x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

My car: Nissan GT-R

This Dubai-based security consultant Scott Wilcox was instantly smitten by the performance of the GT-R.

Scott Wilcox with Hazel, one of his two dogs, and his Nissan GT-R. Wilcox is giving his old car, a 2002 Maserati 3200, to a friend as a wedding gift.
Scott Wilcox with Hazel, one of his two dogs, and his Nissan GT-R. Wilcox is giving his old car, a 2002 Maserati 3200, to a friend as a wedding gift.

It could be the sporty shape, or perhaps the overwhelming road presence that singles this car out from its peers. Whatever it is, it was good enough for the Nissan chief test driver Toshio Suzuki, who drove the Nissan GT-R in a scorching seven minute, 26.7-second lap time around Germany's Nürburgring track, and it is more than good enough for a certain Dubai-based security consultant.

"I took it for a test drive, and I bought it that same afternoon. That should show how much I absolutely loved it," says Scott Wilcox of his silver 2009 Nissan GT-R.

Wilcox had his mind set on buying a new car when he took his friend's Ferrari out for a drive.

"I went to the gallery to have a closer look at the Ferrari. But I realised how ridiculously expensive it was and moved on to another showroom; that's when the guys at the other gallery showed me the Nissan GT-R," he says.

The 2009 GT-R can rocket from rest to 100kph in just more than three seconds. With a twin-turbo V6 and all-wheel drive, the car can get to a maximum speed of 311kph.

Wilcox's initial reluctance to go for the Nissan disappeared after he sat inside his new GT-R. "I have only been driving it for a week or so, and it exceeded every expectation I had. The only thing I was worried about is its handling in terms of the brake system and such, but it handles absolutely fantastic," he says.

Knowing Wilcox's love for sports cars, it's not surprising that the UK national is also the proud owner of a black 2002 Maserati 3200; what may be shocking is that he graciously plans to give it away to his best friend as a wedding gift.

"We've known each other for 14 years, and it only made sense.

"If you know Maseratis, they're very hard to handle and they spend most of their lives in a garage. He likes it, and he wanted it, so it seemed convenient for everybody," he jokes.

Before he drove in Dubai for the first time three years ago, Wilcox was a security consultant in Afghanistan, where he also served part of his military service after joining the British Royal Marines when he was 16, only a year after he learnt to drive.

"I was 15 years old and my father took me to a farm and he taught me everything I know today about driving," says Wilcox.

Later, he bought his first car, a BMW 3 Series, and it's been an interesting journey ever since.

"I travelled around quite a lot from that time on, all the way until I was 27 years old. Right before I left the marines, I got put in the army in Afghanistan for six months. I moved to Dubai two days after I left the military services," says Wilcox.

"I can't believe that a place with such a fantastic road system, and the driving standards of so many internationals, and cars that don't circulate anywhere else in the world, would have a safety record and an accident rate the way it is right now," he says of the UAE.

Wilcox says that driving in the UK is a totally different experience from the streets of Dubai. "Moving from a city with a left-hand-drive car, and a right-hand-drive road, to a city where it's the other way around, things are bound to get a bit confusing.

"But it is hardly a challenging area for me to drive in. The only road I find personally challenging is the Emirates Road!" laughs Wilcox.

Wilcox much prefers a manual gearbox for driving. "I'd pick manual over automatic any time. I'd like to control my vehicle rather than having the manufacturers decide when the gear needs to be shifted, which is why I'm lucky my GT-R is supplied with a tiptronic gear box that shifts between both."

Although it is easy for people to judge others based on what car they drive, Wilcox doesn' think cars necessarily reflect personality.

"I think cars only reflect certain times in your life. They are more of a reflection of your financial status at that time, rather than your personality.

"Cars that people drive are not necessarily their own choices. People are tied down by boundaries that limit their choices of what they really want."