, servicing and checks etc. Which I’ve all the documents and bills to show. Following on from this the cars servicing has been split between Kaizer and Litchfield ever since. Being bestowed with Litchfield’s 4.25 package (Full Bolt Ons in the US). This is complimented with a Titan Street Exhaust, more compliant DBA suspension and Alcon discs. The R35 has covered little over 53,000 miles so far although I’ve done a solid 400 or so in my first week of ownership. The DBA suspension is a revelation over the standard CBA setup and I’ve enjoyed a couple of long drives already. The Titan exhaust is crazy loud and drones a bit, but I love the character of it and hearing the Turbos spool. Coming from a previous stage 4 Severn Valley R35 this one feels so much quicker and has repeatedly broken traction in the damp under partial throttle. She’s booked in to see Litchfield in January for a software update to ECUTEK Version 8.

ACE Cafe meet

Future plans

I was offered the car on some Rays Gramlight wheels and with a massive carbon fibre wing. However I was hugely impressionable in 2008/09 when Top Gear raced across Japan in the R35. I’ve always liked the shape of the rear wing and even the stock wheels. My previous GT-R ran a set of TSW Nurburgring wheels and I’ve ordered another set. These will be wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S all round and then thrown on ready for the spring and summer. A Nismo style carbon front splitter up front works with Kaizer brake ducts to improve cooling which I love. One gripe is I don’t have heated seats so being in December I’m getting a cold arse in the mornings. As mentioned above I’m having a software tweak at Litchfield in January and a dyno run to see the power figure (insert Willy waving) it’ll just be standard servicing and hopefully a road trip in 2021.

V23 GTR is a massive complement to both of the previous owners, Robbie and Jon have kept it in beautiful condition. The paint has clearly been corrected and sealed, I’ve all of the original documents from importing the car, to the bill of sale written almost entirely in Japanese. I’ve even got the serial number of the container she was transported in along with the check weights and costs. I’m keen to track down as many of the magazine features as I can to piece together this cars fantastic history and to share with other enthusiasts. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the read and I’ll update again soon after the software tweak and the new shoes.

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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