Toronto’s gloomy winter season has been a dragging on for what seems to be an eternity. People in the “6ix” start to get stir-crazy with the lingering cold weather and gear heads are restless to take the covers off their prized motoring possession. Thankfully, warmer days are finally starting to arrive giving car clubs an excuse to gather for a cruise night.
On a late Saturday evening during this past long weekend, Amit Tima owner of the GTA GT-R Club invited me to attend a cruise night. The plan was to meet at Yorkdale Mall and then head out to various locations enroute to downtown Toronto, with the final spot being Fat Bastard Burrito for late-night grub.
There were nearly 15 GT-Rs that showed up, ranging from the more recent (and popular) R35 generation to a couple R33s and even an R32. This car club – although model-specific – is a diverse group of gear-heads ranging in age, profession, and even automotive styling choices. The unique bond that they share is in their love for all things GT-R – one of the most significant Japanese performance production car ever made.
The number of Nissan R35 GT-Rs parked up was incredible. This fine example might be out of the comfort zone for most in way of styling, but there’s no doubt that the vinyl wrap graphics are unique.
Over at the far end of the lineup are these two NISMO specimens. For those that don’t know what NISMO represents, it is Nissan Motorsports – the division behind every white-knuckle build for Nissan that smashes track records and wins championships.
On the left is a very rare and supercar-expensive ($179,900*) 2016 Nissan GT-R NISMO. This beauty packs a whopping 600-horsepower from its twin-turbo 3.8L V6 engine, has plenty of carbon goods on it (front and rear fascia, aero spoilers, etc), and NISMO tuned suspension components. Just last year, a test version set a record lap time at the Nürburgring of 7:08.679.
On the right is a 1990 Nissan GT-R NISMO, which started production on February 22, 1990 with only 560 units ever produced. Again like its younger cousin the R35, this R32 packs tons of suspension upgrades and lighter components not found on the standard GT-R of its generation.
Regardless of what generation showed up to the cruise, everyone can appreciate the signature GT-R badge and signature twin red-ring taillights. There’s just something so iconic about both those things to anyone who has been a fan of motorsports, the Japanese tuning scene, or cars in general. Despite nearly 30-years of difference between the R32 and the R35, the unique aura of a GT-R is one that is timeless.
With all the meet and greet business taken care of, it was time to hit the roads of Toronto for what would be an epic car cruise of roughly 8,000-horsepower (nicely) screaming past motorists. This Midnight Purple R33 GT-R was a sight to be seen. Even though it was night time, the colour still pops with every glimmer of light it catches.
Catching an R35 blasting on the highway always brings a smile to my face, even in low-light photographing conditions. The light cast on the beautiful design lines of the GT-R can only truly be appreciated when in black & white, whereby the eye can truly appreciate how light falls on it in motion.
The R3ALQUIK GT-R sounded incredible. Although the new generation packs a VR38DETT under the hood (unlike the RB26DETT of previous gens), that rumbling sound followed by the blow-off valves releasing boost pressure is intoxicating.
After a short run on the highway to get downtown-bound, we arrived at our first spot – the scared Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) grounds, road course of the Honda Indy Toronto in a few weeks. The plan was to position the lineup of GT-Rs in front of the Princes’ Gate, until security said otherwise.
The side profile of this R33 GT-R is beautiful to me, although most fans tend to shy away from liking this generation. Unlike the bold R32 and boxy R34, this middle gen is a mix of rounded lines and aggressive design cues – like that over the rear wheel.
It doesn’t take much to make an R35 GT-R look good. Case in point is this gunmetal specimen that seems to have minor mods done to its exterior – like a front lip and gold lug nuts. With lines like this, who needs an aero kit?
A personal favorite is this R35 fitted with a carbon fiber front lip, side skirts, and rear spoiler. Add to it flare are a set of gorgeous Vorsteiner V-FF 103 wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport rubber.
The NISMO R35 truly stands out from the crowd, especially under closer examination from its side shot. Everything about this car is as track-spec as possible from the lightweight NISMO wheels, to the sticky rubber, and endless carbon fiber goods shedding unnecessary weight.
Arriving at our final destination, the car park before grabbing some grub. As if it were a scene from an F&F tuner movie, an entire row was available and club members knew what they had to do – especially for a great photo-op.
The GT-R NISMO settling in for the night and looking mean with that carbon fiber front fascia. Gotta love the “Giggiddy” license plate, taken from Quagmire of Family Guy.
The rest of the pack followed up with all cars parked in reverse, but of course. The subtle exterior changes from year-to-year of the same R35 generation are noticeable when parked together. Even more noticeable is how dwarfed the R33 GT-R looked when parked in between two R35s.
Like a rogue bandit, the Midnight Purple R33 parked by itself and close to the pillar in hopes of avoiding a door ding. With such a rare car and in such a rare colour, can you blame him?
Fellow GT-R owner Aaditya Khimasia invited the club for some awesome burritos at his joint, Fat Bastard Burrito on Queen West. This was the perfect place to get some grub and be able to hang out a bit longer before everyone went their way.
As I headed back to Yorkdale Mall riding shotgun in Amit Tima’s Hakone White R35 GT-R, it dawned upon me the design similarities with this week’s #TestDrive vehicle – the 2016 Nissan Sentra SL – but more on that during the review piece.
A big thanks go out to Amit and the entire crew at GTA GTR CLUB for their hospitality. It was a great cruise and thankfully no issues with the law – can you believe it? Here’s to many more awesome summer nights of cruises and keeping the GT-R legend alive!
For information, follow @GTA.GTR.CLUB