When most enthusiasts think ‘Skyline’, the image of an RB26-powered GT-R will likely come to mind. But there’s more to the Skyline than just Godzilla, and one of the best in a four-door package is Nissan’s turbo sedan from the R34 generation.
Ron’s chronicles with Project Rough is an SH Garage favorite, but it’s not the only silver ER34 out there with a do-it-yourself focus. Salla ‘Santzu’ Jokivarsi from Finland has been learning the DIY craft with her car too.
When Salla picked up the ’98 Skyline 25GT-Turbo in 2015, it looked pretty average with a banged-up and broken JDM body kit. What Salla saw though, was an opportunity to make the car her own while picking up some new skills along the way.
Initially, that included getting to grips with the 280PS, 5-speed, rear-wheel drive Skyline on the track, but Salla’s focus soon turned to the car itself and how it could be improved.
How the car presented was important to Salla, so getting the bodywork fixed up was high on her list. Instead of paying someone to take care of it though, Salla took matters into her own hands, drawing on the knowledge of friends proficient in autobody repair to teach her the skills required to do it herself.
In total, Salla spent more than 300 hours repairing all the cracked and chipped fiberglass found around the original BSK Racing Factory front bumper and Final Konnexion side skirts and rear bumper, then prepping the entire car for paint.
Of course, the actual paint job was left to a professional, but Salla assisted while the fresh custom pink-tinted champagne silver hue was laid down.
The exterior also now benefits from a number of subtle and not-so-subtle additions, with a distinct Japanese flavor. They include Nismo S-tune clear indicators, custom-painted window visors, a twin-exit exhaust, anime-themed vinyl art (which looks a lot like aerography) and a set of 19-inch Leon Hardiritt Lanze wheels.
The latter need special mention too, because Salla treated the Japanese three-piece split wheels to a full refresh, polishing the barrels, repainting the centers hot pink with silver metal flake, and then piecing them back together with new hardware.
Salla’s Japanese theme is also hard to miss inside the Skyline.
Currently, the ER34’s RB25DET Neo engine remains mostly stock, but there are plans to tackle that aspect of the Nissan in the future. For now, the bay benefits from some more of that custom pink paint and carbon fibre panelling that, once again, Salla made herself.
In the suspension department, a combination of BC Racing BR coilovers, Driftworks adjustable toe and camber arms, as well as a Driftworks HICAS removal kit provides the ER34 with enhanced handling and, of course, a better-looking ride height.
Sure, this is far from the most modified Skyline we’ve spotlighted, but that’s not the point of the build. I asked Salla what she loves most about her ER34, to which she answered: “I feel that this car teaches me new things all the time, and I always get to use my creativity.”