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2009 Nissan GTR - Axis Granted

Move Over Exotics, The GT-R Has Finally Come Stateside

Sean Klingelhoefer
Jan 5, 2009
Photographer: Scott Dukes
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Ahh yes, the legendary Nissan GT-R, the car we Americans have been praying for over the last few decades. Finally Nissan has answered those prayers and shipped to our shores one of the most potent sports cars of all time. Super car performance at luxury car prices with Japanese style, it doesn't get much better than that. Of course, I wouldn't really know since I missed the GT-R that Charles, Jon and Terence got to rip on. But those that can afford the new GT-R like James Chen, they are getting more than their money's worth.

The yellow monster you see today was originally a standard GT-R. But now it's the most yellow R35 in the entire world! No, not really. I can't back that up... but it is very yellow. Ditching the stock scheme for something a little more sinister, Chen had the good folks over at Wet Works Garage in Costa Mesa, whip up something. Enter the there's-no-way-in-hell-you-could-possibly-miss-me Lamborghini yellow paint with pearlescent highlights. With a paint job this gnarly, the GT-R appears to be tearing-ass all over the place, even while sitting still. Just the kind of paint job well-suited for a beast of a vehicle packing 473hp right off of the showroom floor.

To kick up the badass-o-meter a couple of notches further, James decided to throw on some carbon-fiber pieces to accent the yellow submarine. Problem was finding parts for a brand-spanking-new car. While working with Password:JDM, Chen lent the car over to fabricate some prototype dry carbon- fiber pieces. Thanks to this very GT-R, you can now purchase the same dry carbon hood, dry carbon trunk and dry carbon rear diffuser plates directly from Password's site.

For those of you unfamiliar with dry carbon the name has nothing to do with the finish or look of the piece, but rather how it's made. Instead of being laid out in a mold where resin is applied separately like "wet" carbon, dry carbon (aka pre-preg) is pre-impregnated with a frozen resin. Once the piece is vacuumed and heated, the resin flows and is evenly distributed. Dry carbon is stronger, lighter and significantly more expensive. But when you're pushing a R35 with Lambo paint, money ain't a thang!

Wet carbon can also be found on the exterior, most likely due to the lack of parts availability rather than insufficient funds. An APR front lip, front canards and rear wing have all been bolted to the banana-rama mobile. All of these pieces help the GT-R cut through the smoggy night air while keeping firmly planted to the earth... which is undoubtedly scorching. Not to mention the added aggressive looks help to boost street cred. Sure, you might have a R35, but do you have the world's most yellow R35 packed with carbon? Didn't think so. When asked what the most unique part of the vehicle was, Chen was quick to reply, "It's yellow!", as if we, and everyone else in the world, didn't already notice that.

But there are a few other yellow pieces that maybe one could overlook. For starters there is the yellow pinstripe and center cap finishing off the twenty- inch Axis rims. And if you can manage to poke your little peepers past the rolling stock, you'd certainly find a pair of Brembo calipers done up in Porsche PCCB yellow paint. The yellow Axis banner is perched high atop the windshield to bear down on the rear- view mirror of any road go-er in his way. It's displayed proudly as if to say to unsuspecting citizens, "I'm driving one of the greatest sports cars ever to be assembled, and you are preventing me from blistering this strip of tarmac, so kindly switch lanes or get an assfull of dry carbon!" To complete the theme, it's very fitting that James adorned a yellow tee shirt for the shoot that can be seen on the front cover.

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Looking good and hauling-ass is no stranger to Chen, and neither is the color yellow. "it's my favorite [color]" James tells us "all my shit is yellow." With a stable of 14 cars (all yellow), including a '64 Ferrari 250GT/L lusso, '86 Lamborghini Countach QV DD, '07 Porsche GT3, '02 Lamborghini Muricelago and a '60 Cadillac Coupe De Ville (twin-turbo) to name a few, James might be considered a connoisseur by many. Having a fleet of true super cars, classics, luxurys and other collectible automotive marvels, we had to ask... why even bother with the GT-R? "I wanted an everyday super car to drive around," Chen explains, "The Nissan GT-R fits the bill, it is fast, comfortable and somewhat practical. With automatic transmission and a real trunk it is quite pragmatic."

When compared to true super cars, by someone who is an authority on such, he speaks highly of Nissan's masterpiece. "I really want a Ferrari 599 GTB, this GT-R has similar performance with much more potential at 1/5 the price, now that is value!" You can take that to You can take that to the bank, and while you're at, it feel free to rub it into your import-hating friends' faces. The GT-R is a serious piece of machinery, but how can one man afford all of these amazing vehicles? By now, you may have already pieced together a hypothesis.

James is the owner of Axis wheels, which is why there is no coincidence that all of his cars, wheels, accessories and even clothing match. "[Yellow] is a great marketing color" James explains. Starting the company back in 1997 Axis has been evolving constantly since then. His involvement in the auto industry has extended beyond then for over 20 years now. "It has been a passion that has turned into a career!" James proudly mentions. Clearly his passion has driven his success and given him plenty of new toys to enjoy. When asked about the reason behind the build Chen jokes, "I needed to have a car that was on the cover of Super Street!" Well James there's one more goal you can cross off the list.

Fast Facts
2009 Nissan GT-R
Owner James Chen
Hometown Sante Fe Springs, CA
Daily Grind wheel hustler for axis wheels

Under The Hood 3.8L Turbocharged VR38DETT; Password:JDM cooling plate, carbon intake manifold cover, ram air intake, Ti hood prop; K&N air filter

Drivetrain OEM R35 brains COBB Tuning GT-R AcessPORT

Stiff Stuff COBB Tuning coilovers

Stoppers OEM R35 Brembo calipers painted Porsche PCCB yellow

Rollers 20X10 (front) 20X11 (rear) Axis Power wheels in matte black w/yellow pinstripe wrapped in Toyo T1-R 275/35/20 (front) 305/30/20 (rear) for the street; 20X10 (front) 20X11 (rear) Axis Attack wheels wrapped in Toyo R888 285/35/20 (front) 315/30/20 (rear) for track use

Outside Laborghini Giallo Orion paint aka "Axis yellow"; APR carbon front wind splitter, carbon GTC adjustable rear wing, carbon front canards; Password:JDM dry carbon hood w/NACA ducts, dry carbon trunk, dry carbon rear diffuser blades; Modern Image graphics

Inside Sparco 4 point harnesses and harness bar ice OEM R35 sound system

Props I'd like to thank Steve at Password:JDM, KC at APR, Warren at Sparco, Joe at Wet Works, Christian at COBB tuning and Stan at Toyo Tires

www aprperformance.com; axiswheels.com; cobbtuning.com; passwordjdm.com; sparcousa.com; toyo.com

By Sean Klingelhoefer
211 Articles

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