After spending my morning driving the 2015 Nissan GT-R and GT-R NISMO, I was whisked off this afternoon(yesterday for those of you at home) to the global headquarters of Nissan’s performance division, NISMO. The brand, about to celebrate its 30th anniversary, actually fulfills several roles within the organization. The name NISMO is a contraction of Nissan – Motorsport, so it makes sense that role number 1 is to manage the company’s racing activities. The next most obvious priority is the creation of performance versions of Nissan cars like the 370Z NISMO, Juke NISMO and the new GT-R NISMO, along with other regional NISMO models in other countries.
Less expected is that NISMO maintains and restores Nissan’s collection of historic racing cars, along with preparing them for vintage racing activities. What one might not expect is that NISMO is a working front line facility. Consumers from across Japan bring their high performance Nissan models, primarily Skylines of various eras, to the shop to have maintenance and modifications performed. This means that at any given time, the shop is filled with a crazy selection of some of the most powerful cars on the planet! While on the tour, a pair of engineers were testing a Le Mans LMP2 class engine on a dyno, filling the air with the sweet sounds of speed.
The showroom is filled with history making Nissan race cars, along with current NISMO package consumer cars. I’m still trying to figure out how to convince them to let me bring the #20 R381 race car from 1968 home with me.
I couldn’t get close enough to grab any close up shots of the R381, but I just came across this cool video of it that includes some vintage racing footage from when it won the !968 Japan Grand Prix.
Jason Schwartzman stars in Wes Anderson racing short for Prada
Earlier this week I wrote about great advertising that includes content rather than just brand images. Today I have another great example of great marketing. Few moments in sporting history are more Italian than the iconic Mille Miglia road race. It makes sense then that Italian brand Prada would want to stand behind a short film about the classic road race. Directed by Wes Anderson and starring Jason Schwartzman, who have worked together on the movie Rushmore and other projects, Castello Cavalcanti tells the story of an American racer who crashes in a tiny town in Italy during the 1955 “Molto Miglia”. The brash driver finds his roots and may even discover new love in this wonderful 8 minute flick.
Watch the Nissan GT-R NISMO set a new record at the Nurburgring
Yesterday, or at least I think it was yesterday as I have no idea what day it is here in Japan let alone at home, I shared a short video of the launch of the new GT-R. All week, we’ve been seeing a video of the Nurburgring record run, so I figure you should see it too!
I will have some of my own video of the car to share with you next week.