Kenneth Blanck is a good friend of mine and not your ordinary R34 GT-R owner. Since picking up this pristine, low kilometer Bayside Blue example from renowned resellers Global Auto and now the second of two owners of this highly prized 2000 model GT-R V-Spec II Nur, Kenneth has literally thrown the book (and his wallet) at the car, ending up with a monster truly worthy of the greatest Pokemon trainers…
As with many cars that go through Global Auto, this car was already extensively tuned and by none other than Phoenix Power. But Ken found himself unsatisfied with the car after a number of issues so he started looking around for a tuner who could build the car again from the ground up.
That tuner was Top Secret. With requests from Ken, Smokey Nagata built this fire breathing behemoth that tops out with insane power figures thanks to a tried, tested and incredibly strong mechanical setup. The list of modifications is a mile long, so bear with me.
Starting at the heart of the matter, the RB26DETT was extracted from the chest cavity of Godzilla and stripped down to its smallest components. The mad scientist then went to work. Using a brand new N1-24U block from Nismo, Nagata san bored the block out to 2.8 liters and used a complete stage-2 stroker kit with short parts from HKS.
He then nestled a Top Secret 77.7mm light weight, forged and counter balanced crank into the bottom of the block, attaching HKS H-section connecting rods, oversize 87ø HKS pistons and forged titanium coated piston rings in the process.
With the bottom end covered on bulletproof reliability, Nagata went to work on the head. After extensive porting and polishing, he used an HKS drag specification 1.2mm metal head gasket, torqued down onto the Nismo block with JUN strengthened head bolts. Up top, there are Tomei strengthened valves and valve springs, HKS camshafts measuring 272 degrees on duration for both intake and exhaust with a lift of 11.0 along with supporting ancillaries such as HKS slide camshaft pulleys, an HKS strengthened timing belt, HKS cam sprockets and Tomei Powered oil pump.
If you think that was a lot of ingredients to throw into the soup, we’re only just getting started. Ken went the whole nine yards on this build and the supporting elements to the mechanical madness extends right through. HKS supplied a Type B V-Cam system, Trust provided a tie bell clear cover, Top Secret added their own original wash tank and oil catch tank while Nismo provided the surge tank for the intake which was then polished by Top Secret to give it its raw finish. Top Secret also added their own specially designed alternator, while Blitz provided a set of racing type plugs and Samco added radiator hoses.
But no doubt you’re also wondering about the shiny turbo setup that dominates the engine bay. It’s a monster HKS T51R Special ball bearing type mated to an HKS stainless titanium exhaust manifold, racing waste gate and front pipe that spits out the spent gasses via an HKS catalytic converter and full Top Secret titanium exhaust. The million dollar question comes when you ask how much power and torque it’s making.
The answer? At the wheels, this R34 GT-R makes a mountain moving 880bhp @ 8500rpm with torque providing a similarly seismic 840Nm @ 7500rpm.
It’s no surprise that with these numbers and the fact the engine redlines at 9100rpm and has up to 30psi of boost being pumped into it, that there is the issue of lag and the engine does have quite a bit of it under 5000rpm. I took the car for a short drive on the day of the shoot and in second at around 2000rpm, I pinned the accelerator and felt, well, nothing.
But the revs started to build and as it got to 4000rpm there was an increasingly noticeable and sinister whooshing sound from the turbo filling the cabin as it spooled up. When it hit 5000rpm, it really started to take off and as I reached 8000rpm, the car was the one pinning me to seat with a massive surge of noise, power and speed.
So that’s what a Top Secret car with the works thrown at it is like, huh? Let’s just say that my immediate first impression was one of amazement not only in the way there was nothing to speak of below 5000rpm but also of the way there was everything to gain above 5000rpm!
Little wonder then that Ken is a regular of the Wangan running this car at over 300kph when the roads are clear. This car would be a real pain to drive in heavy traffic but is an absolute weapon to drive on an open highway.
Godzilla’s heart was set back into place with Nismo engine and transmission mounts that give the unit reduced flex under load. Providing the 2.8 liter with it’s jungle juice is the heady cocktail of six 1000cc SARD injectors mated to a SARD fuel regulator, Trust fuel delivery lines and, crucially, four engine saving fuel pumps. The two main pumps are N1 units while Bosch 280L pumps act as failsafes. Top Secret then added their own original custom fuel collector tank to make sure the liquids get sent in the right direction at all times.
Trust was brought in to chill temperatures with its multi core front mount intercooler and associated piping, while oil temperatures are managed by an HKS oil-cooler. Water temperatures are taken care of by ARC who supplied a swirl pod and an SMC-R55 Prestage-R “side tank type” extended radiator that supports the factory core unit.
On the intake side of matters, HKS features yet again with Super Power Flow filters; Top Secret adding their own custom suction piping to the mix right after.
All this mechanical madness has to be harnessed somehow, so Smokey Nagata went to work on taming the beast. Starting with a gold edition HKS F-Con V-Pro, Smokey installed his own custom mapping and using a tricky combination of the HKS V-Cam VALCON controller, HKS fuel and air mixture controller, HKS EVC-6 boost controller and Tomei multi-band Air/Fuel sensors, worked it on the chassis dyno to produce over 1000hp at the crank.
Ken can monitor what’s going on in the cabin with a brace of readout instruments including a Trust multi-function boost gauge, Apexi Rev-Speed meter, Nismo 320kph speedometer, Nismo MFD extension and Do-Luck ET-S controller which manages the torque split between the front and rear Nismo differentials.
Getting 1000hp to the wheels in an effective manner was never going to be easy but the addition of an ATS triple plate clutch and pressure plate assembly and ATS lightened flywheel do the job. The clutch is definitely heavy but not difficult to engage with a bite-point that is somewhat flexible. That said, there’s no need to go to the gym for leg day if you ever get stuck in traffic with this car.
All this madness has to be suspended, stopped and steered somehow so fully adjustable Aragosta circuit specification damper units were employed in combination with Merwede springs wound to 11.8 kilograms at the front and 8.8 kilograms at the rear.
Giving the V-Spec II Nur added depth in ride height is a Top Secret custom adaptation of Roberta cup airbags which act as a valuable spoiler and bumper saver!
D2 Racing was brought in to pull the car up with eight piston front calipers mated to 380mm slotted and ventilated rotors. At the rear, D2 is also present with their four piston calipers and matching 350mm rotors. The entire system is backed up by D2 stainless mesh brake hosing and D2 racing specification pads.
Attached to this very aggressive braking setup is a beautiful set of Rays Volk TE37-TTR wheels. The “TTR” stands for Tokyo Time Attack and is a black only, limited edition model for the TE37 unveiled about a year ago.
These little jewels measure up at 19 x 9.5J with a +12 offset on all four corners and are wrapped in sticky Bridgestone Potenza RE-11A rubber measuring 265/35/19 all round.
The entire package is painted in bayside blue and discreetly clothed in passive aggressive Nismo and Top Secret body armor.
Nismo provided the oil cooler bumper ducts, side steps and rear under-spoiler while Top Secret added the carbon front hood, bonnet latches and custom front bumper with carbon diffuser.
Top Secret carbon fiber front grills accentuate the front assembly along with a Superior carbon fiber wing stand and Nismo clear indicator lenses.
Diving inside the car, we find even more modifications including brand new Recaro SP-G semi bucket seats for both driver and terrified passenger who are strapped in with Takata multi point harnesses.
Cusco came into play to provide a huge amount of torsional rigidity vie a 7 point roll-cage installed by Top Secret.
Now, Ken doesn’t roll to carparks to show the car static and much prefers to be travelling at warp speed.
After the initial shoot at Top Secret was finished, I arranged to have a second day with the guys at Fuji Speedway and it was there that the car was given its shakedown in the presence of Nagata and Ken.
The driver for the day was veteran tester Yasu Kikuchi, who many people will know as the driver of the Panspeed FD and various Super GT 300 tin tops. He’s a super friendly bloke, if a little short on height but what he lacks in that area he definitely makes up for with speed!
Incidentally, for the rolling shots in this post, Kikuchi san was kind enough to drive my tangerine orange Subaru STi tS Type RA press car for me while I hung as far out the back door as I dared; one foot securely hooked into the opposite arm rest!
It was a super busy day at FSW with Porsche incidentally bringing along a huge stack of customers for a driver training event.
Super GT 300 Porsche driver Tomonobu Fujii was there…
and no doubt you know who these guys are!
There’s also no doubt the sight of this particular Carrera GT Porsche will be an instant reminder of someone we lost recently.
But the day was a first for Ken, who had actually only just managed to nab his Fuji Speedway competition license that very morning so this was going to be his first time out on the daunting track.
He did really well from what I observed, especially for his first time and with loads of traffic to negotiate. It was an absolutely packed session to take part in.
The R34 looks right at home on the track and no doubt Ken is contemplating his next outing in the car.
Once you get a dose of the circuit drug, you’re hooked for life.
This V-Spec II Nur is not only an incredibly desirable platform for any automotive enthusiast but also a labour of love for Ken who has invested over $150,000 USD into the build over the past couple of years and is in the process of actually repainting it again at Top Secret in Bayside Blue with a metallic white pearl ahead of the 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon where the car will be displayed at Smokey Nagata’s booth. That’s right – you’re going to see tuned R34 GT-R’s at TAS next year.
His girlfriend though, has an interesting take on the entire project. “She told me for the money I spent on the GT-R, I could have bought a Lamborghini or Ferrari straight out of the box but what would have been the fun in doing that?”, he says with a wide, knowing grin. Indeed.
I’m sure the late Paul Walker would have loved this car.
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Words and Photos – Adam Zillin