This Is How You Build A Hako

With its rarity and a level of demand that’s through the roof, you can pretty much forget about ever owning an original KPGC10 Nissan Skyline GT-R.

So, what do you do if you still want a Hakosuka? Well, you get your hands on a lower-spec model and go crazy. And to be honest, that’s probably more fun as you don’t have the fear of messing up or going too wild on a rare collectable. Not to mention, all the scrutiny coming from the purists.


There are countless routes you can take turning a Skyline coupe into something special, and it’s all down to your imagination and the level of investment you’re willing to make.

It’s cool to see people pushing the boundaries, building carbon bodies and doing wild swaps, but at the recent Nostalgic 2 Days event Mizukami Auto from Saitama presented what may well be the perfect approach.


There’s no deviation when it comes to styling; body-wise their KGC10 is a straight-out GT-R replica, with the factory-looking black opaque fender flares (yes, I know the rear is missing on the passenger side but that was to show the work they did in the wheel arch/suspension).

Going down the replica route is not a bad thing, and it’s not looked down upon in any way.


The interesting bits, however, are far from sedate. The Skyline’s retrofitted L28 has been fully reworked with a billet bottom end and mated to a selection of rather tasty parts. The best thing of all is the execution: it employs modern components but still has that vintage feel about it, which I personally think is very important.


It’s a far cry from the 120PS (118hp) L20 this KGC10 left the factory with.

The motor has ditched carburetors in favor of a modern fuel injection system, and it’s all nicely integrated with billet velocity stacks.


The first thing everyone will notice though is Mizukami Auto’s aluminum cam cover, which visually transforms the look of the L-series, giving it a vintage motorsport feel.


The shop had another engine on display, similar in spec but on carbs and running that same head cover in a crackle-red finish. The fuel injected and ECU-managed engine will start easier, idle smoother and have slightly fatter torque and power curves, but many people still prefer the older way of supplying fuel and air. Which one would you go for?


A lower bucktooth front lip and that’s all you pretty much need to enhance the looks of a GT-R-inspired Hakosuka. The stance is on point too; it’s just low enough for a classic but not so much that it would be a chore to drive on the street.


The simplicity has been carried inside where the only modern touches are a retro-style steering wheel and a carbon fiber plate blocking off the space where most owners fit a modern head unit. The old radio is on the very top above the ventilation controls.


Low-back Bride Histrix seats are the perfect choice for the overall theme; they’re modern yet ooze a classic motorsport look.


The Skyline was put through a full restoration which included taking the body down to bare metal, addressing the inevitable corrosion, and replacing all worn parts.


The question is, does this sort of car make an argument for itself against a far more valuable GT-R? Factoring in the cost of restoration and all the parts that were added to make it so unique, the investment becomes substantial.


What you are left with, however, is what must be an incredibly fun and powerful car to drive. Yes, GT-Rs are amazing, but while the S20 sounds glorious edging close to its redline, the 150 or so horsepower it develops feel pretty paltry.

I know what I’d choose, but what would you go for?

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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Dino, you left out one very important component, the wheels... What are those? I read someone recently mentioned 4 spoke Watanabe's and my gut tells me that's what these are. But they sure do look similar to the BRE wheels from the 240z as well.



Gotti Mag


Who knows what wheels those are?


I believe those are Nissan Works 4-spoke magnesium race wheels from the early 70's...


made by Kobe Seiko


the wheels!!! can you please share the name and specs of the wheels? they are gorgeous...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Looks like people above already gave the answer!


As I continue to look at the images of these wheels I am even more intrigued by those 4 little nubs that look like valve stems on each wheel. What could those possibly be/used for??!!



The "nubs" are threaded nuts to prevent the tire from sliding off the rim if it gets punctured. Original versions of this wheel were magnesium. RS Watanabe produced them in cast aluminum.


That's fantastic! I don't recall where I read someone mention 4 spoke Watanabe's recently but it was the first thing I thought of when I saw them. And very cool to learn what those "nubs" are for. Thanks for that info!



Am I the only one that noticed the missing fender flare on the passenger side rear quarter panel? Is there a story on that?


It's in the feature to show the work done to fit the flares.


it is...


Nice restomodded Hako! The motor and details are just tip-top!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

One of the freshest I've seen in a while!

Ivor the Engine Driver

I believe the wheels first appeared on the early TransAm 510s and were American Libres. They were aluminum. I ran a 13x7 set on my street 510. There are probably several companies making that style now.

Ivor the Engine Driver

Now that I look at them, they aren't Libres. Similar, but not the same.


That's what I keep thinking too. Very similar but not quite the same. Obviously, we are sitting here scratching our heads over this. Dino, please give us the info we desperately need ;)



the hakosuka is my favourite car, but can people do something different for once? throw in a rotary, a ej20, a k20, a 2zz-ge...

Naveed Yousufzai

absolutely stunning...


I love those wheels. Avoiding the overused wantabes and going for something of a similar style but a unique look.


“There are countless routes you can take” all of which end up in exactly the same place with the possibility of a different engine and/or wheels.
Not sawing this isn’t awesome, because it is. But there are 2 styles of halo, stock and every other hako.


Now that's a motor I can enjoy. Vintage look, but with EFI and modern day tech embedded in it.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I want to know what this thing sounds like!


I certainly like the idea of modern components enhancing the restoration.


Love it! But I'm a bit irritated by the orange peel paint and the badly fitted trunk lid.


C'mon mate, it's an old car...
"The Skyline was put through a full restoration which included taking the body down to bare metal, addressing the inevitable corrosion, and replacing all worn parts."

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Wouldn't be surprised if it was a tad rushed to get it to the show in time. I'd give these guys the benefit of the doubt and see once the car is properly running how it will look


those wheels are watanabe ..very expensive but can be special ordered..


Awesome car, those wheels are rad.


Its a cool car but why did they stop on the ignition. They should have upgraded it to electronic.