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PR91W Bellett GTR 
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:40 am
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Car(s): 70 PR91W, 79 RX7, 87 Maserati Quattroporte.
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Hi
I have (I think) a 1970 PR91W here in New Zealand that I imported from Japan. It is a fantastic little car apart from a small bit of rust. It was restored in Japan but not a very good job. Parts here are an issue for me but I assume the problem is the same worldwide. Is there anywhere that you can get GT-R parts??
Also, how do I find out if it is a genuine GT-R and not a GT that has been tarted up to look like one? What do I need to look for that would ensure it is a genuine GT-R? I don't want to spend a fortune on it if it is a replica.
Also, how many GT-R's still exist? I think this is the only one in NZ.

Thanks


Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:51 am
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Car(s): 1965 Wasp, 1966 Bellett, 1967 Bellett, 1969 Florian, 1973 Bellett GTR, 1976 Buick Opel by Isuzu, 1978 Gemini van
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Hi and welcome to the forum!

There was some discussion a while back as to whether the PR91W's actually had PR91W stamped as part of the chassis number, or if it was stamped after the chassis number (and therefore fake-able) or even if they had a W at all!

Confusion!

I don't know of any verifiable PR91W's here, although I think I saw one on Yahoo Japan Auctions a while back that included a W...

I'm sure our other members will be able to help out. I think many of the parts might even still be available from Isuzu in Japan, but getting them can be a problem!

Even a decent GT (non GT-R) is pulling around $10-20k here in Australia on a good day, so it might be worth throwing money at either way!

Good luck and I look forward to the many responses to follow....

Cheers,

Dave

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Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:14 am
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Funny - I just had that discussion with another forum member....

AFAIAC, there is no way to identify a genuine GT-R except by matching the "Engineers" Notebook's with the chassis numbers - they were all PR91 with a few (8?) PR95 (ie, GT1800). They were produced randomly off the production line.

They were designated as the "model PR91W" and many years ago someone confused this with chassis numbers. (I won't say who, but it was logical wasn't it?)

There were 1169 produced (or similar - Brett PR91 posted the correct figures) and some ten years or more ago it was estimated that there were over 2,000 "still" in existence.

Recently the PR91W chassis number rumour surfaced again, but this may be due to reproductions by Eagle et al in Japan. (Would they produce a new car with non-unique chassis numbers?)

Some say TomA's GT-R (Sydney) is a fake because it is a "PR91", but I doubt that Tom would be that stupid - not after spending $heaps on genuine GT-R parts from Japan.
There is a story that Toshi et al referred to it as a "fake GTR" some years back in Canberra, but I reckon that was their dig at the local PR91W story (huo! Bwan new!). (Toshi is/was President of the biggest GT Bellett club in Japan. He is associated with others that reckon Tom's is one of the best GT-R examples in existence (someone claimed "3rd best" irrespective of fake or not). I do not recall Toshi commenting seriously on the "fake" chassis number.)

Most GTRs were the PR91 style (quad headlights, short bonnet with vents, rear vents etc) mostly white or orange, but many blue etc. The GT1800 style had the squarish taillights.

I don't know if others still dispute the details above. There were definitely some "PR91W original fakes" (that's how they were spotted).
I still maintain that either you get the notebooks etc (ha!), or photograph Mr Aoki's GTR chassis number to prove otherwise. (Or maybe Toshi et al, or maybe Isuzu Publication P58.)

Have a look at PR91's posts/threads for more info. He describes things like the LSD, heavier axles, headrests (Ricaro?), black G161W, integral manifolds etc.

If you have got a GTR, congrats! There were very few in Aus, and they are long gone (Tom's excluded).


Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:09 am
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Car(s): 70 PR91W, 79 RX7, 87 Maserati Quattroporte.
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Thanks for the info.
The only reason I doubted it was genuine was that it didn't have a "W" in the chasis number. I guess this is a good thing. Everything else is what it should be.
It was registered as a PR91W in Japan and there is a record of me buying it. I found this on a website that keeps a record of where they went from Japan. Can't remember how I found it now though.
It is not a big job to get it road worthy, it drives great but they are quite tough on old imports here. I do need steering rack rubber mounts and the rear universal but I expect these will not be too hard to find.


Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:31 am
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This is sort of an interesting topic.

The defining piece of a GTR would be the 1600 DOHC engine. These were only available in the GTR, the 1968-1972 117 Coupe, and the Gemini ZZ. For the 117 Coupe, there were a total of 964 for those model years, but they didn't all come with the DOHC engine. Some would have been SOHC, others would have been diesel, so a fraction of that number would have had the DOHC engine. I don't have numbers for the Gemini ZZ, but it couldn't have been overly common either. So this seems to be the limiting factor for putting together a GTR fake. Even if every original GTR engine were taken out of a fallen GTR and put back into another Bellett, and none were shipped to Australia to find their way into Geminis, there doesn't seem to be enough to inflate the numbers from around 1,200 in 1972, to 2,000 at 20-25 years after the cars went out of production.
Or was there a stock pile of engines somewhere that were sold without cars attached to them?

The manufacturer did sort of set a precedent for converting these cars from SOHC to DOHC, with the GTX. To develop the prototypes, they would have taken SOHC cars and put in DOHC engines. And there is a long tradition of car modifying that is based on buying the base model car and putting the biggest engine available into it. Converting a car over to GTR equipment isn't exactly an unheard of idea. Turning around and selling it as an original would be fraud. And with the lack of any way to verify which ones were and weren't original...

Is "Toshi" a nickname for Masafumi or Masaaki? Or is there a third Bellett club in Japan? Japanese social clubs usually have the founder as president for life. Did someone pass away recently?


Back to the always gray area of identifying year and model based on equipment:

I mentioned in the facebook information thread that the black hood/tailgate/racing stripe paint scheme appears to be a factory option. I have seen many GTRs in solid white, red, and blue colors. Also, the red and green colors do not match the colors offered for the rest of the Bellett line (sedans and GTs), and there is a conspicuous lack of GTRs in the colors that were offered for the rest of the line, like metallic blue, grey, yellow, olive, or beige. The solid color scheme seen on cars appears to be colors reserved for that model, and is consistent with the tradition of offering special models in primary colors (e.g. later Irmscher, Lotus, Turbo, and SE cars).

It is stated that the GTRs were put together on the same assembly line as the GTs, and that a car was simply assembled with the upgraded mechanicals as it traveled down the assembly line. The GTR introduction in September of 1969 coincides with the change of the standard GT from the G161 OHV engine to the G161S (G161SS) SOHC engine (two bolt narrow valve cover to ten bolt aluminum valve cover). The first GTs with the G161S/SS engine still had the round front turn signals, long hood, and lack of rear quarter panel vents. So it is possible that GTRs were built alongside these same cars in September of 1969, which also lacked the vents and short hood. Making a positive identification all that much more difficult.


Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:08 pm
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Thanks
You guys have been great.
I have some pictures of it here: http://profile.imageshack.us/user/trotski
It is an Orange one with black bonnet but no racing stripes. I would like to paint it exactly how it would have been out of the factory but I'm not sure what exactly that is. I did see a picture from another post of an orange one that is immaculate. I assume that this is what it should look like??
It has the DOHC engine but the rocker cover has been painted red. Again not sure if any were painted this colour from factory?? Are they meant to be black?
It also has trumpets put on the carbs but I would like to put a factory aircleaner on if I could get one.

It has been re carpeted throughout and has no rust in the body, just a little bit bubbling under paint where prep was probably not ideal. The inside is in really good condition.

Can someone tell me if these are factory wheels as well. The spare is the same.

Thanks


Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:49 pm
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The black "hood" may be meant to mean the hood, a stripe across each fender adjacent to the hood, and also the cowl area between the hood and the base of the windshield (ventilation inlet, where the wipers go, whatever you want to call it). All these would be painted black.
The racing stripe is probably really a rally style sticker graphic across the fender, door, and rear quarter panel, wide center stripe and narrow outer stripes, that goes across the chrome side badges at mid level.
The trunk lid hinges are painted body color with this paint scheme.

Somebody stole your round fog lights.

The wheels are not original. Those are Watanabes, an accurate to period racing style wheel. If you have a chance, please say what your wheel and tire size is, and the wheel offset. I am trying to confirm a 14x6 +21 with 195-60-14 tires will fit from as many sources as possible before jumping on a set. My feeling now is a very uncertain "maybe".

-----------------------
Forgot the valve cover, if I am remembering correctly, it should be red for 1600, blue for 1800, and black for 2000.


Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:32 pm
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That's one heck of a good looking car you have there.

If it was me, I wouldn't get too bent out of shape about whether or not it's a real real GT-R or not. Almost every car "model/trim level" can be faked.. even at the highest level. There's certain models of sports cars that have more cars issued with legit FIA paper work than were ever initially made and everyone knows at least X have been wrecked (The FIA has even admitted this). That's why for the really expensive cars, theres such an emphasis on historic pictures etc etc to help "verify" that it's indeed legit.

My point is that it's really cool if it's "genuine as far as you can tell", but I think, primarily a car should be enjoyed.. and that's by driving it, keeping it maintained and having other enthusiasts see it.

Of course there is the whole resale thing. But if you sink a boat load of cash and find out it's not genuine, just spend a little more and make it genuine ;)

Cheers,

Andrew


Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:09 am
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hudson wrote:
primarily a car should be enjoyed..


I've always laughed a little at the special edition models with the rare and impossible to get mechanical pieces. Most often, they were built for some specific reason to meet a certain requirement for some racing organization for stock class, or some marketing purpose.

I've always looked at the car you buy as the starting point for what you do with it. By the time I finish with the standard model, it will almost certainly outrun the special edition model by a wide margin.

I'm almost relieved that many of the things I have to replace are basically nonexistent and can not be purchased. I'm going to feel a lot less guilty about building the replacement parts the way that I want them to be, and improving the performance of the machine. And little taste things, like that I don't like wood grain, and I'm not going to feel guilty replacing all the wood grain pieces with black, aluminum, or something else.


Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:01 am
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With apologies - Toshi was a guest at the ICCA Nationals some years back. I incorrectly stated that he was President of a club. That was incorrect. (Mad cow disease!)

The GT Type-R G161W DOHC is easy to identify with its integral intake manifolds.
The GTX used the 117 G161 DOHC including the 117 sump for racing.
FYI - misonomer: I/we often refer to "GT-R Replica manifolds" (as found on BrettW's G200W Wasp) whereas they are "117 Replicas" (obviously - but we know what is meant!)

I'm not sure on the ZZ Gems - I understood that all such Gems were G180W (ZZ/R, ZZ/T etc), but there were the "black kit" versions (ie, not all black DOHCs are G161).

And the GTR rims were the same as the Mitsubishi.

See Tom's GTR. It has the correct rims and correct paint job. (Many are faulted for incorrect "termination" and location of the black panels - especially (under windscreen) vent panel etc.)
All GTRs were short bonnet with rear quarter vents (GT1800 version too??).

All red covers are G200W of which all were EFI.
Blue is the common G180W Gemini.
Blacks G161W, and "Gems" as above (G180W?).
Then there is the light greens (G180 early) and dark greens (117 - G161?), and ... (damn cows!).


Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:11 am
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IZU069 wrote:
All red covers are G200W of which all were EFI.
Blue is the common G180W Gemini.
Blacks G161W,


I was trying to associate the valve cover with the red stripe on the grille. My mistake.
That also explains why I was going to ask Elky why he was using a black 1.6 valve cover on a 2 liter engine with a red engine block and a red intake manifold...

And my mistake on the Gemini ZZs, which makes the idea of a GTR conversion even more of a rarity, because the engine could only come from another GTR, or a 117 Coupe. It would almost be easier to find a complete original GTR...


Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:42 am
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Noting that I have been told "all (DOHC) Gems are 1800" and separately (but in the same session) "there are black (cover) Gems" which refers to a special kit that could be obtained. The latter doesn't mean the blacks are 1800, but the former suggests they are. And I think it was a kit (only) for the Gems.
I interpret it as "black G180Ws", but it is not certain. It's the sort of thing I would now re-ask!

Brett PR91W has stated elsewhere in BellettNet that there "are over 2,000 GTRs", but don't know his source(s). We both agree on the number of GTRs produced (1169 or whatever), all of which were 1600 GT except for a few 1800GT (I think only 8 units).

I'm not sure about what engines the fake GTRs used, but LSDs were readily available (and may still be).
It's really only the GTR heads that are unique. But I could imagine "genuine GTRs" with replacement 117 heads etc.
Hence the only way is to match chassis numbers with the notebooks. (Noting too that GTRs were not produced on the GT assembly line, they were taken from the GT assembly line.)

It's a bit like "original" GTs here (in Oz) - very few know how to pick them.
One of the few true original examples was a late GT (4 headlight; GregC's) except for minilites, lowered springs, and paint.
There were a few "close to orig" earlier GTs (PR90 & 91) but they have since been mongrelled.
(I no longer remember the subtleties nor the sequence (eg 3 to 5 brg engines, solid to rubber rack, non to sync gearboxes, round to oblong dash, tear to oblong tails etc). All the above info is over 10 or 20 years old!!)

PS - My Florian's "G200W" has a blue cover because it's "obviously" ;) ;) only an 1800!


Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:13 am
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Car(s): 1965 Wasp, 1966 Bellett, 1967 Bellett, 1969 Florian, 1973 Bellett GTR, 1976 Buick Opel by Isuzu, 1978 Gemini van
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On the topic of the 1600 DOHCs vs the 1800 and the 2000cc's.... years ago this dude rolled into Just Geminis in South Australia wanting a green-rocker-covered, ISUZU-branded DOHC fitted to his Gemini. The problem was that the engine mounts were REALLY far forward, and our local authorities aren't very keen on big spacer plates.

As I recall, the 1800 and 2000 engines fit on the standard Gemini mounts on one side, necessitating a small (and acceptable) spacer plate on one side, or the application of a diesel crossmember (this is all stuff I was told, not stuff I actually did).

However, because this 1600 didn't fit, he left it there and everybody just looked at it and scratched their heads. The font on the rocker cover has serifs (like 'Times New Roman' - look it up) while the 1800s and 2000s had san serif fonts, so this 1600 looked more old school than the other motors. Of course, it probably would have dropped straight into a Bellett, but nobody knew that at the time....

On the subject of the 1800s and 2000s, I think their mounts may have depended on if they were fitted to a 117 or an Isuzu Gemini (or a Piazza for that matter).

Anyway, I digress...

That GTR looks tough-as! I don't think the Tom Amos GT-R has the correct wheels; the GT-Rs I've seen have a charcoal-painted steel wheel with 4 long holes and a centre cap. It's the same as what was fitted to some I've seen in brochures and have also seen replicas of on the nice Ebbro 1:43-scale GTR model.

Early Chrysler (aka Mitsubishi) Sigmas appear to have the same style dress steel wheel, albeit standard 'steel grey'. Seeing as the Sigma has the same stud pattern, a set of genuine-style GTR wheels is merely a busted Sigma, stash of grey paint and a set of chrome wheel trims away!

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Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:25 am
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just to clear up the "genuine-ness" of Tom's beautiful GT-R... unfortunately, it's not a real one.
he stated as such in the feature on the car in "Australian Classic Car" magazine, January 2005.

the story quotes... " Isuzu built about 1,300 GT-R's fitted with DOHC engines and Isuzu enthusiats believe there are about twice as many left. Tom, being a real enthusiast of the marque, had more than the occasional dream of having one in his garage and when he bought his GT, he decided that it would be the perfect candidate for an upgrade to GT-R specifications..."
later on, quotes... "i gave the car a birthday present about 12 years ago and fully restored it, rebuilding it as close to GT-R specfications as possible..."

Tom's car is a beautiful example of the ultimate Bellett built, and while not being 100% genuine, the car itself started as the correct 1970 "short bonnet, vented quarters" GT and it does have alot of geniune GT-R parts fitted. it's the closest to "real" that we will ever see here, including showing the correct way that the paint scheme was arranged, the interior layout, engine bay detail, the lot.
the car is a real credit to him, as it looks just as good now as when it was built around 1992-1993, and i know it's a car i'd love to have in my collection, as i know many of us would!

hope this helps.


Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:31 am
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You sort of summed it up Dave.
I can't remember if the G161W had central mounts, or the early G180W, but the later G180W, G180S & G200W all had central mounting lugs in addition to front lugs.

117s being Florians started with front mounts (45 & 60 degree variants) and upright oil filters while Geminis & Piazzas used the central mounts and hence down-forward filters.

That's a summary anyhow. The Gemini & twincam sites have more info on those combinations.

It sounds like the dude's green DOHC is the dark green DOHC from the 117 etc - the one that flies (10.5:1 compression). I always thought these were 1600, but....??

And you may be right with Tom's wheels - he has minilites or similar now? I was thinking of his original rims which are - as you said - the pressed steel 4 slot black Mitsubishi rims. AFAIK, identical to them (except maybe any labels/stamping?) That part of a GTR is easy to get!


Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:42 am
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Car(s): 70 PR91W, 79 RX7, 87 Maserati Quattroporte.
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Hey JT191. Wheels on mine are 175/70/13. I'm not sure how to work out the offset but from the face that bolts on to the hub out to the outside edge of the rim is between 6 and 7 cm (Hard to see with the bulge of the tyre). Hope this helps. Let me know if you need more info and I can give the spare a good measure up.

Engine is a G161W (or at least the head is) as it has the integral manifold. I assume this means the intake manifold is part of the head and not bolted on. Oil filter is upright under carbs.
Engine seems pretty good other than needing a bit of a tune up. It is a bloody quick wee car. Engine pulls pretty good from low in the revs and revs out very easily. Must have been stunning performance in 1970. It is actually quicker than my RX7 that you may have seen in the photo's and a better handler. It is easy to see why it has the legend status amongst classic Japanese cars.


Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:37 am
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Sorry Brett, I missed your post before.
I won't disagree with what you said. I know where Tom's car came from; where it's original engine is, etc.
What I have said is that it is NOT fake because "it doesn't have a PR91W chassis number".
That info has caused much confusion, and many to benefit LOL!


Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:36 am
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Tom's wonderfull example of a GT-R is as stated by Brett PR91 a fine look alike Toshi stated on video at the nationals that "the car was a very nice fake" The Isuzu parts catalogue for Isuzu passanger & light commercials eg bellett florian wasp gt gt-r, lists the body style as P.R.91 W as such a separate parts listing in this book ,some parts as we all know are interchangable but the body number according to the book starts with PR91 W . same as earlier GT'S are PR 90, PR91 etc
Some GT-R were fitted with 1600 dohc twin duel throat Mukuini solex carbs blue rocker cover x New Guinea Motors these were late 1969 {aust} models no reinforcing strut under dash corners and standard type bonnet but were still wearing quad lights strip t/lights vented rear guards GT-R badges BUT no bonnet vents , but stamped PR91-W. One of these cars came to australia as a private import into darwin from there who knows several DOHC engines front engine mount of 1600 blue cover 1800 green cover 2000 red cover carb & fuel inject models 4 or 5 speed box with early and late style gear shift stick available eg thin or thick .SO IF YOU ARE NOW TOTALLY CONFUSED JOIN A LONG QUE.


Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:38 pm
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Can't believe I didn't see this. I commented on your trademe auction. A very nice looking gtr you have there!


Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:48 am
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IZU069 wrote:
Sorry Brett, I missed your post before.
I won't disagree with what you said. I know where Tom's car came from; where it's original engine is, etc.
What I have said is that it is NOT fake because "it doesn't have a PR91W chassis number".
That info has caused much confusion, and many to benefit LOL!


To clarify, what you're saying is that Tom's car isn't a replica because it's missing the W, as they don't have a W, but it is a replica nevertheless, right?

Not trying to start sh!t, just trying to make sure I know what it is I think you are trying to phrase here.

Cheers,

Dave

PS - I like the word 'replica' so much more than 'fake'. Fake insinuates that you are trying to pull a dodgy (like a fake Rolex) while a replica is created to honour the original!!!

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Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:40 pm
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