Inked Sharpie Marker Lost Birds R33 Nissan Skyline GTR Hand Drawn Designs

R33 Nissan Skyline GTR Sharpie Marker Inked Car
This is the story of the Lost Birds R33 GTR from Japan, it began more than a year and a half ago and follows the transformation of one mans car into something extraordinary. Through Painstaking hours of hard work, dedication and even some misfortune, This is a story you will start reading and before you know it, you'll have read the entire thing, and don't be ashamed because that's exactly what happened to me and why I felt a project with this level of dedication deserved it's moment in our spotlight. I've been watching it develop over on the Skylines Australia Board reproduced here with permission from the owner of the car.
Passion is a word that comes close to describing this story, but really its not enough, to get a car to look like this requires a vision, dedication, and help from loved ones. The design on this car is known as inking and is a rare sight to see completed given how long it takes. We know of a few other Inked cars and plan to do features on them sometime down the road as well ;). These designs are 100% hand drawn original works of art, they transform the car from being "just a car" to a genuine rolling canvas.
Watch this short clip as a sort of preview of the car rolling through some scenery to get a feel of the size of this project. Pictures of the completed car can be seen near the end of the story.

...And so, one piece at a time...  here is Collens' magnificent story... Enjoy.


So here's my little paint project.
Originally when I took delivery of the car, the front bumper had some slight damage on it. I was just going to repaint it silver, but somewhere along the way, I was asked by a close friend if they could try their hand at it. I knew this only meant things would get out of hand but I said okay. The artwork is by Allison La Valley of Lost Birds Art Studio (Portland, OR, USA) The car is in Misawa, Japan, where so far about 30 hours have gone into this. The plan is to finish the whole car by the end of February, so that will leave me time to build up the engine, etc before racing starts. I know some are going to hate that I allowed this, but remember it's just a car and as a matter of fact, there are 10s of 1,000s more just like it. Updates as they come!

pictures of the work so far.
Passenger Side Skirt

Driver Sideskirt Started
Mirrors


Rear

Front



The work goes on..... And yeah, she drew all over the 400R body kit...it's clear-coated already over the parts that are done. should be alright. It's a TA car so it's not going to look great by the end of the season anyway.


The roof will be last but it will get done for sure! Here's a cell pic of the current state of my living room. Haha.
Most people seem to think it's neat. No one has said it sucked to my face yet. Lol. Honestly the reason I decided to do it was because I didn't want a silver GTR at all. I couldn't get my hands on a Midnight Purple so I settled for what was easy to find set on repainting it from the first moment. I thought that I might as well let Allison do her thing and if it sucks then repaint as originally planned, no harm done. So that's the mindset. 
here's another quick pic with the sideskirt on the passenger side
the Driver Side sideskirt is finished up. almost done in this pic. starting on front fenders later!
fender getting done
Here's a few new pics. Still working on the same fender. I've been working on securing a place to do the body drawing as it is -8 degrees Celsius here and finally got one. A friend will be out of town so his garage and a kerosene heater are my new best friends. The work will probably shift to the body of the car while he is gone as we have to take advantage of the opportunity!



and here's where I helped with the drawing on the fender

 "honestly, the tips get damaged too badly to finish using the markers, so they still get thrown out before they are finished."

trunk off and in the house now
about 1 hour of work
"She just draws it freehand. No planning out. Kinda crazy to watch too! "



worked on it some more today, but no new pics of the work.. but I did pick these up.
18x9.5 +15 Enkei NT-03s. They are made specifically for GTRs, well... were made.. they are discontinued now. They will not be white for long
finished the fender
and started the trunk


"for awhile she was hating it! haha here's today's efforts from Allison."


"12-15 markers so far. they actually don't run out of ink before the tip becomes unusable."

trunk, more done

more body drawing.

also got the other front fender off
Slowly but surely
if we take a very reserved 20USD/hour wage for this times 68 hours, that's almost 1,400USD. in actuality the rate would be higher, and the car still isn't 50% done!!! Finished from the pillar all the way to the tail light above the first body line, and also removed the door so it could be inside with the heat while it's worked on. 
Front
Back 

Workshop
also got a 100mm aluminium steering extension
"Been slower than expected progress on the trunk. There is so much surface area on it (slightly more than the R33 door) and it's curved every which way. Looks good though I think. "
Trunk is finished!


Got her to write Skyline in Japanese


\
" that was my one request was to leave the body lines. To me it's one of the elements that will keep it from looking like a complete jumble at a distance. It's basically a reverse pinstripe. It wouldn't have been hard to draw over them. It will probably look much better and make more sense when the car is in one piece. "

last night progress. almost finished this today but I forgot the camera.
here's the first part of this update. I also have a time lapse video of the remaining front fender that is almost finished. 3 hours in under a minute!



Time Lapse Video




put one of the fenders back on and took some pics out of the garage. also made the pictures a little larger because it's kinda hard to the whole idea when they are small.




...and then the 'sad' side of the car. that's not rust at the bottom either, just dirt I didn't clean off yet since the other side was priority.
 well I don't know Japanese very well so i don't post on any of their forums and the car is cooped up in the garage so it's a big secret over here. haha. got the other fender on and took this very over exposed pic so I made it BW for fun, Allison will be back soon from Osaka to continue drawing.


all this stuff is on a clearcoated. What do you think about the rims?? just stuck it next to the car for a quick look myself.






Allison came back yesterday and started on the hood

"I think I almost get my ass kicked every time I mention the car these days. but when we roll around the block and she sees people breaking their neck to get a look it kind of rejuvenates her I guess."


"about 105 hours of drawing. and however many hours removing and refitting parts over and over again"
Hood is half done-


Pic with no hood and a friends Stagea in the back, haha
 I just leave her be and see what happens just like everyone else. haha ... hood is done with 'Lost Birds Racing' logo, and there are some birds on the hood. see if you can spot them, rear bumper is next!
just to the right and up from the T is lost there is an actual bird. might not be the only one though.. you'll see it now that I told you. it's tail is literally right next to the T. 

well, it's starting to get there! Lost internet up here in death city, Japan for the last couple of days, so I was unable to update pics, and could only look at the internet on an iphone. anyway, here's the progress up to today





And Allison says hello Japanese style with crooked feet and a peace sign.
 Also did a baseline performance run just to see where the car sits right now. this is with 2 people in the car, and as you can see I let off the gas at 1000 feet and even hit the brakes (blue line goes negative) but still did a 13.3 400m run. this was also done on 245/45/17 snow tires, whereas race day will be 275 Nitto NT01s :-)

It started out with nice weather today for a change!

But then it started to get cold so we had to take it inside the Lost Birds Garage. Snap-On tools and 8 hydraulic lifts FTW


This is as far as it got today.

Went back to the Lost Birds Racing Garage today to get some more work done


Donnie showed up in his R33 to tackle some jobs before he headed back to the track as well. Also pictured is an R32 hoping to see some renewed glory.







just the doors and roof left now.
So after 5 hours today, here's where we got. gonna fill in the wings more to blend them in a little better tomorrow or some other time.








we are going to put the design into the wings and help them look more subtle. they really stand out alot as it is right now. For shits and giggles I drove it like this to the grocery store, and there were people looking through the glass from inside just staring. it was pretty weird.. haha 

It's at 140 hours right now with one door and filling in the wings remaining. Her name is already hidden on the car and is in the pictures somewhere if you can find it. It's about 6 inches long. So far it's used up about 25 chisel tip sharpies. 


There's three sets of initials on the front, ALCKDH for the three people that worked on the paint job. Allison LaValley, Collen Kelton, Darin Hughes, but on the wing underneath the spoiler she put her whole name into the design.

Wings filled in. Looks better, no? 

I have some 18.9.5 +15 Enkei NT03s made in a limited run for GTRs only to throw on here.. I photoshopped a picture with them on it and "lowered the car to more around what it will look like when finished. let's seeee......

"Did some weight reduction last night. I'm up to 62kilos removed. "

We got back to work today on the car. In 5 hours this is how far we got on the door:


also removed a bunch of stuff today like all the sound deadener on the driver's side, the rear panel on the drivers side(total 8 pounds), and the radio and speakers are out(8.8 pounds). So far I have removed 151.2 pounds/68.7 kilos. 
other side is done. just roof left!
Well, she knows it can't last one way or the other. But once the car is ready to go, we are going to have a professional photoshoot done. One in a studio, and then again outdoors.

started on the roof today, and also the interior progress. Can anyone tell me ECU this is? it says Project Mu-COM Kids.. but I though they only made brakes.







Got the dash out, now I gotta get all the sound deadening out that is back there, but it looks like even more has to come out. And my house is turning into a car.


So today I bought a seat. well ordered it. It's a Prodrive Competition (Japanese Market only), gotta get a seat rail now. I've been told that most seat companies seats will work with the majority of low mount rails. Is that true? The seats mounting holes are the same as Sparco if that helps.
Also here's an update to the weight reduction tally......................

Removed rear seat and rear seat safety belts for 31 pound/14.1kg reduction. I removed a host of other items back in january. 

  • Stock Trunk Carpeting - 11.5lbs/5.2kg
  • Stock Floor Mats - 13.0lbs/5.9kg!!
  • Stock Jack/Tire Iron - 4.5lbs/2.05kg
  • Stock Spare Tire - 34.4LBSSSS/15.6kg
  • Nissan Air Purifier,sound deadening behind back seat, car jack - 9 lbs/4.1kg
  • metal plate behind the back seat - 6.4 pounds/2.9kg
  • Stock suspension 57.8lbs/26.3kg and HKS Hipermax 47.0/32.3kg - 10.8lbs/6kg net loss
  • door panels 14lbs/6.35kg
  • carpet and various pieces of plastic 16.2/7.3kg
  • Center console 7.6lbs/3.5kg
  • passenger seat 34lbs/15.4kg (with rail attached)
=

192.4 pounds/87.5kgs

11 pounds is roughly equivalent to what 1 HP would give you in straight-line acceleration in a R33 GT-R so 192.4/11= 17.5HP. Doesn't seem like much, but once I change out the exhaust/cat, I will lose 15-20 pounds minimum, the new seat will weigh less than the stock one, and so forth.

That's all for now. 



Today's happenings...
Went to my favorite place to pick up my seat. UPGARAGE!


New definition of JDM mad tyte. haha This seat is too small for a meth head to fit in!
but I made it happen. 
Well I went to pick up my part yesterday from my local Misawa heros 'Street Station' and they were closed! Japanese businesses pick some random days to be closed.. Anyway, got my test pipe and installed it. vroooom. I love that the box calls it "produce" like it's vegetables and fruits inside.


Japanese hand trap


In there. Now I need to install the rest of the exhaust system. The bolts on the cat all had to be ground off, they hadn't been touched in 15 years and there was no other way to get it out. I can't wait to see the condition of everything else.














the work goes on. I've been really busy with the job, but I'm doing what I can to keep this moving. The seat rails came today, and I found out that the bride rails are great, but the mounting tabs provided with the kit won't cut it on the Prodrive seat. I'll have to fab some up in the future, and there were also 4 bolts missing from the kit.. great quality control. 

I love that it's a WRC seat. haha
Went out and bought some Air Intakes to replace the ARC box. More compact, and honestly there is no way the ARC box is more effective. I painted them black too. I'll get around to getting a hard pipe kit soon.






at 1 bar, no cat, and unknown tune on my "MuKids" ECU I put down 230 KW to the wheels(surprising to me). You are right that these do not filter so well, but the condition of the ARC was very poor. I also didn't like how the main filter was pointed straight up at the hood. K&N will probably be my final choice, as they always have a top notch product. I might have stayed with the stock airbox, however, this car didn't come with it when I bought it.


I don't really drive the car around anyway as it's in pieces all the time. Also forgot to mention. I ordered a 90mm Kakimoto GT 1OZ exhaust. will be here thursday. 


got the Kakimoto Racing GT 1 OZ installed. 90mm titanium piping hooked up to a stainless steel canister. weighs about 7kg!












Weight update...


  • Removed rear seat and rear seat safety belts for 31 pound/14.1kg reduction. 
  • Stock Trunk Carpeting - 11.5lbs/5.2kg
  • Stock Floor Mats - 13.0lbs/5.9kg!!
  • Stock Jack/Tire Iron - 4.5lbs/2.05kg
  • Stock Spare Tire - 34.4LBSSSS/15.6kg
  • Nissan Air Purifier,sound deadening behind back seat, car jack - 9 lbs/4.1kg
  • metal plate behind the back seat - 6.4 pounds/2.9kg
  • Stock suspension 57.8lbs/26.3kg and HKS Hipermax 47.0/32.3kg - 10.8lbs/6kg net loss
  • door panels 14lbs/6.35kg
  • carpet and various pieces of plastic 16.2/7.3kg
  • Center console 7.6lbs/3.5kg
  • passenger seat 34lbs/15.4kg (with rail attached)
  • Difference in test pipe/cat 6lbs/2.7kg
  • new seat/rail vs old seat/rail 5lbs/2.3kg
  • dash stripped to shell - 3lbs/1.36kg
  • difference in exhausts 24.2lbs/11kg
=
230.6 pounds/104.8kgs 


I'm not shooting for anymore than 600HP. I'm about to leave town for some business, but when I get back, I'll have the Racing slicks, and a Tomei ARMS turbo kit waiting with SS mainfolds, outlet pipes, and a titanium downpipe. can't decide on cams(duration, lift--- pointers welcome), also looking into a carbon fiber driveshaft. honestly I'm really interested to see what the LEAST amount of power in needed to get the job done. things like the lightened drvieshaft, along with lightweight flywheel, etc. will result in less drivetrain loss. Eventually I will be running (track only) CF doors, and trunk, and dash, and socks, so it should be pretty fast. haha. it sucks I have to leave it sit for a while, but I'll be back and the pace will be even quicker to get it done. also on a side note.

Took the car to the 2010 Misawa "Bring 'Em Out" Car Show and won second place in the sports car category. I was beat out by a pink Nissan 300ZX with scissor doors and 20" Chrome wheels.... :) and people say my shit is ugly, HAH! 



let me get some pics up of it....


The chicks f**kin loved it
Couldn't see the car for the crowd..
Mine's downpipe 
Frontpipe 1800+ USD

Mine's Silence VX Titan for R32, R33 or R34, your choice
Exhaust nearly 3,000 USD

So for 5000 USD when you add shipping. I can't see how it's that much better honestly. it passes JASMA, which means it's less than 93dB for Japan, so I know it's not THAT loud either. I guess it's just the timbre that sounds good. For what it's worth, the Kakimoto GT 1OZ Racing pipe i bought is 800USD brand new, but it will not pass JASMA



went out to the store and bought these Nismo S-tune heat range 7 spark plugs. mr. brand whore at your service! I'll be heading out on business for a while so there will be a lull in updates until I get back!


I am on a business trip but still parts searching. I may not be back with the car until August. At that point I should have another 10K USD that I can throw at it. Got some plans that should come together nicely. Plan is to scrub it down before the end of August at the tracks! For now though it's double covered in the garage. Should be fine unless an earthquake takes it out. 


UPDATE. I crashed the car at the track this morning. Pretty much totaled at this point. I hit the front against a bail of hay and spun like a top into another car. I did have the fastest lap of the day up until that point. Pretty gutted. 


actually I'm just kidding. I didn't crash the car. But my house was robbed while I was gone, and they took my rims, VOLK lugnuts, Nismo sparkplugs, and things like my guitars, TV, computer, PS3, all my shoes, some of my clothes, they stole all of the food out of my cupboards, and they took all my redline oil stash (hap all redline oils for the differentials, transmission, transfer case, and engine ready to go in when I came back) a bunch of cash, silver dollars from 1885, my toilet paper. you get the idea. however, they didn't even touch the car. it was still covered and tucked away where I left it.




The ray of sunshine...  I had the keys with me so it was going anywhere unless they decided to tow truck it out of there.
I went around today to used rims stores in the area to see if they had shown up, and if so who brought them. checking pawn shops for guitars and the like. I went back to the place where I bought the Enkei wheels, and they were pretty shocked that someone broke into my house and stole them. They offered me an incredible deal since I was a returning customer and to "help me through and finish my car" on some Prodrive GC-10s in 19x10 +15 with 275/35/19 Potenza RE01Rs for 2,800USD out the door. I took the offer, but they only accept Yen cash, so it will be a few days while I withdraw money from the ATM.. here's a teaser though.


it happened not too long after I left from the looks of it, maybe a couple of weeks after. I bought a new toothbrush while I was gone, so that's all sorted now. I had a friend bring me some toilet paper the first day I got back, but now I have my own again, so it's starting to feel like home. The same friend with the toilet paper also had a spare 46 plasma TV that he let me borrow. It's pretty sweet because my old one was way smaller, haha. Anyway, I got the rims put on today, and I got verrrrry carried away with the pictures. the last one in this set is a stitch of 320 pictures. That's why it has the shallow depth of field that you see. instead of using a wide angle lens and just snapping the shot, i used a medium telephoto lens and took pictures of small portions of the entire image while turning of autofocus, so that only the front of the car is in sharp clarity. the actual size of the photo is 28 megapixels, so it's ripe for a billboard somewhere in the world. 










Oirase Gorge Togue Cruise Video a couple of buddies and I did today.




I've been considering getting the HID R33 headlights, but they go for a pretty penny here in Japan. found some new in the box for 1600 USD. not worth it at all. that's my Tomei Oil Pump, or something else useable. 

Since I'm typing- updates today. Replaced starter, old one said goodbye over the weekend filming that video. That is the most pain in the ass starter I've ever had to replace, took me over 2 hours of pleading with god to get the top bolt off. Also removed the sound deadening that was cemented to the floor pans and such. On the prowl for a roll cage, interior sprucing up after that. 


also, completely removed the sound deadening that is cemented to the floor panels. Use a pneumatic chisel and bulldozed it in just over an hour. Screw the fancy dry ice shit. haha, this way cost me free 99. And to celebrate here's a weight update.

Weight update...

  • Removed rear seat and rear seat safety belts for 31 pound/14.1kg reduction. 
  • Stock Trunk Carpeting - 11.5lbs/5.2kg
  • Stock Floor Mats - 13.0lbs/5.9kg!!
  • Stock Jack/Tire Iron - 4.5lbs/2.05kg
  • Stock Spare Tire - 34.4LBSSSS/15.6kg
  • Nissan Air Purifier,sound deadening behind back seat, car jack - 9 lbs/4.1kg
  • metal plate behind the back seat - 6.4 pounds/2.9kg
  • Stock suspension 57.8lbs/26.3kg and HKS Hipermax 47.0/32.3kg - 10.8lbs/6kg net loss
  • door panels 14lbs/6.35kg
  • carpet and various pieces of plastic 16.2/7.3kg
  • Center console 7.6lbs/3.5kg
  • passenger seat 34lbs/15.4kg (with rail attached)
  • Difference in test pipe/cat 6lbs/2.7kg
  • new seat/rail vs old seat/rail 5lbs/2.3kg
  • dash stripped to shell - 3lbs/1.36kg
  • difference in exhausts 24.2lbs/11kg
  • all sound deadening 12lbs/5.5kg
=
242.6 pounds/110.3kgs

Stock R33 GT-R 3388lbs/1540kg

so I'm at 3145.4lbs/1429.7kgs. Still heavy! Still to come out. Rear windshield wiper assembly, HICAS, switch to CF Driveshaft, stock exaust manis, outlet pipes and downpipes.. to be replaced with SS and titanium respectively, and more!


here's another picture I forgot to add. I love taking pictures BTW


thanks!, you know I just realized, I never posted a before shot. haha. This is literally the first time I had seen the car, and by the way.. the ladies call me 'Sucre' 





I'd like to thank Fast Car Magazine! Maybe when the car is done, they will be interested in a bigger spread! 



Build is on hiatus until after I purchase Allison an engagement ring. Shhhhhh! 


polished the headlights, and removed the A/C radiator/fan. compressor is next but i didnt go to the garage today.





the radiator and fan weighed 15lbs/6.8kgs

next chance i get I will be all over it!

Weight update...

  • Removed rear seat and rear seat safety belts for 31 pound/14.1kg reduction.
  • Stock Trunk Carpeting - 11.5lbs/5.2kg
  • Stock Floor Mats - 13.0lbs/5.9kg!!
  • Stock Jack/Tire Iron - 4.5lbs/2.05kg
  • Stock Spare Tire - 34.4LBSSSS/15.6kg
  • Nissan Air Purifier,sound deadening behind back seat, car jack - 9 lbs/4.1kg
  • metal plate behind the back seat - 6.4 pounds/2.9kg
  • Stock suspension 57.8lbs/26.3kg and HKS Hipermax 47.0/32.3kg - 10.8lbs/6kg net loss
  • door panels 14lbs/6.35kg
  • carpet and various pieces of plastic 16.2/7.3kg
  • Center console 7.6lbs/3.5kg
  • passenger seat 34lbs/15.4kg (with rail attached)
  • Difference in test pipe/cat 6lbs/2.7kg
  • new seat/rail vs old seat/rail 5lbs/2.3kg
  • dash stripped to shell - 3lbs/1.36kg
  • difference in exhausts 24.2lbs/11kg
  • all sound deadening 12lbs/5.5kg
  • radiator and fan 15lbs/6.8kgs
  • AC/Heater stuff behind dashboard 21lbs/9.5kg
=
270.4 pounds/126.6kgs

Stock R33 GT-R 3388lbs/1540kg

Lost Birds R33 3109.4lbs/1413.4kgs.

Just gonna keep it updated so that I have a record somewhere of it. should be below 1400kg before the end of the week as the compressor and AC lines are still attached, along with some other stuff coming out. also did some work on the seat and it's back another 8cm and down another 2cm. I'm 1.91m tall and my eyes are now level with the top of the dashboard, which by the way makes the car incredibly difficult to park. 



UPDATE: Went to Mine's today. New engine going in this week, as long as I can find the headers and outlet pipes I want in time, otherwise next week. MINE'S POWERRRRRRR! 


Well, the short story is, a connecting rod bearing said goodbye to me. The other short story is, I didn't know the ECU installed in my car has no Rev Limiter. 8600 RPMs sounds awesome, but I guess it didn't help keep my engine alive. Mine's are really good people. They gave me a tour of the whole shop. They have 15 RB26s sitting on pallets ready to go. He said it would take 3 days to turn it around once I drop the car off. I have to go find some bigger turbos myself though, as they pretty much only deal R35 parts these days (as far as GT-Rs go). Pics etc. will come! 


Car is at Mine's. In the foreground is their 800HP R35 Engine, and the engine from one of the Mine's R34 GT-Rs. The RB26 pictured is 18,000USD for the longblock.
Okay. The picture would help


New engine is in. New suspension is in (JIC FLT-TARs), new seats (Sparco R2s), some other top secret Lost Birds stuff too. 




Overly dramatic teaser video I was working on. 



The New Seats: It's not that bad, your head isn't buried in there like you think since they are designed specifically with a helmet in mind. but they are illegal here for road use. The cops are too polite to give you a ticket for something like that though, so the world keeps turning. It will not pass inspection, however. 


***** This Story is Current and Up to date up to this point *****

Comments

  1. Wow cool build and story so far, keep us updated!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Seriously damn cool !!! Your lady is very talented !

    ReplyDelete
  3. Too bad about the theft. People nowadays....
    sweet ride tho

    ReplyDelete
  4. Seems like a lot of wasted time since the job is not protected. I've experimented with sharpies, industrial and non, and there will always be discoloration.
    Best bet is to prep panels for clear, use an archiving ink, and clear over it. UV protection and protection from the elements.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What do you mean by prep for clear? I'm an artist, I'd like to do this with my car, and am unfamiliar with these materials.

      Thanks!
      Mark Dean Veca
      mdveca@gmauil.com
      www.markdeanveca.com

      Delete
  5. how long has this project been going on for??

    ReplyDelete

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