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Pumps 1 and 2, hit 'em!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone,

Here is my mega introduction thread as a first time GT-R owner detailing my road trip experience and thoughts before and after purchase. I always thought of doing a road trip documentary with a new car purchase and this was a perfect opportunity.

Special thanks go out to Kal Borisov, Mike Louie, and Steve Theodore from the Supra and GT-R communities for bringing out the passion and helping me understand these cars, both Supra and GT-R, better.

Count me in the GT-R cult having longed for it to hit the US shores for many years. I watched the R35 unveiling and planned on one day having one in the garage.

There are two automotive passions that I will never be free of which are classic Jags and Japanese sports cars. You can click the link in my signature for a picture of each.

Feel free to skip through the bulk of reading and just enjoy the various pictures, comments of my adventure to obtain my first GT-R.

Why now:

I'm a wuss. Clutching daily is taking it's toll. Particularly when I get into the heavy clutch on the Supra. An Info Tech injury when I was younger to my knee cartilage means it is easier to over exert, disrupts sleep, makes me grumpy. I don't want to go to my grave compromising my happiness, the biggest reason anyone could give.

Why a 2015:

I found the 2011 suspension very stiff and the roads around me not friendly. I like a little cushion, somewhat offset by good seats and tires. Neither are a GT-R strong suit. Another set back were earlier transmission issues and it wasn't until that LC4 and R-mode Start that things settled down.

Enter the 2014 and 2015. Here were changes that really appealed. From the engine output and LC improvements, interior, suspension, and lighting it seemed like the GT-R grew up a little bit in the refinement department. And resolved any new model problems.

Finding my GT-R:

My search was pretty methodical. I have purchased cars online before and it's a process like a set of tumblers in a lock. It must happen in a precise, orderly manner.

Due to the delay in getting personalized plates, I ordered one immediately when I started searching in ernest. I settled on a black plate that reads GOZIRA along with CF carbon fiber frame.



Autotrader was my primary source of ads. After I established fair prices and good deals I started looking at available options.

As a daily driver, I preferred colors that would hide dirt well in this order Pearl White -> Gunmetal -> Super Silver -> Deep Blue Pearl and the upgraded Ivory interior when I could find it.

I tried to limit my search to 500mi to make traveling easier and found a great deal on a 2014 Gunmetal in NorCal. However, an extra year of warranty, less miles and the 2015 won me over so I expanded my search until it was nationwide.

It looked like that I would have to ship my car to me or travel and road trip it back. Then I found it. A highway driven 2015 with the right options, price and matching condition out of Autobarn Nissan of Evanston. A few days of exchanging information, pictures, and some grinding on price developed into a couple express packages in and out to seal the deal.

I had been exploring transport options while I was conducting my search. Once the contract was complete, one enterprising [shady as frack] transporter sent a truck for a pickup without a signed contract in order to push for business. After that urgent phone call from the dealer, in that moment any reservations about weather, mileage, and anyone else but me touching my GT-R were secondary. I booked a one way flight with less than 48hrs notice and flew out 1am Friday after Thanksgiving on an adventure to drive it back.

The planned route was I55 to I40 to I15 to I210 to I101. Going south instead of the I70 through Colorado which expected snow was a safety measure even though I have several friends in Colorado Springs.

I40 was chosen instead of I10 due to the lane closure due to a collapse bridge + holiday return traffic would be a nightmare. I don't get into the office before 10am due to this.

Day 1:

Chicago to Oklahoma City.

I catch some much needed sleep on the plane. I travel in bursts for business and recently, so I didn't fly from LAX to O'Hare on a wave of euphoria or even trepidation. Not until I see him in the flesh and holding the keys will it be real.

Landing with no fuss at 7am and I'm immediately out to breakfast with an old friend from my time in Air Force Spec Ops in search of copius amounts of coffee. The weather is expectedly gray and a downpour is expected. Walk into the dealership floor, introduce myself, and less than 5min later I am staring at my new GT-R kept in the warehouse across the street.





First task is putting waterproof tape to protect against rocks and scratches.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-ScotchBlue-1-88-in-x-45-yds-Exterior-Surfaces-Painter-s-Tape-2097-48EC/203878656

Then, getting the GOPro setup, bluetooth paired, seat/mirrors adjusted, defrost turned on, a full tank of gas and a 27hr music playlist queued up does it finally hit me. It's just me and the beast for two (possibly three) days to home. Out on the road and surrounded by no one else but other drivers, no one could possibly feel as overjoyed and confident as I do at that moment in Nissan's AWD cruise missile.




First stop for fuel and the first accolades, tripod worship, and stares from old people. In the first 300 miles this is more dirty than any of my cars have been in a long time. But I don't care because it feels great and this is my GT-R!




That night, the fog grew intense as I got closer to Oklahoma City. The temperatures outside were 27-29deg and black ice started forming on the highway making the last 30mi into the city very treacherous. For the first time on the trip, I was forced to slow down from 75~80 speed limit to go 60mph. It wasn't until a truck passed me that I could ride in it's wake several hundred feet back to keep up speed beyond 70mph.

I elected to stay at the Sheraton in Downtown which was co-located with the IRS building and shared a parking lot with it. I figured the best chances for security along with covered parking sounded like a good idea to me.

Day 2:

Oklahoma City to Amarillo, TX or Albuquerque, whichever I can reach weather and fatigue depending. I found a good hotel in Albuquerque with the Hyatt Regency with covered parking under the hotel would be an easy reservation to cancel, I just needed to maintain enough speed to get there before it got too black. Little did I know that the storm did not pass as fast through the area and Amarillo got pelted with sleet.

A lane closure on the I44 created a bunch of traffic that held us up for 20+ minutes. It wasn't until a few miles later that it was a merge into one lane and a truck driver refused to let me in while another several cars in front created a lane block bridging both. The merge had only just become visible so there I am a half mile away and unable to merge in due to jackassery. I'm a polite driver, something that is getting to be rare in SoCal. I don't tailgate, merge, maintain speed, and control my cars like I was born behind the wheel.

I understand move to the right but apparently "zipper" is something that is foreign to folks in the mid-west. Or only acceptable when you aren't driving a dealer plate GT-R with temp reg. The truck driver that stopped speeding up to eventually let me in did with a protest with his horn and I assume a few colorful words. I did hold up both arms, palms facing up to stare through the rear window while I said "What the hell do you want me to do dude?"



Then, another stop for fuel and it was off to drive through what turned into a mid-west winter wonderland.





 

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Pumps 1 and 2, hit 'em!
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971 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I ended up stopping for food and fuel in Amarillo, TX and that gave me my first driving experience with sleet and slush, in my second day behind the wheel of a GT-R, with summer run flats. Careful was my middle name, but in reality, it was more like Bald Bull with big brass balls. I didn't want to stop in Amarillo, TX and avoid getting further snow and sleet and decided that the flow of traffic with trucks and smaller trucks around 5-6pm was sufficient enough to plow tracks through any bad stuff that would get more dangerous in the black of night. I left Amarillo to make the push to Albuquerque.

Pulling into a gas station close to the hotel, there was a tweeny and 20-somethings motorcycle gang for lack of a better term around 30 strong that were relaxing along the curb. More GT-R worship from guys and girls alike, however my focus was on both safety and getting gas so I could collapse to sleep in the king size bed waiting for me.

Here are a few shots of the accumulated dirt after 800 miles so far. Spank that ass I did!





The tape held up extremely well. I only needed to fix very minor spots that pulled up like this in the picture below at each pit stop. I brought 4 rolls and ended up using just 2 of them. I was originally thinking to tape the roof and tail because ice pellets were forecasted in Oklahoma City and I decided against it, a mistake I will pay for later.



The 19th floor of the Hyatt Regency. The photo didn't come out well, but standing there taking in the view and thinking back to the last two days while my GOPro footage downloaded, it was an amazing feeling.



Day 3:

Albuquerque to Ventura, CA and HOME.

After an OK nights sleep but tired eyes fixed with a couple eye drops and a double shot of espresso from the hotel Starbucks, I hit the road with purpose at 7:30am and took this photo shortly after.



Arizona and the Home of the Buster. I am getting really close to home now!





I've shared this picture in the how far did you drive your GT-R thread. I'm a boxer man myself, not just because I drove a BRZ 6spd daily before this, but I'm not a tighty whiteys fan.




Somewhere in Mexico I hit 15,000mi and wanted to commemorate the achievement.



At last, the Arizona to California border! With an odd look at the front end, a wry smile from the female border guard, I was waved through and back on home turf. When I stopped for gas next, a horrible realization happened when I did a tire check and that cord started to show in the inner left rear tire. The wear bars were all good but I would have to take extra special care which brought my speed down to 60-65mph for the rest of the trip. I didn't know how fast that inside
would wear on our course roads, well maintained, but not glass smooth like parts of the city. That added a couple hours
onto the last leg home.

 

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Pumps 1 and 2, hit 'em!
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971 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That evening, holiday traffic on the I15 and 210 Fwy was incredibly dangerous, frustrating, and mind boggling. The weaving, near misses for accidents, had me on full alert. I took to positioning a truck on my right to avoid people darting in from the merge lane and slow lane into me.

A few miles away from the I15 and 210 fwy interchange, an orange cone was being hit and flung around in traffic. The Prius in front of me runs it over, brakes and wiggles, which ejects the cone up into the air and overhead. I had a Paul Walker moment when he sees the Charger in the air but all I could do is roll onto the throttle and hope that I pick up speed from 50mph in 6th gear to pass underneath it. It lands with a FLOOOMP somewhere on the rear window or the tail, I'm not so sure and my heart sank in that moment. My GT-R was pristine, having only been on the road since Apr 1. Who's the fool now for not taping everything up. Once I get home, I find out for certain where the cone hit. And I come to the sad realization that if I went with my original plan to tape the whole front, roof, and tail I would not have a single scratch.




At a different spot on the left rear, the wear is not terrible and I could have kicked it up back to highway speeds which might have saved me from that cone. C'est la vie. He sure as hell cleaned up nice though. And I'm thrilled to report that the scuff on the spoiler came out completely courtesy of Team Nissan in Ventura which did this without asking before I had a chance to do it myself with my DA polisher.



Before you ask, my schedule puts me into work too late for a spot underground so I have a SB city lot permit. I spoke with the lot attendant on multiple occasions about cars having parked all three there at some point. When I mentioned taking up two spots out of the way in the back he said go for it, you can see no one else but appliance store employees park that far from Staples and they double park there. It's no problem at all.

I owe that man something for his kind words and understanding! Here are the final shots and with iPhone HDR filtering.





What I think of the GT-R:

I put on close to 2200mi driving back from Chicago to home in Ventura, CA close to the central coast. I don't regret a single thing except that pucker feeling hitting black ice and the cone flipped up to hit the wing. My first sleet, snow driving experience was in the GT-R and driving in the rain felt like cheater mode even with summer run flats. There was simply no comparison to how it handled and communicated.

I adore the whirrs, clanks, and groans it makes and how effortless it moves when you downshift and punch it. The service records provided by the original dealer which also serviced it until it went to auction confirmed these were the original tires, it was well maintained and never missed a service and no warranty issues.

If that alignment wasn't adjusted from the middle ground between street and track settings, there was a chance at 20k miles out of the first set of tires. I am suspect if this car has ever been launched or truly broken in per the manual.

I find the premium seats plenty adjustable and very comfortable for a guy of small stature. I have a short torso and find there is a mammoth amount of head room. I do find myself wishing that there was an arm rest to go over the cup holders and this will be my only modification besides non-run flats (or smaller wheels depending on how quiet the Michelin Pilot Super Sports end up being).

I can't stop staring at the GT-R. I own this brute now. While I have no plans to track it and most of the miles will be highway ones taking opportunities to boost while merging and passing, I don't regret giving it a pampered life most of the time. I know that flicking the switch up instead of down twice creates a whole new thrill.

What I miss from the Supra:

I miss that cockpit like dash and the ever present sssssssssssssssssss of the turbo with the slightest caress of the accelerator. It sounds exactly like a jumbo jet ready to thrust me forward and being a well maintained turbo Supra, gleams like a jewel and the complete mechanical counterpart to the GT-R. What it lacks in handling, it makes up for in straight line speed and ability to row my own gears. It's lowered on a modified suspension, raw, and yet still soft enough to drive across country. It's a true GT car that hasn't lost it's street manners.

What I don't miss from the Supra:

It's old fashioned and has the right amount of miles and patina to continue a more pampered life. All necessity to drive it comes from pleasure only. I need to drive the GT-R almost every day and that is going to spoil me with how modern and versatile the platform is. It's not only the economical choice, but when it comes to raw speed and pushed to its limit, it is my Supra's equal (not others, I know) and has more ability to be a super car and a daily driver.

Feedback, questions, criticism is always welcome. All I ask is you respect my choices and share the passion because that's what makes life great.
 

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Pumps 1 and 2, hit 'em!
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Discussion Starter #4
Reserved.
 

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Administrator
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Great review man, I have done similar road trips to pick up supras in years past and I totally relate to your experiences.

Good luck with your plans and future adventures with the car!

side note:

that rear tire underneath shot showing the inner belt on the tire, those are the original 15,000 mile tires I assume?
 

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NY56637
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1,813 Posts
Pretty cool; congrats on the purchase! I have never driven one of these but only sat in one and have read various reviews and etc. The new GTR is an awesome car. I may even venture to say that it is the best car to take on a trip like this. Correct me if I am wrong, but the GTR will simply do exactly what you want it to.
 

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Pumps 1 and 2, hit 'em!
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971 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Great review man, I have done similar road trips to pick up supras in years past and I totally relate to your experiences.

Good luck with your plans and future adventures with the car!

side note:

that rear tire underneath shot showing the inner belt on the tire, those are the original 15,000 mile tires I assume?
Thanks guys!

These are the original tires, a result of mostly highway driving and absence of track days. The alignment was still factory in between the street and track tolerances.

It's almost sacrilege to (or want to) squeeze 20k out of a set of GT-R run flats. Michelin Pilot Super Sports are coming soon!

I averaged 20.5mpg and 63mph for just over 34hrs of driving.
 

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Wheel Whore
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2,313 Posts
Congrats!

I actually flew into San Francisco yesterday for a car I bought a few weeks ago. it was the most enduring 750 mile drive back home I have ever experienced. Once I hit Lake Tahoe they only allowed cars with chains go through so it was 60+ miles of 20 m.p.h. crawling on packed snow, black ice, all on Pilot SS's.

I made it home at 6:30 this morning and trying to get situated to get back to work. Sorry not to hi-jack.



 

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Pumps 1 and 2, hit 'em!
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971 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Congrats dude! Nice choice and a very fun mod package.

When it's wet, it is crazy how well the GT-R handles on stock summer tires/wheels. But snow is just a whole other level of crazy!
 

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Great story and pics. Definitely a car guy experience you will never forget. Thanks for taking the time to share and enjoy the car! Oh, and parking in the corner spot would have been fine. Sorry, I'm a two spot pet peeve guy. :biggrin:
 

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Administrator
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You're going to have so much fun with your new GT-R buddy! :bigthumb:

Thanks so much for the kind words and I'm really happy you got what you wanted. Bonding with your new car on a proper road trip is the absolute best way to get to know it, and brings back all kinds of memories for me of long distance Supra acquisitions. The original equipment tires usually only last about 15k miles and that is when mine were replaced as well. The move to MPSS will be a welcome one as they are quieter and ride smoother, but still offer exceptional grip and proven ability to drive in the rain.

Congratulations! :)
 

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Systems *****istrator
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Great write up. I also went with a 2015 GTR.
My commute to work was very boring, mostly single lane, 40 MPH speed limit driving. To me the GTR felt like any other car on the road, it was heavy, but had great acceleration. After a few months, i sort of felt a bit bored of it.
That was until I brought the car to the track, thats where the car belongs. Never loved the car more, and appreciated my new found love for the car. Car feels big and heavy on the street, but feels nimble and light on the track!
 

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JZA80
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Congrats! Go full bolt ons, that's when the car really wakes up ;)
 

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Pumps 1 and 2, hit 'em!
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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the kind words.

I have a long stretch of road, the curvy hwy 192 that I can off shoot from the freeway for a little under half the daily commute.

Most societal drones feel safe in bumper to bumper traffic.
 

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Very entertaining read! Congrats on your purchase! It's great to see someone get the car they want, exactly how they want it!

Man I thought that I drove cross-country before, but you got me beat on a couple! I drove from here to Las Vegas twice (1,789 miles), and from here to San Francisco (2,302 miles). Those were fun drives:)

Enjoy!
 

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Pumps 1 and 2, hit 'em!
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Discussion Starter #19
If I were to do it all over again, I would do it from NY to LA (in the summer) for the extra drive and bring a co-pilot for company. And, set a personal best coast to coast of course!
 
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