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Spotless Skyline

A spotless R33 GT-R V-spec that truly cleans up at street sprint events.

Words by Michael Knowling, Pix by Julian Edgar

Click on pics to view larger images

At a glance...

  • R33 Skyline GT-R V-spec
  • Estimated under 600hp (448kW)
  • Proven street sprint winner
  • Spotless presentation
  • Only around 24,000km travelled!
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There are plenty of Skyline GT-Rs that run fast times at the drags and on the race circuit. But get up close to some of ‘em and you’ll be shocked how rough they are – shoddy aftermarket workmanship, add-on bits’n’pieces that don’t fit properly, tired paint and sometimes rust...

Well, if there’s one thing you can be certain of, it’s that Derek Pingel’s R33 GT-R V-spec is an absolute show stopper. This baby will run as fast through the twisties as any other GT-R and is presented in what can only be described as ‘better than new’ condition.

And that’s no surprise given it’s been so lovingly cared for and has travelled only 24,000km since new!

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Derek purchased this R33 V-spec a few years ago with just 7000km travelled in Japan. It was as close to brand-new as you could get and, being current model at the time, Derek paid a substantial AUD$90,000 for the beast.

The car arrived in Australia without a scratch and, once ADR’d, Derek was free to hit the road in his new Japanese supercar. The previous owner had already installed a 90mm cat-back Trust exhaust system to let the RB26DETT breathe but it wasn’t long before Derek had offloaded the car at a friend’s place for some further tweaking.

We’re not talking about your average friend here – we’re talking about Mark Motson of Motson’s Turbo and Suspension in Brisbane!

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Mark released intake restriction with a pair of K&N pod filters on cast alloy adaptor pipes and whacked on a pair of AVO roller-bearing turbos rated at 350hp each. These turbines bolt to a pair of AVO high-flow dump pipes, which merge into the existing 90mm exhaust system.

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The standard ECU won’t allow maximum performance to be extracted from these mods so Mark converted to a Link plug-in computer complete with electronic boost control. With the Link set to deliver up to 1.4 Bar (20.5 psi) of boost there’s some serious charge-air heat generated. Thankfully, there’s an AVO upgrade intercooler – a unit which is renowned for its cooling capacity. An intercooler spray kit is also fitted just to be sure the engine receives nice, cool air. Engine life is ensured by an AVO oil/air separator and oil cooler kit, complete with braided lines.

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With these mods, Mark Motson estimates the RB motor is making somewhere under 600hp (448kW). Serious grunt! At this power level the standard injectors and pump are running absolutely flat-strap. A Malpassi rising rate fuel pressure reg is the only change to the Nissan fuel system.

The electronic-controlled ATESSA AWD driveline remains factory except for a heavy-duty clutch by Motson’s.

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Derek is an experienced open-wheel race driver and knows there’s a lot more to making a fast car than cranking up the power output.

The already secure handling of the R33 V-spec (which is less oversteery than the R32) has been fine tuned with Tein lowered springs, which we’re told are relatively compliant by Japanese standards. This compliance helps the tyres stick on rough road surfaces and gives progressive handling characteristics. Interestingly, the standard HICAS rear-steer system has been removed to eliminate the twitchy feel that previously existed at high speed. Cornering grip is improved by running 3 ½ degrees of negative camber at the front and 2 ½ degrees neg at the rear. Note that Mark Motson custom fabricated the camber kits for each end.

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Sticky tyres make a world of difference to on-track times so it’s no surprise to see 255/40 DOT approved Bridgestone RE540S at each corner. There are mounted on 17 inch Racing Hart alloys. Behind the rims you’ll find the standard V-spec Brembo calipers with Endless NA-Y pads. These pads provide a noticeable improvement in stopping performance and are relatively low dust.

Not that you’ll find a speck of dust anywhere...

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Take a close look at the photos to appreciate the condition of this GT-R. When we arrived for our photo shoot the car was stored in an inflatable ‘bubble capsule’ which prevents dust settling on the body. Oh, and it also stops anyone peering through the windows with grubby hands...The blemish-free body is standard fare with the addition of a N1 front lip.

Inside, Derek has given the car Nizmo instruments (including a 320 km/h speedo), twin fire extinguishers and a battery isolator. The standard wrap-around sports seats prove fine for street/street sprint duties.

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The car has been thrown into a few Queensland streetsprint events and there was no problem taking outright honours in three or four of them... Unfortunately, it’s hard to relax when you’re behind the wheel – the sheer monetary value of the car means it’s difficult to really ‘cut loose’. These days, both Derek and Mark pedal a built-for-street-sprint Ford Escort (which will be covered in an up-coming article). The Skyline now lives in its bubble capsule!

And that, readers, is why this magnificent GT-R is being offered for sale.

At AUD$70,000 you’ll need to do better than trade-in your rusty VB Commodore, but think of it this way – you’ll be paying about half what it owes the current owner...

Do you want a pig or do you want perfection?


Motson’s Turbo and Suspension                                      +61 7 3277 7766


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