Kerry Packer was a lot of things, but did you know the legendary media tycoon was also an R32 Skyline GT-R fan-boy?
Sister magazine Wheels was doing a supercar test at Eastern Creek in 1991 with race ace Kevin Bartlett driving a Honda NSX, BMW M5, Ferrari Mondial and Skyline GT-R. KB mentioned it to his mate KP, who happened to own the magazine.
As the crew were setting up, a helicopter landed on the infield and out stepped the big boss. Kerry and young son Jamie spent hours lapping the track in the NSX and GT-R before heading back to their chopper. As he departed, Packer asked editor Phil Scott if he could pull some strings and secure two GT-Rs.
Long-time Wheels contributor Michael Stahl included a brief re-telling of the event in his book Kerry Packer: Tall Tales and True Stories.
After sampling the cars he got ready to depart in his ex-US Army ‘Huey’ chopper. He pointed to the Nissan.
“Get me one of those cars,” he called out.
“Nah, f--k it. Get me two. One for James.”
Scotty made the call immediately. Packer then cancelled his order for a pair of NSXs with a miffed Rick Damelian.
The Skyline, of course, won the comparison test, with Wheels calling it “Handling Nirvana.”
Packer kept two R32s in the ACP car park in Castlereagh Street – silver and red, from memory – and they looked stock.
But Kerry had KB make modifications to each car, leading to much speculation about the amount of horsepower they were, um, packing.
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