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Wednesday, 25 January 2017 21:36

Keith McGill: Pro Status | Nissan GT-R

Written by Kristie Bertucci | Photos: Brian McGee
Keith McGill’s car collection doesn’t look like many of his peers. Instead of buying countless exotics and luxury vehicles, the Oakland Raiders’ cornerback prefers the import scene, opting for high performance tuner vehicles. Having grown up in Southern California during the Fast and Furious days, McGill took a liking to the performance-centered automotive niche at a young age and has grown his passion for it over the years.


“After watching that first race between Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in the first The Fast and Furious is what did it for me,” he explains. “ I was just hooked from there.” Before he went to school in Utah and got drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2014, McGill was able to get up close and personal with his passion by working at Road Race Engineering in Santa Fe Springs, CA, which in turn provided him the skills and knowledge needed to build up his own WRX and RX-7, as well as his Nissan GT-R that was shown at last year’s SEMA Show.


Keith McGill: Pro Status | Nissan GT-R


Instead of opting for a Liberty Walk or Rocket Bunny kit as so many usually do, McGill went with something totally different – an Aimgain GT Widebody Kit, which is anything but ordinary. The kit, which comprises of a front bumper, front lip, side step, rear bumper, rear spoilers, wide front and rear fenders plus a unique trunk spoiler that all combine to create a wide body beast! To fill up the space in the wheel wells, color-matched Rotiform wheels were added and pull off the aggressive Stormtrooper façade perfectly! A complete GT-R Air Lift Performance suspension package minimizes the gap from the wheel to the body, while an Air Lift Performance 3H digital air management system controls it all. “I was the first with the Aimgain kit,” he admits. “I like the way it looks from the rear. The rear fender flares actually wrap around the backside of the car like a kit from Liberty Walk or a Rocket Bunny one, but it looks more flush.”


Although he had done some work on it before (primarily under the hood and a few carbon fiber pieces), the GT-R was totally transformed once it was destined to appear at SEMA. And even though some might think it’s completely done, McGill details that there are small tweaks he’ll make later. “No build is ever finished. You’re constantly changing something since you don’t want to pull up to a car show with the same work. You’re always trying to change something, but for the most part, it’s done.”


Keith McGill: Pro Status | Nissan GT-R


Despite his busy schedule during the season, McGill still tries to make it out to shows and meets whenever he can to display the GT-R. “I have a great support system and if I can’t make it, then one of my guys will take it and represent,” he says. “I try to get the GT-R to as many shows and meets as possible and definitely don’t garage it. I drive my car a lot, almost daily. I don’t just want to park it because that’s not why I built it. I want to enjoy my ride and I definitely do that.”


And when he takes it himself, he’s not the kind of guy that’s flashy about it. He usually just drops it off and then wanders off so that people can enjoy the car and not his NFL status. “I don’t show up in Raiders gear or anything,” he laughs. “I definitely separate myself from football and my hobby. Football is my job and the car scene is what brings me peace of mind, so I enjoy separating the two.”


Keith McGill: Pro Status | Nissan GT-R


Although McGill is only two years into his professional football career, he’s already thinking ahead and his future goals. “I want to own my own shop one day. Football is what I’m doing now to support myself financially for the future. I’m just getting my name out there, which is why I go to as many shows and meets as I can. I want to get it out there that I know what I’m doing and have knowledge of the industry. I’m out to show that I have a unique way to do things and get people to understand the way I build cars.”


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