by Michael Kitchens
There’s no question that shooting Blane Kanno’s gorgeous 2009 Nissan GT-R is a highlight of my very short time with StreetPulse. There are few import cars that have the pedigree of the GT-R. Its status is almost legendary and is considered by many to be the holy grail of Japanese performance. Since its introduction to the U.S. market via games and media like the original Gran Turismo and BEST MOTORing, it has become highly sought-after yet difficult to obtain. The ill-fated MotoRex fiasco is a prime example of just how far people will go to get a taste of the greatness that is the GT-R.
Blane has always had a passion for cars and has owned enough rides that you could already be a little in awe … including super-charged Mustangs, several Supras, a few FD3Ss and a twin-turbo Vette to round out the collection. When asked about how his love for cars came to be he says, “My Dad loved Mustangs. He also had a ZR1 and I learned how to drive stick on that car. I think it went from there ….”
Luckily for GT-R fans endowed with enough cash, Nissan brought the former Skyline to U.S. shores in July 2008. “Ever since the R33s & R34s came out, I’ve always wanted one but I heard they weren’t coming in manual, so I ended up opting out on it. I was very happy with my Vette at the time. Then this guy said he’s selling a GT-R, and I just said ‘I’m going to buy it!‘ He gave it to me for a good price.” Like most people, Blane couldn’t resist a good deal … when it’s involving a GT-R, how can anyone say no?
Make no mistake: This car turns heads with a snap and a crack of the neck. The entire time spent shooting at the beautiful Aloha Tower Marketplace, we constantly were bombarded by tourists asking about the car and whether they could take a photo. The entire vehicle has been slathered in eye-popping 2011 Chevy Camaro Green. “I didn’t dig the black, there was a lot of swirl marks and imperfections that I didn’t care for. If I was going to have a high end car, I wanted it to be perfect.” JL Autobody transformed the car from its stock origins. “Joel is the best autobody painter as far as I’m concerned,” says Blane with a pleased grin.
Although only mildly modified, the car puts out a whopping 558HP, which is a pretty decent increase over the stock 485HP that already propels the GT-R to a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds. The GT-R was COBB tuned by Seth at Sonic Motorsports with their Dynojet Dynamometer. Power is put down by Bridgestone Potenza RE-070Rs on massive 20″ Volk GTCs painted Top Secret Gold from “Smokey” Nagata’s infamous Top Secret tuning shop.
Blane is far from being finished with the car. He plans to upgrade the turbos and increase its overall performance with a goal of being one of the fastest GT-Rs on the island. You would think just having a GT-R would be reason enough to be spoiled, but Blane says, “You can’t go backwards, it’s a curse. I want to beat other GT-Rs.” The man knows performance as he also owns a Ferrari 430 Scuderia and surprisingly or not he says “I like my GT-R better … I’d rather drive this. It’s more streetable.” That says a lot about the GT-R’s performance and creature comforts.
Blane’s GT-R is an amazing machine. From the factory, even for its comparatively “budget” price, it is unquestionably a supercar. Blane’s only regret is that he has nowhere to drive the GT-R to its true potential. “It’s probably cliché by now, but I just wish there was a track. People want to test their cars, and to have that exhilaration of seeing what your car can do. You have to drive it like it’s meant to be driven ….” Regardless of this fact, seeing Blane disappear into the sparkling streetlights, just past the midnight hour, I couldn’t help but be a little envious.