Welcome to part 2 of my series’Super cool cars, but not really good at racing.

Ok, so the title needs some editing, but from part 1 – where I show the Sard MC8 – the certified model of the Sard MC8-R – part 2 is equally contradictory. Suza-san pays homage to the Nismo GT-R LM – another race car looks like like it’s booked every year Podium Hotelin fact it didn’t quite make it to the A-list.

Much like the Sard MC8-R, the Nismo GT-R LM race car was Nissan’s attempt at world domination. Although unlike the Sard MC8-R, Nissan has achieved this with the BNR32 Skyline GT-R. The car was dubbed “Godzilla” by the Australian motoring press after dominating the local Group A touring car race.


The R32 Skyline GT-R has won 29 of 29 races in the Japan Touring Car Championship, making it virtually unbeatable. This is a very large fish in a medium sized pond. However, stepping into Le Mans in an R33 Nismo GT-R LM and pitting it against the likes of the McLaren F1 and Porsche GT1 is like having a big fish in a much bigger pond. A pond full of bloodthirsty Europeans.


I won’t go into all the details of the GT-R LM as there is a comprehensive history lesson on Speedhunters in Part 1 and Part 2. But just in case you can’t get enough of clicking your mouse or scrolling with your thumb, here’s what it’s short for:

Nissan entered Le Mans in 1995 to test the waters before an all-out attack in 1996. They competed in two GT-R LM cars – #22, with the Group N spec engine and standard Nissan Getrag gearbox, and the ill-fated #23, tasked with using an experimental transmission jointly developed by Xtrac and Nismo Box, go all out. Unfortunately, more R&R seems to be needed. As such, #22 held steady with a respectable 10th out of 20 finishers. It was a good first round and Nismo’s victory over the Ferrari F40 was a sure win.

However, 1996 was not as successful.That’s thanks in part to Porsche’s new 911 GT1, which starts with a glass of Bordeaux and side dish (shredded pork pie). The No. 22 and No. 23 GT-R LMs are now the same specification and use the trusty Nissan transmission, but this time it was the No. 23 car that crossed the finish line, finishing 15th overall out of 25 cars.

The results may not be as bad as those of the Sard MC8-R, but it may not be what Nismo was hoping for. To be honest, pitting a small sports car against a supercar might be a bit ambitious.


Still, the Nismo GT-R LM is the coolest looking GT-R ever made, which is why Suza-san paid tribute to the road car based on the regular BCNR33 Nissan Skyline GT-R. It’s awesome to see, especially when most R33 GT-R owners going the copy route will opt to build a 400R look.


We headed up the hill to admire the beauty of some fine Japanese car craftsmanship…and some lacquered wood bowls.


Suza-san told me that his GT-R LM replica body kit was molded from one of the original cars, but he chose not to put the racing livery on it because it was his date night cruiser.


For the wheels there was only one choice – the 2-piece Nismo LM GT beauties, made by RAYS of course.


Exactly like the single-homage Nismo GT-R LM road car that Nissan makes and stocks in their Zama Heritage range, the RB26DETT engine in the Suza-san car is mostly stock (the Nismo road car has 305ps). He added a pair of Trust Airinx air filters, an equal length headpipe also from Trust, and a stainless steel muffler from Be Free, so it definitely sounds like the part.


Walking through the eerily quiet streets of this picturesque village, the ORC Metal Clutch Shines Like Two Samurai sword Swords collide in battle.


In fact, Suza-san uses the car for special occasions (such as dates), and perhaps that sums up Nismo’s attempt at a GT-R LM competition program well. The ambition and spirit are strong, but the GT-R is actually more well-rounded than a full-fledged race car.


What Suza-san built here is a one-off homage to the one-off homologation special build so the Nismo GT-R LM could race Le Mans in the 90s, and it’s pretty cool in every way.


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