1989-1994 Nissan Skyline GT-R (BNR32)

This was my first official write-up for CarLustBlog.com, back in October 11, 2011. A lot has changed since then, as there’s FAR more pics and information available on this machine than just 7 years ago. My opinion on some details, as well as writing skills have also changed. Mistakes have been fixed, sections of the post have been moved and expanded (including pics and links), but the original bones are still there.

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Godzilla. You know you’re doing something right with a nickname like that.

While reading the GT-R story in Motor Trend Classic, I asked myself if it was fair to compare the technological tour-de-force that is the BNR32 Nissan Skyline GT-R with the lightweight (2500lbs vs 3150lbs), naturally aspirated rear-wheel-drive KGPC10 Nissan Skyline GT-R, aka the Hakosuka. They do have something in common, aside from name. Both were born to WIN.

The R32 range was spearheaded by automotive engineer Naganori Ito, who of course worked on its most famous version, the BNR32. This one was built around the latest Group A racing regulations. Nissan wanted to do better than its predecessor, the R31 Nissan Skyline GTS-R. Plus, it was a good opportunity to resurrect the GT-R badge, last seen on the 4th generation Skyline (R32s are the 8th), the 1973 Kenmeri KPGC110 Nissan Skyline GT-R. For that, some serious hardware was going to be needed: Continue reading

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The Chandelier Tree

(A note from Chuck):  This post is dedicated to my Mother, who would have been 95 today [Sept. 22].  She loved all living things, especially plants, and would have been amazed at the sight of this magnificent tree.)

121So when’s the last time you’ve driven through a tree and did no damage whatsoever to your car, its occupants, or the tree itself?  That’s right, a tree, a big, growing, hard, wooden thing that gives you shade in the Summertime, usually drops its leaves in the Fall, and looks so grand in the Spring.

The Chandelier Tree in Leggett, California, offers just that opportunity.  There’s a small fee as you enter the grounds, where the “natural” potholes enforce a 5 mph park speed limit.  And just in case you were wondering, the Tree gets its name from its limbs that resemble an ornate chandelier. Continue reading

A60 Toyota Celica, Celica XX and Celica Supra (MkII)

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For the longest time, there has been one ‘80s Japanese sportscar that I really liked. Wedge shape, liftback body style, pop-ups, etc. I wouldn’t complain if it had a digital dash. And that car was… the Z31 Nissan 300ZX Turbo. Growing up, there were two around my neighborhood and plenty of them could still be found on the streets. The second in line to my heart was the Isuzu Impulse, because we had one in the family for a while, in red, no less. Third in line was the Chrysler Conquest, a Mitsubishi Starion captive import, because my Toyota MR2-driving uncle briefly used to own a couple. But what about the Supra, specifically the one whose generation has come to be known as the MkII on most markets? Unfortunately, I had no exposure to it; they weren’t that common when compared to the aforementioned Z31. Continue reading

“The Bandit,” Burt Reynolds – (1936-2018)

Fullscreen capture 962018 81119 PM.bmpThe Bandit, aka Burt Reynolds, aka Bo Darville, star of “Smokey And The Bandit.” We also can’t forget “The Cannonball Run” and other revered car-related films.  We lost him today, September 6, 2018.

He did many other films such as “Deliverance,” “The Longest Yard (1974),” and “The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas,” but we’ll always remember him best as the Trans-Am drivin’, smooth talkin’, car jumpin’ rebel from the 1977 film. Continue reading

Toyota Celica Supra (1978-1981)

Fullscreen capture 952018 60200 PM.bmpMy admiration for this car began one day, as a 21-year-old, when I saw an ad for the first Toyota Celica Supra.  The glossy presentation literally blew me away.  Here, for the first time in my automotive history, was a small car available with all the refinements of any larger machine.  It had power windows and door locks, a tilting steering wheel, a luxurious, plush interior, cruise control, a snazzy console, multi-adjustable bucket seats, and even a sunroof. Continue reading