All image credits: GT-R Nights

When you’ve pick up a car used, have you ever wondered about the life it had before you? Sometimes you can gather scraps of information from the car itself (a leftover CD or impressions in the upholstery from child seats), but unless you have a contact, a lot of it becomes speculation and guesswork. One GT-R owner is looking half a world away to find the first owner of his beloved car.

Kevin Pope, who lives in Denver, Colorado, is an Army veteran. He unfortunately went through a period of extreme poverty after he left the service. Happily, though, he was able to get a degree and finally land a well-paying job. Once all of that was squared away, it was time to turn back to what he always loved, cars.

He imported a 1992 Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R from Japan because the magic 25-year spell had just lifted. And it came clean as a whistle: 24,000 miles on the clock, a Nismo body kit, HID conversion and aftermarket mods from HKS, GReddy and Blitz. Excellent condition.

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Out of all the cars he could have gotten, I asked Pope why he wanted an R32 GT-R in particular.

He said that liked its racing pedigree, but really, it also represented him overcoming poverty by being able to afford his dream car, rebuild it and rejoin the car scene.

Currently, Pope is waiting on some Nismo parts on their way over from Japan. The car is wearing JDM Enkei Racing S wheels, but he’s going to put on a set of white 1999 GT4 Nismo wheels on instead. All in all, he’s very excited about the build.

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Of course, Pope was also curious about the person who so lovingly took care of their GT-R. Twenty-five-years old and that clean with such low miles? The car had to have been owned by another enthusiast. He noticed that the GT-R had a JDM Pioneer Carrozzeria head unit with a GPS system. Looking through its saved profiles, he found the “home” entry, pulled it up on Google street view and located the garage where his white GT-R used to live in Japan.

Pope has a letter written and all ready to send to the previous owner as soon as the exporter confirms the address. Why did he want to make contact so badly? I wondered.

“Normally, I wouldn’t,” Pope clarified over e-mail. “But you’d have to see this car [and] how incredibly clean it is. It was definitely cared for with a lot of money, time and love. This was someone’s baby. Someone like that would probably like to know that the car landed in good hands, instead of some guy who is just going to convert it to RWD and drift it into a wall for fun. I’ll build the car out with [a] nice Nismo kit, but I mostly plan to just show it and share it with other people who also have the passion for [it].”

I think that’s what we all hope for when it comes time to part with our beloved vehicles. We want our cars to go to nice homes with nice people who won’t wreck them.

You can keep track of Pope’s GT-R build here.