Carter Perrier loves his Nike shoes. "These are 1 in 30 Nikes," he says at the local racetrack with a smile on his face. His Nikes are blue, crisp and clean. "Lots of people collect shoes and don't wear them, but I want everyone to know how boss my shoes are, so I always wear them." He's also a big Final Fantasy video game fan. "I've played them all," he says, and Carter can also play several musical instruments, including the drums, bass, guitar and piano.
Carter is what you'd call the ultimate enthusiast. Anything he's interested in, he's completely interested in. Where most of us only scratch the surface of our hobbies, Carter dives head first into the deep end. So when he and his father looked into race car driving, it was a mere matter of months before they created this beautiful and capable track monster R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R.
Carter spent most of his childhood in Peru - his father took a position in the oil industry and moved the family in 1994 to Cuajone, a tiny village in the south. "Growing up down there was special," he says. "When I wanted to go do something I'd hop on my bike and go climb a mountain" - his small village had only the bare necessities: no TV, computers and no McDonald's - "it was awesome growing up like that."
When Carter and his family moved to Canada in 1998, it was a huge culture shock for him. All the technologies he was suddenly presented with were overwhelming. One of those technologies was the Internet, and it was online in junior high school that Carter and his friends first discovered the Nissan Skyline. "I started to realize just how good a car it was," he says. "It won so many races and competitions. Some tracks even banned it. That's when I took a real interest."
In 2005, Carter purchased his current dark-gray Nissan Skyline GT-R in Edmonton, Alberta. It was around this time Carter and his father started talking about taking the car to the local racetrack. "My dad has always been a car guy," Carter says. "He's always owned a sports car slightly more expensive than he could afford."
He and his father started taking track lessons through local performance driving instructor Jay Pringle. They would go once a month for lessons and then attend open track days.
One month, Carter's father was driving the Skyline on the track and tried to overtake a Ferrari on the straightaway. He pushed the car's stock internals too far and blew the oil pump, creating a 2-inch hole in the bottom of the block. They scrapped the engine and towed the car to a tuning shop in Calgary. >> Carter gave the shop owner free reign to build a new RB26DETT engine. "I told him, however you would build this car to destroy on the track, do it."
The decision was made to go with a single B&W 300SX 83-75 turbo fitted to a customized Full-Race exhaust manifold to meet the goal of 500 hp. No expense was spared as part after part arrived at the shop and made its way into the GT-R. The car received a custom intake manifold with a 3-inch throttle body for maximum air delivery. A RIPS tuning surge tank with twin Bosch 909 pumps were fitted to provide adequate fuel delivery to the large single turbo.
After three months of waiting, the GT-R was ready for its first track day. Carter was driving the car full-time at that point, leaving his father as copilot (and bank roll). "I drive it and he funds it," Carter says with a laugh, "mostly because he blew my first one up." Just as the car was approaching the track entrance, something went wrong - a fuel pump issue grounded their excitement and forced the car back to the tuning shop. Two weeks later, the car managed a single lap before the oil blow-by line popped off and sprayed oil all over the engine, causing a large fire under the hood and forcing the car back to the shop again.
Down but not out, the third time proved to be the charm. When asked what the most noticeable improvement was, Carter says, "The horsepower numbers make little difference on the track for my skill level as an amateur driver. It's the brakes and the diffs that are the biggest contributing factors."
The father-son duo can be found at the local track every week now. Their GT-R is slowly building a reputation as a monster amongst other drivers. "When you're passing $200,000 sports cars in your early '90s Japanese car," Carter says, "people ask questions." And what does Carter tell these people in the pit lanes? "I just tell them, 'Oh, unicorns man, it runs on magic.'"
Specs & Details
'91 Nissan Skyline GT-R
Engine Nissan RB26DET inline-6
Engine Modifications R33 crank; Eagle rods; CP Pistons w/ 0.5 bore increase; N1 oil pump, water pump; custom intake manifold w/ 3" throttle body, custom exhaust; Nismo fuel pump, oil pump; Tomei oil baffles; RIPS tuning surge tank w/ twin Bosch 909 pumps; single B&W 300SX 83-75 turbo; Full-Race exhaust manifold; dual 44mm TiAL wastegates; SARD fuel rail, 800cc injectors; Splitfire coilpacks; Mishimoto radiator; Trust intercooler, oil cooler & relocation kit; NOS intercooler fogger
Engine Management Link G4 ECU
Drivetrain ATS carbon differentials (1.5 f & 2.0 r); Nismo twin plate clutch, Nismo flywheel
Suspension TEIN Flex coilovers; Nismo front upper control arms; Cusco rear upper control arms; HICAS delete
Interior Cusco 6-point rollcage; Bride seats; Sparco harnesses; removed rear seat; fire extinguisher & 10-lb NOS bottle; MOMO steering wheel; 7" in-dash DVD player; Nismo 320km speedo; AEM wideband & Auto Meter gauges on pillar
Exterior Carbon-fiber trunk, spoiler removed, smoked corner lights, HKS tow hooks
Wheels, Tires & Brakes Volk CE28N wheels 18x10" (f/r); Nitto NT05 tires 265/35R18 (f/r); Brembo 6-piston (f), Brembo 4-piston (r)
Thanks To Braden at JNS Imports, the crew at Autodream, Sammy & Justin at Mr. Detail & my dad