No, this isn't the title to Ken Follett's next best seller. Nor is it the plot to the next James Bond film. And what you have here isn't just another "Godzilla invades!" graphic novel, either. No, this is a true story about a man in an exotic, far-off land who wanted the fastest car in the country, and he wanted it with a two-year warranty. Sure, this mystery man from Azerbaijan—a small republic that was once a part of the Soviet Union and is now sandwiched between Iran and Russia along the western shore of the Baltic Sea—could have just written a big, fat check to Ferrari or Lamborghini and called it a day. But Ramal, whose last name has been withheld to protect his status as the most interesting man in the world, wanted something that wasn't just faster than a run-of-the-mill supercar. He wanted to feel the mythical power of Godzilla through the seat of his finely tailored linen pants while simultaneously turning any nearby exotics into mere specks in his rearview mirror.
To accomplish these lofty and totally awesome goals, Ramal turned to Bulletproof Automotive, a California-based distributor of the very finest tuning parts from Japan. Bulletproof isn't just a purveyor of rare JDM goodies, though. Led by serial entrepreneur Ben Schaffer, these guys also specialize in building completely turnkey projects like this one, along with their numerous high-profile SEMA project car builds. In fact, Bulletproof has become well known as an exporter of custom cars and is set up as a car dealer to help streamline this process.
As Ben explained, "Ramal wanted us to get him a brand-new '13 GT-R and export it to Azerbaijan. He let us know this would be the first GT-R ever in Azerbaijan, but that wasn't enough for him. He wanted to have the fastest car in his country. Over the next few weeks, detailed conversations were had discussing his dreams for the car. How he wanted it to look, how he wanted it to perform. His driving style and how he would use the car. And, of course, how to reach all of his goals responsibly, based on his pre-planned budget. Fortunately for the results of the car, his budget was something that would allow us to build him a very well-balanced machine that is outstanding in all areas. This was not an unlimited budget build, but we certainly had enough to work with to do things in our usual no-corners-cut style."
Some clients want to hand over the reins and let Bulletproof design the entire build, while others have very specific requirements and ideas that must be integrated into the process. According to Ben, "Ramal really only had two things on his must-have list from the start: He wanted a Wald body kit, and he wanted a Super Silver GT-R to be purchased. So we started there. A brand-new 2013 was purchased, found for the best price on the East Coast, and then shipped to our offices in Los Angeles so we could get started on the project."
Because this wasn't just a high-end build, but one that was going to be shipped to the other side of the world, to a country with no other GT-R owners and no GT-R trained technicians, the Bulletproof crew needed to come up with a solid plan on the powertrain. As Ben explained, "We made the strategic choice to go to our longtime engine-building partner, Switzer Performance. We like Switzer because we've done many cars with them, and they have a two-year warranty with no nonsense results. Rather than a mix-and-match power package, we entrusted Switzer on the full power package, which yielded 1,200 hp with the two-year warranty intact!"
But before shipping the car off to Switzer in Ohio, the Bulletproof boys first stripped out the interior of Ramal's brand-new R35 so they could fit it with their GT-RR and Brand RR carbon-fiber enhancements. Then, while Switzer put together its R1K engine package, Bulletproof began ordering all the parts it had meticulously spec'd out with its Azerbaijani client.
As Ben told us, "Although the Wald kit was well known by this time, we wanted to spice it up a bit, so we added our own one-off carbon-fiber addition to the top of the front bumper. This extra carbon-fiber design element was painted around and shaped to create an elongated hood effect with the Carbon Dry Japan hood that was selected. We also reshaped the steering wheel and remade it in carbon fiber and wrapped it in Alcantara. Lots of additional custom carbon fiber was used throughout the interior to add an element of exotic class, something that the Nissan falls a bit short on compared to its supercar rivals."
Of course, there's a lot more to building a well-balanced, supercar-eating GT-R capable of claiming "fastest car in the country" status, even if that country is well off the beaten path. So although Ramal opted to keep the suspension stock because of the rough roads in Azerbaijan, Bulletproof convinced him that a serious brake upgrade was a necessity when slowing a 1,200hp, 3,800-pound beast like the GT-R. As Ben put it, "Ramal decided not to take any half measures and anted up for the mother of all brake kits, the carbon ceramic Alcon CC-X big brake conversion. He also went for the highest spec, lightweight, modified ADV1 Track Spec SL ADV10 wheels pushing 21x12.5 inches wide at the rear with massive 355/25ZR21 Pirelli P-Zero rubber to help it put down the 1,200 hp."
We can only imagine Ramal must have been playing some distracted games of backgammon and drinking even more of his favorite blend at the local tea house while he waited for the next e-mail update to come in from Bulletproof. Being so far removed from such an extreme and expensive build must have been excruciating, even for a man we presume to have the pain tolerance of Rambo and the discipline of Bruce Lee (not to mention the bankroll of Donald Trump).
Naturally, you can't build a $300,000 GT-R and not give it a proper shakedown before loading it into a shipping container. The "tough" job of road testing this monster fell on Ben's shoulders, and he confirmed it was not only obscenely powerful and brutally fast, but that it was also totally civilized and would perform flawlessly as a daily driver for Ramal. If you'd like to hear it rip, jump onto YouTube and search for "1,200hp custom GT-R by Bulletproof Automotive." Just be warned, you may have an eargasm.
Now landed in Azerbaijan, how is the mysterious Mister Ramal enjoying his bespoke GT-R? He has apparently reported back to the team at Bulletproof Automotive and is on record stating that it is indeed the fastest car in the country—and that he's loving every minute of it. As Ben put it, "Mission accomplished. Now on to the next supercar build for the next international man of mystery."
Specs & Details
'13 Nissan GT-R
Engine: 3.8L VR38DETT twin- turbocharged V6
Engine Modifications: Switzer pistons (Mahle), rods (Carrillo), camshafts, fuel injector kit, fuel rails and regulator kit, R1K in-tank fuel system, monster intercooler kit, R1K turbochargers, cast stainless manifold, R1K turbo oil and coolant lines, R1K turbo heat shielding and thermal wrap, external wastegates, MAF/intake and filter assembly, R1K catless downpipes with backpressure relief system, radiator, surge tank and thermostat; Powerhouse Amuse x GT-RR Special R1000 STTI 90mm titanium exhaust and catless midpipe; Mine's dry carbon engine cover, Garage Defend dry carbon GT cooling panel
Engine Management: Syvecs engine management, Switzer R1K calibration
Drivetrain: ShepTrans Stage 4 transmission with PPG complete gearset; Promax clutch
Wheels, Tires & Brakes: ADV.1 10SL Track Spec Titanium Finish 21x10.5'' (f) and 21x12.5'' (r) wheels, Pirelli P Zero Nero 285/30R21 (f) and 355/25R21 (r) tires, Alcon CCX carbon ceramic 6-piston (f/r) brake kit
Interior: Brand RR carbon-fiber steering wheel with Alcantara, carbon shift knob with Alcantara, carbon e-brake lever with Alcantara, carbon shifter gate surround, carbon cupholder, carbon door handles, and Alcantara headliner; GT-RR carbon shifter paddles and carbon map light housing
Exterior: Carbon Dry Japan dry carbon hood and roof; RevoZport Yoshi Duckbill carbon trunk, Wald front bumper with foglights and side skirts; GT-RR custom carbon-fiber front bumper conversion, Top Racing dry carbon mirror set and exhaust surround set; MCR LED winkers (f/r)