Feature: The Finer Things – Garage Mak GTR35

There are few companies these days that go out of their way to cultivate a culture of quality.  Unfortunately, it’s all too common for people to squeeze out as much profit as possible from mediocre products, sacrificing integrity for a quick buck.  While it may be the more difficult route, those companies that are dedicated to ensuring the experience of buying and owning a product goes further than just fulfilling a desire, are the companies that are likely to be around for years to come.  The Nagano based tuning shop, Garage Mak, falls into this category, ensuring that the reputation of their brand comes before all else.

With distinction, however, comes pressure.  A pressure to uphold a consistency that your customers have come to expect.  For years now, the Miyagawa brothers have been producing their Revolution line of suspension parts and body panels without the slightest discontinuance in quality and aesthetics.  With each new variation, they push the boundaries of originality, style and function, not allowing the strain of refinement to interrupt their progress.  Having produced parts for nearly the entirety of Nissan’s sports car lineup, naturally they turned their attention to the R35.  The latest amalgamation of the brother’s ideas has produced a simple set of over fenders for the GTR chassis.

Recently, for me anyway, when I hear the term ‘over fenders’, I tend to think of some ostentatious, overly bulbous fenders that serve no purpose other than to fit wider wheels on the car.  Leave it up to Garage Mak to change my opinion, though.  The way their design flows with the OE lines of the car shows how great of an eye the designers have in creating parts that are tailored to each car, and not just ‘cookie cutter’ type parts you can paste onto anything.  The unseen work that goes into designing something that works this well on factory built cars is more demanding than most can imagine, but it’s hard to miss it in the final product.

The demo car, designated R35GTRMY11 in it’s newest iteration, features the new aforementioned line of Revolution parts for the R35.  The most recent, and more notable of the parts are the front and rear over fenders; increasing the width of the car 35mm and 45mm respectively.   Released at the end of this Summer, the final pieces of the line tie the entire package together flawlessly.  Without the Type 2 canards, the front end takes on a more street look, which coincidentally is what this build was made to demonstrate.  The carbon front lip was designed in similar fashion to their previous models and equips the front bumper with a sharp edge to taper off the base of the bumper in a contrasting fashion.

 

From a profile view, the over fender does well to compliment the GTR’s original body lines, while providing useful ventilation to help alleviate pressure build up inside the fender well.  A massive 6-pot Endless brake kit does it’s best job of hiding behind the black Advan GT’s.

HKS Hypermax coilovers tuned to specified Garage Mak settings, alongside a handful of other ancillary suspension arms, handle the car’s hefty weight around corners.  Garage Mak’s own Revolution upper and lower arms, camber, tension, and toe control rods affix the cars alignment to maximize both grip and turn in.

 

The rear over fenders take the somewhat bland rear quarter panel and improve upon the aggressiveness to match the front.  The additional 45mm of space is filled with 285/35/20 Bridgestone RE71R.   The GM Type 2 carbon GT wing is affixed on the trunk to assist with providing both style and balance.

This is my favorite view of the front end because you can see how well the aftermarket parts work with the factory bumper; complimenting the car for what it is, not trying to change it.

 

Revolution tow strap.

The R35 Aero bonnet is another part of the complete kit.  Ventilation helps with both cooling and to relieve unwanted pressure under the hood.  In consideration of those that are unable to avoid driving in Japan’s heavy rains, Garage Mak also includes a fiberglass under panel that attaches underneath and prevents water from leaking into the bay.

It’s a very well thought out design.

A closer look at where the front overs attach to the sides of the front bumper.  Precision fitment gives the appearance of a factory part.  The way they make use of the indents on the original bumper is very aesthetically pleasing to me.

Tatsuhiro chose 20″ gloss black Advan GT’s to replace the GTR’s original wheels.  While the wheels massive widths (10.5″ front and 11″ rear) did well to fill the new found space, with the new fenders installed they utilized 5mm spacers to make minor adjustments in offset to acheive the ideal fitment.

Closer look at the graphite colored Endless calipers.

Kissing fender.

The GT Wing is complimented by the GM carbon duck bill mounted just behind the wing stands.  It’s a smaller part that does it’s part to help differentiate the car from others.

The wing doesn’t look too large on it’s own, but from the back it matches the width and aggressiveness of the car just right.

Inside the car the simplicity of quality continues with small touches chosen not to overpower the original equipment, but to commend it.  I suppose now would be a good time to mention just how comfortable this car was to drive around in.  It really is a luxury sports car.  Or perhaps it’s just a testament to how well chosen each modification is.

The factory steering wheel and gauge cluster remain, with HKS control units affixed to either side.  Of course, the ever-present HKS Circuit Attack Timer is situated to the right of the cluster.  I really wish I could get mine to work here in the US; our tracks just aren’t setup for magnet tripped timing though.  A pair of Bride ZETA III Low Max seats have replaced the bulky stock ones to provide an extra amount of support for track days.

Open up the bonnet and the cleanliness continues onto the engine bay.  As I’m typing this, this motor and transmission is actually completely out of the car being rebuilt at GM.  I was talking to Tatsuhiro last night, and he mentioned that the new motor will feature new HKS GT900 turbines in lieu of the stock turbos, as well as all new HKS internals.

Engine cooling is provided by an HKS GT1000 intercooler and an original Revolution radiator with Revolution silicon hoses.  A baffled HKS T/M oil pan, and DCT (dual clutch transmission) cooler will help keep transmission temps under control when it finally gets put back in.

I love the symmetry of the VR38; such a powerful looking motor.

Garage Mak has an amazing relationship with HKS, and use it to showcase the iconic companies products on all their demo cars.  It really is a quality begets quality partnership.

The simplicity of this car makes it hands down one of my favorite GTR’s to date – and I’ve seen quite a few.  It’s a screaming example of how Garage Mak operates day in and day out, putting quality before everything else.  It wouldn’t be out of place to say that we should all look to companies like this to set a precedent in what we expect from the industry; on both a business and individual level.  By bolstering quality year over year, Garage Mak really has become one of the providers of the finer things in life.