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A JDM ICON: Martin’s R34 GT-R V-Spec

When the majority of us are asked to name an iconic JDM car, our minds don’t really have to race that much – only a few cars pop into my mind when I think of an icon, and I’m sure at least a part of you would agree if I was to mention Nissan’s R34 GT-R.

I’ve personally never owned a Skyline. Not because I don’t like them, or not even because they’re not my taste… I just never have. It doesn’t mean that I really want to. Recent years, however, have seen GT-R prices soar; making some GT-R owners very privileged indeed. Martin is just one of Adelaide’s passionate GT-R owners, and his Bayside Blue V-Spec couldn’t look more iconic if it tried. Ahead lies a tale of tasteful modification, substantial power, and nine skylines. Oh, and being asked to move five hundred times when trying to shoot this car on a public road. Anything for the ‘gram, right?

The Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R stands today as a genuine JDM icon. It wasn’t launched into fame by The Fast and the Furious, either (well it was, but it was bloody desirable before that, okay?). Built in an era when GSP navigation was a fancy new gadget, when the stick reigned supreme over a dual-clutch paddle-shifter, when computers didn’t control when your car braked, changed lanes or parked. It was built in an era which many of us enthusiasts would label as the peak of Japanese sports car manufacturing. It was a car for the driver, and perhaps that’s partially why is so sought after today. The twin-turbo inline-six (RB26DETT) engine provided ample power output to the car’s complex all-wheel drive system, and paired with stiff suspension and an active rear LSD, provided a factory-build car for the true driving enthusiast.

Martin’s particular example, a Bayside Blue (name a more iconic colour, I dare you) V-Spec model, is just one of the numerous variants of GT-R34 produced. To break it down; 11,577 R34 GT-Rs were built between January 1999 and August 2002. Of those built; 4,192 were V-Spec. Of those V-Spec models; just 1,188 were Bayside Blue. Makes it sound a lot more special, right? The V-Spec models featured slightly upgraded editions of the ‘base model’ GT-R (if such a term exists) including an upgraded active rear LSD, stiffer suspension, a front splitter, and a rear diffuser. It was replaced by the V-Spec II model in October 2000.

Martin’s journey began eight years ago… When I was seventeen years old (I feel like a kid now, awesome). It all started with a trip to the Omori factory in Tokyo (why does everything always start there?). Alongside a line-up of Nissan’s finest (including an original Z-Tune) sat a Bayside Blue V-Spec with LMGT4 wheels which cemented an idea in Martin’s mind. The car you see here is a product of that visit to Omori and isn’t it just beautiful.

Adorned with pretty much everything from the Nismo catalogue including S-Tune suspension and the S-Tune front end, skirts, gauge cluster, copper mix twin-plate clutch and exhaust; it’s kitted out with plenty of factory-spec options. Aftermarket is subtly and tastefully included in the car, predominantly under the hood, and includes a Garrett 2860-5 turbo (running 19psi), a set of white Volk Racing TE37SLs, DBA slotted rotors and leather seat covers. The Nismo-inspired decals add a touch of colour to break up the Bayside Blue paintwork, and I think it’s rather fitting and an ode to the Nismo livery throughout the car.

Martin’s adoration for the GT-R didn’t begin with the 34, though. A sacrifice had to be made to own this car, and that was its predecessor in the garage – Martin’s R32 GT-R. Actually, Martin’s owned nine skylines over his lifetime. That’s more commitment than our Australian government has ever had… When comparing the two; the R32 definitely had more power (the 34 boasting a considerable 310kw, but the 32 sitting much higher) but he wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s still enough to put a smile on your face when you stab the throttle, and yet you could let grandma drive it to the shops!”

As we all think of a JDM legend, I’m sure we’d all agree that the R34 GT-R climbs pretty high on that list in your head (if not at the top). Pair it with an iconic colour, some Nismo livery, some subtle aftermarket modification… It’s an icon, right? With prices climbing every second that I write this article; I best get back to work, because the R34 GT-R is hot property right now. Martin’s all set, and hopefully we’ll be seeing this stunning example at our JDM showcase at SlowCase 2019!

Martin – Nan called. She wants to go to the shops now.



Ebony is one of the latest addition to the Slowlife Girls family. She’s not a city girl – in fact; she lives closer to the Barossa than she does to the suburbs! We often find ourselves cringing at her long drive to Flinders University to study Psychology, though. That would hurt. Ebony was a no-brainer when we thought of who would be ideal for this shoot – she’s an R34 Skyline owner herself! She worked hard during high school and saved every cent to get an R34 of her own for her second car (my second car was a rusted out VK station wagon I purchased off a seedy Gumtree man in central Elizabeth at 3am so she’s doing good tbh). Ebony isn’t just a pretty face, though – she’s also a major contributor to our social media management, and she’s one of the few faces behind our instagram and facebook!

You can catch Ebony at all of our events (she’s definitely noticeable as our tallest Slowlife Girl yet) helping out our team, and always by her Skyline! Follow her on her instagram here, and don’t forget to say hello to her at all of our events!



Images: Rapture Media (Follow: Facebook | Instagram)

Managing director of Slowlife and one of the original founding members. Passionate about all things Slowlife, and has been one of the minds behind Slowlife's events and media since 2014. Also owns a widebody tilty wheel car that struggles to get out of the driveway without scraping, and is often seen crying over doggo memes whilst on a caffeine binge.