FEATURE – A DYING GODZILLA

I must admit i’m not really a daytime kind of person. I’m at my best after the sun is down, the city lights turn on and the streets are abandoned. It has something to do with the magic of an illuminated city that awakens me and drives me onto the streets. I’ve seen many enchanting city’s in this world but nothing compares to the streets of Tokyo by night.

Although this Hummer is a car that’s hard to miss, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second glance during the day. After dark is when I started noticing things I most likely wouldn’t have seen during the day.

We walked back to the Hotel after doing a round of night shooting in Tokyo central and Fuchu, more on that in a later post, when all of a sudden I noticed the silhouette of my all time favorite car in a parking lot. Excited as a football fan on super Sunday, I started walking towards it but this was something I wasn’t expecting!

My heart broke when I saw the state this BNR32 was in! Clearly it was standing there for quite some time, something the signs on the window confirmed! It turned out that the owner of the parking lot had written a request to the owner of the car to contact him ASAP! They weren’t too happy with the owner since the car already stood there for a couple of months! The owner didn’t even bother unhooking the tow rope.

I’ve said it before in my TAS2012 coverage but Oij (only in Japan)!

I started shooting straight away, still amazed by the fact that someone could abandon a car like this! But what happened next completely blew me away because it turned out that the car wasn’t even locked! I was in shock. I could almost hear her whisper…”Please take me with you! Save me!

It was actually quite hard to leave her behind! It’s getting harder and harder to find clean examples of this iconic beast and even though this was anything but clean, I still wanted to take her home to give her the love and care she clearly deserves! There are a few clean ones in Holland but those go for ridiculous prices but why buy a clean one if there’s a slight chance to actually save one? These cars must be preserved for future generations and I don’t mean to be displayed in a museam but to rule the the things they where build for; The track and the street!

So next time you see a classic in poor condition, buy it! Make it a long term project if you want but restore it!  Because they have what most new cars don’t have; a soul!

Stay tuned for more on my trip to Tokyo! For now you can find me roaming the streets of the world, Looking for dying Godzillas to rescue!

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Words and photo’s – Allard van Grafhorst

36 thoughts on “FEATURE – A DYING GODZILLA”

  1. good thing you left it, could have been a drug dealers car.. or a stolen car waiting to have the heat die down.. good job

  2. WanganNastyMachine

    I understand your feeling, it may have been a good thing you left it behind. Perhaps get in contact with the owner if at all possible (I know this may be very hard) andsee what the deal is with this beast. The BNR32 is my one dream car, I could only image the feeling.

  3. In Japan, it’s normal for such nice good cars like these to go abandoned, they are really worth nothing to the Japanese people. And they wouldn’t get stolen since the crime rate is so low in Japan

  4. Shame to see such nice cars just lieing there, waiting to be used! I once seen a Triumph Spitfire at a scrap year and wanted to restore it as it was in ok condition. Sadly i diddent have the money 🙁

  5. Damn it… If only I was’nt living in Quebec, ( A province that banned right handed drive cars recently -_-‘ (government did not even listen/read our petition, so we got screwed pretty bad) ), I would’ve done anything to save that legend. Great post ! 

    1.  they did what ?!?!.. good thing you told me, i was planning on moving to montreal next year… toronto it is 🙂 .. have they still got that rule in which an import car has to be 15 years or older in order to be made road legal ? apparently they were planning on making that to 25 years like the USA..

  6. Pingback: a dying godzilla...

  7. I’ve noticed that happening more and more over the past couple of years. I do know a guy who took over a car from the original owner after the vehicle had been abandoned in the exact same fashion. Finding a BNR32 like that, on the other hand, is a rare find. I would have made it my mission to find the owner.

    Also, I want those NISMO rims for my BNR32.

  8. I almost cried, when I first saw these pics.

    I hope someone will save her and bring glorious back to this (almost) stock R32.

  9. Poor form Mr Grafhorst.

    How would you like it if some random Joe from off the street started going through your car? Who cares if the car is unlocked, what gives you the right to do an inspection?

    This is mind numbingly disrespectful to the owner and gives “hakujin” (or any foreigner) a bad name. It’s no wonder some sections of the Japanese community have complete contempt for foreigners.

    1. You, Sir, are – pardon me – stupid.

      Everyone cares. The owner lost any right to this car when he left it to rot like this, especially considering he did not even lock it and left the paperwork. That’s almost forcing someone to take the car.

      And the only “mind numbingly disrespectful” thing here is the owner. You get close too, how dare you criticize anyone that actually cares about legends like this? I just hope you don’t say such things, only write…Because if you did, sooner or later you would get punched in the face for a such a statement – rightfully.

      As for the article…It’s like watching news about the war on a channel that barely censors, harsh truth most probably are aware of but nobody likes to see because it hurts inside. With every picture of a car like this, a little bit of my heart and soul dies – it’s a shame 🙁

      1. I can’t believe you’re defending the authors actions. Are you the author?

        This is utter disrespect for other people’s property. How are you to know the owner’s plans for the vehicle? Because of some paper you happened to pick up? Where does it say on that paper that anyone from off the street can go through the car at will? That’s right, it doesn’t.

        I would say what I’ve written to the authors face because if he did hit me, he’d be deported in an instant, right after a stint at the local Police station. I live in Japan and this article is disrespectful.

        I don’t care how much the author loves Skylines, that is not his car and he has no right to go through it. 

        Oh and one more thing, I GUARANTEE the author was watched the whole time by someone and that person reported that a “gaijin” was rummaging through someones car. I hope they find you and send you back home with a 5 year ban on entry to Japan.

      2. I can’t believe you’re defending the authors actions. Are you the author?

        This is utter disrespect for other people’s property. How are you to know the owner’s plans for the vehicle? Because of some paper you happened to pick up? Where does it say on that paper that anyone from off the street can go through the car at will? That’s right, it doesn’t.

        I would say what I’ve written to the authors face because if he did hit me, he’d be deported in an instant, right after a stint at the local Police station. I live in Japan and this article is disrespectful.

        I don’t care how much the author loves Skylines, that is not his car and he has no right to go through it. 

        Oh and one more thing, I GUARANTEE the author was watched the whole time by someone and that person reported that a “gaijin” was rummaging through someones car. I hope they find you and send you back home with a 5 year ban on entry to Japan.

        1. You sound like a lawyer. Nothing was stolen or damaged no harm done. 

          Get over it douchebag.

        2. You missed the point too… the average IQ of readers here must be fairly low.

          It’s about Japanese society and their opinion of gaijins. The author of this article does no favors for foreigners in Japan by rummaging through a random vehicle found on the street. All it does is confirm the stereotype and gives us residents a hard time.. as if it wasn’t hard enough to be accepted already.

          Obviously anyone defending the authors actions has never lived in Japan otherwise they would feel the same way. Typical ignorance and I’m not surprised.

          This site is supposed to celebrate Japanese car culture not rummage through uninvited.

        3. I know, being from japan only foregners hit japanase people in face get deported so you must be a japanese girl. is this your car? Maybe some foreign guy who married a japanesew woman should find you and knock you out. no problem there for depotring right?

      3. your so fucking stupid. regardless if the car sits there for 10 years, does not mean you can take it. Do yourself a favor and take up knitting. Thanks. 

    1. You say that but i bet you would whine like a bitch if someone stole your car, how do you know that the owner dosnt have plans for it ? maybe he fell ill and is in hospital theres heaps of possible 
      reasons its sitting there like that

  10. I cant fuckin believe you went through a car that wasn’t YOURS. In a foreign country. What a fucking waste of an article and a human let alone a car enthusiast. Do you self a favor and start taking pictures of flowers. You can take those and keep them, unless they are in a green house. Owned by someone you dont actually know. If it were my green house. I would shoot you. 

    you Troll.   

  11. thanks for removing my post. Truth hurts doesn’t it? Im glad you read it though. Makes me happy inside. =) eat a fat dick. 

  12. I have a 91 sentra ser and Im trying to keep it going and look the way its suppose to. there a dieing bread and like that skyline theres a soul. theres just some thing about these sentra ser’s that not alot of cars have, I think the 90’s sports cars are the best. so keep those old cars alive stop crushing them or let them rot away. paint them up and make them pretty once agian and show them off.

    save the skyline!!!

  13. If that paper on the side door, where the owner of the lot had asked the owner of the car to contact him ASAP, that one, if that was super old, i would have taken the car, im sorry i would have taken it and left my number behind somewhere

  14. Its a GT-S..the standard GT-R looking fiber glass bumper is the give away..why would you want to replace the standard PU GTR bumper for fiber ones??  GT-S are a dime a dozen in Japan..so it doesnt suprise me its abandon

  15. It kills me seeing this, im obsessed with the r32 gtr im lucky enough to have two…it would of taken alot of strength to not take it or at least wash it haha..

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