Liberty Walk’s Silhouette Skyline: The Best Kind Of Inspiration

Make it to break it. This must be Kato-san’s motto when he sits down and thinks about his next car build. With ‘break it’ I am of course refering to the internet, something Liberty Walk destroys quite often.

Online reactions to these builds are usually fueled by equal amounts surprise, admiration and criticism. That’s probably to do with the fact that much of what Liberty Walk has done in the past revolved around grafting on overfenders to valuable sports and supercars; some people love it, and others do not.

For Tokyo Auto Salon 2020, however, Kato came up with something that resonated very well with the enthusiast crowd – the LB Super Silhouette Works R34 Skyline.


In Japan, the Super Silhouette Formula race series – which was based on Group 5 regulations – was hugely popular in its day. It spawned the gurachan movement, which played a major role in the style of bosozoku cars. Super Silhouette race cars looked like the production models they were modeled on, but sported wild widened bodies hiding massively powerful turbo engines inside tube-frame chassis.


The car Kato wanted to emulate with his TAS 2020 showpiece was the Hasemi KDR30 Skyline that Masahiro Hasemi drove in the 1982 and 1983 championships. The red and black Tomica livery has become legendary, but recreating that wasn’t the challenge – the body was.

With their new line of Silhouette body conversions, Liberty Walk has become rather good at full aesthetic transformations of cars like the Ferrari 458 and R35 GT-R. So they knew what they were doing when they applied similar thinking to the ER34 Nissan Skyline GT-t.


Straight after TAS wrapped up, I met the guys from LBW in Makuhari Sea Town, a cool housing estate just a block away from the Makuhari Messe exhibition center, where we positioned it pretty much in the middle of a little junction. Don’t worry though, it’s a quiet neighborhood, so our temporary presence didn’t cause too much trouble.


Seeing it outside the show and parked on the road gave real sense to how wild the front splitter is. There is no way you could register something like this for road use in Japan, let alone any other country I imagine, but that’s beside the point. This was purely an exercise in fun – the Liberty Walk way.


I can’t recall any other build from Liberty Walk being so well received at TAS as this one, but the fact they used an ER34 as a base surely kept all the potential negativity at bay. If Kato-san had chopped up a GT-R for this, it would have been a different story.


Another key aspect of this build is the engine swap, so removing the RB26DETT had this been a GT-R probably wouldn’t have gone down well either. But swapping the ER34’s factory-fitted RB25DET NEO for the stroked-to-3.1-liter L28 that now sits up front is a little more palatable.


Plus the authenticity is just right. Yes, the DR30 RS-Turbo ran the FJ20DET, but the race car was powered by an L-series – an LZ20B to be precise, which was a four-cylinder version of the L20 fitted with a twin cam head and equipped with a TD05 turbocharger, good for 570PS.


So the ‘L-gata’ as they call them in Japan works perfectly well in this build; it has that link to the past and adds an instant vintage touch. But Kato-san wasn’t just going to leave it at that. He sent the engine to a specialist and had it tuned in the same way that the motor in his blue Kenmeri was done years back, with a ported and polished head, and hot cam, allowing the 3.1L bottom end to do its thing. Fuel is provided by three twin-draft 50mm Solex carburetors which must sound glorious at wide-open throttle.


A stock header system and side-exit exhaust take care of amplifying that mechanical symphony to the world, and there’s an ensemble of air horns to add some bosozoku-ness to it all. Except these ones play the Mickey Mouse theme song. The Godfather theme is just so overdone these days…


The whole interior has been stripped out and painted the same glossy black as the rest of the car, with a bright yellow Cusco bolt-in roll cage and red Bride Gita buckets providing some nice contrast.


One of my favorite touches are the fins that run along each side of the hood. These are something the race car had, but also a modification made to a lot of DR30s back in the day.


The boxy fenders are as wild as we’ve seen on an R34 this side of a Super GT race car, meaning the 18×11-inch Yokohama Advan Racing GT wheels have quite the job filling them out. In fact, they had to be mounted with hub extenders to get the right fitment. Air suspension at each corner allows the car to be moved around easily; remember, this is no race car but purely a statement.


Here’s another first – Vitaloni mirrors on a ’34. This touch is normally reserved for gurachan and bosozoku cars.


As wild as the rest of the conversion is, this Skyline’s best angle is the rear. From the boxy fenders abruptly ending with a 90-degree angle as they meet the underlying body, to the way the massive diffuser protrudes from the bumper and how the wing attempts to recreate that multi-level-look the KDR30 sported, it’s absolutely killer.


I’m sure you are going to ask, so here is what Liberty Walk has to say: No, the kit/conversion is not for sale, but it will made available to official LBW dealers across the world if they want to build their own cars.

This car, in my view at least, represents a total slam dunk for Liberty Walk. It’s such a well thought out and executed homage to a legendary car that’s part of the Skyline heritage, and one of the most talked about cars ever to be shown at a Tokyo Auto Salon. Now I’m keen to hear your views on it – see you in the comments section below…

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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A very tempting mod for anybody that has a GTR sitting around.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Best not be doing conversions to GT-Rs. That would hurt me deeply lol


Haha. OK I will use a Nissan Cefiro.


Wait...Are you saying that it's not okay to permanently modify moderately rare and expensive cars for Instagram likes, Dino?


R34 GT-R isn't that rare. Production numbers were pretty high and there are still plenty of them left. I sent Liberty Walk an email about this kit for my BNR34, but the price was out of my reach.


Depends on how you define rare. The R34 GT-R only made up 0.15% of Nissan's total production for the years 1999-2002, and Nissan made approximately 6% of all cars worldwide over the same period.


It is only 7.5X rarer than an E46 M3, yeah, totally not rare :p


Lexus LFA is rare, R34 GT-R just is not that rare. Sucks that it is transforming to "collectors" car and many of them are being returned to stock almost boring look even though it could be fast and fun car rather than just a hot wheels car that is never going to get played with.


Only if you're a hotboi, nothing unappealing about the R34 GT-R body


Where do you read unappealing ? What's a hotboi lol?


the only thing i don't like is the LBWK in white on the black paint.
other than that, I love it

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Well since they made the whole thing they sort of need to add some branding

Stefan Alexandru Voicu

Daaamn!!!! Imagine seeing this in 2050.... so different. The HAKOSUKA of our generation.


This was absolutely a treat to see in person. I have such a massive respect to Liberty Walk for building such an amazing machine.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

And the brand they have created! Awesome people too!


Man, this is stellar! But it's the attention to detail like the yellow decals that tie the roll bar from the inside to the outside. I think the only part I would have done differently would have been putting some type of vent (functional or not) in the rear fender where it cuts off at the taillight so to match the front fenders. Awesome job, but never expect anything less from Liberty Walk. Great write up Dino!

Dino Dalle Carbonare



I simply adore this car. But mainly because I own/drive a heavily modified R30 and am obsessed with the DR30 Super Silhouette. I understand the criticism on this car and plenty of arguments can be made on both sides. But as you stated, the end result just looks so stunning on the R34 body.

If it were my car, I would ditch the air suspension and add a modern twist on some turbo fans but that's about it. I do agree that the L series should have been turbo charged to better match the original flame spitting Godzilla but I will give it a pass as I am sure that L31 is no slouch and from the video clip I watched, it absolutely sounds the business. Oddly, I almost built an L series for my current project but opted for a naturally aspirated RB28 instead to recreate a Z31 inspired by the Z432.

In the end, this is one of my favorite tribute builds of all time since I consider the DR30, the R34 and L series to be in my top 5 of most favorite things Nissan.

Thanks for sharing more photos of this outstanding build, Dino! You are lucky you got to see it in person.


Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah it's like taking a bunch of cool Nissan related stuff and mashing it together! Worked out so well


I can finally build my R33 LM replica, albeit on a R34 chassis.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Do tell us more...




Bang on, although I think the wheels should have been white IMO :D.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

The SSR wheels it used were silver with what looked like pressed steel discs for the turbofan portion. You can see them on this spotlight I did of the car a lifetime ago:

Rears are 19-inch!


Between the ITBs and the air horns, this thing must be as loud as a marching band!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'd describe it as being "loud as f&%$!" lol



Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thank you, your honor!


Wow I totally dig this one. Usually I like them, and can see why others don't, but this one is great.
Didn't use a GT-R which is nice because it makes so much sense to me. If you're gonna chuck half the parts from a special car, just use the lesser spec'd model; only makes sense.

Personally, I'd like to see more wagons given the LW treatment. A low-slung wagon with a fat tush; I need it.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'm all for wagons being given the LBW treatment! Nissan Stagea anyone?


That's what I had in mind!


Amazing! Now, add turbine wheels, light up fire, popping sound at the exhaust.....


*strong approval noises*


Engine swap you're supposed to improve, not go backwards. From a twin cam 4 valves per cylinder cross flow engine to a single cam 2 valve non-cross flow? It's an antique when even the RB is outdated. And yellow black and red? These colors don't mix. It's a nice car other than these features.


This is executed so damn good. The body suits the R34 so well. Liberty Walk keep setting the bar higher and higher for themselves haha

Dino Dalle Carbonare

And you know what? They'll do it again next year as well!


Bruh I had this thought the other day about a street version of silhouette r30 and boom this pops up.


The engine choice kills it for me. It’s a modern take, so why go L series? The engine justification is tenuous. This needs boost. Lots of boost. RB30 with 25 head would be a perfect choice & produce all the right noises

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Because of the Gurachan feel I guess, all those cars were/are loud as hell and all NA


I actually like this one, because it could be used practically, it's not a stupid low oilpan-scraper.


The 10ft long splitter disagrees with you.

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Indeed this is one of those rare LB cars that a lot of people could get behind. The L28 swap is the biggest shock of this build. I wonder how it would drive though...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It would be slower, but the sheer symphony of mechanical awesomeness coming from the engine would make up for it. Oh yeah, and the side exit exhaust!


Thanks for showing us more on this , defo one of the coolest cars iv seen in a while, I think it would have been good to use a gtr and slam a v8 there just to piss off anyone who gets emotional about other people building there own cars

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Now now. No blasphemy! lol


Haha i ment a nice mint V·Spec II Nür , remember kids ... to make the best omelettes you have to use the best eggs


This kit needs to be on NFS Heat!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I totally agree! Maybe the NFS team can add it into future updates...


This is giving me GRID vibes!


The L-Block with carbs is inspired! Must sound like lots and lots of angry bees. Such a cool car. This one and the EK9 restomod are my favorites from TAS this year.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Same! And the GR Yaris. God I love that little car!


I'm surprised it took this long for a Silhouette 'tribute', good on them! R34 was a no-brainer, and of course GT-Rs are too expensive when you can grab an ER34 for what, a few grand over there?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Hope this is a trend that's beginning! Would be a great balance to the overfender everything movement we've been in for a decade now. It would then be "boxfender everything!" LOL

Daniel P Huneault

Last year they gave us the beautiful version of the 308, This year they nailed it outta the park - I am falling in love with their style bravo!!!


Needs to be wider on the back


LBWK always killing it.


I mean in the end its just a car. Anyways they should sell it. There are wilder street legal cars on the streets im sure. In japan, maybe not but still america doesnt care


I think this definitely is LB's best kit yet. I wasn't a fan of most of their other kits due to the bolt-on aesthetic making the seams look so much more apparent, but now my opinion of them's coming around as they make more of these cleaner-fit Silhouette Works designs.


The amount of respect i have for this build is immense, that being said nothing, NOTHING can compare with the perfection of the r30 silhouette formula skyline. This is also another reason why i think the BNR34 isn't the be all and end all as skyline's are concerned particularly due to the hype generated in the states at the moment.

Australian speaking by the way :)