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Thread: Wilch's R33 GTST

  1. #1
    Administrator Justin Fox's Avatar
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    Wilch's R33 GTST

    Wilch's R33 GTST
    Photography and words by Wil Palijo











    Justin Fox: A few months ago I stumbled upon Wil's site and it was this post in particular that inspired me to contact him to see if he would be interested in sharing his story as a feature on JDMST's Featured Rides section.

    I think nearly all of us have been on a similar journey, or at least we've gone through shared emotions and made comparable discoveries so I'm quite sure many of you will enjoy and relate to Wil's Skyline Story.

    Wilch: By no means do I consider myself to be a hardcore car nut, or someone that has the ability to heavily modify or restore a vehicle, as I don’t have the means to buy everything that I want to, but I like cars, always have, and I love to drive.

    Some time ago I was faced with the need to purchase a new car (my second car). Fortunately for me, the time to purchase a new car came two months before my 25th birthday. Seeing as I was in need of a car and would soon be eligible for insurance on a vehicle with a turbo, I decided to find something that met the following criteria: Rear wheel drive, turbo and power to shove you into the seat under acceleration.

    Back then Skyline’s weren’t that popular and they still had a premium price. Late model R33 GTST’s were going for $30k, and seeing an import on a daily basis was unheard of. Because of this I decided that I’d only look at locally available vehicles, and there was only one in my price range, the Nissan 200sx.

    I almost bought a red 1997 S14a with BBS rims and lowered springs but the day I was going to see it I got a phone call from the owner advising me that the car had been sold! Over the next few weeks I inspected and test drove some very sad examples of s14’s, scratched-to-buggery interior plastics, yet advertised as “immaculate interior”, fading and peeling paint, advertised as “one owner always garaged”, and oil stained engines advertised as “always serviced”.

    One weekend I decided to buy the Trading Post and it was there that I found my car. A dealership in Parramatta had listed a 1997 R33 GTST Skyline with low km’s in white. After lunch on the Saturday I went down and test-drove the car. It ticked all the right boxes, threw me into the back of the seat under acceleration (with the potential for more), rear wheel drive, and turbo… and it was immaculate.

    The only modifications it came with was a 3.5” Apex’i cat-back exhaust system with “Super Megaphone” written on the muffler tip, Tein adjustable coilovers and an air filter. I fell in love with the drive, and how clean the car was inside and out. It was much cleaner than any of the s14’s I had been looking at. The sound of the RB was nice too.

    I put a deposit down, went home and began to Google “Nissan R33 Skyline GTST series 2″ for more information. Nowadays I’d probably be Googling first, joining forums, asking questions, finding one all before putting a deposit down. But back then it was a different story.

    The day I took delivery of my car was the day I joined Skylines Australia (SAU). A forum dedicated to cars just like the one I just bought, synonymous with the name of the car and my country of origin. I was welcomed with open arms. I had never felt so accepted before.

    Back in those days if I happened to cross another Skyline on the streets, the driver of the other Skyline would flash their headlights and frantically wave their hand out the window. This happened on more than one occasion, and I felt good every time it happened.

    Within a few days of owning my car and joining in on the forum banter I decided it was time to attend one of the meet-ups. It just so happened that this was also a dyno-day that was going to be held at Unique Autosports (UAS) in Castle Hill.

    The dyno day was to be sponsored by a few companies, one being Zoom magazine. The editor at the time was the guy covering the event. Alone I arrived with hoards of scary looking Skyliner’s staring at my stock car. Their judgmental eyes making me want to run and hide. I was all alone in a sea of unfamiliar faces.

    After my car had gone up on the dyno a guy came over to speak to me. He asked me about the car, my plans and my dreams. I didn’t know who he was until he started to take notes, when I looked at him strangely and asked, “why are you taking notes?” he said he was the editor of Zoom magazine.

    I stayed the entire day, one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave. I saw many nice cars, and quite a few beastly examples. I met a couple of people too. I stayed for the presentation. I wasn’t expecting to receive anything but I just wanted to see who had won. Little did I know, the editor of Zoom had organized a special prize and nominated me for it!

    I won the encouragement award, which included a stack of High Performance Imports and Japanese DVD’s which were presented to me by John (the owner of UAS).

    I spent that night, and the next day watching the DVD’s and I was in awe of the Japanese. The things they could achieve with cars like mine. The modifying bug struck, and it struck hard, so hard that even to this day my wallet still hasn’t forgiven me.

    A few years after this event I hoped to run into that editor of Zoom again. To thank him and update him on the progress of my car. Sadly though I never did run into him again. So many years have passed since that day. Back then I had no idea I would be where I am today. I can still remember how I felt when I went up to collect my prize, and I can remember thinking to myself, “I’m going to keep this car and turn it into something special.”

    Over the years I started to research engine and turbo modifications eventually settling on a combination that net me 274kw at the rear wheels. I've given the suspension a complete refresh and she drives nice and tight like a new car. I’ve kept the body pretty much standard although at one point I did have an East Bear carbon fibre bonnet (the bonnet now proudly graces the walls of my garage), the boot-lid still remains and needs to be painted (I’d like it to be white). It seems my tastes have changed, nowadays I much prefer my cars to have clean lines rather than outrageous body-kits. Wheel fitment is something that I’m keen on though, and keen on rectifying with this car but that will come in time.

    My eagerness to be a part of SAU grew over the years. For a brief period I would attempt to be at every event, and at one stage the track bug bit. One event that I nearly didn’t go to turned out to be something that would lead to a significant part of my life. SAU member “Silver-gtst” called me the night before an SAU show n’ shine. I didn’t want to go as it was far away but he convinced me, and we met up for the long drive to up the coast.

    It was at the SAU show n’ shine that I met my girlfriend of 4 years. Within a few months of being together we started shopping for her own Skyline. We eventually found one, in white with white wheels. An R32 GTST, the perfect match for my car!

    Our lives revolved around our cars and the events being held by SAU. From meets to track days, we’d be there with at least one car, if not both but the time came when we had to sell my girlfriend’s car. The day it drove away with it’s new owner my heart broke and I can still vividly see it turning the corner and disappearing.

    In the years since, a lot has changed. It’s impossible to go a day without seeing a Skyline on the road, track days that I attend are few and far between and I no longer attend meets but I’ve made memories with this thing. To me it’s more than just a car. I can still sit in it and remember the night I picked her up, looking over the unfamiliar dashboard, noticing the boost gauge, all the lights, pushing the clutch in and slotting her into first, and the feeling of anticipation as I pulled out of the lot about to undertake my very first drive.

    Sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened if I had never ended up with a Skyline. I’ve met awesome people through owning this car, forged friendships, and developed a lifelong relationship. Who would’ve thought that that could happen?
  2. #2
    Member Wink's Avatar
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    Always loved your car Wilbur, especially when the screamer let fly.

    Starcorp Impul powa!
  3. #3
    Member RdS's Avatar
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    really nice pics.
  4. #4
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    love the first photo, anda good read also!
  5. #5
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    It looks lovely.
    Always loved S2s. I find S1s insufferable though.
  6. #6

    Love the story mate ! I have an R33 myself and loved your example for a couple of years now.
  7. #7
    Member OoSKYLINEoO's Avatar
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    Mate, that is an awesome story
  8. #8
    Member Futile's Avatar
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    Very nice. Its car's like this that make me beleive you can still find or own a nice R33 GTS-T.
    2004 BA Ford Falcon XT. Tow rig, with nothing to tow...
  9. #9
    Moderator Babalouie's Avatar
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    Nice 33 mate
  10. #10
    Member Aleks.B's Avatar
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    Very clean example. Great car.
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