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Mar 13, 2015

Alexander Gorodji : The Left Hand Drive Nissan Skyline GT-R Guy

Alexander Gorodji(middle) with his left hand drive R34

I got an email this morning from Alexander's wife, letting me know that he passed away on Monday March 9th.  Originally I met Alexander when I was at MotoRex. It must have been around 1999 or early 2000. It was before MotoRex moved to Gardena from Western Ave, so early.  He came in because he thought that MotoRex was converting Nissan Skyline GT-R's to left hand drive for the US.

Alexander in his LHD R34
Since it wasn't a requirement to convert the cars for the US, he was a bit disappointed to find out that we were not.  He was sure that there was a market for left hand drive cars. If not in the US, then the middle east or Russia.  We never really saw the point of making them left hand drive if not required.   Eventually Alexander got some investors together and purchased an R33 GT-R from MotoRex.

Left hand drive R33

They(Skyline Motors) then converted this R33 to left hand drive. Alexander was passionate about the Nissan Skyline GT-R's. So passionate that we bumped heads more than once or twice, and I might have thrown a punch at him during a heated argument over speedometers.

Left hand drive converted R33
After I left MotoRex, Alexander was still doing his left hand drive R33 thing. Honestly not that many people were interested in the conversion. I only really know of the R33, and one R34 that he completed. There might have been at least one more R34 that was supposed to be finished, but I think he ran out of money before the car was ever completed.  Passion isn't enough to pay your bills.

Many years later, I found out that Alexander had written a book about the Nisan Skyline GT-R in 2008.

Alexander was a big R33 guy, and I am and always will be an R32 guy. So another thing we would butt heads over.  The book included lots of pictures and details of his R33 left hand drive conversion and his left hand drive R34 conversion.

Several years later, in 2010, another book with Dennis, Alexanders son as the author, but obviously with lots of Alexanders help and input.  Nissan GT-R Supercar, Born to Race.   Alexander said he was a lot more happy with that book than the first book.   He came to me in 2011, and had started to write up his third book, on R35 GT-R performance, and was looking for some help. He was at a rough spot in his life. His passion for GT-R's had locked him into this niche.  He attended a couple of R35 GT-R track days, and had a book signing at the Peterson Automotive Museum.

More recently he was working on a new hybrid supercar concept. Over the last year or so, his health was going down hill. Last time I saw him, we had lunch, at Dennys. We would talk cars, argue cars. Butt heads. Always try and help him out, because he really didn't have much supporting him. Just these ideas, and his passion.   His wife's email said that he was found with a pen in his hand, working on his hybrid supercar concept.   Lots of people had interacted with Alexander over the years. Not everyone liked him, me included at times, but he was passionate about the Nissan Skyline GT-R, and I liked that.   I'll go do a 8000 rpm launch for you Alex....

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Woow.. This is sad. I remember reading his book (w/c is kinda 33GTR biased). Well RIP Mr. Alex LHD GTR. Will rev salute for you sir!