Cartier and Chris Kirby - 1995 R33 GTR / 1991 R32 GTR
We’re all supposed to get married, settle down with kids and allow society to tell us what is expected of us, right?
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1995 R33 GTR
1991 R32 GTR
We’re all supposed to get married, settle down with kids and allow society to tell us what is expected of us, right? Husbands and wives are meant to put up with each other but it’s impossible for them to share the same hobbies or passion. If you are nodding your head in agreement right now, I’m sorry.
My name is Cartier, and I am married to the coolest guy I know, Chris Kirby. Chris and I met in our early twenties, almost 15 years ago, where our journey and passion for cars as a team began. At the time I had a custom painted hot pink Pontiac Grand Prix, and he was building an Acura Integra that he had since he was 16. Although our taste in cars was much different, modifying our cars made for a fun pastime that we could encourage, motivate, and enjoy together.
Over the years, Chris helped to refine my taste in cars as he introduced me to the import scene. His love for Honda builds inspired me to support him through the journey of spending hard-earned chunks of money on car parts. We would purchase car parts just as quickly as we could save up for them and always had our eye on the next thing. With that in mind, we continued over the years to step up our game and things escalated.
After years of focusing on the Integra, Chris shifted his attention to the Nissan world. He would reminisce over a 240sx he had when he was younger and finally decided to buy one. After he purchased the 240sx he decided to import an RB25 for his dream swap, although his real dream was to own a Skyline. We eventually sold the 240sx to a guy that bought it and drove it all the way from NC to AZ.
In 2016 Chris and I co-founded a car enthusiast group called Insane Imports. Since then, it has grown to have a quality following in the local Charlotte, NC car community. We have hosted car cruises, meets, and car shows that have not only provided a fun outlet to car enthusiasts, but some have also supported local non-profit organizations with cash donations raised from the proceeds from paid events. Although Insane Imports is based in Charlotte, NC, we welcome folks from any part of the world to join us online in our Facebook group or follow on Instagram.
In 2017 Chris and I went out to eat and on the way we passed a beautiful blue R32 GTR. As we gawked out of the windows of our 2013 Honda Civic SI, Chris told me that it would be his dream to own one of those cars. We arrived at the restaurant, ordered a cold beer and continued talking about how amazing that GTR was that we saw. That’s when I started asking questions about what it would take to get one. After hashing out the details, we left that restaurant with a decision. Our decision was easy once we said this out loud. “Why continue paying a car payment for a Honda Civic when we can finance an R32 GTR for the same amount?” Now, this may not work for everyone, acknowledging this is a 25+-year-old car and will need wrenches turned on it when something goes wrong. Luckily, Chris is very mechanically inclined and has always worked on his own vehicles. When something goes wrong, he will be able to navigate through it effectively.
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We started the search online for Chris’ GTR and came across a newly posted listing from Driver Motorsports in Virginia. It fit the criteria that Chris was looking for which was low miles, little to no modifications, in great cosmetic condition. After a thorough review of pictures, Q&A with Chris Driver at Driver Motorsports, and quick deliberation, we decided to pull the trigger and purchase the car. The car was listed for roughly 40 minutes before we snagged it up and we had it delivered to our driveway about 1 week after making the purchase.
The day came as we stood outside at our house and anxiously awaited the arrival of the GTR we purchased sight unseen except for some photos. This was the first time either of us ever saw a Nissan Skyline in this capacity, up close and personal. The truck and trailer turned into our cul-de-sac and there she was. I remember my mouth hurting from smiling so much.
A friendly face with a giant afro jumped out of the truck and began unloading our new GTR from the trailer. We had the pleasure of having Ed Anderson with Driver Motorsports as the delivery driver. If you know Ed or have seen him in the Driver Motorsports YouTube episodes, then you know he is a stand-up guy. That day he was the epitome of Santa Clause, delivering the most special gift of all.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff. Modifications! To Chris, the most important thing to do when you buy a vehicle is to get the wheels, tires, and suspension up to par. He decided to go with Volk CE28 SL in 17” along with Megan Racing coil overs and Nitto XXXX. Why did he go with 17” and not 18” you may be asking yourself? Chris knew that he would soon dive into performance modifications, so he wanted to make sure that the wheel size supported performance goals while remaining street-friendly. He determined that the 17” is the best size to leave more room for the tire sidewall.
A few months after Chris purchased his GTR I started to consider purchasing my own RHD fun machine. At the time I was driving a 2004 Acura TL and it had been paid off for years. I was able to afford a car payment but there was one issue in my way… I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift. If you know me, you know that I rarely let things stand in my way if I really want something. I decided that small hurdle wasn’t going to stop me and I began my search for our next JDM vehicle.
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It was between an RX7 or S13. Of course, being a dedicated Driver Motorsports customer, I went to their site to review what they had in inventory. There she was a beautiful, stock S13 Silvia coupe with an SR20DET and Kakimoto exhaust. With less than 85,000 km, this Silvia was the quintessence of classic JDM goodness. As my impulses continued to get the best of me, I decided to push forward and make an offer. One week later she was delivered to our front door. The only difference this time is the delivery driver was a more mature and handsome version of Ed Anderson, the previous driver. It was his dad!
Chris and I were ecstatic to own, at this point, two pieces of JDM history. Our obsession was growing stronger as we continued down the path of not only owning these beautiful vehicles but tastefully modifying them, keeping true Nissan or reputable parts as the top priority.
Just like with the R32, we needed to look into new wheels, tires, and suspension. The S13 came with some old school gold Advans with a horrible offset. They literally poked inside of the fender. The experience of picking out wheels began and I explored a ton of options until I came across the perfect wheels. Password JDM, a California based company that makes carbon fibre accessories had a division called Password Wheels. They offered custom forged wheels at a premium price. After going back and forth with myself on if I should bite the bullet and buy the wheels or find something less expensive, I decided to go all-in and order the wheels. Copper plated barrel with a gunmetal face and copper-plated hardware. These wheels are a must-see in person because pictures do not serve them justice. Shortly after installing the wheels, we attended an Import Expo car show and my S13 won best wheels.
Just as quickly as I was getting into my S13, Chris was chipping away at performance modifications on his R32. The end result got him into the 500 HP club with a Precision 6266 turbo complemented by a 6Boost turbo manifold, a set of ID 1050X fuel injectors, and a Haltech Pro Plug-in ECU. He finalized the first phase of the build with a professional tune by Soho Motorsports.
As of now, Chris is enjoying his car however, if there is a phase one there must be a phase two, right? Of course! Chris has plans to take the R32 build even further adding a Nitto 2.8 litre stroker kit along with the entire PRP catalogue. Until then, his attention has turned back to the Integra build and you won’t believe what he is doing with that. To keep this article to an acceptable length I will only share with you that the Integra is becoming a mean AWD big turbomachine (parachute included). That is for another article.
In early 2020 Chris and I had to take the S13 down to address a misfire. As he chipped away at replacing the ignition and fuel system, we also decided to do some fun upgrades. We added a front mount intercooler and did some powder coating work. Did I mention that Chris is a powder coater and owns his own company called Best Damn Powder Coating? Poor guy can’t catch a break as I point out everything metal and am constantly asking which parts he will freshen up on our cars.
While the S13 was down, I started missing the exhilaration of driving an RHD manual car. My Acura TL became less and less satisfying to drive, so I came to the conclusion that it was time to sell my daily and replace it with something a little more gratifying. The two options I took into consideration: MK4 Supra or R33 Skyline GTR? After 5 whole minutes of consideration, I decided that the R33 was the no brainer of the two. There was nothing left to do but reach out to the best of the best, Chris Driver at Driver Motorsports.
It was January 2020 and the R33 Skyline GTR was finally becoming legal to import. My goal was to purchase a Midnight Purple R33 GTR with low miles and as close to stock as possible. Driver Motorsports does not only offer amazing vehicles off of their showroom floor, they can also hunt down almost any JDM vehicle and bring it to the US. Chris had the criteria, and in less than one week sent me the following message, “I’m 99% sure we got your car. It looks to be a hundred percent stock. Midnight Purple with 52,000 actual miles, grade 4. Gold BBS LM wheels are the only modification that I can see.” We pulled the trigger, and after a pleasant experience working with Driver Motorsports once again, the car was delivered to us in March.
My plans for the R33 are to enjoy it as it is. Outside of a full paint correction and Ceramic Pro treatment from our friends at Charlotte Auto Spa, I haven’t changed much on the car. I want to put it on a nice aggressive wheel setup at some point in 2021. I have my eye on the Work Meister S1 3-piece wheels with a matte gunmetal face, bronze anodized barrel and matching finishing bolts in 18x10.5 +12 on a stretched meaty Nitto tire. I’m sure a nice exhaust will be in the future plans as well.
Outside of our Nissan collection, Chris and I have also taken a liking toward Kei trucks. We have a newly imported 1995 Honda Acty truck and just purchased a second one that arrives in March 2021. These trucks are so much fun and really come in handy for Chris’ powder coating business. Fortunately, they are fully legal and are a breeze to tag in NC. I envision a future of owning a Kei truck fleet on a large chunk of land along with a warehouse-sized garage. As you can imagine, Chris and I are running out of space to keep our vehicles so we will need to make a move to continue accommodating our growing family, I mean a collection of cars.
Thank you for following our journey. If you would like to see more make sure to follow us on Instagram.
R32 GTR (Gray)
- Precision gen 2 6266
- Precision 46mm gate
- Tial 50mm BOV
- Id1050x injectors
- Deatschwerks fuel pump
- 6boost manifold
- Hks fuel rail
- Megan coilovers
- Volk ce28sl
- Custom downpipe/exhaust work
- Haltech Pro Plugin ECU
- Haltech wideband/boost controller
- Nitto NT05 in 275/40
R33 GTR (Purple)
- 17” BBS LM
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