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Nissan GT-R Phenomenon in Singapore – The Singapore GT-R Owners Club

September 27, 2008

Singapore is hot and I’m not expecting it. I’ve been before and each time I wonder if I’ll get used to it. I do though and I begin to love it there and every time I go, even in this country of only 700 square kilometers, I manage to find something new. Some nuance I never found before or some new perspective that a foreigner is privileged to see.

Singapore was one of the first countries to begin grey imports of Nissan’s R35 GT-R after it’s debut in Japan in 2007. Some of the earliest Japanese models were snapped up by Singaporeans and let loose on their often well landscaped streets.

I’m in town with my fiance who’s here for business but I find it somewhat too easy to gloss over her busy meeting schedule so I look forward to meeting up with some locals. That is, I’m here to meet Puneet – a guy with a lot of interest in the GT-R. His Red on JDM Black Edition Black/Red GT-R was one of the first GT-R’s to leave Japan bound for international use. In fact it was one of the first GT-Rs built period.

“I’m staying in Suntec – at the Conrad” I tell Puneet on the phone. I get the strange feeling someone is watching me – and maybe he is, his office is literally meters away. We make plans to do lunch, but it’s a charade, we want to talk cars.

More on the Singaporean GT-R Owners Club after the jump…

Singapore’s business district seems to be seething exotics when I head downstairs to meet up. A Ferrari 430 Challenge Stradale is parked askew on the sidewalk. In front of the Conrad is a Ferrari 612 but completely overshadowing it is the white Mine’s tuned R35 GT-R which is said to park there every day. I love this hotel, I get a GT-R view from my room on the 8th floor.

A few Porsche 911s don’t even draw my attention away and a “standard” Ferrari 430 is parked way in the corner of the lot like it’s out of place. This walk is all of 100 meters…

I easily find Puneet, or more accurately he finds me and we head downstairs to the basement garage where the GT-R dwells during the day. Puneet daily drives his GT-R and you would too if you had somewhere like this to park it.

He suggests burgers and I’m easy so we head out on to the highway to Carls Jr of all places. Puneet keeps to a sensible speed for all of a minute to let the engine and transmission get up to temperature but winds out a few gears when we hit the highway. Again every time I’m in this car it blows me away with the straight line speed.

Over lunch we talk GT-R and I learn more about the Singapore GT-R scene and the Owners Club. The origins of the club are organic, formed over lunch in April as it was becoming clear that there was huge interest growing locally and overseas in the latest Japanese supercar. An avid reader of NAGTROC and GTRBlog Puneet also saw real community was forming and that Singaporeans would need some way to get together and just geek out on GT-R.

Right now there are over 130 Nissan GT-Rs in the country and 72 of those owners are in the club. Bigger than most GT-R clubs worldwide and without a local warranty on offer from Nissan Singapore there’s been very little resistance to modifications. Subsequently quite a few of these cars are sporting remapped ECUs, exhausts, full Power House Amuse setups and even complete matte black vinyl wraps.

The guys meet as often as once a month for lunch and have goals to move towards organising GT-R driving events such as a potential track day later this month.

After lunch Puneet made me an offer I couldn’t refuse and we got to tear up some tarmac in his GT-R. Always a fantastic experience it makes three countries I’ve had the pleasure of driving the R35 in now and every experience was amazing.

Looking forward to the next Singapore meetup and GTRBlog will most likely be back in country soon to meet more of the club. Personally this is one of my favourite things about this new Nissan, meeting people and getting involved in a huge international community that has sprung up all because of this amazing car.

If you’re from Singapore and not in the club yet, get in touch with guys by clicking the Singapore GT-R owners Club link below. Right now it’s pointing to the Singapore section on NAGTROC forums so sign up and introduce yourself.

Link: Singapore GT-R Owners Club Web Forum

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