This is part one of my car history. A journey from vehicle to vehicle in the last five years of my life. I am currently on my 7th vehicle after four other cars and two motorcycles. The story begins with my first, longest and most difficult automobile. The beginning.
When I was seventeen I got my first car. I had been looking at the Toyota Supra, Toyota MR2 Turbo, Nissan 300zx, Nissan 240sx, and the Nissan Skyline. Throughout the search, I knew my heart was set on a Skyline but I was having difficulty finding one for the right price, in the right condition. After months of searching, I finally bit, though it was not necessarily in the right condition.
The car I purchased was a 1990 Nissan Skyline GTS-T with over 170,000 clicks and lots of problems, but I was in love. The R32 chassis GT-R has always been one of my favourite cars and this was as close as I could get. Though not as powerful as the GT-R, the GTS-T was still quick with 212hp on tap and a curb weight of around 2,800 lbs.
I bought the car locally in Vancouver from a lady who claimed it was rarely driven but after I bought the car it needed to have nearly every suspension bushing replaced, new brake disks, pads, and an oil leak fixed. When all of the issues were sorted, the next thing I did was buy some wheels. I went with Work Emotion XD9's in 18x9 et20 sizing. The 9 inch wide wheels looked monstrously aggressive from the back. The tires rubbed the fenders when I had passengers in the back and the stock ride height looked ludicrous, but I knew they were the right choice.
The car inspired me to drive, I would go through immense amounts of fuel as I would take every chance to blast up the local mountains at night. These opportunities were more scarce than I would have wanted as the car was plagued with every misfiring issue you could think of from spark to fuelling. During my ownership of the car it was off the road just as much as it was on. What happened next was the beginning of a transformative process.
During a trip to a local island, I was backed into by a learning driver while loading the ferry. The early 2000's CR-V reversed at a snails pace and with nowhere for me to escape, I sat there on the horn in disbelief. My hood was crunched by the CR-V's spare tire and my right-side headlight and corner light mounts had been broken. I haphazardly made repairs with duct-tape as this was the beginning of a ten day holiday. I claimed it on insurance and would have to pay nothing to get it fixed, but the car would remain held together with tape for many months.
Instead of fixing the car immediately when I got home, I decided to take this as an opportunity to get more issues fixed on the car. I knew they would be respraying the bumper and the hood during the repair so I figured I would get the whole car resprayed as the paint was peeling on the roof and I had a growing rust spot on my rear fender. Soon after I had made this decision I had a small engine fire where one of my coil packs melted and combusted into flames, taking the wiring harness along with it. It would take 3-4 weeks to get a new harness from Japan so I took the car off the road.
Once the car was off the road I decided it was time for an overhaul. By now, more suspension bushings had worn out requiring new control arms and the sides of my tires had been chewed up by the fenders. First was the suspension, new control arms were installed along with Nismo struts and springs. Next, my injectors were rebuilt, new coil-packs were purchased and the new wiring harness was installed. Finally I had the rust cut out, new metal welded in, my hood replaced, my lights replaced and the entire car painted midnight purple. The colour was spectacular only showing its purple hue in the light while appearing black in the darkness. The handling was superb, the car ran like new and the new paint glistened. I had never been so proud of my car, but I was only able to enjoy it temporarily.
Only six days after all the work was completed, while travelling straight through an intersection, a Camry travelling in the other direction recklessly turned left into the front of my now beautiful Skyline. The car was written off, and I was devastated. I still had not had a chance to take any pictures from the front and only have the above shots of the car to remember it by. After countless hours and dollars invested into my car, I was only able to enjoy it for a short time.
My relationship with the car was over. I received nearly $10,000 from insurance and the other driver was deemed to be 100% at fault for the accident. Though the amount I received may have been fair for the car, I had invested more and was never planning on selling it. I had plans to swap the motor to the 2.5 litre motor from an R34 GT-T. This of course, would never happen.
Even though the car is gone and I have moved on, this car sparked the beginning of what I assume will be a life-long passion. Though I had always loved cars, it was this car that allowed me to fully understand the impact a vehicle could have on my life. My skyline was not an appliance to transport me around, but a catalyst of movement of not only my body, but of my soul. Every time I sat in it I would smile. Hitting red-line while merging onto the highway was part of my daily routine. The car introduced me to new friends and I learned more about cars during my nearly two years of ownership than I have since. I thought I was just going to buy another skyline to replace it, but I decided I would import my next car from Japan.
To be continued...