However, although there were three versions of Midnight Purple for the R34 GT-R model, no versions of purple were available for the normal R35, much to my disappointment (although the £125,000 SpecV is available in Ultimate Opal Black which is an ultra-dark purple “ChromaFlair” paint).
So when vinyl wrapping specialists Creative FX of Bromley (www.fxuk.net) got in touch asking if I would like to have Godzilla 2 “colour changed” by vinyl wrapping, my thoughts immediately turned to purple. Sean Davis called me in to see a roll of the only metallic purple vinyl available. In truth it wasn’t that close to Midnight Purple, but it certainly was eye-catching!
As the new livery’s job is primarily to help the GT-R in its role as promotional vehicle for Auto-Journals.com, evo and now Creative FX, I thought it was worth going with an original colour, so Godzilla 2 was booked in.
The process looks deceptively simple: take a large roll of sticky-backed vinyl and stretch it over each panel. Of course with the various compound curves and tricky angles on the GT-R’s bodywork, a great deal of skill is actually needed to get a perfect finish. Remarkably, only the rear spoiler and the door mirrors needed to come off the car to get into the intricate crevices.
I wasn’t there for the whole process, but apparently my recently installed carbon canards on the front bumper were the cause of much muttering and cursing!
I was particularly impressed that the vinyl was even neatly finished into the door shuts, furthering the illusion that the car had been professionally resprayed.
Once the coloured vinyl was on and finished, a clear laminate was then applied over it, to lend the metallic finish a paint-like shine and protect the colour.
The car was finally waxed with conventional car wax.
The process took three days of meticulous work, but the end result is stunning, with most admirers not even believing it is a wrap rather than a respray.
At a cost of £1800 the advantages over a respray are obvious: 1) it’s cheaper, 2) it protects the original paintwork, 3) it’s easily changeable when the mood takes you, 4) it doesn’t devalue the car.
My only regret is I didn’t go for a wrap when my paint was brand new and stone chip free…
It’s fair to say that public reaction to the new hue has been predominantly positive, with a particularly gushing fan telling me sincerely that Purple Zilla was his favourite car at the recent Autosport International show when it was on display on the Pistonheads stand!
A couple of other minor mods to report in this entry.
Firstly, having read that the standard airbox design is very efficient and hard to improve on, I thought I’d try a set of K&N drop-in replacement filters supplied by www.fasteronline.co.uk. Can’t say there’s a noticeable increase in power, but they have subtly added some nice “sucky” induction sounds.
Secondly, I bought a pair of MCR tail light harnesses from www.tunerlab.jp that enable all four rear lights to come on as opposed to just the outer two as I think that looks much cooler and more distinctive.
The recent snow allowed me to try the GT-R’s transmission’s “Snow” mode. Despite the steamroller 255/40 20in front and 285/35 20in rear Bridgestones and their super slick tread pattern, Purple Zilla pulled away confidently on packed snow with the front torque meter showing full AWD mode kicking in as soon as the throttle was tickled.
However, Snow mode is available in automatic only and the temptation to have some fun was overwhelming. I can confirm that “Race” transmission mode combined with ESP “Off” is very entertaining, especially in a deserted, snow covered car park…
Cut and paste the following to see some Yutube action on snow (and subscribe to my channel to see other GT-R tomfoolery): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTjoDuQGN3Y