OF THE RISING SUN
13 August 2015 | Story & photos: RaceMasteR J
has to be one of the cooler things we’ve done in a long
time. That is, put together three iconic Japanese sports cars
for one shoot. Growing up playing Gran Turismo on a Playstation
1, it was always one of these three cars that I would choose to
drive. With none of them being available in South Africa at the
time, it was only in the virtual world where I could experience
them. Fortunately for us now days, there have been a few lucky
individuals who managed to get their hands on these Japanese street
First up in the black corner we have Wesley Lewins A80 Toyota
Supra. A full body kit, lowered suspension and exhaust system
all set on 19” wheels and tyres, this Supra certainly is
one of the best looking examples around. Admittedly performance
was not at the top of Wesleys priority list here, but all things
happen in due time.
Originally derived from the Toyota Celica, the Supra was massively
more successful worldwide from the race track to the road with
many of today’s most notorious racers still using the hugely
successful 2JZ power plant.
Some memorable Supras for me were the white, red and green Castrol
Supra from Gran Turismo, the gold Top Secret Supra that Mr. Nagata
used to street race with in Japan and more (not so) recently the
late (I’ll see you again) Paul Walker’s orange Supra
from Fast and Furious 1.
In the white corner we have the much smaller FD3S Mazda RX7 of
Nivan Maistry. Smaller not only in dimension but engine size too.
From the 3 litre engine of the Supra we are cut down to a mere
1.3 litre’s of the Wankel Rotary in the RX7. One point three
you ask? Well, it’s a 13B rotary engine which made about
200kw’s when it came out.
Rotary’s work on a completely different principle compared
to piston engines. When rotary engines work, they work well, but
are also notoriously known for being high maintenance (if not
looked after) and very thirsty.
If the Supra was Goliath then the RX7 would be David. The RX7
is all about being nimble, agile and precise. The RX7 is one of
the best handling cars in its class and was a popular choice of
Japanese drifters of yester year like the Apexi RX7 drift car.
This car is a lot more modified compared to the Supra and is actually
the most modded of the three. This specific RX7 sees a single
T72 ball bearing turbo setup with a street port conversion. RE
Amemiya body kit, carbon fibre bonnet, 3 spoke 18” Advan
wheels and a fully adjustable HKS coil over kit are only some
of the many mods this car has on offer.
Finally we have Godzilla in the blue corner, the Nissan R34 Skyline
GTR of Anwar Mohamed. A huge Nissan fan Anwar has collected many
a GTR over the last few years but this has to be his ultimate
prized posession. Everything about this car is perfect. The colour,
the Nismo wheels, the Nismo body kit… subtle yet perfect
and amazing to look at in the flesh.
The R34 GTR is undoubtedly the car with the most street cred from
the trio. Nicknamed Godzilla by an Australian car magazine in
1989, the name has stuck till today. The GTR was the flagship
of Nissan Performance showcasing many advanced technologies from
its time like the 4 wheel drive and 4 wheel steering system.
Still a very popular tuner car world wide the R34 still wins many
a time attack and circuit event. All GTR’s were made in
Japan and this one proved to be a worthwhile mission to import.
Modifications are minimal besides the obvious aesthetics, the
car also came with an HKS coil over kit and HKS cams. Like I said,
subtle, yet perfect.
Some consider the R34 GTR as Japans first real supercar while
others may argue that point over the Honda NSX. Either way, I
consider these three as Japanese super sports cars and authentic
legends from the land of the rising sun.
Be sure to check out the rest of the gallery below... Enjoy!