The Illusionists Of Bangkok Auto Salon

Magic tricks have been blowing people’s minds and questioning what is real and what is not forever. Levitation, disappearing acts and even the sleight of hand can make you take a step back and think ‘WTF?’

It all boils down to illusions, and while walking through the Bangkok International Auto Salon on Saturday, there were two cars that pulled that act off flawlessly – the Nissan R35 GT-R in the lead image, and the Bentley Continental below.

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Or should I say, A31 Nissan Cefiro and JZA80 Toyota Supra. Yes, you read right.

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Let’s start with the Cefiro.

Frank, the CEO of Bangkok’s Tuner Concept, built the car to showcase his line of custom suspension parts. His previous demo machine was an Silvia S13 with an S14 face swap and a 1JZ under the hood pushing over 600hp, but it wasn’t all that unique in the Thailand scene. Frank needed something that would really stand out.

He found exactly what he was looking for while searching online for parts – a 1:1 scale fiberglass R35 body from Karn Fiber designed to be draped over a drag racing spaceframe. Thailand has incredibly steep taxes for importing cars and to buy an R35 outright would have been prohibitively expensive, so Frank decided to take a chance with the fibreglass shell and build his own with an A31 Cefiro as the base.

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Aside from Nissan badges, the R35 and A31 share nothing in common, thus a huge amount of work was needed to pull the conversion off. With the help of Keng Racing, P1 Auto Service and Bangmod Racing, the A pillars were shifted back, and the B and C pillars were deleted altogether. The rear of the Cefiro also had to be cut and the front stretched out to meet the body’s proportions.

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Ensuring the illusion is of high quality, many parts such as the headlights, tail lamps, and even the entire center console are genuine R35 fare. They were all found through hours spent scouring eBay and Yahoo! Auctions Japan listings.

An R35 GT-R’s VR38 would have been nice, but it was simply out of the question because of cost. Frank had previous experience with Nissan’s RB25DET NEO, but for this build he went one step further with a GT-R’s RB26DETT running a few basic modifications. The engine is backed up by an RB25 5-speed manual transmission that sends power exclusively to the rear wheels.

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The 20-inch wheels were custom designed for the car through Frank’s new business venture, Tuner Forged, and they fit the overall exterior look well. Of course, the suspension is by Tuner Concept.

Venturing into the unknown, there were always be complications and challenges, and this build had a few. Adding to that was the tight deadline Frank had to work with in order to have the car ready for Auto Salon, which is why there are still some things to work out and a bit of finishing to be done. But overall, this is a perfect example of Thai ingenuity.

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The second example of deception came in the form of this JZA80 Toyota Supra wearing a limited edition Veilside 4509 GTR body kit.

From the front especially, it’s almost impossible to tell what’s exactly going on, but when it comes to radical body kits – or total body transformations as is the case here – it’s hard to beat the designs of Veilside’s Yokomaku-san.

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It’s really only from the rear three quarter angle that the JZA80’s original ’90s lines reveal themselves.

20-inch Naya Revol wheels add even more complexity to the exterior styling and the lowered suspension sees that everything sits flush.

These two cars are the best illusionists I’ve seen in a while, and took me a good few minutes to figure out the tricks they were pulling. They may not be for everyone, but I for one can appreciate the creativity and craziness behind them.

Ron Celestine
Instagram: celestinephotography

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26 comments

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1

so crazy they are awesome

2

Glad you think so too haha!

3

Thai just love A31 Cefiro, don't they? I remember they have a 2JZ-powered A31 Cefiro with Isuzu D-Max shell; as for the R35 replica, it actually looks convincing from the photo, that's pretty well done consider they are 110mm different on wheelbase (R35 GT-R on 2,780mm while A31 Cefiro is 2,670mm).

4
Rapee Leepraditwan

A31 is cheap in Thai standard (Around 100,000 bath or around 3000 usd.) and we don't have much choice
in RWD sedan.

In domestic market, we got A31 or luxuary car like BMW Series 3 or MB. C class which twice expensive.
And we can't import second hand car without special permission.

And A31 is compatible with R32 100% and R32 parts is dirt cheap when compare in price per perfomance.

And for 2JZ, we import in large number due bullet proof design and Thai people love bullet proof design.

5

I'm surprised A31 Cefiro didn't get price hike due to how often they're being used for all these modification base! I've heard about A31 has compatible parts with certain Nissan before, I guess that's one important reason why they are so famous.

6
Rapee Leepraditwan

A31 sold very well in 1990 due bubble economy in Thailand.

7

It's a cheap rwd car that they can get their hands on easily. Other car face a huge taxes . And for the 2JZ .. yea haha, it's like the LS for Americans

8
Chris Colouryum

Hats of to the Cefiro 35 build. As for the Supra Continental, Bentley take note on those headlights, I've never been a fan of Bentleys but this has made it look aggressive and awesome, not a fan of the rear, something about the boot / light combo that doesn't sit / feel modern enough for me.

9

IMO the cefiro wins, i think even live it's hard to believe that this is actually a shell fitted on a different chassis.
Any shots for the rear side of that R35 cefiro?
The JZA Bentley is also well executed, but maybe because they "destroyed" a supra i didn't bite it.
Hope to see more crazy ideas from these guys.

10

Definitely will see more craziness from Thailand ^^ as for the pictures, I'll dig around and see. Think they came out ' eh' .. But essentially it fools you from all angles .

11

I've seen that supra kit online before. The audi-like headlights actually look great, but that front end is too gaudy. Also, when TF is Bentley going to give the Continental an upgrade beyond a facelift? It's really boring to watch a car be sold for 10+ years without much change.

12

I reckon Bentley could get some styling ideas for the upgrade off that thing!!

13

They won't even have to go out of the VAG storeroom get the parts

14

they are genuine Audi lights front & rear

15

Yeaaaa.. There is a lot going on there and... Probably never lol?

16
MPistol HVBullets

.... as I sit in awe....

17

You'd think importing an actual R35 would be cheaper than a full-on total conversion, but what the heck. It's so good, i couldn't even tell. The Supra, though. I'm not a fan of the front end. Other than that, the kit is actually pretty cool. The rear especially. It plays nicely off the supra lines and the rear panel is well-designed.

18

You would think.. but those import taxes plays no games.. This was by far much cheaper (and more unique) solution around that problem ^__^

19

Cost of full conversion kit with 1 used cefiro is around 15,000usd but used 2008 GT-R is cost around 150,000usd here. So bad haha

20

No doubt, and really as a show car it's the perfect solution. Pretty cool and unique

21
Spanky McLugnuts

Can I get a McLaren 650s made to look like a Trabant? Just curious.

22

Make me one too!

23

Spotlight on the Supranental please!!!! Amazing car.

24

Love the front end on the Supra, such dominating presence. Same sort of feeling the Regalia from FFXV gives me.
The Audi like rear end doesn't seem as 'wow' as the front to me unfortunately. The front says Royalty, the rear does not.
Still very interesting cars though.

Btw, no rear shot of the Cefiro?

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25

that supra/bentley looks so damn good from the side.

26

As someone who has always found the Supra to be a little ugly, this conversion totally rocks! 100% improvement! LOL

As for the GTR, it's cool, but seems like an awful lot of work I would never want to tackle just to have a replica car. Love the wheels though.

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