Of course the old cliche rings true. I was exposed to these cars while playing Gran Turismo, which started at a young age. Fast and Furious has given all sorts of bad publicity to the whole import tuner scene. Somewhat justified by the fact that economy cars (aka grocery getters) were never intended to suffer the indignity of what some would, and do, put them through.
It was probably unavoidable that I was steered, nay herded, towards the Nissan Skyline by the Turismo. It would seem that this car was given somewhat of an unfair advantage by the game designers. Easily tuned up to 1000bhp coupled with AWD meant pretty well all else were left in your wake.
Probably most are familiar with the Skyline. To many it is seen as unattractive, impractical, outlandish. Others would step over their own mother to get one. This seems to be the trend with these 1990's Japanese sports (super) cars. Wasn't until about 7 or 8 years ago that I actually saw a Skyline in person. I was amazed and wondered how someone in North America actually got their hands on one.
Enter the 15 year rule!!!!! There exists this rule in Canada that as long as a car is 15 years or older it is considered a classic car and importing regulations are almost non existent. This means we can finally get some decent used cars. I can tell you for a fact, after dreaming and searching and shopping around for the past 4 years, that 1990's Japanese cars are safe, environmentally friendly, and just plain awesome.
I decided upon returning from South Carolina this year that I was going to adhere to a new plan to purchase a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) car before I headed down South in 2011. Mostly fueled by the fact that the roads down in SC are incredibly fun to drive. It was also the first point in my life that I could actually follow through with buying something like this since I have now become comfortable living on my own and paying my regular bills and all that junk.
I knew I wasn't quite able to afford a GTR Skyline and also since the car would be my daily driver that somehow I would be doing the GTR an injustice. I was seriously looking at getting the GTS-t model of Skyline.
The breakdown between the GTR and GTS-t is like this:
R32 Skyline 1989-1993
GTR - 2.6 litre 6 cylinder motor, twin turbo, 320bhp, awd
GTS-t - 2.0 litre 6 cylinder motor, single turbo, 220bhp, rwd
However I remembered seeing a car a few years ago in the parking lot of Mosport that really caught my attention. It looked like a strange VW Golf on steroids. I believe my brother informed me that it was made by Nissan and called the Pulsar. I think I had forgotten about the Pulsar until about a year ago when it appeared again on one of my frequent visits to various websites of Japanese importers. I always like to look at all the cool cars they have.
It then became a hotly contested battle for my affection between the GTS-t Skyline and the Pulsar. They both had their strong points. What really sold me though was that the Pulsar had the edge in the speed department. In fact the Pulsar accelerates as quickly as a GTR for the first 3 gears. The Pulsar being AWD is a big bonus too. I don't drive much in the winter but it would be fun to do some donuts every once in a while.
1990 - 1994 Nissan Pulsar GTi-R
2.0 litre 4 cylinder single turbo motor, 230bhp, awd
So I followed through with my plan and it actually progressed much faster than I thought. Fueled on by the fact that the JDM car scene is a real buyers market in the fall since most like to garage store theirs over the winter. I knew I wanted to get one mid-November because I wanted to make sure it was reliable enough to take down South with me in the spring. I started getting more serious about a month ago and began going to see a bunch and test driving them. Funnily enough I never really did get a good test drive until the day I bought one.
So now we are up to speed. This brings us to this week and my plan to buy one once and for all. I had intended to do a road trip on November 6th to go and see some in Montreal that I was very interested in. I had looked at a few already in Ontario and nothing had really jumped out at me. I figured I would test drive as many as I could in Ontario before heading to Montreal to see the one I liked.
The plan was
Friday Nov 5 - drive to Peterborough (my home town) and get insurance all sorted out.
Saturday Nov 6 - drive to Montreal and look at Pulsars. Buy one if I like it.
Sunday Nov 7th - if I didn't like the Montreal Pulsars then buy the one I liked the most in Ontario.
Monday Nov 8th - Register and plate my Pulsar and be happy.
Well I was super anxious to get on with it. Wasn't sleeping very well, felt very stressed, it was killing me. I went ahead and re-arranged the plan last weekend, it now looked like this.
Tuesday Oct 26 - drive to Peterborough and tie up lose ends. Look at 2 or 3 more Pulsars
Saturday Oct 30 - drive to Montreal.
Sunday Oct 31 - buy one in Ontario if I didn't like the Montreal cars
Monday Nov 1st - Register and plate my Pulsar and be happy.
The first car I drove on Tuesday was decent but just didn't feel right. The next car I went to see was a completely different story. It was by far the best example that I had seen to date and was actually by far the best price of any of them. I wasn't even motivated by price, it was just an unbelievable bonus.
I had seen enough. It wasn't getting any better than this. I emailed the guy and instructed him to please not sell to anyone else. I cancelled the trip to Montreal. I had bought a Pulsar!
to be continued.....