A Christmas Story
It's all but impossible to refer to a 1,000-plus horsepower, billet block, 1999 Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R as "mild" from just about any perspective. That is, of course, unless you're referring to the Christmas family, and you know anything about their current stable of mind-blowing performance cars. Cars that include a 1,500whp, twin-turbo Ford GT, 1,400hp Lamborghini Huracan and oh, we can't forget about "Cotton Candy," their 3,000hp Huracan that goes over 250mph in the half-mile.
In addition to the exotics, the family has also spent considerable time behind the wheel of various R35 builds, including a world-record holding 2,500whp version that we spotted Alexandria Christmas piloting during GT-R World Cup last year, when she blasted a 7.610 at 185mph. In other words, this is a family of dedicated racers, from Alexandria and her husband Coy, to their son Coy Jr., the family is all involved in piloting these monsters in various motorsport. Their youngest, Hadley, isn't even a teen yet and already involved in go-karting and ATVs—so it's certainly in the blood.
Eyeing the Import
Now back to the R34 pictured, a car that Alexandria says she's revered ever since childhood. In her neck of the woods, it didn't carry the same sort of legendary status that domestic sportscars do. That is, until that import-centric (at least, in the beginning) movie franchise came along. She adds, "In the '90s, it was not widely recognized in the U.S. over the Corvettes, Camaros, BMWs, and Vipers at the time, until The Fast and the Furious came out. I dug how capable of a performance car it was, and very confused as to why it hadn't scored much attention."
When Opportunity Knocks
In 2015, as luck would have it, a friend of the family reached out with a unique opportunity. She adds, "A friend of ours called my husband one day and said his close friend had a gem of a car but was currently racing in the Le Mans 24. Seeing it sit untouched in the garage for too long, he wanted to find a good home within a circle of people that he knew would take great care of it." Negotiations commenced and before long this V-Spec II was delivered and added to the incredible stable of Christmas performance cars.
Another FNF-inspired R34:
2000 GT-R from Osaka
Mods to the R34 included 18-inch Advan wheels and StopTech brakes, along with a single turbo conversion using an original HK snail. After enjoying the car in the summer months of 2015 and the following year, the family decided it was time to really put their touch on the Skyline and that meant, of course, a huge increase in power along with an array of audio upgrades—in essence, their idea of the ultimate street car.
Quadruple Digit Fun
Eclipsing the 1,000hp mark is no easy task, especially with a street car, and in order to do it and do it in style, a billet RB26 block was used. Offering a lighter and stronger foundation, the billet block is more stout than the already stellar factory issued bottom end and can easily handle upwards of 1,800hp.
CP HD pistons and Carillo rods take the brunt of the abuse produced by a Precision 7275 turbo that force-feeds a Hypertune billet intake manifold and matching throttle body. The game of pass the gas leads to a Tomei-equipped head, which maintains the violent flow before it's summoned to the atmosphere via the TRUST exhaust system.
For as outlandish as the billet engine bits and power output is, the exterior is surprisingly simple, keeping in line with the car's original lines and styling that appealed to Alexandria years ago. The original Advans that came with the car were replaced by 19-inch Advan GT in Titanium Blue—a shade that works well against the factory Bayside Blue body color. Adjustable Motion Control Systems suspension was selected to dial in the ride height, which is set to a tasteful, user-friendly level, and if the notion of ripping the GT-R on track is just too much to deny, all the makings of a bona fide contender are on tap.
A Trio of R34 in Vancouver
Your natural instinct is to avoid audio components and gadgetry and keep things to the bare minimum because "light is fast" and amps and subwoofers add weight. We get it, however, when you have quadruple digit power available at the stab of your right foot, a drivetrain that allows it to be unleashed at will, and a passion for audio, packing on a few pounds isn't going to ruin your fun. In addition to the sound system, LED lighting creates an under-glow effect as a nod to the movie franchise that, in Alexandria's eyes, help popularize Nissan's sport coupe in the U.S.
Restraint and Excess
Catch a glimpse of the Christmas family's Lamborghini and R35 racecars with their loud, colorful livery and this R34 doesn't quite fit in —and that's what makes it all the more interesting. In order to keep the spirit of the original intact, they avoided aggressive aero changes and instead focused on maintaining Nissan's late '90s look. Of course, this family wasn't about to settle for standard power upgrades and in Christmas family tradition, huge power numbers are lurking under the hood of their "mild" street build.