Daigo Saito’s R32 Skyline Has A 2JZ

When I saw some images of a very interesting looking Pandem-kitted R32 Nissan Skyline sitting on display in Daigo Saito’s shop, I knew I had to find out more.

Of course, if I was making a trip out to Fat Five Racing, it would have been rude to not take a look at the latest happenings in Daigo’s workspace, and you might have already caught my subsequent shop tour post from earlier in the week. However, the Skyline in the showroom deserved a post of its own, so here we are.


One look at this car and you can instantly tell it’s a Daigo build.


The way the swapped 2JZ-GTE sits so far back that its two most rearward cylinders encroach into the cabin is a dead giveaway. Then there’s the minimalist approach taken with the front tube-frame structure, both to locate the suspension turrets and support the exterior panels.


If you are a Nissan purist you might want to look away now, but if you are open-minded when it comes to custom car building, then you’ll likely find the 2JZ in here quite amusing.

The point of it all? That’s a question I asked Daigo, who told me that it’s just for fun, not pro drifting or anything like that. Simply, he had some spare time over the past year – like many other people in motorsport – and this is the result.

Looking at the engine bay, I couldn’t help but marvel at all the free space in front the 2JZ. You could easily fit another engine in there!


Taking a few steps back, the Skyline almost looks like a 1:1 scale RC drift car – a tubular chassis with a lightweight skin dropped over it, which is pretty much what this is – minus the RC part of course. Only the middle section of the car has been retained and every body panel is paper thin.


Aside from the door skins, roof and pillars, there’s nothing much left from the donor Skyline.


A custom transmission tunnel dominates the cabin; it houses a sequential gearbox that sends drive to the quick-change rear end. And to keep the occupants safe, a rear bulkhead has been fabricated onto the main cross-bars of the roll cage.


Like all serious drift cars these days, the radiator has been mounted at the back, and for now it’s all been left open and exposed. You can also see the fuel cell in there, hence the rear bulkhead.


The massive Pandem bolt-on fender extensions allow for some aggressive wheel fitment. However, one little pinky-poke confirms that this current ride height is purely for looks.

It will be cool to see this finished and used in anger, so I definitely want to be there when Daigo takes it out for a shakedown test.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare

Nissan Skyline related stories on Speedhunters



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YES! I was waiting for this eye candy ♡



i cant wait till the worlds supply of 2jz runs out

the car scene will lierally die out overnight

it already is cus people are just doing the same thing in a different body.

its like

when will ever go back to the way things used to be

when people had different ideas and used different parts and made shit work and worked with what they had and drove beaters and had fun and were like huge meets.

what happened?


just like SBC and LS, it won't run out. but only if someone could get their hands on the manufacturing rights and tooling. in meantime, we already got billet block and heads (idk if it's already released, saw it on engineswapdepot)


Please show us another R32 built like this one, otherwise quit your bitching


i literally have to play Tokyo xtreme racer 3 or GT1 / Gt2 just to get my NUTS off.


show me people who still do 80s and 90s tuning style and you will see none why? the parts are rare and it requires you to use auctioners and importers for period correct parts and people dont wanna spend a ton of moeny on a build thye just wanna go out and go fast and look cool and thats it.

its so BORING so HIGH SCHOOL im turned off by it.

literally have imported more 90s glory day SHIT for myself then your left nutsack pumped out during your teenage years :V


i pulled up to massive car meet today and it was sameyness across the board.

the only unique shit there was a miata otherwise it was all stance wagons.


or you could go back to the way things used to be and do real early 2000s and 90s tuning and 80s tuning and be a real man instead of doing the same shit everyone else does.





The "2JZ all the things" school of car modification isn't universal (outside of the US and perhaps Scandinavia it's nowhere near as common), and of course there are segments of the scene that are trend-driven, with stance-focused cars one of the most high-profile examples. Cars at meets are more limited by money to spend than anything else, and many widely-shared builds online are limited by what's already cool, because if a shop or a sponsor is going to spend big money on a build, they want to be sure they'll get enough return on their investment, so taking too many creative risks is out of the question. It's not always like that, of course, but you can unde4rstand why they'd be playing it a bit safe.

But in making comments like you have, you sound exactly the same as every one-eyed muscle car enthusiast who loudly proclaims that anything built or modified after 1979 is crap, and who haven't changed their modification style in 40 years. It's a mentality I'm starting to see afflict fans of 80s and 90s Japanese cars everywhere. They close their minds to anything new, that cropped up after they turned 18, and deride most models newer than 2002 as "all the same". if you want to get stuck in the past, you can't criticise a "lack of originality" in modern builds. For what it's worth, sure, this is a 2JZ, but Saito is sticking to what he knows for the bits that go boom, while having fun in other areas of the car. The result is pretty cool, no matter what engine is in it.


To be exact, it's a 2JZ powered, 4-wheel space-frame with R32 panels.
This "car" which isn't much a car anymore......but has 10x fun factor of a real car.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's a Daigo Saito car, of course there is very little left from the stock base lol


I spy an extended wheelbase in the front as well.


you sure? body panels wouldn't match up. LCA placement looks factory to me


100%. look at the distance between the front wheel and the headlight compared to a stock one, it's been pushed forward a few inches. front geometry is most likely exactly the same from a mounting point perspective but everything has been moved forward a little.


Why would he have done that? There's nothing in there?


'Donor Skyline'? ??? I've looked at prices for skyline's here in the states and Wow. I'm always impressed that anyone who buys one and then modifies it has my respect.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

We have a few more in Japan...


I suppose that makes sense! hah


One way ticket to crazy town, please. This thing is nuts and awesome and pointless and all-of-the-emotions at once. I love it, and the fact it exists in the first place.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's just for fun as he said!


if there was ever a picture to convince me NOT to get work done by a garage. That front end is just unsafe. Its like they've heard of triangulation but thats it. The worship for poor workmenship in this hobby is crazy. that porsche guy welding with his eyes shut, what the hell is that? This skyline front end will deflect and wobble. it will never maintain geometry in movement. that poor car


Everything infront of the strut towers are kinda meant to crumble in a crash to reduce damage to the important bits

Dino Dalle Carbonare

What Porsche guy?


Anything in front of the intercooler is just to hang the panels on for show. He builds drift cars that regularly lose their front ends. The more strength you put there the more weight where you don't want it.


A 2JZ-swapped R32?!?!?!
Never saw this coming but I think it's really cool!


so many things left out of this post. the suspension has been converted. why is it left hand drive? power figures? how much does it weigh?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

We'll touch on that when he takes it out for a play


There is just something about the R32's shape and lines. Really regret not buying that GTR i test drove back in 2008....that had only 20k AUD on the windsheild.


The first to come to mind when I hear 2JZ R32 is Echo (IG: tdapdrmp). It's also LHD, and she drives the hell out of it.


anyone trying to keep high dollar price parts or expensive parts and whatnot alive are literally either SEMA loan or drug money builds.

rims should not cost 1400 dollars and be CAST bullshit heavy garbage.


"forged" rims are nothing special.

its literally a press or a machine blank die process its not overly expensive.

its decently cheap esp from japan.


You should never go full retard


forged rims are also extremely strong and not overly heavy.

a lighter rim is always better when you actually know how to drive vs a heavy one.

i have found that a heavy rim makes my steering to imprecise and weighty takes away from the sport feeling of something.


for 1400$ my rims should be FORGED lightweight rims.


wow FM (Front Mid Engine) GTR it be the best weight distribution of the car, i guess it will be great on touge

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's built for drift


Oh my! Kinda reminds me of a NASCAR, in a good way.


Only thing i dont fancy is the air path for the intercooler. Unless he has a duct thats much to far back to achieve any real heat exchange


now thats what u call a thicc one. not saying that it dosent look good or anything but, how does the engine being all the way back plus all the leftover space help the car at all, as in does it help on the wheel radius or maybe any drift features....i would just like to know.apart from that great build and great article. THANKS DONO

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It helps in weight distribution and the custom suspension geometry helps the car behave in a certain way when drifting. Saito has been building extreme cars for years now and he knows how he wants his car to feel under power and when sliding