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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Neverland Ranch : Nissan Skyline GT-R Stories

Wasabi picture from a photo shoot with Sport Compact Car many years ago. Pretty sure we took this R34 to Neverland Ranch

The last Waffle House story was popular, so time for another Skyline GT-R related story.   This one is odd, and it is Skyline GT-R related.  So at one point in time, we were invited to go to Neverland Ranch, yes Michael Jackson's ranch.  See, we live in Los Angeles, and anything is possible here.  Not even sure of the exact year it happened. Michael Jackson, and Neverland Ranch are obviously some controversial topics, but this is just my story of going there.



A good friend, and photographer friend of ours James Louis, was friends with the Jacksons, and specifically Siggy Jackson, Jackie Jackson's son.   One day, Siggy asked us if we wanted to go to his uncles ranch for a concert.  Now this is on the level of never expect to happen.  It was a place that about everyone had heard about, but actually going was a little outside the realm of what you ever think.

The property included three railroads: one 3 ft (914 mmnarrow gauge named "Neverland Valley Railroad", with a steam locomotive named Katherine after his mother (Crown 4-4-0 (2B), built in 1973), and two coaches. The other was a 2 ft (610 mmnarrow gauge, with a C. P. Huntington replica locomotive made by Chance Rides.[19] There was also a custom-made private electric train that was purchased by Jackson for his own children Prince, Paris and Blanket. The train was manufactured in 2001 from a German company Elektro-Mobiltechnik. The train was set up in the yard at Neverland behind the main house and had 100 feet of track.[20]
There was also a Ferris wheelCarouselZipperOctopusPirate ShipWave Swinger, Super Slide, roller coasterbumper cars, and an amusement arcade. The master closet also contained a secret safe room for security.
A couple of the guys from RB, Victor, Jeff, and myself brought an R34, and an R32 up to the ranch. We picked up Siggy, and drove up to Santa Barbara.  Cameras were off limits, and this was pre any decent kind of cell phone camera.

Neverland Ranch was a surreal place. If you have ever been to Disneyland, you get the idea of the kind of surreal it was, as many of the same people were involved.

We drove up to the gate for this support concert - "You are Not Alone" with lots of people and media on each side of the entrance. Once we drove into the property, one of the first things I remember seeing, was a giraffe. It really was like another world.  We were directed of where to park.  Then we were fairly free to roam around the property.



We went into the movie theater, it was similar to an actual movie theater, there was a counter with candy and popcorn.  Then inside there were a number of seats, and a few extra nooks for seating. More like an actual standalone theater than a room in your house. The train station was like the train station at Disneyland. Had a small candy store in it.   There was a reptile house, with a lot of snakes, frogs, and lizards. An arcade.  Even driving around was a ice cream truck, serving free ice cream.  The big rides, the Ferris Wheel, and the go karts were not operating from what I remember.  There were animals all around in different areas. The property was big.



We didn't meet, or talk to Michael.  After wandering around for a few hours, there was a support concert for Michael.  I really can't remember much of the concert, or leaving, but it was for sure an interesting part of my life, to say that I have been to Neverland Ranch.  I am sad that I never got to go to Playboy Mansion, like Victor.

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