You’ve Never Seen A Parking Lot Like This

During Dino’s and my recent trip down to R31 House Gifu Prefecture, we were left gobsmacked by the sheer size of the operation. Given the intensification in Japan’s cities, tuning shops are generally a lot smaller than you’d imagine them to be, with every last square inch of space utilized to the fullest. R31 House is a little different.

Prior to arriving, we’d heard that the shop’s grounds housed 400 cars, but the physical magnitude of that number only truly set in when we were confronted by the rows upon rows of them, mostly – as you’d expect – R31 Nissan Skylines. Bear in mind though that what I’m about to show you is not the big lot; Dino has that story coming later this week.

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As you would have seen in Dino’s shop tour post (linked above), a lot of the cars parked outside R31 House’s main buildings are customer-owned, either in for maintenance, modification or restoration. Elsewhere around the expansive facility, however, are cars acquired by the company for the purpose of full rebuilds down the line, or their parts.

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The man behind R31 House, Shibata-san, explained it was his love for the ’80s Skyline’s boxy styling and intoxicating growl that led to an obsession which has resulted in stockpiling an inordinate number of cars.

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Many of the cars parked up in this particular area sit patiently in waiting for a second chance at life.

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If you want R31 House to build you a complete car with its own unique specification but don’t have a base to get started on, there’s a very high chance you’ll find something suitable here.

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Despite all of the cars being fully exposed to the elements, I was surprised by how many of them remained in fairly decent condition. In fact, some looked like they only needed a little exterior TLC, and then would be good to go.

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Of course, until you actually start the restoration process it’s incredibly difficult to accurately judge what you’re working with, but most cars were definitely salvageable.

Although this area was called the ‘R30 Lot’ there were plenty of R31s in the mix, plus a few other interesting additions. Here we have an R34 Skyline 25GT-T and a kouki Z31, the latter being the first Fairlady to come with the VG30DE.

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It’s what was parked right alongside the Fairlady 300ZR that left me speechless, though – not one but two examples of the very rare R32 Nissan Skyline Autech.

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With production numbers rumoured to be less than 200 units, this is an extremely special car with a unique specification.

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The 1992 Skyline Autech was built on the GTS-4 (HNR32) platform, retaining that model’s all-wheel drive system but doing away with the RB20DET engine. In its place went a naturally aspirated version of the BNR32 GT-R’s RB26DETT – the Plasma-RB26DE.

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Unfortunately, both of these cars had been relieved of their engines, but when new the six-cylinder hearts brought 220PS at 6,800rpm and 245Nm at 5,200rpm to the table, backed up by a 4-speed automatic transmission.

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It would be a shame to see the cars in this lot waste away to nothing, so hopefully those that can be restored will indeed one day end up back in the hands of enthusiasts and on the road.

Stay tuned for more boxy Skyline goodness from R31 House!

Ron Celestine
Instagram: celestinephotography

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29 comments

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1

i got the first comment!!!!!

2

Loving these articles about R31 house. Looking forward to the next one.

3

Glad you're enjoying the boxy goodness ^^!

4

I wonder if any Australian-built R31s have made their way over to that lot...

5

I can confirm one link to Australia: When I went in April 2016, one of the mechanics was using the famous orange R31 House/Drift Australia coupe as his daily. It was featured on the front cover of Drift Battle magazine back in the day. A little bit worse for wear but still kicking!

6

The operations to these unicorns here are absurdly surreal. How many organs do i have to sell to get one Autech R32?

7

Shell or one with an engine ;) probably not to many for the Shell

8

Conversion to LHD? possible?

9

They mostly do this in the Middle East like Saudi. It has been hard to find a donated car for the steering swap.

10

I’m loving this coverage. So many possibilities..

11

Just need to get out here, pick one up and get to it! Know I've toss the idea around lol

12

Project R30/31: Restored Retros.

13

It's an Australian Pick-a-Part ~2009..!
Unfortunately Australia's seemingly endless supply of R31's did in fact start to dry up.. and in the cars at Pick-a-Part's case, quickly went on to be crushed (and each one now gone forever..).
So even fading away in a paddock at R31House, these cars have dodged a bullet. Forget the rapidly diminishing numbers in Australia over the last decade; in Japan, these would have LONG been gone.
Just look at them there. Rows and rows of the things.. hundreds of R31s that *could* (with enough love and money) very well make their way back onto the road. If it wasn't for this one company's love, the 7th-gen Skyline could well have been just like a 3rd-generation Prelude or 1st-generation Mazda MX-6.. an AE82 Corolla or N12 Pulsar - just about non-existent in Japan.
So Hooray for R31House having the forethought to pick these things up when nobody else wanted them, and the dedication to stick with it!

14

That's a really wonderful way of looking at it tbh. It definitely made me want to have one and I never thought about it before.

15

OMG those poor things!
Should be shredding tires on the streets.
All I need is a good ship or a barge to transport a few of these to my garage for rehab!

16

will they ship shell to US?

17

Most likely o.O?

18

All those R31's.... It's so beautiful!

19

some gems in that lot.
i don't remember, but do you have a project currently Ron?

20

Really were! And no.. no projects (yet ;) )

21

haven't found the right car?
what would you looking at, old school or something newer...

22

Just haven't found the 'right' one. But I'm really close *hint* it wouldn't be anything 'new school but I wouldn't consider it a classic or that old school tbh

23

I really hope its one from the 90's. Supra, Skyline or RX7.
I don't think any of the crew has one of these as yet, except the Skyline maybe, might be mistaken.
look forward to seeing a post about it soon.

24

Unfortunately seen this everywhere. Especially when your looking for a particular part in Japan where these hoarders won't sell and let it rot away in a field only to have a crane pick up the car and it folds in half due to the amount of rust

25
Brennan McKissick

Man, the more I look at the R31 the more I like it.

26

You and me both tbh o.o...

27

Breaks my heart to see them setting uncovered out in the open... Looks like some must die so others can live. Another great R31 article.

28

skyline wagons... yesssss plz

29

From my youngest days of loving the sound and motion of anything with four wheels, the epitome of that had been my late grandpa’s DR30 skyline. It was a sedan but had the L-28 engine with the mechanical fuel injection and was the only one of its kind I had ever seen in that particular colour too. It’s the only skyline to me.

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