Magic. That’s what the mid to late ’90s were in the Japanese tuning scene. While we can’t complain of the automotive awesomeness that continues to come out of Japan today, the ‘golden era’ as it’s commonly referred, was something truly special.
The Japanese manufacturers were churning out a ton of cool, fun and sometimes weird and wonderful turbocharged cars, and people just couldn’t get enough of it. Local tuners took full advantage of the performance oriented buzz too, pushing boundaries in a way that to this day still seems impressive.
At the center of it all was Hironao Yokomaku and his team at Veilside. The Tsukuba-based aero specialist put its name on the map rather quickly, showing up to tuner events that Option and other Japanese tuning magazines organised with the most uniquely styled cars. Veilside’s designs weren’t for everyone, that’s for sure, but more often than not its demo machines were backed up with massively tuned engines. Such is the case with my personal favourite car from Veilside’s history books – the BNR32 Skyline GT-R R-1.
This was a Skyline built for outright speed; primarily drag racing and the 0-300 km/h trials that Inada-san and Option once held at the long gone Yatabe high speed oval track. Of all the cars that Yokomaku-san put under the knife, this was by far the cleanest and most simply styled of the bunch; beautifully focused and impossibly intimidating.
Lift the bonnet and you are presented with well over 1000hp of RB26 goodness. Yokomaku preferred to focus on the rev-happy nature of the RB and stuck to its (almost) stock 2.6L capacity, making it rev to 9000+rpm to take full advantage of high-mounted HKS GT3540 turbos. The built engine was force-fed that massive and continuous volume of intake charge through a JUN plenum and a giant Veilside single throttle body, while six 1800cc/min injectors supplied the fuel. All of the engine’s might was transferred to the front and rear axles via an OS Giken quad-plate clutch and an HKS air-shifted 5-speed sequential transmission.
The Veilside R-1 goes down in the history books as the quickest car to compete in Option’s 0-300 km/h events, setting the 13.72-second record as you can see in the video above. At this point the RB was actually running HKS GT3037S turbos, so less power, as well as street-legal radial Nitto tyres. When Veilside shipped the car to the US for a drag competition the turbos were changed out again, and the street rubber swapped for Goodyear Eagle drag slicks mounted on 15-inch RAYS Volk Racing TE37s, as seen in this image set.
The car did well Stateside, setting a fastest quarter mile ET time of 8.450-seconds with a bit of a bog off the line. Just when they had figured out their start and the car was prepped for a 7-second run, the air shifter didn’t engage third gear and the attempt failed. The Veilside R-1 never ran again.
Dino Dalle Carbonare