A Skyline GT-R With A Secret

Amongst the many tuner specials on show at the Nismo Festival last weekend, one fairly reserved-looking BNR32 was generating a disproportionate amount of buzz.

Renowned Japanese car builder Top Secret had chosen Nissan’s annual celebration at Fuji Speedway to ‘soft launch’ its latest and greatest project prior to the big unveil at Tokyo Auto Salon in January next year.

It’s calling it the Skyline VR32 GT-R.


Top Secret’s Kazuhiko ‘Smokey’ Nagata has used the R32 platform as a basis for plenty of wild projects (including the VQ32 V6-powered car we saw back in 2012), but this time around the idea was to transplant the underpinnings of his most popular customer car – the R35 GT-R – into the iconic chassis.


The Top Secret crew wasn’t revealing much about the specification of the engine, but it’s clear to anyone that a full suite of Top Secret goodies have been thrown at the VR38DETT, so factory power levels will be but a distant memory.

Interestingly, even the front radiator support from the R35 seemed to have been transplanted into the older chassis. I’d kill to get some more time with this car and really take a close look at just how much R35 has actually gone into it!


If you’re pulling apart an R35 GT-R the massive 380mm Brembo brakes are certainly worth hanging on to. They have made their way onto the R32 front and rear, mounted behind 18-inch OZ Challenge HLT wheels under pumped out fenders. Hidden from view is the whole transaxle gearbox assembly from the R35.


Smokey and his team didn’t rest once the mechanical side of the swap was done; gone is the bland BNR32 interior, replaced with the equally bland (but admittedly updated) R35 interior. The R35 is a much bigger car than the R32, so undoubtedly there was some cutting involved to get the dash and door panels to fit, but the finish is very good.


Considering how much of the R35 is electronically controlled or monitored, maybe this full swap was a less daunting task than getting the original instruments to interface with the 35’s complex electronics.

Next time we see the car will be at TAS, and I wonder if it will be stickered-up as is the norm for Top Secret demo cars. Personally, I love the current understated look of the factory Crystal White paint.

In the meantime though, what do you think of this sort of transplant. Is it awesome creativity or an exercise in futility? Let us know in the comments section below.

Blake Jones
Instagram: blaketjones



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My goodness...that thing is incredible!


missing 1 whell nut :d


echology Yeah I spotted that too! Wonder what happened there? New form of lightening haha


VQ32 "V8" ? Really Dino ? XD


It's like 2 GT-Rs in one. We need to explore this car more!


RDS Did I hear my name? How may I help you?


I think I saw photo(s) of this car on facebook few weeks ago , seriously love the surprise factor of the swap , also the VR38 is longer than I expected ; I like how they managed to fit R35 interior in a smaller R32 , although I'd much prefer if they managed to put R35 stuff in R32 dashboard .
Nice car though .



You said "including the http://www.speedhunters.com/2012/03/car_feature_gt_gt_top_secret_vq32_skyline_gt_r/ we saw back in 2012" in the article . :P
Typo there . :P


RDS speedhunters_dino Dino did not write this article, Blake did.


oh yeah !
I guess the Skyline GT-R just straight up makes me think of Dino . XD


I wanna know more. As is stands, the interior looks a bit outta place but man, what a job they set themselves out to to. Smokey is a legend and for good reason!


speedhunters_dino Shop tour of Top secret please?


This Skyline kinda makes me think of the Singer 911, with both of them being classic cars with modern running gear.


I'd be very interested to see how this Frankenstein performs out on a track or expressway!


If you're going to swap a newer upgrade is always the way to go. This one was probably a technical challenge.


Unfortunately VR38's are one of the worst sounding engines ever....there is nothing tough about their noise at all. RB26's are one of the best, so for me this is a downgrade regardless of the tuning possibilities.


Mine would have stock R32 interior, and a manual gearbox mated to the VR38


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Anget1933 hahahahaha GET OUT PLEASE!!!!


Spaghetti well I have a question:do you also hate the hakosuka and kenmeri gtr engines too?


This is great... like a dream street car... ultimate combo of modern day interior and timeless chasis.. but i doubt the interior will have the same rigidity as the factory oem dashboard...


I see exhaust tips at the rear, so what is the side pipe near the passenger rear wheel for?


3nigm4 probably a dummy exhaust at the rear, or it could be a screamer pipe?


3nigm4 Good observation - I'll have climb underneath the car at TAS to take a look what it's hooked up to.


Spaghetti the VR38 sure isn't 'musical' in the way an RB26 can be, but it has a level of 'angry mechanized weapon' that is pretty awesome in its own right.


Matboy_Au I'll look into that for you!


We all love Smoky. That guy's nuts.


speedhunters_dino You know it...


VR32 - BNR32, sorta rhyming. Regardless, it's aptly named.


My intuition.... it's a "dump pipe".... coming straight out of the "wastegate." Hopefully it has 2 pipes (another on the other side, for other turbo too?) as a Single Turbo on V6 is a bit weird for me, in a simple configuration...with No Bottom end, usable power.... Also - if that was a true exhaust pipe out the front sides, I'd think they'd put massive 3inch pipes on both sides - straight out of the turbos (popular in straight up V6/V8 drag cars...) .... otherwise "dinky 1inch pipes" do nothing for me and constrict the turbos....
Just sayin'.....#RYTEKknows...


Try dropping in (shoe-horning) A small displacement V8 (NA screamer) or twin turbo V8.... say out of a "Infinity- Qseries" model, ....- that right there would definitely be a head turner for me... that's on the realm of placing a current F1/Formula1 style motor in a 25 year old BNR32 chassis..... that'd be "classic"..... something the "German Tuners" & "American Hot Rodders" do all the time.... now that would be a True "MegaGodzilla" Monster Motor.... I would bow down in respect... all day


Not need the transplant,because r32 still awesome without r35 stuff

Gianluca FairladyZ

WOW! Nice

Gianluca FairladyZ

Blake Jones Spaghetti  I don't think that the VR engine is musically bad. I think it's just the addition of the DCT gearbox charachteristic that doesen't cut the sound while shifting gears. So it sounds a little bit "softer" than a RB engine that does cut the sound while shifting (obviously because you step off the throttle). But Blake's right.. Take a tuned VR engine with a good exhaust and it really sounds like an angry weapon


with so many parts swapped over, is this possibly a body swap like that mustang gtr at sema?  would that even be possible? taket the r32 body and put over the r35 chassis?


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Merlz 3nigm4

Probably a switchable side pipe exhaust like on Ken's R34.


VR38-swap? Sounds like Pixel Car Racing hahaha


what's not to like? definitely want to know more


Seems pretty dope to me. They kept the swap in the family, so that should make it palatable for most. 
Anybody notice how far SH has come as far as image quality? We probably take their skill as photographers and growing camera tech for granted; thanks for the awesome pictures guys.


as Willie implied I am stunned that anyone can make $6428 in 4 weeks on the internet . 


This Japanese website has some details on the car for those who are interested. You might need Google translate or something, though.


johnbezt oh for sure the level of photography on SH is really high these days


Hey look! The rear wheels are under the fenders! Hooray!


Gianluca FairladyZ Blake Jones Spaghetti while I am a self-admitted RB fanatic, I will say the VR can sound pretty angry...standing still at least. The second it gets moving, lack of third pedal severely impedes the soundtrack.


I enjoy this car, it has all the new good bits but in the best gtr chassis (my personal opinion). Only bit i would change is the interior by putting all 35 gauges in the 32 cluster but hey each to their own.


The interior job is amazing. Massive upgrade over the R32 interior. Don't know how people can want the 32 interior over the 35, I mean... unless you like the old nissan pulsar/similar feel or something? lol


Blake Jones Spaghetti I think Nissan needs to take some notes from the OnPoint Dyno 350Z on how to make one of their V6s sound good. If you haven't seen it, go Hunting for it on YouTube. You won't be disappointed.

(Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with OnPoint, I'm just a VQ tragic who works a lot of nights...)


This is so well done. I want to see some video of this thing.


i23sonny While it does look better and more up to date(and great work to get it looking factory fitted), most people that like older cars like everything about them(in and out). It's part of their appeal, style and character.


EythanAldrich Spaghetti I don't get the point of your question? Those are inline 6's and in all honesty I can't say I've really ever heard one, but I'd say with confidence I'd like the sound of them.


Turbology Gianluca FairladyZ Blake Jones Spaghetti I don't hear angry at all in that video. It's weak at best. If you were blindfolded it could be an auto V6 Magna or Camry. Maybe if they were manual and you could limiter bash, then maybe, but I'm yet to hear one I even remotely like the sound of.


Fair call. 90s interiors aren't classic to me yet hehe.


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Gianluca FairladyZ

Turbology totally agree with you

Gianluca FairladyZ

CJC_Matty Blake Jones Spaghetti  i know that car, it's called "Kels" ;) One hell of a VQ35HR engine built by sasha! Well unfortunatley the VR engine will never sound like this because it's turbocharged :(


Wow. I assume to pull this off you have to have some serious skills.


I'm 100% with you


Hey look, someone who thinks they're being clever! (not)


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Motive DVD recently put the VR38 into an R34 GR-R in a project named ERUBISU and it is a monster.


For the Skyline fanatics, you'll also enjoy their R32 GT-R Skyline "Budget Supercar" build series!




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johnbezt Thanks for the kind words, John. We always aim to give our readers the best images possible, so glad to hear you're enjoying them!


So there will be a R35 GTR with RB engine and R32 interior out there? LOL


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Love the interior swap. I always wondered how plausible it would be.


Would be awesome to see some video of this thing - did they tell you how much power it made?


modern go bits in a more compact and lightweight chassis... that's gotta be a good thing right. keep this trend going, maybe an updated civic type R, ooh or how about a modernizd mazda rx.......nevermind this s a dumb trend.