top of page

A Lot of an Animal

Martyn Clifford’s incredible 736bhp R33 GT-R is so meaty it makes Pepperamis look positively vegan!

We know Martyn. We’ve know him for years. And there are two things you should know about him too. One; he loves his cars. He built three immaculate motors that were featured in Max Power – a Mk2 Astra, a Mk3 Cavalier and an R33 GTS-t – and his face popped up in its pages plenty of times as founder of the Lincolnshire-based Max’d Car Club. And two; don’t get in the passenger seat of his car if you’re of a nervous disposition… he wasn’t nicknamed Mad Max’d for nothing!

Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R
The type of view most road users get of this GT-R

But since we last featured his GTS-t back in 2005 (25th May, 2005 to be precise – same day Liverpool won the Champions League in Istanbul), we’ve learned a few more things about Martyn. Firstly, he’s developed a bit of a thing for Skylines with this GT-R his eighth one to-date. And secondly, Martyn has also been hit by the debilitating Parkinson’s disease (same as Muhammed Ali had, and Michael J Fox has). It’s a bitch of a disease, where nerve cell loss in part of the brain reduces the amount of dopamine produced. Dopamine helps regulate movement in the body which is why Parkinson’s sufferers often have involuntarily shaking, stiffness and a slowness of movement. But, as you might expect from a car nut like Martyn, he’s doing his best to not let something like that get in his way!

Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R
"R33s are the lardy ones that nobody wants." Wrong!!

“It’s my adrenaline rush,” he says pointing at possibly the most immaculate R33 GT-R in the country. “When I’m behind the wheel it’s like I come alive, I feel normal. And then I feel great for about 10 minutes after a drive until that adrenaline drops.”

RB26 engine in an R33 Skyline GT-R
We tried to eat our dinner off it, but Martyn gave us a slap!

Strapped into his Sabelt harness it’s like the illness evaporates as soon as premium unleaded gets pumper through those 1000cc injectors. It’s medicine for him, although the NHS could never prescribe it as it’s far too addictive.

In some ways, the whole project on this car has been like therapy though. For Martyn it’s a massive two-finger salute to Parkinson’s but, more importantly, he hopes seeing this build inspires others in a similar situation to not give up chasing their dreams. Although those dreams better be ridiculous powered cars if they want to keep up with this one.

700bhp+ Skyline... you'd be smiling like Martyn too!

Under the bonnet, aside from being the kind of eat-your-dinner-off-it clean that Martyn’s famous for, you’ll find the twin turbos ditched in favour of a single hybrid GT35R-GT3582R turbo. Lag? Not round here. With very little left untouched inside that RB26 lump – see spec below – coupled to expert mapping by MGT Motorsport, uprated GReddy diffs and an RB Motorsport rebuilt 5-speed box with HKS internals, this thing just picks up and fires you half a mile down the road before you know it. And that’s with a full leather interior and a 16 stone lump of a passenger!

At high boost it makes 736bhp at the flywheel, but today it’s running around 1.4bar and something like 600bhp. Don’t go thinking that’s a let down though. It’s a beast of a car that has you reaching for grab handles and wondering what the whiff from your pants is… as Dan can testify. The induction howl, the creaking diffs, the screaming straight six; if the rest of your body doesn’t realise you’re in a GT-R badged catapult then your ears certainly will.

Style hasn’t been forgotten about either, because, you know, sometimes it’s parked for long enough to actually take it all in properly. At one point Martyn slapped some red graphics on it to mimic the blue ones on his old Max-featured GTS-t, but by his own admission came to the right conclusion and binned them. Little things like the genuine Veilside wing mirrors, 400R-style sideskirts and carbon fibre cannards on the front bumper all do enough to give the classic R33 shape the lick of modified goodness it needs.

“I wanted you guys to come and see it, as it’s the last car I’ll do,” explains the veteran Maxer at the end of the shoot, going on to explain the dilemma he’s now in. With his ability to work now diminished, the cost of building another project or even keeping this one fed with petrol is all looking a bit daunting. But we know Martyn. We’ve known Martyn for years. And if there’s one more thing you should know about him too it’s that he’ll be terrorising the roads of Lincolnshire and scaring passengers senseless with his GT-R until it’s physically impossible. And the Maxing world is a better place for it!

To see and hear this awesome GT-R move (and it moves!), check out the video below:


ENGINE: 2.6-litre RB26 R33 engine • ATI Race dampener • honed cylinder block to take Wiesco pistons • Eagle conrods with uprated bolts ACL race bearings • JUN oil pump • ARP head studs and nut kit • HKS 1.2mm head gasket • HKS metal intake gaskets • multi-layer exhaust manifold gaskets • Nismo bronze valve guides • wasted/gas flowed tips in the ports • Nismo baffled sump • Nismo uprated water pump and pulley • Nismo thermostat • HKS head drain kit • exhaust port bulges removed and polished • GReddy uprated timing belt • Tomei 280/290 cams • 10.2mm lift and buckets and shims to match • Vernier cam pulleys • Sard 1000cc injectors • new wiring loom • Sard FPR with braided lines and torque fittings • HKS polished and uprated dual feed fuel rail • Splitfire coilpacks • Iridium spark plugs • reconditioned starter and alternator • modified front drivetrain cross shaft and new oil seals • Nismo oil restrictor in the cylinder block • GT35R-GT3582R hybrid turbo with modified machine compressor housing and twin-cut back blades on the intake compressor wheel • modified stainless steel top mount 6-brand tubular manifold wrapped in black heat wrap • Tial external wastegate with screamer pipe • custom made exhaust front pope with custom made de-cat pipe with AFR sensor port • Nitto clear cambelt cover • remote oil filter housing and oil cooler • Nismo engine mountings • adjustable engine steady damper • full red silicone hose kit • flame proof hose sleeving • braided fuel and oil pipes • uprated large alloy radiator • twin electric fan conversion with alloy radiator shroud • GReddy alloy breather catch tank/ screenwash bottle • GReddy engine cooling plate • polished/ chrome/ powder coated and painted parts • stainless steel clips, bolts and nuts • Link G4+ ECU and loom section • MAP sensor, no MAF

TRANSMISSON: Extreme twin plate carbon clutch and flywheel • 5-speed gearbox with HKS uprated internals rebuilt by RB Motorsport • GReddy 2-way updated differentials front and rear • Skylab torque split controller • Shockproof gearbox oil • Japspeed shortshifter kit • full bumper lip reinforcer and undertrays to bellhousing

SUSPENSION: Aragosta fully adjustable suspension with pillow ball top mounts front and rear • Driftworks pillow ball bushes • Driftworks Hicas delete kit

BRAKES: 356mm Alcon discs with 6-pot calipers and Ferodo DS2500 pads (front) • grooved discs with OE calipers and EBC Red Stuff ceramic pads (rear) • Nismo braided brake hoses • AP Racing brake fluid

WHEELS & TYRES: 8.5 x 18in Ultralite alloys • 275/40/18 Falken FK453 tyres • 15mm Hubcentric spacers • Unique hub nut wheel/ centres • black wheel nuts and wheel valves

EXTERIOR: OE front bumper with Nismo vents, tow strap slot and Carbon Tec cannards • OE alloy bonnet with Nismo lip and Carbon Tec bonnet rams/ lifters • OE headlights with dip and main beam HID conversion • tinted crystal front indicators • Veilside electric aero mirrors (OE alloy base plates) • Jap Salon 400R-style sideskirts • Nismo diffuser style rear bumper • OE rear spoiler with Carbon Tec spoiler blade and caps • red under car lighting • white halo GTR front badge

INTERIOR: Full black leather interior with embroidered GTR logo including door cards, arm rest, gear and handbrake gaiters • Jap Salon dashboard top twin gauge pod • GReddy A-piller triple gauge pod • Nismo black alcantara 330mm ‘D’ steering wheel • Momo snap-off steering wheel adaptor and boss • push button starter • Nismo gearknob • Defi link gauges for oil pressure, boost, volts and oil temperature • Defi HUD • GReddy boost controller • Pivot turbo timer • AEM digital AFR gauge • Do_Luck centre adjustable floor/ chassis brace • Dash LED white light conversion • electric fan override switch • OE GT-R floor mats • Sabelt red 3-point harnesses • alarm/immobiliser

THANKS & FREE PLUG: CJ Powdercoating for all my powder coated parts • Garth and Mark at MGT Motorsport for all the dyno work and mapping • Tony, Craig and Luke at Galyers Body Shop • Gaz at Jap Salon who is a top bodykit man and really knows his Skylines • Wayne at Auto Extreme for the twin plate kit… pure quality! • biggest thanks ever to my wife Jojo who has endured all my petrolhead projects and stood by me on my choices of car

Martyn (left) with Aussie mate Phil, who still talks to Martyn despite having been for a passenger ride!


NAME: Martyn ‘Mad Max’d’ Clifford

AGE: Grandpa-spec

JOB: Mechanic

Why do you call this car ‘Pepperami’?

Because it’s a bit of an animal

A bit? It’s a lot of an animal!

Yeah, that’s why I made a sticker saying that by the exhaust

Oh crap, I thought I was being original and witty with my headline

For more images, check out the gallery below:

509 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
bottom of page