Car Feature>>one-off M35 Stagea

Any fan of Japanese cars should be familiar with the Nissan Stagea. The first generation Stagea is known for being the closest you can get to having a Skyline GT-R station wagon and Autech even produced a limited edition RB26-powered Stagea known as the 260RS. In the early 2000's when the Skyline switched to the new drastically different V35 chassis, the Stagea evolved along with it to become the M35 chassis. It is essentially a wagon version of the V35 Skyline or Infiniti G35. It is pretty uncommon to see fixed up M35 Stageas, so when I came across this one while browsing Minkara, I knew that I had to post it up here.

The car is owned by member "Yasurin" who lives in the Osaka area and the car brings a strong VIP influence to a platform that does not see a lot of love from car builders VIP or otherwise. The aftermarket is pretty small for this car, meaning that it required a lot of custom work and one-off parts to get this car to the level that it is at now.

In this photo you can really see the M35's Skyline roots. Particularly in the tail lamps and the mid section. The exhaust system consists of one-off piping with a set of four Junction Produce muffler tips. You can also the see the arching that has been done to the fenders that allow the car to accommodate its aggressive wheels and ride even lower. The Infiniti M35 badge also adds a nice touch as it represents the chassis code of this Stagea.

Yep, that's some serious Shakotan action right there. Look at how close the top of the wheels are to the fenders! It's not air suspension but a set of one-off full "shakocho" (coilovers). As you would expect, healthy doses of negative camber are used in order to tuck the tops of the wheels and to add to the VIP look. Other suspension parts include various braces from Garage Hori and a one-off front tower bar from Asis. Power-wise, the engine remains essentially stock. Don't you think the V35 Skyline base makes a for a good looking wagon? It's too bad they never sold these in the USA.

The wheels are one-piece 20" WALD D21F's and they do a great job of showcasing the four pot Lexus monoblock calipers and Toyota 334mm rotors. In another use of cross-branded parts, the rear calipers come from a Subaru Impreza 22B. In order to keep up with all this braking power, the master cylinder has been upgraded to a factory BNR34 Skyline GT-R unit.

While the body modifications have been kept relatively simple, the front bumper is another one-off piece. The front headlights have been outfitted with 15000K HID bulbs, so you should be able to see this car coming from miles away. The tail lamps have also undergone an LED conversion. The interior does not have any crazy custom work, but there is plenty of high end audio and video equipment for driver and passengers to enjoy.

Everything comes together to give the car an aggressive vibe without being too over the top. Then again, it is quite rare to see modified M35 Stageas at all, so the car will draw plenty of looks even with a subtle exterior appearance.

All of the custom work has paid off, and although the modifications are fairly common among VIP builds, the rarity of the platform makes the Stagea stand out in a sea of Aristos and Celsiors. I am always a sucker for unique builds, and this car does everything right for me.

Check out Yasurin's Minkara page for detailed documentation on the build process. It's well worth the look.

-Mike Garrett

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