Home » Selling Your Car? You Need To Do A Photo Shoot With an Aircraft Carrier

Selling Your Car? You Need To Do A Photo Shoot With an Aircraft Carrier

Nissan Skyline Aircraft Carrier
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We don’t just cover every car auction that comes down the pipe. Usually, a car needs something special to catch our eye, either in the performance, design, or history department. In the case of this Nissan, though, we’re covering it for an entirely different reason. It’s all about the pictures, baby.

The car in question is a 1997 Nissan Skyline GT-R, up for sale on Cars and Bids. Once upon a time, a GT-R sale might have been special, but they’re routinely available now. The 25 year rule made sure of that. Instead, this auction posting caught our eye solely based on the photography.

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Listen up—a new bar has been set. If you want to secure absolute top dollar for your classic car, you need to shoot your car at sunset in the shadow of an aircraft carrier. It’s like something out of Top Gun.

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I’m neither a patriot nor an American, but this image moves me.

The carrier starring as the backdrop for this shoot is the USS Hornet (CVS-12). The Essex-class carrier was built during World War II, and launched in 1943. It was decommissioned just four years later, before re-joining the Navy from 1953 to 1970. Highlights of its career include helping to liberate the Philippines during the war, and recovering the Apollo 11 astronauts after their successful landing on the Moon.

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Hornet was later designated a National Historic Landmark, and became a museum ship. It currently remains docked in Alameda, California. In addition to its role as a floating museum, it periodically plays host to anime conventions, movie shoots, and TV shows. And of course, as we’ve seen here, as a backdrop for JDM royalty.

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We wouldn’t be doing the Skyline GT-R justice if we didn’t tell you more about it as well. Currently for sale in San Francisco, it’s got 134,700 miles on the clock—or 216,666 kilometers if we’re being accurate. It’s a driver, not a show car, with the dealer noting a few panels have been repainted over the years. Naturally, it’s a five-speed manual, which drives all four wheels through the magic ATTESA ET-S all-wheel-drive system. Because the GT-R was a high-tech weapon, it’s got the HICAS rear-wheel steering system, too.

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The car has also been modified over the years. The engine has been rebuilt with Tomei forged pistons, Reimax cams and valve springs, and turbos from an R34 Skyline GT-R. No word on the power output but we’re told it has been tuned. There’s no dyno sheet provided, but you’d expect the RB26DETT is putting out somewhere above the stock figure of 276 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque.

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The RB26DETT is so named because the chief designer, Richard, was 26 years old at the time of its creation. i.e. ‘Richard be 26.” He had designed the RB25 the year previous and would go on to design the RB30 four years later. Or, as common wisdom would suggest, I made all this up. 

Other supporting mods include a NISMO oil pump, timing belt, fuel pump, an XClutch clutch kit, and NISMO lower control arms at the rear. Visually, it’s largely stock, including the factory 17-inch wheels, but there is a NISMO badge on the grille.

Eager buyers will appreciate that it has a valid Virginia title, so there are no import hurdles to overcome. Other than, you know, the fact that it’s right-hand-drive, so don’t bother hitting up the drive-thru at In And Out. You’ll have to come strapped with cash, though. At the time of writing, the high bid sits at $42,444 with just 15 hours remaining.

If you want to build yourself a glorious 90s hero car straight out of Gran Turismo, you can’t go wrong with this car. You could even go hardcore and give it the full treatment a la The Fast and the Furious, with shopping list stickers and a lurid vinyl wrap to match. If you do, be sure to return to the USS Hornet for another grand photoshoot. Drop us a line while you’re at it, yeah?

All photos: Cars & Bids, photographer: Frank Harrington IV

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christoffSF
christoffSF
1 month ago

Recognized the Hornet right away. In 2020 took my small kids to have an outside lunch near the Hornet and we stumbled onto a local car gathering which had a couple of E-Type’s, a five-window Chevy 3100, and a handful of other fun stuff

Used to go to the Cars and Coffee on Treasure Island and before that when it was in Alameda on the Oakland side by the Main Street Ferry stop.

For those near Alameda I highly recommend a visit to St. George’s because I love their gin & the tasting tours are fun. It’s next door to Faction which is also great.

Another Engineer
Another Engineer
2 months ago

SWG should do all his Gossin Motors Auto Rescue sales photos across the river at the USS North Carolina WWII battleship.

TriangleRAD
TriangleRAD
2 months ago

This is a great idea, although he’d have to wait until the current reconstruction of the parking area is complete and see what angles are available in the new layout.

Lincoln Clown CaR
Lincoln Clown CaR
2 months ago

That sounds a little grand for his rescues. Is there like an old WWII minesweeper or oiler around?

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
2 months ago

FYI, if you are in Texas, the USS Lexington is permanently moored in Corpus Christi Bay. Similar to the Hornet, it’s also a WWII vet. Get to this parking lot early for similar pics as above.

I don’t think they do it anymore, but years ago took my only helicopter ride from the deck of the Lex. Money well spent! Even without the helicopter rides, I highly recommend the Lex tour. These carriers are amazing.

Robot Turds
Robot Turds
2 months ago

I spent several years volunteering on CV12 (Hornet). It is perhaps one of the least visited historical carriers in the US. Initially it was supposed to get docked in San Francisco, but the city didn’t want it. So instead it got shoved to Alameda. It sits docked in what once was a large Navy base that was shut down in 1997. Most of the buildings are still there and most are abandoned with some finally being put back into use.

So its too far off the beaten path for most tourists. OTOH the USS Midway gets millions of visitors a year because its right in downtown San Diego. Its also got a comparatively HUGE volunteer staff and the ship always looks great. There were so few of us on the Hornet. Keeping such a giant metal thing looking good is not easy. It really needs to have the exterior painted as its really starting to peel and rust. But that costs money and needs a lot of people to do it. So if you happen to be in the area, pay a visit and make a donation.

Lastly- and this annoys the fuck out of me- is that the base has more recently become a popular place for illegal sideshows. I ride my bike out by the Hornet all the time and a few months ago I rode by and the entire parking lot near the ship was covered in black tire marks and furthermore, they had trashed the place leaving all of their garbage, beer bottles and cans and so on. Fucking disrespectful. They’ve started putting some concrete blocks around to discourage it.

LTDScott
LTDScott
2 months ago
Mike B
Mike B
2 months ago

Haha, when visiting San Diego last summer, my buddy there let me use his 80-Series Landcruiser to get around town. We went to visit the USS Midway (CV-41), and of course I snapped some shots of the 80. Not as good as these though, the parking lot was jammed, and it was tough to properly frame them.

I also have shots of my 5th gen 4R in front of USS Massachusetts (BB-59).

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
2 months ago

The ideal car for this setting is the Lincoln Mark IV.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
2 months ago

Wow what a skyline…but seriously best BaT photoshoot ever?

Angel "the Cobra" Martin
Angel "the Cobra" Martin
2 months ago

There are some typical backdrops for car pics in the Bay Area. By far the most common is the Golden Gate Bridge. Second is probably some sort of wine country backdrop. The you would have the Hornet followed by the Palace of Fine Arts.
As a side note, my next door neighbor used to be a docent on the Hornet and they do an amazing job of tours and events. They always put on a first class 4th of July party.

Lux Matic
Lux Matic
2 months ago

That’s my local “epic pic of my car” spot! Knew where it was before reading the article. Cool place to go for New Year’s and July 4th too, where you can watch fireworks from San Francisco from the deck.

A couple of years ago, the USS Hornet was the monthly site of a huge, and I mean *huge* cars/coffee thing. That is, until local neighbors got fed up with the bad manners (donuts, burn outs) of a small set of the attendees.

https://valtautoclub.com/2021/03/02/highlight-reel-feb-21-car-season-kickoff/

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
2 months ago

This reminded me of my brother. He was in the Navy and bought a Porsche. Assigned to a big ass ship (1980s), he somehow was able to keep his car onboard while the ship sailed all over the world for the 4 years he spent onboard.

One cool thing was the photos he sent of his car being lifted from the ship to any number of ports visited, so he could explore while on shore leave.

During this time he snapped a ton of great pics of the car sitting on the deck.
When he finally decided to sell it he used the pics in the ads.
It seems that well done photos really make a difference in both attracting a potential buyer, and the sale price. YMMV.

Last edited 2 months ago by Col Lingus
Jason Roth
Jason Roth
2 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

I think you should get those pics from your brother and that The Autopian should run a story. That sounds beyond awesome.

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
2 months ago
Reply to  Jason Roth

Agreed

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
2 months ago

Since San Francisco, I’d have gone with some shots taken in Japantown instead.

I bet if you were patient, you could get some without anyone around and likely with the funky peace pagoda in the background for a cool JDM vibe.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
2 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Or do a long exposure to get the pedestrians blurred.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
2 months ago

It’s really cool to see a JDM legend with a carrier that fought Japan in WW2. It’s a really neat visual of one of the few times in history a lasting and mutually beneficial peace has been forged after such a major and destructive conflict.

Leon Muks
Leon Muks
2 months ago

We don’t have an aircraft carrier nearby but we do have a battleship.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
2 months ago
Reply to  Leon Muks

That thing is cool. I half expected it to float onto the Causeway after the rains last week. /s

Now I need to go check it out again after over 50 years. And the sub behind it too.

Last edited 2 months ago by Col Lingus
Leon Muks
Leon Muks
2 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

A shame we can’t post photos in the comments. I’ve got one of an MG TD on the deck of the battleship.

Mike B
Mike B
2 months ago
Reply to  Leon Muks

Her sister, BB59 “Big Mamie” is local to me.

V10omous
V10omous
2 months ago

The builders of that fine vessel would be rolling in their graves to know that it’s now a backdrop for the sale of a *JDM* vehicle!

Church
Church
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Sure, but screw them. It’s 2024 so they should stop living like it’s 1944. Also, they probably aren’t still alive, so…

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
2 months ago
Reply to  Church

To be fair, they DID shoot off Cotton Hill’s shins.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

On the contrary, I’d like to think they would appreciate that their efforts and sacrifices led to the two nations becoming two of the strongest allies and economic partners in the world, making such a photo possible. What would suck is if, 80 years later, we were still bitter enemies. Then all that would have been a waste.

Last edited 2 months ago by Rad Barchetta
V10omous
V10omous
2 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Don’t get me wrong, my personal views are just as you laid them out.

But having met some people of this generation decades ago, my experience is that old prejudices often die hard.

Mostly my post was just to point out the humorous irony of the picture.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Yeah agreed, my grandpa on my mom’s side refused to buy Japanese cars.

Mike B
Mike B
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

When I was a kid I worked at a full-service gas station, one of our regulars was a Pearl Harbor survivor that drove a Camry.

TriangleRAD
TriangleRAD
2 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Yeah, that’s almost as ironic as the Mitsubishi-branded A/C units that I once saw installed aboard USS North Carolina.

Buzz
Buzz
2 months ago

Trains are another great backdrop. The Mini Moke is a horrendously ugly vehicle, but when you park one in front of a train, it just works.

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1967-morris-mini-moke-2/

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