FEATURE CAR: Ben Morton’s Nissan Skyline R33 GTS-T

Posted: August 28, 2010 in Featured UK Cars
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What better way to follow up our article on JDM import cars than to bring you a feature car that is exactly that, a JDM Import ride! Garage Awesome went to meet up with Nissan Skyline owner Ben Morton to find out all about it!

Firstly, the car doesn’t have 1000bhp, nor does it have everything that unbolts made of chrome or carbon, nor does it have one-off, speciality paint, hand mixed by virgins with shavings from a unicorn’s horn, it’s just an honest, well presented Skyline, and one that follows Garage Awesome’s ethic of not being snobby or elitist when it comes to picking cars we feature on the blog, we like honest cars with proud owners!


Now we’re not saying Ben’s car is a nail, far from it, as we stand looking at it we can’t help but notice just how much presence it actually has as a road going vehicle. Just like the Civic and Integra we looked at last week, there is just something about it and when it appears in your rear view mirror, you would happily move out the way to let it past, a theory that was proved instantly as on location a group of local kids all had a good look around and taking photos on their camera phones!

Ben has always wanted a Skyline and with his heart set on a Midnight Purple GTR, he began saving up. As his target approached, like most lads his age the thought of moving out and getting a mortgage popped into his head, a thought helped and encouraged, no doubt, by his long suffering girlfriend, Sarah. Rather than give up all hope, Ben managed to make a compromise, they got the house, and settled in, but as Ben’s right leg began twitching for an accelerator to floor, he decided a new car was in order.

With the Skyline GTR not in reach, and after a 306 GTI-6 and a series of ropey runabouts, Ben found himself a Series 1 Lotus Elise. Although it quashed his hunger, it really was impractical; the lack of space, the twitchy ride and lack of comforts meant that through the winter it sat still, in favour of his trusty 206, which is still in the fleet returning Ben with 45+ MPG when it comes round to the end of the month, saving his credit card from taking a beating by the ‘liner’s 15-20mpg!

Ben's Skyline

That’s not to say Ben doesn’t use it everyday, unlike the Elise it comes out in the rain, it’s driven to work and has enough room for Sarah’s weekly shop. Comparing it to the Elise is very difficult explains Ben, ‘although the Elise was fun to drive, the noise and power of the Skyline, along with its chuckable handling for a big car, means that I can do a lot more and enjoy it a lot more’.

As the house ate the GTR money, Ben opted for the R33 GTS-T model, now for those not familiar with Skyline’s model coding system, the GTR runs a 2.6ltr twin turbo engine and 4WD system, the GTS-T, like Ben’s, has the slightly smaller, but not small, 2.5ltr, although the same amount of cylinders remain, giving it that distinctive straight 6 sound!

The twin turbo set up on the GTR changes to a single turbo on the GTS-T and the 4WD becomes two, in the form of rear wheel drive, helping to explain why it’s becoming one of the drifter’s favourites.

Part of the reason Ben’s car has such a road presence is to do with the choice modifications that it has received, both in Japan and over here in the UK. The bodykit, for example, is bigger, with the rear bumper and side skirts being pinched straight from a GTR, the front bumper is also from another model, this time the uber-rare 400R model, all tied in with the GTR boot spoiler, it has that GTR look at a fraction of the cost, right up Ben’s Street!

Bens R33 GTS-T

A Set of 19″ Kei RSS alloys and spacers help to give it a bit of aggression and the 340bhp at the flywheel is achieved by simple, but well chosen, bolt on mods including a Kakimoto Racing exhaust, including de-cat. and a front mounted intercooler and an air filter, both provided by ARC. Although a heavy car, Ben has scattered lightweight carbon fibre parts including the vented bonnet and smart Ganador mirrors, allowing him to run down into the low 14 second quarter mile and with plans to get some smaller wheels for the back to aid with traction and a few extra under bonnet goodies, we’re pretty sure it will see a mid 13 second pass very soon.

As the heavens open on us, we just have time to poke about inside and as usual with Japanese cars it’s very dull and plastic-y. Fortunately Ben plans to liven it up in the future by adding bucket seats and racing wheel, in the mean time however, he will have to make do with looking at his smart looking gauges from Defi, keeping an eye on the oil temp, and pressure and the all important boost pressure!

It just goes to show, if you want something, there is always a way to achieve it, and Ben really has created a stunning machine, well within his original budget just with a little compromise, and hopefully gives you all a bit of inspiration to send us pics of your car, so you can be telling your story to the web! Contact us by joining our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/garageawesome.

Pic Credits – Rich Cooper

  1. bike5 says:

    Nice car, factory looks.

  2. bcm13 says:

    God thats a sweet looking car! lol

  3. […] FEATURE CAR: Ben Morton’s Nissan Skyline R33 GTS-T « GARAGE. AWESOME. […]

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