It's been a shade over eight months since a gent from the GTROC drove off in my R33 GT-R. One of the strangest feelings watching 'my' car disappear down the road, turn left and it was gone. Since then he's sorted the bits I couldn't afford, and made the car his own.
But back in the land of 'just traffic'...
Now, to bring the story up to date, I spent a month without a car, considered several cheap coupe options, but eventually decided that any coupe I could afford would be inferior and end up getting me killed - late one night I'd have a Skyline moment, and the very non-Skyline I was driving would let me down catastrophically.
Also, I found that I just wasn't prepared to part with the cash for a GTS 25t, much as I'd owned one for three years before the GT-R.
So I went for something completely different, a twelve year old Nissan Terrano II, the LWB 2.4 petrol version with a manual box. A friend had one & when I sat down & thought, it was the only car I had been comfortable in outside of a R33 Skyline.
But back to the theme of the post... Our favourite addiction...
It's interesting to note the little dependencies that came with Skyline ownership and that take a while to fade.
* The paranoia over every little noise while driving was the first to yield to the Terrano's rather industrial range of noises.
* The ability to corner at ridiculous speeds. Thank f*** for the huge ground clearance, because I had a couple of kerb climbing moments until the lesson finally sank in.
* The road scanning caution, looking for potholes or anything higher than a fag packet that would annihilate my splitter has merely receded. The unconscious monitoring of the terrain is a good thing, I feel.
* The shopping list of mods yet to do is not missed.
* The worry over the next thing to wear out, invariably when funds were low, is similarly unmourned.
* The knowledge that parts are reasonable prices, have OEM alternatives that won't destroy all your good work and only cost a fraction of the Nissan equivalent is nice.
* The addiction to insane speed. That's an excellent casualty, extending my life and that of the unknown & unmet unfortunates who's demise would have been my tariff when the hounds came for my soul.
But the biggest thing I am happy to be rid of is the attitude.
I know all the data, the speed versus reaction time, the correct way to conduct oneself in traffic, the fundamental understanding of appropriate speed for the road conditions, and so on, ad nauseam.
But in the Skyline, I did not care. It was irrelevant mental chaff lost in the visceral, arrogant pleasure. "Get out of my f***ing way, peon."
etc. Not good and destined for a fall.
Which these days would be jail time, a four figure fine, a criminal record and/or multiple vehicular homicide and potentially a spectacular suicide that would get me mentioned in the local papers.
I just cannot see the situation on Britain's roads getting better. The trials of the unlimited SPECS equivalent systems and other little details make me think I parted with the car at the right time. The day of the 'hardcore road warrior' (or similar macho romanticism tinged tags) are long gone, and will never return. Driving sensibly to your track day or similar will increasingly become the norm for those who need to let their petrolhead run loose.
The pleasure of ownership will never fade, but the twinge of forehead slapping embarrassment over the money I spent when I quite frankly could not afford it I hope will remain with me for a very long time.
So, would I come back to R33 GT-R ownership? Only if I reach a situation where I can genuinely afford to run one honestly (no lies to self, partner or bank ) as my second car.
As for a new GT-R, it seems to me that the Nissan RRP is a loss leader, and they recoup via maintenance & parts charging. So I'll not be having one of them unless I can get one as a company car
So, you folks have fun. It's going to be a while before I'm back.