Friday 24th August 2012


R34 Skyline revives memories for Dan, most of them happy ones...

So look at what I got to drive into the office this morning. Pretty special, eh? Really special in fact, this being Nissanís heritage fleet R34, totally standard UK spec and with just over 23,000 miles on it. Doubtful thereís another like it Ė certainly all the R34s in the classifieds have felt the modderís hand and boast suitably crazy horsepower figures.

Nothing wrong with that of course Ė the Skyline is famously a blank canvas in standard form and done properly the mods simply realise the potential laid down in the base package.

Exotic, unapologetic and totally cool
Exotic, unapologetic and totally cool
But itís always nice to drive a car as its maker intended too, especially one like this. And itís got particular resonance for me this car, it being the first seriously rapid car I ever drove. That was back in 2001 and Ö it didnít go so well. That little anecdote Chris shared in his Tell Me Iím Wrong piece about a scary near miss at the íring in Nissanís blue T4 GTR press car? I read that and laughed out loud, it being, word for word, pretty much what happened to me in the red one, T3 GTR, not long after. Only it didnít end quite so well in my case.

This isnít my first time back in an R34 since though. V16 SKY and I met a little while back for a buyerís guide I was writing. But I only had a quick go and this time round Iíve actually got a couple of days to get reacquainted. And I was beaming all the way in this morning, as if an R34 in early morning M25 traffic didnít stand out enough already!

A fresh-faced Dan and T3 GTR before the inevitable
A fresh-faced Dan and T3 GTR before the inevitable
I can understand Chrisís stance in his piece. And Iím happy to defer to his greater experience of R32s and 33s. But for me the 34 is the one, mainly because it was the first fast car I ever drove and, incredibly given what happened, provided me with a path from being a games journo to doing what I do today. Virtual to real, if you will. And thatís a neat analogy for what the R34 is to me and many like me Ė a car idolised and made legend through gaming as much as real-world exploits and still, to my eyes, amazing to see in the metal rather than pixellated form. A theme weíll be exploring in more detail very soonÖ

Sure, itís no looker by any rational measure. But I canít take my eyes off it and every time I park up and walk away I have to stop, turn around and take it all in once again. I felt like that 11 years ago with T3 GTR. And itís nice to know those feelings havenít changed one bit.

Fancy sharing the love? Iíll be bringing this car to our Sunday Service at Silverstone this weekend so pop across and have a look yourself. V16 SKY will be driven with due deference but to get you in the mood hereís a little vid I found Ė one of many like it Ė of a Mineís R34 being driven in true Banzai fashion. Enjoy! And if anyone else has any favourite Skyline videos letís have íem!


Author: Dan Trent
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