It’s not easy being patient. And if Heathrow Airport ever released their check-in footage from 2019, it’d probably be wise for me to take a social detox.
The first thing I do on Amazon is mash Prime before I’ve even looked at the results. I’ll get ingredients from Tesco, yet also return with a meal from McDonald’s. And I’m definitely on a first-name basis with the local hand carwash.
There’s an exhaust valve I’ve just ordered with a 2 to 3-day shipping time. It’s only been 24-hours, but because I’ve committed to waiting, I now have the urge to drive 5-hours north to collect the damn thing through sheer impatience. This is not normal behaviour.
Not for a second am I suggesting we strip back this level of convenience we’re now accustomed to. Sure, there are drawbacks, but it’s mostly full of positives – especially when you’re trying to get a car ready for a show or track day. However, there’s also a lot to be said for actually waiting.
Dare I say, it can feel more like a reward at the end. When you know something’s going to take time, you’ll mull it over before making a decision. You may even talk yourself out of it a few times. And then when it does turn up, suddenly that timeframe isn’t an issue anymore.
One man whose patience deserves an award is Fumikazu Adachi, the very proud owner of this DR30 Nissan Skyline. While I was doing a bit of research for this feature, a few things stood out about this particular generation of Skyline.
Firstly, the R30 Skyline might just be the coolest-looking era of them all. Just look at the side profile; it reeks of the ’80s. Secondly, they’re getting really quite difficult (and expensive) to find, let alone in RS or RS-Turbo spec. Which coincidentally leads neatly into the third point; everything attributed with Adachi-san’s car seems to be fraught with patience.
If you want to get really tenuous, you could even argue that’s how the DR30 came into fruition. Thanks to the global oil crisis of the 1970s, Nissan focused on ‘general’ passenger vehicles rather than something fast or fun. So, when the C110 GT-R ended production in 1973, it’d be almost eight years before another ‘sporty’ Skyline came along in the form of the 2000 RS.
The R30 Skyline was far from rare; they made over 400,000 of ‘em. But for the interest of this feature, we’ll push aside the main variants in favour of the most notable: the RS and Turbo RS. What made this so desirable? At the time of its launch, the FJ20 powerplant was the first Japanese production engine with four valves per cylinder.
Not content with this technology alone, the later Turbo RS unsurprisingly gained boost and, in the process, became the most powerful Japanese production engine with 188hp.
There’s a lot to thank the R30 Skyline for. Despite never wearing a GT-R badge, had it not been for the cult status this model achieved (in both road and silhouette racer form) we might have found ourselves waiting much longer for the Skyline GT-R to return. The people wanted a sporty Skyline, and the R30 paved this way for future generations after an eight-year hiatus.
Adachi-san first set eyes on the DR30 as a teenager and – like a lot of Japanese car enthusiasts – decided to profess a lifelong obsession to it shortly after. But even as a young adult he wasn’t in the position to buy one; the Skyline in Turbo RS guise was an expensive car secondhand, let alone when it was new.
“If you were a young person, it wasn’t exactly a car you could afford,” Adachi-san explains. “I bought a Toyota Celica 2000GT as my first car. It was cheap and good fun, but I always wanted the Skyline instead.”
There’s no hiding my obsession for Japanese culture, and over the years I’ve met some of the best people I know in Japan. People who genuinely live for automotive culture, attributing a single experience as a youngster to a lifelong devotion for certain models. Maybe it’s my own excitement clouding my judgement, but it seems more prolific here than anywhere else.
Take Shibato Tatsuhiro from R31 House. Having watched an R31 Skyline racing when he was a young boy, Tatsuhiro-san decided his goal in life was to build the world’s best R31 Skylines. Not GT-Rs or other Skylines, but R31s. And if you take a look at Dino’s feature here, you’ll see he wasn’t lying.
That’s what makes Adachi-san’s story so familiar. But to finally realise his dream would take a whole load of patience – almost 25-years in fact. And it didn’t even stop with the purchase of the car.
“I didn’t just want a DR30 Skyline RS; I wanted the RS-Turbo model,” he adds. “For me, it is the most appealing and significant model. In the red and black paint, it is reminiscent of the race cars. But they are also the most desirable ones; expensive and hard to find.”
Right about now is a good time to introduce a man called Isao Mizota (pictured above and driving Adachi-san’s car), someone you might be familiar with as the owner of Revolfe S.A. near Yokohama. Not only was Mizota-san how we first discovered Adachi-san’s Skyline, he was fundamental in finding (and building) it too.
“Mizota-san and I lived in the same neighbourhood when we were young,” Adachi-san explains. “My family ran a gas station which he started working at. To begin with, we rode together on motorbikes, but soon we turned to cars when we could drive. Almost every day we would finish work and drive the Bayshore Line to Hakone for fun.”
For nearly four decades the two have remained friends. That’s why, when Adachi-san found himself in the position to finally buy a Turbo RS in 2003, he turned straight to Mizota-san for his help. The issue? With the announcement of the R34 GT-R ending production a few months earlier, Skyline prices – of all generations – were back on the rise again, and so was their demand.
You know I said earlier Adachi-san’s patience deserved an award? Well had that been me in his position, I’d have panicked and pulled the trigger on the first one that came up. But thankfully, Adachi-san’s mentality is the polar opposite of mine, to the point he actually ended up searching for nearly seven years to find the right base. That’s almost 10 times longer than any YouTuber has ever owned a car.
But this was Adachi-san’s childhood dream, not a quest for views. Having already waited two decades to save up, he wasn’t about to rush into the most important part – the purchase.
And then, in 2010, the car pictured here – a high-spec Turbo RS-X variant – came up at a sensible price. Apart from it wasn’t the car pictured here; it was a non-runner, it needed welding, and it was bone stock. Adachi-san never intended to have a standard car, so before it could even be viewed it was shipped across for Mizota-san to start the transformation.
Over the next decade the pair have repaired, replaced or upgraded just about every component you see. Adachi-san didn’t have the budget to do it all in one go, but with Mizota-san keen to make it the best possible car for his friend, the two formulated a long-term plan that’d culminate with Adachi-san finally getting to drive his dream R30 Skyline.
Those rivet-on overfenders aren’t just the epitome of cool; they’re necessary for tuckin’ the RS Watanabe wheels with semi-slick Advan rubber. The 6-point roll cage doesn’t just add rigidity, it keeps Adachi-san safe when he’s visiting the track. Yup, not only is this a properly cool road car, it’s a properly cool track car.
Not that you can tell, but there’s carbon littered all over this car – from the bonnet, boot and spoiler right through to the arches. They’re just painted body colour so not to lose the original DR30 charm. And then you get to the engine.
The FJ20ET now displaces 2.2-litres with all-new internals. There are two fuel pumps, the ignition is now direct coil, and a GCG-Garrett GTX turbo helps almost triple the power from 188hp to 500hp at 1.5bar (22psi) of boost. Keep in mind this Skyline weighs just 1,215kg (2,678lb); there’s no four-wheel drive weight to move around here.
Immediately after shooting this car, I found myself searching DR30 Turbo RSs for sale. Unsurprisingly, they’re even more rare and expensive than when Adachi-san was looking. It may have taken him seven years to find one, but ironically, he might have just bought his at the perfect time.
“In Japan, you can buy a used R35 GT-R for the price of a RS-Turbo now,” he laughs. “Future value is great, but it is not important to me. In fact, it is a shame that the popularity of Skyline and GT-R is driving the prices so high. Now they are bought by collectors rather than enthusiasts. I wish more people could enjoy the Skyline driving experience before it is too late.”
It’s fitting then, that after the patience Adachi-san has shown this car, it took over a year and several visits to properly photograph it. We’d originally spied it during a visit to Revolfe S.A. back in 2018, hidden under a cover in the corner. When a tuning shop littered with Skylines and Supras has something under a cover, you know it’s going to be special.
During that visit, Mizota-san kindly gave us a glimpse but didn’t want too many images without Adachi-san’s permission. A year later, and many messages asking how the build was coming along, it was finally ready for a proper Speedhunters spotlight.
Anyone who can do basic math will see that doesn’t account for the missing 12-months in between. You could argue that’s down to me forgetting I’d shot an entire spotlight on it (which might be true), but in the spirit of this story we’ll pull the patience card and accept it was simply worth waiting for. Something Adachi-san, the DR30 Skyline and Speedhunters audience can all share in common.
Now would be the perfect time for a ‘happily ever after’ ending, but let’s not forget the DR30 Turbo RS is still a Skyline at the end of the day. So after wrapping up this feature with Adachi-san and sharing Skyline-based horror stories, I asked how he’d got on at Fuji Speedway recently.
“Not great, Mark-san,” he replied. “After the second session, I noticed the radiator coolant was getting low. I stopped running and we went back to Revolfe S.A. Unfortunately, there is rust inside the water jackets caused by cracks in the cylinder block.”
For most people, this would be quite the setback. But, when you’ve spent 37-years chasing your dream car, it’s a drop in the ocean.
“It’s a great time to build the strongest and best Skyline possible now,” Adachi-san adds. “My dream does not end here, I just need a little more patience.”