Text: Jonathan Wooley Pictures: Paul Mcpherson (just like the strut)
Real car guys all seem to have a similar dehabilitation, and it manifests itself in different ways. But what it all boils down to – is that enough is never enough. In every other facet of our lives, we might be humble, satisfied,
sensible, laid back, generous, socially-functioning people. But when we lock into our automotive frame of mind, our inner-beast breaks the leash. And we become dead-set & consumed with nothing else but hunting down that extra 1 horsepower, or that extra 1 pound, or that extra 1/10th of a second, or that extra 1/10th inch of clearance. Some people says it’s a problem, or a dangerous obsession. I say – suck it Trebeck.
This GTR makes 1200hp. It was built by Topspeed Motorsports in Atlanta. And here’s the thing – when you’re building a car to this degree, it’s a lot like building a legitimate competition race car… with interior & AC vents instead of numbers. And in your higher levels of motorsports, success isn’t achieved by having better ‘parts’ than the next guy… because everyone at this level is running cutting edge parts.
The real advantage is achieved by having the beststrategy & in-depth knowledge of the chassis through
& through. It’s the secret tweaks, and the tricks
learned from repetition & experience. And that means
there’s a lot that’s going to get left off the final ‘spec
sheet’. A lot that is chalked-up to talent, and REAL
For example, a Motec ECU is just a paperweight without the right brain tuning it. You don’t send your car to Topspeed to keep your fingernails clean. That’s not what it’s about. You send your car to Topspeed, because what you get back – is greater & more capable than the sum of it’s parts.
This GTR car has a Topspeed Motorsports 4-liter build (up from the original 3.8) with the Alpha 12 package. The Alpha 12 is a turbo system package put together by AMS, and targeted for insane power numbers… but with a main focus on drivability & broad powerband. See a lot of times, when you’re talking about 4-digit horsepower numbers, you lose real-world drivability, and you end up talking about cars who can’t find any rhythm until they’re high in the RPMs & have 4 lanes of open freeway that stretches clear onto the horizon. Good for Texas2K brag videos… but limiting as far as actual drivability goes. The Alpha 12, however, has different intentions. It sets the stage for your GTR to go from 60-130mph in a blistering 3.3 seconds – while maintaining OEM-type city manners. Jason, the owner of this GTR, lives in Farmington, New Mexico… which according to Google Earth is precisely in the middle of bumf*ck nowhere. There are no freeways within hours, just 2-lane desert roads. So Jason was looking for a setup that would allow for completely insane explosive light-to-light bursts > landspeed records. For that reason, Topspeed settled on the Alpha 12 for his build.
And from there, Topspeed built the motor & the rest of the car to support the Alpha 12. The car has a Topspeed in-house fuel system upgrade – utilizing a complete 4-gauge rewire, with a 3rd fuel rail, Topspeed 1300cc injectors, and a 3rd Walbro 485lph pump. The third fuel rail mounts to the center of the intake, and feeds an additional 6 injectors – for a total of 12 injectors (6 on each outside rail, and 6 on the aftermarket 3rd rail). The transmission was sent to Shepherd, and built to top-of-the-line Stage-5 specs. The Stage-5 build will support 1500 ft lbs, and uses Dodson parts… including Dodson Extreme gears, and a Dodson Pro Max clutch. Jason doesn’t like to price-brag about his build at all, that’s not his style. But just to put it in perspective, there’s a $30,000 investment in the tranny-build alone.
Topspeed tuned the car with a Motec M150 ECU, and installed a carbon ceramic big brake kit. The kit is actually produced for a ZR1 Corvette, but Topspeed adapts them to fit the GTRs. The wheels are a one-off set from MHT Wheels. MHT’s brands include Niche, Rotiform, Foose, US Mags, and Fuel. These are the Niche Misiano T61 design, however, Jason had them custom made with an optional 1-piece forged monobloc construction. The result is a stronger, and deceivingly lightweight 20-inch race wheel.
Suspension-wise, Jason’s using a KW Suspension sleeve kit, which uses the GTR’s factory struts, thus retaining the car’s superb factory suspension electronics. It provides a stronger/sportier feel, gives you better traction out of the hole, and allows you to lower the car – making it the go-to for a lot of GTR owners. A lot of 1000+hp car owners are only concerned about one thing – being the tough guy on the block. And as a result – a lot of their cars come out looking like the automotive version of Nickelback.
Jason is not that guy. When Jason got this GTR, is was black. Jason hated black, especially living in the desert. So while the car was still in ATL at Topspeed, he had it sent to Bryson at Classic Livery of Atlanta. Some of you may know/ remember – Bryson is the owner of the Marlboro Civic from our cover a few issues back, a good friend of mine, and one of the best in the business. Bryson cut the OEM roof out of this GTR, and replaced it with an AMS carbon fiber replacement. He then resprayed it Lambo gray (Grigio Telesto), They added a Revozport carbon trunk lid, and painted it from the tip of the ducktail-back, but left the top of the trunk carbon to match up with the roof. And they finished it off with a Rexspeed carbonrear valence, and a blue sport-line on the nose to match the calipers.
The license plate on this GTR says NVRENUF, and that pretty much sums it up for all of us doesn’t it. No matter what we’ve got in our garage, we’re all trying to squeeze that very last drop out of it. And it’s squeezing back… on our wallets haha. Nothing is ever enough, and we’re always searching for more. But that’s the fun of it; it’s all about progression. No matter what your primary hobbies are – getting that first 80% under your belt is the easy part. But it’s that last 20% where all the real satisfaction & good stories hide out.
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