When Supra Met Skyline: A Match Made In NZ
The Confident, Quiet Type

Sometimes it’s the quiet ones that make an impression. It’s the firm handshake and a reassuring, confident glance of eye contact giving an air of competence. An absence of ceremony epitomised through unwavering desire to knuckle down and get results.

This is the guy you want on your team.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (45)

This is the automotive overachiever personified. On the outside, clean cut, clad in a sharp set of threads, yet not ostentatious. A little too persuasive to be considered a sleeper. This build exudes ability from every panel gap. Maybe the term Q-ship is more apt.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (19)

In wartime, the Q-ship moniker referred to merchant navy vessels that while restrained and business-like externally, concealed heavy armament. Repurposed by the motoring media, the term is often attributed to vehicles possessive of elegance and speed.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (25)

However it’s not a titled bestowed frequently on a modified build. Especially not an ER34 Nissan Skyline sedan. Never. Surely?

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (34)

But it’s the noun of choice when describing Dustin Ng’s beautifully accomplished build. This four-door interpretation of a platform so epitomised by the hero GT-R, sports an aesthetic that errs on the subtle rather than the extreme. But beneath the sharp-dressed skin lies a mechanical package born of pure function.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (16)

Understanding the concept of this build requires delving back into Dustin’s recent past. Around 2005, he acquired a written-off Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI for relative pennies. With an ethos of chasing power-to-weight, the Evo’s 4G63 engine and AWD drivetrain made its way into what Dustin termed “an aqua teal grandma car.” In this case, a CJ4 Mitsubishi Mirage hatch.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (24)

As with any typical car build, a process of evolution (intentional pun alert) ensued, largely through a desire to be competitive in local hill climbs. With a caged shell and Evo VI wide-body enveloping a serious wheel and suspension package, the Mirage proved a bit of a tarmac hill climb mountain goat.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (20)

In an all too typical storyline, Dustin decided the Evo/Mirage hybrid didn’t quite have enough poke to rocket from apex to apex. With an already-handy 360hp supported by the stock turbo, Dustin upsized the turbo combo, subsequently followed up by a 2.4-litre stroker block with the usual fruit.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (41)

The net result, a street-registered, 500hp weapon neatly concealed within the confines of a bulked-out grocery-getter. However, the narrow focus of the car meant enjoying it with more than one mate in tow was impossible. Then there was the driving experience, which had become less suited to general road use.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (59)

The antidote? Four doors. Five seats. A healthy dose of power and dynamics able to entertain through the twisties. Maybe most importantly, looks sharp enough to betray the factory lines, described succinctly by Dustin as “f**king ugly” and elevate the humble R34 sedan to proper suave street-fighter status.

De-Uglifying The Duckling
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (29)

Dustin’s craving for four-door Japanese performance was sated by not one, but ultimately three R34 sedans. Number one proved too wrecked to resurrect; number two suffered terminal build headaches; number three ended up with the full package. This car delivers.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (42)

The resulting product hits the silent achiever target. Reminiscent of its somewhat more distinguished GT-R sibling, Dustin’s four-door hints at an upskilled mechanical package below its pumped-up, yet subtle silhouette.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (35)

For the hapless soul watching the R34 gain on them via their rear-view mirror, the frontal aspect is all GT-R. And while it’d be too easy to write the conversion to the GT-R nose as a simple bolt-on affair, the nuances involved in swapping from the mundane to the sublime are numerous.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (18)

To begin with, finding the panels is a tough ask; R34 GT-R’s aren’t exactly polluting the U-Pick lots of New Zealand. Dustin pieced together a multi-coloured front end, including OEM aluminium Nissan hood and fenders, the latter of which required a 20mm riser to mount correctly on the sedan chassis.

Installing the GT-R Xenon headlamps, integral to the look, also proved challenging. With subsequent sheetmetal fabrication they fit seamlessly into the sedan front panel, topping the OEM urethane GT-R front bar which since this shoot has received a lower lip.

Channelling the GT-R-like authority are the rear quarters. It’s a hot-rod-esque move, in that at first glance they have an OEM appearance but on closer inspection solicit low whistles of approval from those who know.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (31)

As testament to the metal-shaping skills of GT Refinishers, the rear quarters bulge outwards thanks to hand-sculpted steel arches. The real trick is the integration of the rear doors, the shut line now extending into the arch radius, itself nipped, tucked and clearanced to accommodate larger wheel tubs. It’s all built around R35 GT-R 20×10-inch wheels.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (30)

The RAYS-made wheels top off the multi-step program to muscle gain, sourced almost accidentally. Dustin’s day job involves race car preparation and servicing, which has its perks. When an associate explained a set of R35 wheels were going spare after being removed for a endurance build, Dustin swooped.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (27)

Of course, it’d be rude to separate the GT-R brake package from the wheels. The same R35 gave up its 380mm 2-piece rotors and 6-pot front, 4-pot rear Brembo calipers. It’s a function thing, sure, but the look is undeniable.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (22)

Tied together with URAS side skirts, rear lip, subtle bootlid lip and a roof spoiler, the R34’s overall aesthetic is balanced. The Mazda Soul red hue is neither lairy nor too subdued, complementing the balanced proportion of the sedan lines and accentuating the custom metalwork.

Blasphemy… Or Is It?
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (44)

In original form, Dustin’s sedan pottered around with its 150hp RB20DE and 4-speed Jatco auto trans. Functional but hardly inspiring, much less befitting of the evocative exterior contours. The Skyline needed a concealed sucker-punch, and Dustin knew exactly where to find it.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (7)

The answer came in the form of the venerable Toyota 2JZ-GTE. The installation into the four-door shell naturally leads one to query why Dustin didn’t just buy a JZX-chassis Toyota, simply shrugged off as a matter of taste. Possessing a repertoire of automotive skills, the physical install came easy. “Oh, you know… we just had to weld a couple of mounts up and boom, in she went. The bay was designed for a six-cylinder anyway so it’s not like there’s a lack of space.”

Yes, Dustin could have pieced together a 3.0-litre (or larger) RB engine in the interests of purity, but the 2JZ was a logic-driven choice, combining near unparalleled power potential on a stock-block and big-capacity flexibility, a key attribute in a street-driven build. The bottom end is just that, a refreshed OEM long block with only ARP fasteners added to cope with the power increase.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (3)

Up the top the head benefits from a set of custom-spec cams, but it’s the bits hanging off either side that endow the 2JZ with real-world performance. Proper, responsive, flexible and retaining the guttural tone that only a boosted inline-six can muster. On one side it’s a Hypertune 3-piece billet manifold fed through fabricated intercooler pipework. On the other side sits a Garrett GTX3582 atop a Sinco high-mount manifold with excess boost venting through a 60mm TiAL wastegate.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (4)

The 2JZ and GTX3582 combo offers ideal real-world characteristics. The engine comes on boost around 1,200rpm, peaking at 22psi at 3,500rpm and holding solidly through the rev range to a peak of 591hp at just over 7000rpm. A Getrag 6-speed then deals with the abuse via a twin-plate clutch, sending drive to a Tomei LSD-equipped GT-R diff. The way it drives is aggressive yet seamless in character, like delving into a creamy vat of accessible oomph.

Spark and fuel is controlled by a Link G4+ ECU, the fuel system itself presenting an orderly aesthetic befitting of the R34’s style. A fabricated surge tank perched on a boot-mounted plinth with twin Bosch 044 pumps feeds a fuel system bristling with quality AN fittings, all in understated black.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (6)

Suspension is a set of Tein Flex coilovers, modified to suit. In keeping with the build mentality, the ride is street-friendly, taking in the bumpy B-roads with aplomb despite the low-profile Falken 285/35ZR20 tyres.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (53)

Inside the cabin, the considered approach prevails. The lower-spec R34 interiors don’t typically offer up any kind of inspiration, with swathes of grey plastic and tactile surfaces of no particular quality. Dustin’s now features black trim, with repurposed Mitsubishi Evo Recaro front recliners and a matching rear bench carrying the sports-saloon feel.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (51)

In the event judicious use of the right foot wasn’t enough to constantly remind of the power potential, a Nismo GT-R cluster is front and center of the driver.

Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (21)

It’s fair reminder of just how accomplished this R34 build is. After a full afternoon, followed by some rapid evening driving, time spent with Dustin and the R34 reaffirmed the appeal of creating a street-focused all-rounder.

Four-door practicality, understated lines, crushing performance. Could it be the holy trinity of street-driven attributes? Whatever the summation, the R34 epitomises the understated overachiever. A home-brewed Q-ship.

Richard Opie
Instagram: snoozinrichy

Cutting Room Floor
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (58)
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (55)
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (52)
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (50)
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (48)
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (46)
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (39)
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (37)
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (36)
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (23)
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (14)
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (12)
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (11)
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Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (1)
Nissan Skyline R34 2JZ Speedhunters Richard Opie (5)


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Awesome article Richard, a very tidy skyline. Did Dustin let slip how much power he's making?


Oh wow I can't believe I omitted that important nugget of info. It's putting down 591hp! Shall duly edit!


Nice, 400+wkw will get it moving along nicely. Did you get a chance to look at the 400kw+ Familia at Powercruise? That would definitely be worth a story if it hasn't already been done, that thing was an animal.


I wasn't able to get to Powercruise... but I do have some Mazdas of the piston variety in my sights!


Ah I thought I had seen you there but it must have been at Jerkfest. Will keep an eye our for your Mazda features :)

Matthew Everingham

This is a fantastic bit of kit. Something that I'd happy park in my own garage.


You'd have to tell your lovely lady to park outside I guess?


Fantastic looking car! I quite like the 4 doors. The GTR rear guards really make it. R35 wheels look fantastic... I like the OEM+ feel.


It's a good ethic to follow I reckon. You can't go wrong with clean, crispy OEM+ look.


This is (basically) the 4-door Skyline GT-R that Nissan never built. I like it!


There was a limited edition Stagea wagon with GTR drivetrain, and a 4 door GTR with an NA rb26de!


Nope. GT-R, Godzillas as others call it = 4wd. Non-Gtr skylines Gtst and Gtt is as far as it gets.


I often dislike people attempt to make widebody on R34 Skyline sedan, but this one is just so nicely done... it looks like the widebody is there to begin with, with exception of it's bit too smooth for R34.


The OEM look is what drew me to it really... it's a credit to the workmanship of the panel shop who created the arches.


Well, first and foremost GT-R parts including the engine is more expensive compared to toyota’s 2jzs so it’ll be a practical choice, and of course something different. But for me, this is an ewww moment, sorry about that.


I mean... he didn't put the engine in there just to shove a middle finger in our faces. A lot of people seem to pull stunts like that all over. I can dig it all the way.


Too right, it wasn't built "to piss people off" or anything... just a considered creation built on a reasonably budget, mostly in-house.


r35 wheels look good on everything, wait...

fkn-A is this cool. It's the sum of some fantastic parts. Belongs on the Cool Wall.


In retrospect we should have taken some shots baking the rear tyres...


Nice project! We need to show more love to ER34 Skylines.
20ties a bit too much for me, but never the less it is a very good take on 4door.

Here is mine


I want in
The R31 has been a favorite of mine for many years
Would love to import one to the States
Whose got connections

Holla@ me


Those nismo gauges add a whole level of beauty to the rather dull regular interior. This car has been done perfectly, including the choice of engine. This should be pretty fun in the corners and long sweeps, for when you're feeling a bit like wasting some tyre tread!

Awesome article!


Thanks man, the car works so well as a complete package, in a real-world situation. It really does it all, and yeah some parts are love it or hate it but that's all individual taste.


The wheels are a perfect match, I have driven that road many times!


Love that road! Have lived and worked there at times, feels like home. So cool to see the Mountain in these shots


Do you remember the short-lived (one event only) Ohakune Giant 1000 hillclimb? That was the first motorsport event I actually tried to seriously shoot some photos! Great drive up there, next time I'll try the Whakapapa road.


Do you live around there? Late comment sorry! but cool to see the mountain in these pics and what a sweet ride


My er34 a picture from players this year


This project is a big NO, he should've installed a 6 cyl RB series Nissan engine. This is like driving a blasphemous bastard: Nissan body, Toyota engine and Mazda red. But i like the car's customised body work and paint job, LOOKS great and stunning.


I do see your point, but don't forget the Evo seats! The collector market is recoiling in shock right now at another RB20DE auto R34 sedan being molested of it's originality, but never fear, all this will do is increase values of those that remain. Invest wisely! Invest now!


My favourite part about this car is the story behind the tail lights. Can't find LED lights for your car? Just import a show car from Japan, swap the lights over, and sell the other car on. Epic build!


Ha yeah... just a bit short on space to wax lyrical about the tails!


It's pure pleasure to see such build in our time, this car imo is PROJECT car mean originally!
That's why I was hooked by speedhunters about 7 years ago, and still get coolest stories about guys and sisters who can do things I've only can dream.
CarGod bless all of you!)


Do you have the picture of the backseat?