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Skyliner

After selling the M3 I (thought) I wanted something bigger, comfy and fast. I spotted this V36 Skyline 350gt on trademe, and liked how it looked. Blue exterior, 18″ wheels, luxury sport pack, full leather interior in tan, woodgrain trim and the 311hp VQ35HR.

It was in New Plymouth, so after a phone call I decided it would be a great idea for me and the better half to take the Fit and trek over there and back. It was about 5 hours drive north on the saturday, we stayed the night and 6 hours return.

The seller was a bit odd but seemed genuine enough. He claimed to be selling to buy the bigger V8 Fuga, but I now dispute this claim as I noticed he was selling another V36 skyline not long after I picked this one up. Anyway, it drove nicely and had heaps of power on tap. It was very tidy inside and out.

The next morning, as we started to head for home I noticed an odd smell coming from the dash vents. Cat pee. WTF? It didn’t smell yesterday. There was a cat at the motel (which tried to hitch a ride in the Fit) so I reckon that bastard got up and pissed in my fresh air intake. Anyway, it was bad enough that we had to stop at the next town so I could grab an air freshener.

When we finally got home i used a Wurth ac deodoriser which worked wonders. You set the car to recirc, full fan and set this “bomb” off in the car. It sucks the stuff up and through all the AC vents. Its great. Does make a small mess on the dash but it’s easy to wipe off.

I did the odd thing, like changing the front tyres as the width and profile were wrong, causing some rubbing at full lock. I also got a spare remote key cut and coded.

 

Also found out whilst in town one night that the battery was stuffed. No idea how I got home from New Plymouth with it, looks like it had dropped a complete cell. Went to start the car and it was dead. Managed to jump-start it, only to find that due to the dead cell the alternator couldn’t supply enough power to run the car. In the end to make it home I had to drive it at night, with no headlights, only fog lights on (as the alternator couldn’t power the active HID headlights), no radio, no heater/climate control, and nothing else electric turned on. If I gave it more than half throttle it would lose power and shut the throttles (fly by wire). It was a long, and stressful drive home, literally not knowing if I would make it.

Got a new battery from work, problem solved. According to the date sticker the battery was made in Nov 2007… a year after the car was made and a few years before the car was imported here. The battery had an old repco receipt stuck to it. Bastards, someone had obvious swapped in a shit battery and kept the good one.

Car ran great after that. It was really good at traffic light drags, stupid fast in a straight line, but less fun in the corners. It absolutely eats up miles when going long distance, but it’s too heavy and the suspension didn’t seem to be up to containing that mass in corners very well. I did have a couple of “moments” in the wet though. Even with traction control on it would easily step the rear out and require some opposite lock to bring back in line.

 

Ultimately it was too boring for me. Great engine, great body, great interior but average chassis.

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