In some ways, I feel like this car is the perfect follow-up to another Skyline we featured recently. However, this R32 is being featured for entirely different reasons.
I’ve always believed its key for Speedhunters to cover as wide a variety of content as possible, and especially the kind which normally proves unpopular with current tastes and trends. Content which might not be to your taste, serves to better shape your appreciation for things which you favour.
Balance in what we feature is key to all of this, but isn’t always possible. This is mostly because Speedhunters attempts to reflect what the current automotive world looks like, from our perspective at least, which usually leans one way or another. Trends come and go, some quickly and some hang around a lot longer than anyone would expect. What has always remained consistent, however, are the real home builds.
For every big SEMA or Tokyo Auto Salon-esque build, you need something much more humble to both balance the scales, and keep us grounded in reality. I’ve been trying my damndest to shine a spotlight on these types of cars of late, as they normally don’t get the recognition which I think they deserve. From an S50-swapped E30, a supercharged Mini Clubman, a Tesla-powered BMW 8 Series or even someone trying build an Impreza WRC in their shed.
These kind of builds might not attract the same number of likes or views as the aforementioned headline-seeking builds, but that’s OK, because they nearly always don’t want that level of attention anyway. They’re quite content to just do their own thing.
This Nissan Skyline R32 is a perfect example. To the average road user, it’s just an old Nissan coupe. Even to a more knowledgeable enthusiast, it just appears to be a mildly modified OEM+ example at first glance.
But to its owner and builder, it’s a car to do all things and do them relatively discreetly. Whether that’s fast road driving, track days, drift days or road trips.
The first thing to mention is that it’s not a GT-R, and these days that’s not a bad thing. With the rise in BNR32 values, I fear we’re going to see less of them about, and even fewer brave enough to modify them considerably.
While even GTS-ts aren’t exactly the bargain they once were, they still offer a much more affordable starting point for many.
The GT-R vibes of this particular car are courtesy of genuine GT-R replacement exterior parts, including the bonnet, grill, bumper, lip, rear spoiler, N1 ducts and N1 headlights. The girth is courtesy of fibreglass fenders, quarter panels and spats. The mirrors are Winds Auto items.
The quarter panels in particular are impressive, as you don’t even notice that they’re screwed on (easier to replace) and fit tight to the car with no visible waves in the material.
What I didn’t really appreciate until the shoot was almost done, was the blue pearl over the black paint, which only shows up under direct sunlight. We don’t get sunshine very often here in Ireland, so the car appears black for at least 50 weeks of the year.
The RAYS Gram Lights 57F forged wheels are a subtle but suitable choice. They measure 17×9.5-inches +22 at all four corners, and are wrapped in 255/40R17 Yokohama Advan A048 and Toyo Proxes R888R semi-slicks, front and rear respectively.
What some might notice – although it’s difficult to see in photographs – is the positive camber on the rear wheels. A conscious decision was made to set the car up this way in order to maximise the tyre’s footprint on the ground under acceleration, and offer as much traction as possible.
The front brakes, unusually, aren’t GT-R items but rather were sourced from a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI. They’ve been paired with Evolution X 350mm discs and Carbon Lorraine brake pads. The rears run a larger-than-stock 337mm GKTech discs with Project Mu handbrake shoes and Carbon Lorraine pads once more.
The car does run a GT-R BM57 brake master cylinder, in place of the standard GTS-t item.
As you can expect, the real party piece, and perhaps the only non-subdued part of the whole car, lurks under that genuine GT-R bonnet.
What at some stage in the distant past was a stock RB25 has had a whole new life breathed into it. It remains 2.5-litres in capacity, but has had much more potential released. It’s a not a big-power setup, and still north of 400hp, but instead the owner chose response and reliability as this engine’s defining characteristics.
It starts with fresh air being drawn through an AEM air intake and compressed by a Garrett GT3076R turbocharger, passed through a Speedfactory intercooler and onwards to a Speedtek intake plenum via an Infiniti Q45 90mm throttle body before being forced into the cylinders. Once inside the motor, the air is mixed with fuel from 1,050cc Injector Dynamics injectors – which in turn are supplied with fuel by a 355lph Fuel Performance pump and regulator – and ignited by plugs fired by Spitfire coil packs. The subsequent firing drives otherwise stock RB25 internals into rotation.
Exhaust gasses pass through a Sinco stainless exhaust manifold – excess gasses are vented through a Turbosmart 50mm external wastegate – and once more through the GT3076R, albeit on the opposite side of the turbo housing, before exiting the vehicle via a custom 3-inch exhaust system. A Link ECU and Blitz SBC boost controller manage this process.
In reliability terms, the RB series of engines tend to live in Toyota’s 2JZ shadow most of the time, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be reliable.
In Ireland, where fuel quality is poor, heat management is all the more important to prevent detonation. A GReddy radiator with an ARC cooling panel play their role with regards to water temperatures, while a T7 Design 34-row oil cooler operated by a GReddy thermostatic sandwich plate beneath the oil filter work to manage coolant temperatures. For the repeated lock-to-lock transitions of drifting, a Chasebays power steering cooler has also been deployed.
Oil starvation is often an issue with RBs, so an N1 oil pump, along with Franklin Engineering oil restrictors and a rear cylinder head oil drain go some way towards combatting this.
If all else fails, there’s an Accusump oil accumulator which can supply a few seconds’ worth of oil pressure when the situation arises.
Belts and braces it might be, but it means that the owner spends more time driving than being parked in the garage waiting for temperatures to drop, or picking up pieces which normally reside inside the block.
Fast track/road and drift setups aren’t exactly a million miles apart anymore. Where initially drifting was about loosening up a car’s grip levels to allow it to slide easily, it’s really all about how much traction you can acquire in order to drive the car forward, whether sideways or not.
Suspended on custom AMR coilovers, the front of the car features GKTech traction and camber arms, Tein extended track rods, and a steering rack which has been moved 25mm forwards. The rear subframe has been replaced with an S13 item mounted on solid collars, with Driftworks LCAs, camber arms, toe arms and traction arms.
When dialling grip into a car, you do need to be conscious of not exposing any weak points in the driveline. The factory RB25 gearbox is renowned for its strength, so that hasn’t changed.
There’s an OS Giken twin-plate clutch, a Nismo 2-way differential, ORC braided lines with a HFM oversized slave cylinder, and an S13 master cylinder. The latter of these has been used due to the ports being on the side, allowing the intake to fit comfortable within the engine bay.
Normally, when the words ‘drift’ are mentioned, we envision stripped-out interiors and a plethora of extended levers. This is much more street car, though. The driver is secured with a Bride Zeta II and the cockpit is protected with a Cusco dash-dodger cage.
There are a host of gauges to monitor the most important temperatures and pressures, along with 320km/h Z Sport clocks. Otherwise, it’s actually borderline hospitable in here. It even has a working Pioneer double-DIN headunit with JBL speakers.
It’s probably a lot more car than most were expecting, and there’s certainly a lot more underneath than the Skyline projects to the rest of the world, but I enjoy that.
Truthfully, I also appreciate the big, brash builds as well for their sheer levels of ludicrousness, but those need cars like this around to provide contrast and balance for the whole scenario.
If anything, we need cars like this around that remain relatable and achievable. Otherwise, we lose perspective and ultimately hope. Real cars, real people, real builds. Let’s not forget them.Cutting Room Floor