Want the full detailed history of Big Bird? Then read the commentary below from Sean Morris,
one who is considered to be the ultimate GTR enthusiast. Someone who has worked for MotoRex and RB Motoring.
He has brought this car to the Universal Studios movie tryouts and has built and raced Big Bird
and many other GTR's through out the US. This information and much more can be
found on his site.
With permission, taken from
"Why Big Bird?
We name cars... easier than saying the R33.... when you
have a few sitting around...easier to say "Slim Shady" than the "white R32".
This car is Big Bird because it was painted yellow by Universal for the Fast
and Furious. Plus its big, yellow, and everyone loves it...
Wasn't this (UPRD's, Rhys Millens, XS, Universal, etc) car?
This R33 has always been owned by MotoRex. It has been loaned
out and used a lot
What is this cars history?
It was one of the first R33's to come to the US. It was
in SCC back in Jan 1999. It has since appeared in tons, and tons of places.
It is, has been the most widely used R33 Skyline GT-R in the US. It was
It has been featured in Sport Compact Car - twice
- Pikes Peak - and as the HKS car, Max Power, Road and Track, Turbo Magazine.
It has been featured in ads for everyone from Speedoptions.com to Racing Hart,
to XS Engineering. It has even been featured in an ad for an Australian
importation company-doing a burnout.
The car raced at Pikes Peak in 1999 in the Showroom stock
class. It was driven by Rhys Millen to a record for 1999 of 12:13.47. Considering
a Skyline is not a rally car - not a bad time.
It was raced at One Lap of America 1999. but some gremlins
kept the car from finishing.
We took the car to the audition for Fast and Furious.
They liked the car. They wanted to use it in a bigger role, but we could
not get them enough cars in time for them. That is why the car only has
a small role in the movie. Lots of people wanted to see it out racing, but
without several cars - the movie doesn't want to take the chance of something
happening to the only car they had.
After we got the car back, we weren't quite sure what
to do with it. Raced it one time at Carlsbad Dragstrip. One bar of boost,
pump gas, and it turned a 12.1 @ 110 mph first pass. Trying to turn the
boost up made for some messed up passes in the 12's with lots of wheelspin.
We hooked up with Holley/SoCal Speed Shop/NOS - and
they installed a direct port nitrous system. Very mean looking under the
We loaned it to a company for CES. They told us that it
stopped running..... this car had been used a lot... Get the car back .
Check it out - no compression. We figure - Adjustable boost, direct
port nitrous, and people unfamilar with a car like this..and they had problems.
We sit on the car for a while. Car goes to XS Engineering. They pull the
head - all the exhaust valves are bent. Nice marks in the top of each piston.
No wonder it had no compression. Started to work on a 2.8 liter , big
motor for Big Bird and drag racing. Time passes and it sits..
November - December 2001. IDRC finals in Palmdale are
coming up. Lets get Big Bird running again. Get another stock motor
for it. Have to retap a manifold as the stock orginal is being converted
to single throttle body. Drop in a stock motor - 2530's we have off the car
orginally. Get it running, get it to XS - Friday night before the event.
Install the Power FC Pro , #8 plugs, tempoary bottle heater. First pull on
the dyno 370 hp to the wheels. We are only on wastegate spring pressure as
we didnt have time to hook up the boost controller. Eric pulls some
timing out of the top - pulls 360 to the wheels. Ready for the nitrous.
First pulls are way rich. Jet the fuel down to 14. Bottle pressure up to
1100psi. 24 nitrous 14 fuel. Bottle pressure up to 1200 psi by accident....
551 hp to the wheels. 100% stock internal motor. But the car is inconsistant.
We decide not to use the nitrous.
First pass at IDRC... 12.74 @ 108. We only got to make
one pass that day.
Next plans are to pull some weight out of it. Change the
heavy 18x10's with the Toyo T1S 255/40/18's to some 17's and
sticky tires. Put a ported head - 256 intake cam - 274 exhaust cam. Metal
headgasket, head studs. More boost, and SoCal/NOS is going to help us
with setting up the nitrous system better - equalizing the lengths of the
This weekend (February 23rd-24th,2002) at the IDRC race
(www.importdrag.com) in Palmdale took out Big Bird. The yellow R33
from The Fast and Furious - and also the 1999 Pikes Peak Showroom stock record
It has a stock motor, stock headgasket, stock cams,
stock exhaust manifolds, HKS intercooler, HKS EVC EZ, HKS 2530 turbos,
Power FC, Direct Port nitrous, BFG Drag Radials (275/50/17), Nismo twin
plate clutch, stock transmission, VP C16, 550 cc injectors,
Nismo intank fuel pump, Bosch pump for the nitrous.
First pass was a disappointing 13.0 @ 107 with about 0.85
- 1.00 bar of boost. Next pass it bogged and ran a 13.4 @ 109 and the
boost was up to around 1.4 at the end. The car was popping, starting hard,
and having issues. The altitude was horrible. Barometric pressure was really
3rd pass I decided to try the nitrous....Got off the line
with what felt like a lot of wheel spin...1.90 60 foot... 2nd gear.... more
wheel spin?.... 3rd gear.... more wheel spin?..... 4th gear....more wheel
spin??? look down notice I am doing about 120 mph... 120 mph and wheel spin???
11.90 @ 121...... and it wont go into gear...... clutch
was slipping....... can barely get the car into gear.... damn....
Have to race again for our Team Challenge.... can barely
force the car into gear... clutch doesnt seem to be disengaging .. turn
the boost controller off... but nitrous on... 12.1 @ 116..... and the clutch
doesn't slip... the car feels better.... can get it and shift it good now....
Turn the boost up.... 11.80 @ 117... 60 foot getting better
- car feeling better... 1.79 60 foot.. clutch not slipping...
Last team race of the day.... turn the boost up a little....
1.60 60 foot... 11.55 @ 122. Turn the boost up to about 1.9 bar through
the traps.... had to beat this 13 second Subaru after his teammate turned
the flashers on when it beat our slowest GT-R...
Sunday morning.... didn't qualify for street tires class...
the 11.55 didn't count for qualifying.... Have to run an 11.8 or better
to make the 8 car field... New nitrous bottle... boost up..... 1.67 60 foot.....
10.814 @ 132.616...... my first 10 second pass..... the
car feels great... qualify # 3... the #2 car ran a 10.813.......
First round was against a Supra... 12 second car... turn
the boost down... dont need to run too much boost... 1.65 60 foot
10.96 @ 129 mph beat him by 1.88 seconds.... and that was the fastest Supra
there on street tires..
Next round I was up against Pete from XS Engineerings
FD RX-7. XS are some of our friends.... I had been talking a little smack to him.
He beats me in reaction time my 0.911 to his 0.848.
He gets a 1.564 60 foot . I get a 1.611. I get a bit of wheelspin
in 1st and 2nd gear... I am behind about a car length ..3rd gear I crank the
boost... catching up.... 4th gear... crank it more...all the way.... 10.717
@ 137.751 - he ran a 10.815 @ 131.961..... I beat him by 0.035....... I broke the turbo... but I won.....
I bypassed the scales on the way back so I would be disqualified...
let Pete run against Ari Yallon in the finals... Pete lost.... but
I still am very happy... we had a very good weekend. I made 10 passes on
the car. 3 in the 10 second range...
IDRC March 16-17 Phoenix, AZ
We had a hell of a trip.....left Gardena at 2 pm....took
2 1/2 hours to get to San Bernardino - tire blew out on the trailer
in San Bernardino.... got it fixed, lucky I have
friends and family out that way.... got on the road...
Made it to the hotel at around 12:30 am...which was 1:20
am Phoenix time...
Tech at the track was diffcult...gave me a hassle for
my bottle in the trunk.... not vented to atmosphere - but its in a
trunk...oh well... Teched at 12.0
First pass of the day.... launched got about 10 feet before
I went WOT to activate the nitrous and I immediately hit the rev limiter
spinning the tires.... went off throttle and then just eased it down the track
with a 14.9 @ 96..... 3.0 60 foot....
Next pass was an 11.435 @ 124.59 with the boost down low
and rolling into the throttle easy...
Last pass of the day...launched...realised I forgot to
turn the nitrous on - flipped it on- 2.1 60 foot - ran a 11.639 @ 130.25
mph... Up in Palmdale I was getting 1.6 60 foots...
Sunday morning - I was qualified #2 behind Saad Saad..he
ran a best of 11.0 in his Supra... Sunday morning I made one pass
- didn't purge the nitrous - I was trying to make it hit soft...but the 60
foot suffered again got a 1.88 60 foot and ran an 11.231 @ 131.46 mph...
That morning Saad ran a 10.6 @ 134...
Thats when a problem happened..... before the first race....
tech inspector came up to me - asked if I had a scatter shield.... well
scatter shield doesn't exist for a Skyline GT-R... then talking some more
- need driveshaft loops on the drive axles.... well on the GT-R you have
4 half shafts (axles) then you have a 2 piece driveshaft - and a front driveshaft...
I need 7 driveshaft loops according to the guys at tech...
After that a few guys from IDRC tell me that someone that
wasn't even racing was the one that ratted on a lot of the street tires
cars going faster than the tech ET's... The IDRC guy even knew him by name
because he had argued with him at a past race about how a racing ladder
This same guy stood in front of me - and I asked him 4
times if he was the one that ratted me out... 4 times he denied it.
I asked him if he was telling me this - I would believe him on his word
and drop it there.... I had no reason to take it any further - that I was
trusting him on his word...
But then back in the tower for the final races - talked
to the IDRC guy - told him that he denied it - and he specifically
mentioned him by name - and the fact that he came up into the tower....
So I couldnt run any faster than 12.0..... did the car
have more in it ? Sure it did.... my first race was against Pete from
XS Engineering.... I get all the tuning for the GT-R's done at XS - so I
was going to let him win - but he broke an axle on the line.... I won
with a 37.0 @ 43 mph... waiting for him to come down the track...
Didn't make the next race as its pointless if I
can't run faster than 12.0...
6/4/02.......work kinda sorta not in progress. 9.002
@ 160 mph - Titan Motorsport Supra...on a drag radial. Amazing stuff. Got
to give props to those guys.... Sold the 2530's . They are going on
a customers R33. Sold Nicks 2540's that are currently on Big Bird.
Have the seats to sell. Give the downpipe back to Wen or sell
it for him. Have to work out transmission and what kind of engine combination
I want to go with. I am going to borrow Nicks 280 degree cams off him. Got
some Blok filler, and some ideas. Marios car is crazy.... 825kw at
the wheels - 1107 hp....www.exvitermini.com. Gives me some inspiration. I
just want to make around 950 hp to the wheels... Did a photo shoot
with SCC a while back. Going to be on the cover of a "street racing" special.
Article on their website at www.sportcompactweb.com
7/14/02 .... In the first issue of Modified Magazine. New import
magazine based in Canada. Big Bird made it into the Street Tire
class review. 1 page article on the car. Other cars featured are two
of Titans Supras. John Shepards and Jeff Hills Talons, Ari Yallons,
Stephan Kans, and Peter Yeung's RX-7's, George Moustakas's Supra,
and Ric Stephans Miata. I loaned the tranny out of Big Bird to a
customer and he broke 3rd gear. Over 500 hp to the wheels you
just have a finite life. I guess shifting easy and the fact that Big Bird
is about 200 lbs lighter than his car. I guess this is a good thing - because
now I have to build a better transmission for it. I still want to get
a carbon/carbon clutch for it. The only problem is they cost about $5000
retail. Pistons are getting done. Rods are there. I think we are just
going to go with a stock crank for now. Stock block for now. We have a couple
of N1 blocks, but for now we are just going with a stock block. While
we have the motor out we are going to fix some of the paint. The paint
job for Fast and Furious was a little on the "good from far, but far from
good" side. Under the hood - inside the car - and the trunk still needed
to be painted. I wonder if another color would be good...I have
always been partial to orange."