There’s nothing cooler than wandering the pits at New Zealand’s largest import drag racing event, and stumbling across countless versions of your dream car. For me, the Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R is that vehicle, so when I see one, I get a little excited. 

While meandering around, dodging various drag weapons at the line-up for staging, I spotted Ali’s 1996 Nissan Skyline GT-R. For some reason or other, I liked what I saw — the styling was similar to what I’d do; minimal, yet you know it means business. 

After a quick yarn with Ali, he told me that the R33 is no longer factory, and now outputs 450kW at the wheels, which was enough to net him an 11-second-flat pass down the quarter-mile. Which is handy, considering that, in New Zealand, anything faster than that must be fitted with a roll cage. The RB26 has forged pistons and rods, an N1 oil pump, HKS cam gears, Sard fuel injectors, and an HKS ECU. Ali mentioned that he has also made the switch to E85 fuel and runs 21psi of boost on the upgraded twin turbos. 

The exterior modifications have been left to a minimum, which is just how I like it. A rear diffuser, eight-piston D2 calipers, and 18-inch Volk wheels shod in 265-wide rubber is all that you’ll see here. 

Alright, enough waffling on — I promise you the next time I speak about an R33 GT-R is when I own one! 

René Vermeer

Dutch, French, or just a Kiwi, René isn’t quite sure, but he does know he has a passion for Japanese vehicles like no other. A well-seasoned Gran Turismo player dating back to his single-digit days, René has a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of performance vehicles and has owned more than 30 performance cars here in New Zealand, ranging from Nissans to Hondas. A lover of photography, you’ll find him either peeping under someone’s bonnet to snap a detailed shot, or on the side of the racetrack, perfecting his panning.